Penang is noted for its street food. Forget the air-conditioned restaurants with slow service. Food in Penang is all about hawker centres and roadside stalls, with dirt-cheap dishes packed with flavour.
The R@SKLs were in Penang for the CFAL ride. That was the story anyway. I think the Saturday food hunt is really the main event for the R@SKLs.
We were guided by these young men from PKKT Pulau Pinang. They provided escort service for us last year. This time they rode scooters upgraded with blue and red flashing lights and what sounded like an ambulance siren and an emergency vehicle horn. The first time I heard the siren I thought there was an ambulance behind me.
We didn’t have to ride far for breakfast. Cecil Street Market is 2km / 1.2mi from the Tien Hotel.
We were joined on the ride by friends who live in Penang.
We each put RM50 / USD12 into a communal pot to pay for food and drinks during the ride. Marvin was in charge of doling out money when required. He figured no one would suspect he was carrying RM1,500 / USD365 around with him in that orange plastic bag.
Our next stop was at the recently completed Spiral Bridge which allows cyclists to cross the Bayan Lepas Expressway.
The spiral bridge is opposite the Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah Bridge which is one of two bridges joining the island to the mainland.
We did two climbs. The first was the same one we would do during the CFAL ride. Along Jalan Teluk Kumbar from the PUSPAKOM centre to the top of Bukit Genting.
All smiles so far! We particularly enjoyed the PKKT guys bossing the traffic with their siren, horn and whistle so that we could ride through intersections and roundabouts unimpeded.
We regrouped at the top of Bukit Genting before the rapid descent toward Balik Pulau.
We stopped at the Balik Pulau Food Court for drinks. Including amra juice. Amra is a contraction of ambarella, which is this fruit’s English name. The Malay name for this fruit is buah kedondong.
Immediately after exiting the Balik Pulau Food Court car park we started the second climb of the day, rising up Jalan Tun Sardon. 325 metres / 1,066 feet of elevation over 4.5km / 2.8mi, at an average grade of 7.4% with a maximum grade of 17.5%.
This blog has young readers, so I can’t repeat what the fellow below and on the left said when he got to the top of the climb. It was something like this . . .
Marvin won the Star R@SKL Of The Day award for riding his Brompton up Jalan Tun Sardon and wearing a pair of Crocs while doing it.
How tough was the climb? Leonard’s “during” and “just about to die” faces tell the story.
Wake me up before you go go!
You can’t keep a smile of Kelin’s and Kevin’s faces for long.
After everyone but Leonard’s heart rates had returned to near-normal levels, we unrolled our R@SKLs banner.
Jalan Tun Sardon is steep going up, and just as steep going down. 60kph / 37mph plus where the traffic allowed.
We regrouped at the PETRONAS station at the bottom of the hill before the PKKT boys shepherded us across a busy Jalan Paya Terubong to Serrena’s business premises in Taman Seri Rambai. She had laid on a much-appreciated supply of Carlsberg, 100 Plus and fresh fruit.
Thank you Serrena!
Anyone else getting the impression that Thomas needed some rest?
It was noon when we left Serrena’s. Time for lunch. We went to Sin Yong Wah Coffee Shop in Air Itam. The same place where we spent more than an hour during last year’s CFAL Food Hunt, waiting in vain for the torrential rain to stop.
This time it was pushing 36° C / 97° F with not a drop of rain in sight.
Last year we rode up to the Kek Lok Si Temple before lunch. This time we just took pictures from the coffee shop.
It was about 9km / 5.5mi from Air Itam to the Penang Town Hall. We went there to collect our CFAL ride packs. We would be there again first thing in the morning to start the CFAL round island ride.
In the meantime, it was back to the Tien for a shower and a rest before the evening beach party.
It’s a good thing the hotel rules do not bar hanging cycling kit out to dry on the roof.
Or was the rule just ignored?