Sunday, June 6, 2010


Dear Friends of Cycling,

We are 53 days away from the 4th edition of the Century Ride 2010. Some of you have already expressed you intention of participating in the event ( which we thank you for).

Unlike the previous years, this years event has been riddle with controversy over a mere RM 10-00 in increase in entry fees. A certain quarter of the cycling community in Ipoh has been advocating thru their blog on FaceBook that they intend to stage a boycott and to the extent an overzealous few(of this dissenting group) have even suggested an undermining this event on 1st August.

As the Organising Chairman for this years event, I wish to reassure you that this event will proceed on 1st August which will be bigger and better from the previous years as the committee are working towards bringing you that little " extras" which were missing from previous years event.
It is extremely sad that this dissenting group do not see the big picture. Ultimately every race has it pros & cons and their action is seen as a direct hit on all race organisers in the country and also the other stake holders of this event ( namely state government & sponsors)If we are condone to this then very soon we have no races to attend. As a good friend put it " it is the organisers prerogative to determine the entry fee and it is our prerogative to decide if we want to participate"

My view is that we are paying RM 1.00 for every mile. For that RM 1.00 we make a a new friend along the way or find out something about ourselves when we are "suffering" under the heat of the day. To me these are the intangibles which this ride offers which far exceeds the goodie bags and the finishers T-shirts.

Some of you are individuals whom I stood at the starting line of our first triathlon on Gurney drive, Penang in 1988 and some of you I have come to know more recently. I hope & pray that this event will build upon our friendships with other riders ( hopefully for the next 20 years!)

To steal the phase from Lance Armstrong, this event is "It is not about the bike" but rather our commitment to our personal goals and the legacy we choose to leave behind...

See You At The Starting Line......

Ernest Balasingam
Organising Chairman

Q & A

Question from Jeffrey Chean

Is it really necessary to have super good goodies or prizes or lucki draws to promote the event or sport which in turns raise the cost for cyclist to join?
Do you have much trouble getting support from sponsors?
Maybe I can help to chip in some contacts for sponsors... How much have KRI club subsidied for each participant? Would like to know the figure so I can most probably help to get you some extra sponsors.

From :Jeffrey Chean
Thanks for the explaination on the century ride's cost.

It's clear and crisp....

Reply to Jeffrey
Dear Jeffrey,
Thanks for your feedback. In reply to your question: "Is it really necessary to have super good goodies or prizes or lucky draws to promote the event or sport?" no, of course it is not necessary to include such items. However, the cost of these items have not been factored into the registration fees i.e. these are sponsored itmes that cost nothing to the organiser nor the participant. In other words, excluding these itmes (goodie bags and lucky draw prizes) will not bring down the cost of the fees.
We include them simply to make the event more attractive to our participants. Imagine if you were the grand prize winner of last year's Century Ride - you would be going home with a Campagnolo component parts worth RM 3,000! and a Techner Full Carbon Frame worth RM10,000!!! Now, wouldn't that be a treat! And all at no extra cost to you!!
So what does your RM100 fee go to pay for? The fees cover such items as:
1. Trophies - outstanding quality, and we give 28 trophies to participants in all   categories.
2. Finishing medals - again, of the highest quality (not some cheap plastic alternative).
3. Lunch - buffet style with more than enough food for hungry athletes (which is A LOT of food).
4. Water at  4 water stations at the 100 mile route.
5. Crew - the ratio is one "helper" or crew to every three cyclists (that's a lot!); and we actually pay our crew as it is a lot of hard work to stand in the hot sun for up to ten hours! No one in their right minds would do it for free and we don't expect them to. That is why we do not call them "volunteers" but paid crew members.
We are very proud of our crew, they work hard, are committed to making the event a success, and do all they can to ensure that their jobs are done well. If we fall short, we ask for your understanding; we do try our utmost best.
6. " Timing Chips" to ensure finishing timing is professionally done and correct. This is the new addition this year and it costs us a lot which is one of the reasons we had no choice but to raise our fees. Last year the timing was all manually done which may not be 100% accurate due to human error etc.
7. T-shirts for participants - every participant gets one and again these are good quality t-shirts, not your local pasar malam variety.
8. Police - we actually have to pay the police, Bomba, traffic police and other Government departments involved for them to help us out on a Sunday. Last year, almost 50 police escorts were on hand.
We cannot take our hard working civil service for granted even if some participants take us, the organisers, for granted.
9. Administration and paperwork - all those entry forms, artwork and printing, publicity material, registration work, computer admin, sending out receipts, and other logistics that you do not see, but that is involved in organising any event. (If you have ever organised anything in your life, you will have a vague idea of what we mean.)
10. Location set up such as First Aid tent, Drink Stations, Finishing Arch and Road sign boards. These are just a few of the items that the registration fees cover. The list goes on and on. The only people who are doing everything for free and getting no monetary compensation for all the hard work and efforts are the organsing committee behind the event. We are not complaining - we do it voluntarily and happily for the sheer (insane) passion of it all - but it is when people complain unfairly and without any basis against us, instead, that we feel we need to speak out and explain the facts as they are.
Every organiser faces a thankless task because no one seems to appreciate the hard work, the blood, sweat and tears. All that we, organisers of Century Ride, ask for in return is some kind understanding (not even appreciation) that we do try our hardest to make Century Ride a wonderful experience for every participant, we do it for nothing, and we are, at the end of the day, only human, with faults and mistakes, although none deliberate.
We are often reminded that Century Ride is not something that we have to organise. We do it for the love of the sport and of promoting the unique Century Ride to fellow cyclists everywhere. At the end of the day, if the number of unhappy cyclsits outnumber the number of happy ones, there will no longer be another Century Ride. And that will be a sad day indeed for cycling and for Perak.
What a shame.
So Jeffrey, if you have some contacts for sponsors, by all means get in touch with us. Your gesture is greatly appreciated. How much we have to subsidise per particpant depends on the number of participants we have. As we have explained, the more the participants, the more we subsidise.
I hope your questions have been asnwered.
Best regards,
Organising Committee Century Ride Malaysia 2010