Atchafalaya Swamp

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Man In Mid-Life

Mat Salo in (poor) post training form, March 26, 2009. T minus 3 days to Race Day this weekend.

I guess like all men hitting the "magic 50" they start to do something "crazy" - and I'm certainly no exception to the rule.

Some take on mistresses or an extra wife, some will purchase a low-slung two-seater sports coupe, or a Mark Levinson (yes, Kim Catrall's hubby) hi-fi, or a big plasma TV. I wonder if going to umroh or haj is a consequence of mid-life too?

Back in '04 - GP Speda Race Series - note the "boghoi" factor

Me? As soon as I came back from Indonesia I decided to do something that I had not done since 2004: enter a goddamned MTB race. Back in '04 when I was not quite 45 I managed to complete 100 k on a road-bike. But that was five years and tens of thousands of sticks of cigarettes ago.

And I've also piled on the pounds, in case you haven't noticed.

Mean, but not-so-lean-nor-trim in '04

So this weekend I'll be competing in the men's "veteran" class (45 and above, of course) but for old-timers like us who couldn't get it up more than once a single night, the course is only over 15 km when normal UCI sanctioned cross-country MTB races would be at least 24 km or 4 laps on an average 6 km loop.

So why am I doing it? I don't really know dudes and dudettes.

Perhaps like all men in mid-life, we all start "losing it"?

Wish me luck this Sunday the 29th, eh?

If you're keen, it's near the old leprosy hospital in Sg. Buloh. Go here for directions.)

Brand New Shimano XT "clipless" installed at Joo Ngan yesterday.

Transferring "clipless" cleats from new to old shoes...


Kata Tak Nak said...

Here's wishing you lots of luck, I'm sure you could finish it.

You could still get it up once a night? Wow.

Pak Idrus said...

Great, that is the way to go and enjoy it. Fifty is the prime of life, so go and enjoy it. Do whatever you want to do but do enjoy it.

I have been that path before and am still continuing with various activities to enjoy life.

Have a nice day.

zackzara said...

Sir Mat Salo,

It's been a while haven't drop by here and now you are on that race... Great that you are still able to do it :)

All the best for the race. Am sure you gonna enjoy it with not much thinking of winning it..but if you win...it's a bonus! *wink*


unspun said...

Good luck but remember that 50 is not the new 20. Ain't the Santa Cruz such a sweet bike. Great colour too.

Raden Galoh said...

all the best bro...

sekali tgk mcm Lance Armstrong...pujaan hatiku...

Wow! You really have the spirit and the energy lah bro... wa caya sama lu!

Anonymous said...

Heehee...teringat how at one time tu i wanted so much to run in a marathon. memang betul, dont ask why.
tapi tak ada rezki sampai kini.
All the best Mat Salo!!

galadriel said...

Skali pandang Lance Armstrong. Dua kali pandang, I have to pandang serong. Tights are not for u man, believe me.

Having said that, fat old me salutes your spirit.

And yeah, thanks so much for telling us that "once a night" capability. I needed to know that. :P

Mat Salo said...

Chegu - Sir, dah lama tak memblogging nih. Masa khoje cuaca burok kapal dok goyang trus, satellite dish tak dapat fix. So balik baru la boleh lepas gian. Ada lak member yang asyik 'cakapjer'tu bilang "semoga menang". Menang? I think you got it right, boss. To finish is an accomplishment indeed... Thanks.


Pak Derus - Sir,I don't know about fifty being the prime of life or not. Sexual researchers claim 20 - 30 is the peak and everything goes downhill after that. Ha ha. Then you get people like Hugh Hefner to disprove all known theories. Yes, I admire you're zest for life, Sir, and I hope to emulate you and Pak Zawi...


Zackzara - Miss, Miri is a haven for these activities too. Too bad those days I wasted a lot of opportunities to explore... *sigh*.
But I'm chicken when it comes to being airborne hehee... Err, for my level, all I really hope is too finish. Unless all of the 'veteran' folks fail to show up... :) then got chan laa...


OHC - Sir, Definitely. The SC Superlight is such a sweet XC bike. It's orange anodized color is a sight to behold. Now, if only I could actually win to do it justice... Thanks.


Raden Galoh - Ma'am, Lance tu 2-3 hari lepas dah jatuh kat Spain patah collarbone. This will derail his attempt for an "incredible comeback".

But what'st important, is that YOU HAVE COME BACK. Sis...


Accia - Ma'am, baru je hijack si Cakapjer malam tadi untuk berita2 terkini. "Tolong" lah member kita tu ye...*wink*

Marathon? Why not? Mola2 buatlah half-marathon, quarter ke, one-eight ke then slowly proceed from there. Training commitment to yang selalu orang tak sanggup. Macam practise instrument gak. You know I looked at the lists of contestants for the Selangor MTB ni nama2 kaum hawa sikit sangat. Kalau masuk, tamat garanti dapat hadiah.

Thanks for the wishes, ya?


Update: Managed 35 km on the road yesterday and about 45 this morning under the hot blazing sun. Tomorrow, day before the race is "recovery" day. Kasi chan body repair itself ler. I think I'm ready... Yeeeehaaaaa!!!

Mat Salo said...

Galadriel aka AR - Sistah! How right you are. Me in cycling shorts is an abomination indeed, an assault to the senses! I need to cut down at least 30 pounds to "look good" lah. Hai-yoo!

Er, about "once a night"... I think it's best to leave it in the realm of fiction. Once a week is more like it, heh. Let's meet up to catch-up, shall we?

galadriel said...

Macha! I miss u too. Mari teh tarik at my local mamak. Guaranteed to give u diabetes.

Well, are u still around in KL?

Salt N Turmeric said...

Good luck Mat Salo! Il be the pom pom girl all the way here ok? lol.

cakapaje said...

Salam bro,

Go, bro, go! Knock them dead (but come out alive ye). My apologies for not being able to attend.

Anonymous said...


New shoes, cleats and clipless pedals just a few days before a race? Better break them in soon before- never mind, I think you know what you're doing.

But bro! Cycling isn't a sign of mid-life crisis. Not in the least! It's a manifestation of great health, a strong spirit and superb sexual prowess (yes, that last bit is so true)

Keep on hammerin', bro! I'll try to make it to Sg Buloh to lend you some immoral support :-)

Kama said...

may you hv all the luck in the world, mat... pedal away!

muteaudio said...

Satu hari nanti gua akan join lu. Different age group of course!

Mat Salo said...

Lol! Looks like I've got plenty of fans and supporters.. You know me, I hate to disappoint.. :)


A Dash of Oregano - Farina! Man (0r woman, rather) if I've got REAL pom-pom girls like you then I can really smoke 'em. As it is, all I can do is smoke a cigarette post race and wonder where I went wrong. But thanks for the vote of confidence, though...


Bro Talk-Only - Bro', you sms'd me earlier and said "semoga menang". Win? The last time I won anything was in Std. 1 - for coming out tops in a kampung school essay competition. I just hope to finish, bro', that's all. I ain't gonna' knock anyone dead, dead's for sure, haha. Makasih, Pak.


Bro' Bangkai - Since I can't write to as good as you, the least I can do to 'one-up' on you is in the sexual prowess department. Even on this the score is disputable. We'll just let a third party, certain Mlle. EM to mediate, haha.

Perhaps, you're right bro', about the latent manifestation bit. The chamois in my cycling pants has a certain effect like 'em 'ball guards' that Sir Mick uses on stage. Oh, I do wish you can lend me immoral support. Even amoral support will do. The question is: which is better? Being immoral or amoral?

Puan Hajjah - Ma'am, now that it's hours away and I'm getting my pre-race jitters... luck is what I need Ma'am. If I'm lucky all the other participants in the veteran category won't show up tomorrow. They will have - a) family emergency to balik kampong b) car wouldn't start c)bicycle got stolen. Yes, that's the kind of luck I need. Ha ha. Thanks for the wishes anyway.


Bro' mute - apa lu cerita? Different age group? Come on. Kan kita ni sama age.. Lu kata goa tua kasi drop my saham laa bro.. Eh, one day kita pergi ride suka suka. Nak?

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

yea man, i kinda noticed it too, especially on the middle part thats obviously protruding. but hey, you'll pull through this weekend. all the best, brother.

Pi Bani said...

By the time you read this, the race would be over.

OK, so how much did you lose?(I mean in kilos...)

Mat Salo said...

Bro Kerpie - I did more than just "pull through". I surprised even myself.. hehee. I'm about to blog it. Thanks.

Pi - one of the best things when I saw some classmates before the race is their sweet words, "eh, Mat, ko dah lose weight, ke?" Ha, ini baru training sikit2. Kena a few more weeks another 10 kg's kot? But I'm such a slacker. Abih race jer tala lemang 2 buluk with kari kambing courtesy of S'gor State gomen. Pastu balik umah, 4 slices of Pizza.... hai...

Kata Tak Nak said...

4 slices of pizza? I can't down that even when I am very-very hungry. I envy you people who could down a goat and still look like a slim cat.

kbguy said...

haha.. I know what you mean. I'm in the same boat as you. This is my year..the Ox year. So, you can guess how old I am too. Getting a number 2 is like looking for more trouble. So, I am just as crazy as you. But I'll do something different.. I am going solo on a backpack travel. Never did that ever since I have a life companion. But this time, I am really going away alone for a short while. Somehwre far far and not on business. Maybe just want to be alone... hehe

Mat Cendana said...

Yup, it was from this one that I had missed. This must also be the month I had changed the non-sanctioned template at Blogger.com - and lost everything at the sidebar including the RSS addresses.

45 with this race? That's the age when I went to Gambang... Anyway, this is the good thing about reading from the back - I don't have to wait, for whatever that followed (the race) is already there. But right now I have to attend to work matters (writing this offline 10:42AM 14 July)

P/S: zackzara - It was through your blog that she came to mine... and she has become a good friend in such a short time. With the women more than 10 years younger, I'm quite comfortable because it's almost like your niece. Less than that; well... Quite a few outstanding people having arrived at my blog (the "good one", not that bangang blog which I want to kill off but requested not to by "some people")