The stadium is always a popular spot for events in Bukit Mertajam. It’s a popular venue with the regular runners in the area, and there’s an Olympic sized swimming pool around the back. There’s also plenty of parking in the vicinity!
Uh…no, this isn’t the swimming pool.
The actual parking lot of the stadium is always converted into an exhibition and staging zone, with canopies, chairs and food trucks lining the boulevards.
The BM Charity Ride is one of the only cycling events in Malaysia that I know that gives long sleeved bike jerseys with a zippered pocket on the back.
But I digress. The ride itself was well coordinated – the major junctions were well guarded, although the overall police force was still a little thin.
The police worked very closely with the traffic marshalls to keep riders in line. There was a lot of whistling. At least I assumed it was from the marshalls.
There was sufficient signage, pointing out directions for riders as well as a few warning signs of impending doom.
There were a few fun climbs of significant elevation, but fortunately the climbs were short-lived and were mostly rolling hills, providing quick relief to fatigued riders.
The midway water station was very well manned and stocked, with plenty of bananas and bottled water to go round twice!
Riders were well taken care of, not just by the volunteers handing out goodies, but by the overwhelming number of media personnel – there were photographers and videographers and drones coming out our ears!
Pretty sure there were at least three DJI drones hovering at the starting point.
The route was quite pleasant, with a good view of the hills and palm plantations around BM.
It also took us through the old town of BM, ending up with a nice loop of 48 kilometres.
After the ride, there was lots of activities to keep participants occupied. Of course, the ever important food and drink!
It got hot fast today, so a lot of riders left without much ado. However, the ones that stayed got to try out e-bikes and sample tea and ice cream.
Also, there were lots of goodies for all the school children from the many (over 13) schools in the local region that the BM Charity Ride made contributions to. Always heart warming to see such support for our local schools. Or maybe it was just the heat from the scorching tropical morning sun.
Overall, a nicely organised ride with emphasis on safety and being family friendly. The speeches were short, the riders were rambunctious, the weather was wonderful. The downside is the pockets on the jerseys weren’t fully attached to the jerseys, resulting in many droopy pouches popping out people’s backs.