Have a great ride!

Here are a few health and safety tips for the up­com­ing Ride for Malaysia.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Active - By TER­ENCE TOH star2@thes­tar.com.my

IT’S al­most time for Ride for Malaysia, the much an­tic­i­pated cycling event or­gan­ised by Star Me­dia Group and prop­erty de­vel­oper Sun­suria Bhd!

Here are some use­ful health and safety tips to keep in mind, shared by Fir­daus Hj Ar­shad, the Malaysia Na­tional Cycling Fed­er­a­tion (MNCF) Cycling For All Com­mu­nity Bureau chair­man, and An­drew Sia, the co­or­di­na­tor for the Star2 Ac­tive life­style pages.

1. Wear proper at­tire

Wear­ing a hel­met is com­pul­sory for all par­tic­i­pants of Ride for Malaysia. Par­tic­i­pants should also come dressed in proper sport­ing at­tire.

“We are not re­ally set­ting any for­mal rules on dress­ing for the event. But all par­tic­i­pants must ad­here to ba­sic safety stan­dards. This in­cludes proper footwear and socks,” ad­vises Fir­daus.

“If you’re do­ing the 30km ride and want to wear long pants, make sure they are light and flex­i­ble so that your legs can move freely,” notes Sia. “It’s not a good idea to be wear­ing heavy jeans which may be drenched in sweat or rain dur­ing the long ride. For the same rea­son, quick dry T-shirts are also rec­om­mended.”

2. Be care­ful and alert

Cy­clists should be aware of their sur­round­ings.

“Be care­ful not to go into pot­holes or to hit road­side kerbs, lamp posts or over­hang­ing oil palm fronds,” says Sia.

Fir­daus adds, “They should al­ways ride in a safe, and care­ful man­ner and not dis­turb or dis­tract other cy­clists. Also, they are not al­lowed to ride with their pets.”

3. Warm up be­fore

To pre­vent cramps, rid­ers should have some iso­tonic drinks and warm up prop­erly.

“Make sure you stretch those leg mus­cles be­fore you start cycling,” ad­vises Sia.

“I rec­om­mend that you get enough rest, and have a proper break­fast be­fore your ride,” adds Fir­daus.

There will be first aiders on duty dur­ing the ride for any emer­gency sit­u­a­tions, plus sweeper buses to carry those who can’t com­plete the course.

Cy­clists can also take ad­van­tage of the wa­ter sta­tions that will be lo­cated about 10km from each other.

“If event of­fi­cials de­cide that a par­tic­i­pant is un­able to fin­ish his or her ride within the stip­u­lated time, they will be asked to go to des­ig­nated di­ver­sion points,” Fir­daus states.

4. Be care­ful with gad­gets

Self­ies, we­fies and the like are all good – but not while you are cycling! Par­tic­i­pants are not al­lowed to use hand-held cam­eras or phones while in mo­tion.

“If you re­ally want to take pho­tos, stop at a safe place with­out hin­der­ing other rid­ers,” ad­vises Sia.

Rid­ers are also not al­lowed to lis­ten to any mo­bile mu­sic de­vices while rid­ing, so that they can hear the mar­shal’s in­struc­tions (if any).

Ad­di­tion­ally, par­tic­i­pants should not bring glass bot­tles to the race.

“Glass is eas­ily break­able and can in­jure par­tic­i­pants or punc­ture tyres,” says Fir­daus,

5. Keep clean

Please do not lit­ter or dam­age any­thing dur­ing the event. Par­tic­i­pants are not al­lowed to uri­nate in pub­lic ar­eas – there will be ad­e­quate toi­let fa­cil­i­ties through­out the course.

6. Fol­low all in­struc­tions

Par­tic­i­pants must fol­low the des­ig­nated routes and abide by all in­struc­tions given by the se­cu­rity, traf­fic man­age­ment and event of­fi­cials.

Fir­daus says there will be a team ready for any even­tu­al­ity dur­ing the race: this in­cludes a po­lice pa­trol car, 10 po­lice out­rid­ers, 25 mo­tor mar­shals, 25 static mar­shals and three am­bu­lances. There will also be six medics at ev­ery sta­tion.

No sup­port cars are al­lowed to fol­low cy­clists dur­ing the race, but they can be on standby at the wa­ter sta­tions for tech­ni­cal sup­port.

7. As­signed num­bers

Fir­daus also warns rid­ers to only cy­cle un­der the num­bers they are as­signed to, and not to use any other num­ber with­out in­form­ing the race or­gan­is­ers be­fore­hand. The ICs of win­ners will be checked, he added.

“We don’t al­low cy­clists to cy­cle un­der dif­fer­ent names. If we find any­one who has done this, we will dis­qual­ify them, be­cause there will be an el­e­ment of cheat­ing,” Fir­daus says.

8. Have fun!

Fi­nally, Fir­daus ad­vises, “Do your best for the race and en­joy your­selves!”

Ride for Malaysia will flag off at 6.30am on July 30 at Sun­suria City, Pu­tra­jaya. It con­sists of a 30km Fun Ride along scenic routes and a Fam­ily Ride of 5.5km. There are prizes galore.

For de­tails, visit sites.thes­tar.com.my/ ride­for­malaysia/

Do not use your mo­bile phones while cycling! — Pho­tos: P. NATHAN/The Star

Hel­mets are com­pul­sory dur­ing Ride for Malaysia.

Proper footwear will re­duce in­juries in case of falls.

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