RIDE # 154: 20 NOVEMBER 2018

I picked up a birthday “tradition” while living in The Netherlands.  I think some of you share it.  Ride Your Age.  In most cases, this means a ride length equal to or longer than your chronological age.  My Duch cycling friends added a maximum speed equal to or faster than your chronological age to the mix.

It sounded like a good idea ten years ago.  Less so now.  There will come a time when the ever-increasing miles required turns this tradition into a fool’s errand.  Nevertheless, I set out on a solo ride this morning to ride my age in miles.  This was my first chance for a ride since my birthday last week.

The route was a mix of motorcycle lanes, main roads and quieter back streets.

To make sure I covered the necessary miles for my age I took a little detour to Bandar Saujana Putra.  All those lakes are disused tin mining pools.  In the 1880s Malaya as it was then was the largest tin producer in the world.  As late as 1979 Malaysia was still producing 30% of the world’s tin.  Much of the mining was done by floating dredges.  The chain of buckets on the front scooped up the tin-bearing soil, which then passed through an oscillating drum and a system of jigs and screens to extract the tin, before spewing out the waste material at the rear end through a number of chutes.

The heydey of the tin dredge has passed.  Tin prices collapsed in 1985 and the tin mining industry in Malaysia went into terminal decline.  The ponds which were left behind have become prime real estate spots.  My guess is that in five years a photograph taken from this spot will show waterfront homes lining this pool.

The morning stayed overcast so I had a very pleasant ride.  As a bonus, I hit my age in kilometres per hour too.  There is a one kilometre stretch in Subang Jaya (see the top centre of the route above) which has an average gradient of -1.6%.  The slope certainly helps.  This is also the location of a major highway exit.  You come off the motorcycle lane and ride for that kilometre amongst five lanes of traffic.  The resulting adrenaline boost helps with top speed too!

Another year.  Another Ride Your Age in the bag.

12 response to "RIDE # 154: 20 NOVEMBER 2018"

  1. By: NancyG Posted: November 20, 2018

    Nicely done Johan. I have started our Grands (ages 4; 6; 9) on biking their age several years ago. They have each managed to do so and the two older ones have gone beyond their age. But still that remains the goal on or near their birthday.

    Myself — if I ever do it again — I think it will have to be in kilometers rather than miles or I will need to break it into a two day ride!

    • By: Rich-Illinois Posted: November 20, 2018

      I wonder, is it OK to divide by 10? 🙂 Because that is pretty much what would have to happen!

      • By: Alchemyrider Posted: November 21, 2018

        I don’t see a good reason why not 🙂

    • By: Alchemyrider Posted: November 21, 2018

      Kilometres work Nancy.
      It must be fun biking with your grandkids.

      • By: NancyG Posted: November 23, 2018

        Great fun and they have become very accomplished and skilled riders at a young age.

  2. By: Rich-Illinois Posted: November 20, 2018

    Happy Birthday!
    Great you can do the ride your age/maximum speed — not going to happen for me!
    The tin dredge is fascinating as is the resulting topography.
    Nice bicycle!

    • By: Alchemyrider Posted: November 21, 2018

      Thank you, Rick. The bicycle is a Ritchey Breakaway. Excellent for travel as the frame breaks down into two pieces. Everything fits in a case which meets the maximum airline checked-baggage standard. So no additional/oversized baggage charges when flying.

  3. By: Tony Cullimore Posted: November 22, 2018

    This idea keeps popping up and I always think “Shall I, Shall I not?”. Maybe next year but in kilometers not miles. I have popped a reminder in the calendar.

    • By: Alchemyrider Posted: November 22, 2018

      Good for you Tony. Very best wishes for when that date rolls around next year.

    • By: NancyG Posted: November 23, 2018

      I see another challenge for 365!

  4. By: The Navigator Posted: November 23, 2018

    Congratulations and Happy Birthday! We have a dredge very similar to the one in your photo – only they were going for gold instead of tin. I’m still of an age where a ride in miles is easily achievable and max speed is something not too scary. I didn’t specifically try for it this year – but have in the past. I know someone who has a birthday at a crappy weather time of year, so instead, for his 40th birthday he rode 40 kms every day for 40 days. Amazingly enough, he pulled it off.

    • By: NancyG Posted: November 23, 2018

      THAT is quite an accomplishment. 40 every day for 40 days!!

Leave a Reply