Atchafalaya Swamp

Sunday, March 29, 2009

On Cloud Nine

My smile says it all...

Folks, today I surprised even myself. The presence of expat Pat "Pig Pen" Brundson, Gary Choong of CycleWorx Singapore, Farizul, and some hard core athletes like Wan Shahidan did not deter me one bit. Back in '06 Gary made top 50 in the International Tour of Thailand (ITT) and will make some piss in their pants. And he made Top 50 IN THE OPEN CATEGORY, not some piss-ant "Veteran Class" shit. I was only nine places behind number one (Wan N). And seven places behind Gary. Yeee-haaa!

You heard that right, folks! Mat Salo with race number "V009" made tenth place. I was shocked. Which means I smoked some of 'em rider-athletes-cum-super-heroes that were once featured in newspapers...

After crossing the finishing line in almost two hours (there's one portion where you had to push up the bike up a 45-60 degree slope for 1 km, with no way to ride it, what with 200+ cyclists bottle necking the single-track - that's why it took so long) the marshalls at the finishing line said I came in tenth. I couldn't believe it so I grabbed the list to be sure.

Too bad there's no prizes for coming in tenth but knowing that I smoked some of 'em super-established guys?

It is indeed sweet, folks.

After crossing a small stream halfway through the race the whole bottom lip of my clipless shoes' got snagged. I had to look for some 'tali rafia' to hold it in place. If it had stayed intact - could I have been on the podium? Excuses, excuses...

Pre-Race: Leaving the house at 7.00 a.m.

Pre-Race in Sg. Buluh... all suited up.

My 15-year old first-born in the Open Class. He "DNF'd" at the last checkpoint due to a broken chain...

Pre-Race: Marshalls zooming past on their motocross bikes while I don my gloves and say a little prayer...

Me and Le Tua's pro Lim Yew Meng who came in second in the Open Class. Of course Yew Meng's in the same team with Indonesia's Number 1 and 2 rider Samai Amari and Tonton Susanto - participants in the recent LeTour DeLangkawi.

Strollin', Strollin' ...past the finish line...

Main sponsor's tent: Ng Joo Ngan's son- imcyclist.com


Kata Tak Nak said...

If they should ever run out of crude due to dry wells, you could turn pro.
Congrats, it shows you are still physically tip-top.

Pi Bani said...

Orait... congrats! Next year - LTDL ya? ;)

zara said...


Woweeee...coming in Tenth is awesome, Sir. Why? Naaa.. just forget of the big zero at the back...heheh.

I had to pass for this kinda race that involves 2 tyre.. :p

Again.. congrats! :)

ps: Ahaaa.. saw the QMB :)

Pak Idrus said...

Congratulation. It is OK to be On Cloud Nine but please to not forget your age!.

And another thing always tell the other half where you are going. Sometime in all the exciting we thence to forget.

Have a nice day.

Anonymous said...

saploh dari berapa pak, sablas ka?

Anonymous said...

Ah, sexy! (your son, I mean)

Strange what this aging thing can do to a man, huh?


Kerp (Ph.D) said...

heyyy, congrats! despite your visibly (a bit) protruding belly, you're as fit as a fiddle. havent been puffing much lately, have you brother?

unspun said...

Wah Unkle, not bad. Not bad at all. Come down to Jakarta for a ride some time.

Hantu Laut said...

Boleh tahan, orang muda.

Is that why you disappeared for so long? Training?

Anyway, congratulations! Keep it up!

Raden Galoh said...

Kudos! Kudos!

Tahniah Kang Mas! Hehehehe

Mat Salo said...

Chegu KTN - Sir! Thanks. Yesterday I paid the heavy price. Aches and pains everywhere. Far from tip-top chegu, itu rokok kena kasi korang. Sebelum start start race sempat pulak dua joint dengan kutu2 lain. Hai...


Pi Bani - Miss, thanks. LdTL? You mean as spectator or photographer? Ha-ha.


Zackzara - Miss. Wahh, you didn't miss a thing. Hehee. Sekarang dah QM berapa? I saw near my house ada BM QMJ... Thanks, ya, coming in 10th is indeed awesome by any standards *syiok sendiri lah ni* :)


Pak Idrus - Sir! Sometimes I don't like to be reminded of my age because it reminds me of my mortality. How do YOU keep in shape, Pak? You are fit too. Thanks for the wishes.


Mr- Anon - Sir! I have no doubt you are a guy. Buat aper ler hang nak potong stim aku? Why not say coming in 10th in a field of 9 competitors? Ha ha. But for the record, 40+ for Vet and 200+ for Open. Ada lak berapa puluh for Women and Selangor Cat but kena born in Selangor la. Makan tempe optional.

Mat Salo said...

M'Lady E.M. - Ma'am, for a moment I thought I was supposed to be the sexy one. How can a 15-year old be sexy, and a boy at that? Isn't that what this is all about? To feel sexy again, to be wanted, to be desired? To see "that look" a girl half your age might give you? What am I rambling about?


Brother Kerpes (nor Herpes) - Bro', I hate to disappoint you and myself too, but a protruding belly and being fit as a fiddle is an oxymoron, no matter how small the protrusion. It's all in the genes bro', some people can eat all they want and remain stick thin. Unfortunately I'm not one of those people.

As to the puffing (without a doubt contributing to my huffing during the race), I am sad to report it's a continuos abuse, bro'. Before race dah kena dua batang nak buat camner. But at least it's better than what I did in the 100km road race in Perak back in '04. Ada member brenti muntah, aku lak took the chan to "merisap" (bahasa Batak). I think ini semua lost cause bro'... but thanks.


TheUnspun - Mr. OHC Sir: Yep. Not bad at all. But where do you ride in Jakarta? I was hoping to do a ride in Bali sometime in the 3rd Q this year, if time permits. I will consult you for sure about this. Thanks.


Hantu Laut - Mr.G, Sir: Please don't call me 'orang muda'. I feel elated only when women call me that, ha ha. No Sir, weather's been bad on my ship so my net's been unpredictable. I actually got in about a weeks' worth of training but I've been on a slow build up for a month when I was on the rig, jogging on ship's helideck, some push-ups and sit-ups that kind of thing.

Will do Sir, I hope this will inspire me to take better care of my health. Thanks.


Raden Galoh - Mba Dalilah! Makasih ya Mba kerna dokong Kang Mas. Insya'Allah kita ketemu MRT minggu depan ya Bu?

Apandi said...

congrats, mid-life ehhh ? squeezing out the final juices. aku baru start naik gunung pulak...

Anonymous said...

Syabas Mat Salo!!!

Anonymous said...

Well done, bro! I guess you're right: I'll should just stick to writing while you blaze the single-track and switchbacks.

But don't tell me you smoked Pat Brunsdon! Did you?

He used to ride for me when I ran Bicycle Planet. Wonder if he still remembers me?

Salt N Turmeric said...

woohoo! 10th place is very good considering tht you haven't been joining any racing for a while. Eh cannot join LTDL meh?

Mat Salo said...

Mr.Turn 40 - Apandi! Naik gunung apa pulak tu jang? Stuck to cycling laa. That Santa Cruz is begging for you to ride .. such a sweet and plush ride.


Acciaccatura - Ma'am,Makasih ya Bu?


Mat B - Bangkai Sir! You mean you were the one behind Bicycle Planet? Wow! Didn't know that, dude. Pat actually came first but he was so quick the marshals forced him to race the Open Class. Seriously, someone like him should be banned from these events, kasi chan laa orang lain, ha ha...

Did you know he built the Mon't Kiara trails too? Met his Japanese wife, dude?

Anyway, thanks for the accolades, dude.


A Dash of Oregano / Salt 'N Pepper - Madam F: Join LdTL? LoL! You know one needs to be classified and rated by UCI to join these things? Just like F-1 laa, kena ada lesen. In the US where amateur bike races are popular ada laa macam2 class, Masters etc. But sadly not here... Hey Southern California is the home of MTB. Trust me, get an women-specific bike and hit the trails with your hubby. You'll love it!

Anonymous said...

Yes sir, I'm guilty as charged. I was behind Bicycle Planet and things like the Desaru Off-road Open (DORO), Malaysian Open MTB Championships '96(97?) and a few other (much smaller races) all around the country.

Pat was made to race the open category, eh? Not surprising: the guy is phenomenal. Yeah, and he is responsible for many trails in and around KL. He lives, breathes and sh*ts mountain bikes.

Yeah, I know the wife, Karen. It is still Karen, isn't it?

Higashi-san said...


This is slightly off-track..didn`t know how to get to you otherwise(lost your email addy somewhere). Your(and my)good friend from MCKK working in London,Faizal Aziz (you went to his house once in Ealing when you were on a course there and I saw the pix) passed away suddenly yesterday, while sitting for his Treasury Exam there.At the time of writing,his jenazah is still in Whitechapel Hospital, undergoing a post-mortem.It`s most probably a sudden, massive heart attack.

Innalillah!And a very sobering reminder to me about the temporal nature of our existence in this world.He was the last person I was emailing to last night(actually was replying his email) at about 12:25am, and the first email I opened this morning less than 6-hours later informed me of this tragedy.I am shocked, devastated and truly sad!

I sign as Higashi-san here(and Bangkai`s and Elviza`s blogs) but I guess you have a pretty good idea who I am(Batch `68 MCKK).You used to email me to commend the priority I always put on my kids` education, some years ago.Well, the first one, my daughter, is already an Ozzie PR(her 12th year there now) and successfully practising her Archi.there these last 3-years(Masters degree in Archi. from Uni.Melbourne),my 2nd daughter just starting her Political Science studies at the same Uni. as Big Sis, and my son(the last of the kids) sitting for his SPM this year and going Down Under next Feb along the same path as the 2-sisters(Foundation at Trinity College, and then Uni.Melbourne).


Amin!And May Arwah Faizal`s soul rest in peace, and Allah SWT berkenan menempatkannya di antara mereka-mereka yang soleh!

Eskapisminda said...

Wah, Tahniah! Sungguh terer anda!!! Saya dapat merasakan aura testosterone yang meruap-ruap itu. Bravo (clap! clap! clap!)

Mat Salo said...


Inalllillahi wainna illahirrajiun. Yes, I know who you are, Sir. I heard about it hours after and it immediately hit me hard. I was MC Photo Club President in '79 and my namesake, the late Faizal was passed the mantle right after. So he was right-hand man when it came to Tuesday Activities those days.

When I visited him in Ealing in late '06, Nina and he was most gracious to cook for me. I had not seen him since in over 25 years and was struck whent he pulled out a photo album from the mantlepiece with me in it!

Allahumafirghlana... Al-Fateha...

Mat Salo said...

Mlle Eskapisminda... Terer? Dok eh, perasan terer ada lah.. He he. Makasih ya, Mba'?

Alaamak ada berita baik. I just found out I went up one place to 9th! Cun lah kena lah dengan my race number V009! Ada 2 peserta yang flout the rules, false start. So cara otomotis terjadi lebih 'terer'. Padahal hampeh. Ha ha.

Mat Cendana said...

My comment in the previous post disappeared! But the email box is no longer present, so I presume it's sent. Lucky I always save a comment before sending to Blogger, Wordpress or anywhere.

[Since I have an ambition to be a "tech journalist" - among other things - I'm using your blog to try sharpen my skills] Concerning this "Copy", I have found a convenient way.

I have this add-on from Firefox, Auto Copy, used in conjunction with NoteTab Light, a freeware text editor I had used since 1999. One tab is marked as "Use as paste board", so whatever is Copied Ctrl-C, enters here. But "text only". If you want binary, i.e with formattings intact and/or pictures, use MS Word or OpenOffice Writer.

Anyway, with Auto Copy, you don't even have to do the Ctrl-C thing! Just select and it's automatically regarded by the CLEVER program that you want to 2) Copy next, and then 3) Paste. Right? That's right, most of the time!

Well, back to your race: I've never been in anything half as strenuous in my life - ever. That means it's almost impossible for me to appreciate what you've gone through here.

However, I'm glad that you are thrilled with the result - you give joy and hope to others (at least to me... "at least"), and you deserve all the good things that come your way.

I'm going to delve into this again, for it's the spiritual things like this one that helps to explain many previous mysteries. Like "Why do some people always seem to have all the luck?" I dare to attempt and answer this one - another time, probably elsewhere. Those sufferings in the past AND NOW - they aren't in vain.

Have to get back to work. Will move up one by one whenever I have the time and inclination until I reach the latest post.
14 July 2009 12:34 PM