I should have really checked the event prior to joining. Main intention was to race, somehow was told by the organiser a day before during kit collection that it was going to be a fun ride. It was confirmed by the absence of timing chip and race plate number in the so-called race kit. Slightly disappointed I must say.
Moving on. I have no problem with fun ride, it is just that timing is not essential and of course there will be massive number of cyclists that you need to maneuver through during the ride. There were about 1500 over registered cyclists during the event and perhaps another 1000 unregistered cyclists joining through the ride. So there was a bit of maneuvering to be done!
Campaign For A Lane (short for CFAL) is basically an annual event. Its goal is to raise awareness among road users in Penang to share the road with cyclists – which I think is a common issue in this country. Ironically I still got honked by some car drivers for not giving the way to them!! It is campaign’s 10th year anniversary this year and it has attracted cyclists from all over Malaysia including Sabah and Sarawak.
This year CFAL went through some 82km scenic and hilly round island route of Penang. To be fair, the route is not new to me since I have been using the similar route to train whenever I am in Penang. The ride began at Penang Esplanade and was flagged off at 7am by the Finance Minister of Malaysia. I completed the loop in 2 hours and 49 minutes. Not the fastest though. I was about ~20 minutes faster in 2016. Gutted.
All in all, the organisation of the ride could be better though. Granted it was a fun ride, but paid riders expect a closed road bike ride and not your usual Saturday group or solo ride where cars, buses and trucks may simply overtake and stop in front of you. I may join the ride next year but definitely as an unregistered rider.