Sunday’s ride was posted as HOA to Sempah to Janda Baik. What this usually means in practice is that we get to the Genting Sempah flyover after 765 metres / 2,500 feet of climbing over 16.5km / 10mi and only then decide whether to continue to Janda Baik, or to turn around and ride back to the Hospital Orang Asli (HOA).
I didn’t count, but I think eighteen of us started from the HOA. And all who started got to the Genting Sempah flyover.
The consensus was to continue down the other side of the hill. What was not so clear was continue to where? The plan I heard was to go to Bukit Tinggi for breakfast, and then do a loop through Janda Baik. We know of lots of places for breakfast in Bukit Tinggi. Restaurant and coffee shop choices in Janda Baik are more limited.
It is a high-speed run from the flyover all the way to the slightly offset four-way junction to either Bukit Tinggi to the left or Janda Baik to the right. Much more pleasant since much of the road has been repaved.
I anticipated turning left onto the blue section in the map above. Instead of turning left to Bukit Tinggi, the lead riders turned right. I had misunderstood or was unaware that the plan had changed. Now we were doing the Janda Baik loop first (green in the map above) and then going to Bukit Tinggi for breakfast.
That upset things for a few of the group who needed to get back to the HOA by 11.00am or so. It was 8.40am when we got to the four-way junction. The Bukit Tinggi loop is 6.5km / 4mi long and includes 180 metres / 590 feet of climbing. With a thirty minute stop for breakfast, the guys could have been back at the four-way junction with enough time to climb the 280 meters / 920 feet over 6km / 3.7mi to the flyover and then roll down the rest of the way to the HOA by 11.00am.
Getting back to the HOA by 11.00am would not be possible after doing the Janda Baik loop. The run through Janda Baik is 17km / 10,5 mi long with 375 metres / 1,230 feet of climbing. So the three who had a time crunch turned around and headed back to the HOA.
The rest of us pedalled up the steep initial slope under the arch and over the rolling terrain through Kampung Janda Baik. Near the small Janda Baik police station is a sundry shop. A short stop there to buy drinks morphed into a long stop at Warung Janda Baik next door for breakfast.
There were a lot of patrons at the restaurant when we got there. The fifteen of us stretched the restaurant’s capacity to the limit. We finished off all the food they had immediately available. We had to wait while they cooked more nasi lemak for us.
An hour later we got on our bikes again. Having already fed ourselves, Bukit Tinggi was off the agenda.
I wish I could say that we all had an uneventful ride back to HOA. Unfortunately, a patch of sand caught one of our group out. Road rash and an unrideable bike were the results.
The rest of us were more than 4km / 2.5mi up the road, literally, when we heard about the mishap. Leonard commandeered this tow truck parked outside the police station at the Genting Sempah R&R to head back down the hill to pick up Henry and his bike. Nothing but the best for a R@SKL!
TH had ridden past us at the R&R and gone on ahead of the rest of us, oblivious to what had happened behind him.
So he was the first to the HOA car park and was able to drive back up to the Genting Sempah R&R to ferry Henry and his bike.
It was not the best end to what had been a very enjoyable ride. But falling is a hazard of our sport. We are all glad that Henry suffered only some road rash. On a more positive note, many have already volunteered to help him shop for a new frame!