It was the Islamic New Year on 5th November. Like its Gregorian calendar equivalent, the advent of the Islamic new year is marked by a holiday. A holiday to be celebrated with a long bicycle ride.
The original plan was to ride from Bukit Tinggi to Bentong, eat beef ball noodles for breakfast, and ride back. Bukit Tinggi is about 300 meters / 980 feet above sea level. Bentong is 95 meters / 312 feet above sea level. The hard work would come on the way back. Nine of us, including birthday boy Raj, pointed our bikes downhill and rolled through the light rain.
The wet weather soon moved on toward Kuala Lumpur, leaving us on damp roads but under overcast skies. There would be no need for arm coolers and suntan lotion.
We swung into Bentong after about an hour. Only to find that the famed beef ball noodles shop was closed. So we embarked on a spin around the town looking for an alternative.
We ended up at the wonton noodles shop where we had stopped during the Durian Fiesta ride. Which suited the birthday boy.
Everyone was so refreshed after breakfast that we decided to continue on to the Chamang waterfall.
The waterfall is very easy to get to. Follow the sign just outside Bentong, and start climbing. Six kilometers into the climb we got our first glimpse of the Perling River. Accompanied by the thwack thwack thwack of cloth against rock. Someone was doing their laundry.
The waterfall was worth the 110 meter / 360 feet climb. We all enjoyed spending twenty minutes watching the water cascading down the rock face.
Raj is a relatively new roadie. So all credit to him for coming along with us on these longer rides. And being thrilled at the prospect of the climb to come that Griffin and I are pointing out!
On the way back we made a pitstop in Bentong for drinks and photos.
“Is this where I catch the bus to Kuala Lumpur?”
The ride back to Bukit Tinggi was interrupted by two pinch flats. I was a bit surprised to be stopped by a pinch flat on this smooth section of road. Here I am demonstrating my tube-changing skills to a very interested audience.
Twenty kilometers later I had another pinch flat. That one was no surprise. I was on a bridge with a lorry right beside me. I had no choice but to ride over a gaping expansion joint. My prayers to the guardian angel of inner tubes were not answered.
That didn’t detract from a great morning out with my riding buddies. Great company, good food, cool weather, impressive views, lots of laughter, and when I was in a pinch, Marco had an inner tube to spare.