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Monthly Archives: January 2022

The R@SKLs to Teluk Intan

The R@SKLs have ridden to Teluk Intan several times over the past few years. We will remember this trip more for the searing temperatures than the udang galah dinner.

We set ourselves up for a potentially hot ride by choosing the 9.09am departure from Kuang station rather than an earlier train. The sun was already out when we arrived at the otherwise deserted station.

Photograph courtesy of HCC

The KTM Komuter train rolled in on time.

Photograph courtesy of AL

Bicycles are allowed in the first and last carriages. We got ourselves and fourteen bikes onboard the rear carriage for the hour or so long journey to Tanjung Malim.

The cyclocross portion of our ride came at the Tanjung Malim station.

Photograph courtesy of AA

Most of us had not eaten yet that morning. It was a 3km ride to Restoran Yik Mun. Famous for its pau.

Photograph courtesy of NL

Amongst the orders for pau, kaya toast, and half-boiled eggs were three Hainanese chicken chops. These were big servings of Hainanese chicken chop. Two riders later regretted eating that.

It was 11:15am when we were ready to start riding to Teluk Intan.

Photograph courtesy of NL

Look at that clear blue sky and sharp shadows. It was 34ºC / 93ºF at noon. Half an hour later it was 36ºC / 97ºF.

Photograph courtesy of HCC

The 85km ride to Teluk Intan was punctuated by regular stops to get out of the sun.

A stop in the rare shade at the edge of the road near Trolak.

Photograph courtesy of HCC

A stop in Restoran Shakir near Sungkai.

Photograph courtesy of NL

A stop at a roadside fruit stall at Kampung Baharu Kuala Bikam. Where it was 39 ºC / 102ºF.

Photograph by JS

Despite the enervating heat, everyone made it to the Yew Boutique Hotel. We were all (well, all but one) glad that we hadn’t had to carry our stuff with us in saddle packs. Many thanks to my Biker Chick for driving to Teluk Intan with our bags.

Photograph courtesy of JM

One of the attractions of the Yew Boutique Hotel is the bicycle parking area in the hotel loby.

Photograph courtesy of JS

Teluk Intan is famous for the Liew Kee (Ah Lek) Chee Cheong Fun shop. The chee cheong fun is so good that we had some before heading to our rooms to shower.

Photograph courtesy of JM

The next order of business after freshening up was rehydration. Which came in several forms.

After drinks and naps, it was time for the main event. A dinner of udang galah.

The restaurant is on a bank of the Sungai Perak. The view from the restaurant of the herons flying over the river is nice.

Photograph courtesy of ML

Much more attention was paid to the food though.

The evening ended with photographs at the iconic Menara Chondong, and more drinks and ais kacang at the food court nearby.

Photograph courtesy of JM

The challenges of the ride to Teluk Intan prompted us to plan for an early departure in the morning. Which would give us plenty of time to catch the 11.45am train from Tanjung Malim.

We were on our way into the rising sun at 7:15am.

Photograph courtesy of ML

The sky was clear, but the shadows cast by the trees kept the air relatively cool. The temperature was below 30ºC / 86ºF until we got to Slim River. Two-thirds of the distance to Tanjung Malim.

Photograph courtesy of HCC

We took a restroom break at the Petron station at Batu 8 Changkat Jong, and a food and water break at the Petronas station in Slim River. We were at the Tanjung Malim station just after 11:00am, to find that a new train schedule had been implemented that morning. The 11:45am service that we had planned to catch was no more. The next train would leave at 12:35pm.

With time to burn, we went to McDonald’s. Ready to ride back to the station after our lunch, Nic and I were confronted with flat tires. Fortunately, we had pumps and our tires held enough air for long enough to get back to the station. The train was waiting as we repeated the cyclocross routine up and down the stairs to get to the correct platform.

We were both glad that we hadn’t flatted while on the road. Changing a tube in the cool of the carriage was infinitely preferable to doing it in the sun at the roadside.

Photograph courtesy of JS

Our plan had been to take the MRT from Sungai Buloh station to Kota Damansara, to avoid the risky ride from Sungai Buloh station onto Jalan Sungai Buloh. That plan flew out the window because the MRT service between Sungai Buloh station and Kwasa Damansara is suspended.

We tried to get our bikes onto a feeder bus to Kwasa Damansara. A “yes” from the driver quickly changed to a “no” when he saw that there were more than just a couple of us.

We negotiated the access to Jalan Sungai Buloh without incident. Unsurprisingly, it was hot at 2:00pm. 41ºC / 106ºF hot. Luckily we had only 15km to 20km to pedal, depending on where we had started cycling from the day before.

My Biker Chick got home with our bags just before I did. Not only were we all grateful once again for not having to haul our stuff with us on our bikes. One of us was also grateful that she managed to convince Liew Kee (Ah Lek) to sell her twenty packets of chee cheong fun at noon. The shop doesn’t open until 3:00pm.

The day ended with almost all of us meeting at Kwong Cheung Loong Kopitiam for drinks, food, laughter and to collect bags and chee cheong fun.

Some of us ended the evening at Joloko with coconut shakes and more food.

Photograph courtesy of AL

We are already planning our next overnight cycling tour. Hopefull with less or no sunburn.

Grow Your Jersey Collection One Ride at a Time – 2019 & 2020

The number of paid organised rides I participated in per year has stayed relatively constant since 2017. The count since 2013 is:

Eleven in 2013.

Seven in 2014.

Six in 2015.

Seven again in 2016.

Five in 2017.

Four in 2018.

I was in five organised rides in 2019.

The first was the CIMB Cycle @ Putrajaya event in April. I opted for the shorter 80km route because I had to be home early to help pack up the house prior to moving to a new apartment. Which turned out to be a good thing because it was a very hot day. The riders who did the 160km route got a proper roasting.

The RHB LEKAS Highway ride was in July. I don’t remember why, but I didn’t ride in that one. I got the jersey though.

My previous employer Repsol organised a Fellowship Ride in September. That ride almost did not happen because of the haze that had blanketed the country for weeks. The decision to go ahead with a shortened ride was made on the day.

The long-running Campaign for a Lane ride in Penang was renamed as the Toward City Cycling Penang. That ride was in October. As in previous years, we turned this ride into a weekend-long fiesta.

This ride came with a T shirt as well.

The Bentong-Raub Golden Ride 2.0 was the last organised ride I did in 2019. What I remember most about that event was that it took me more than three hours to drive the sixty kilometres home afterwards.

I’m not sure why I didn’t write the 2019 annual ride jersey update a year ago. It is no spoiler, though, for me to reveal here that COVID-19 restrictions meant that there were very few organised rides in 2020.

None of us knew what was coming when we lined up for the IIUM Endu-Ride 2020 from 29th February to 4th March. The full Ultra-Ride event was 1,200 km / 746 mi long. That was just a bit too long for the four of us who did the 280 km / 174 mi Endu-Ride from the IIUM campus in Kuantan to the IIUM campus in Gombak.

We got a T shirt in our goody bag for that ride.

On 18th March the Malaysian government implemented what was to be just the first of a number of Movement Control Orders. A series of quarantine and cordon sanitaire measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the country. That led to the cancellation of a number of rides with jerseys on offer which were planned for later in the year.

The absence of paid organised rides continued in 2021.

My guess is that the same will be true in 2022. I doubt any organisers will be willing to risk putting on a paid event while Omicron and the threat of further virus mutations exists. We will make do with our own long and overnight rides, COVID-19 restrictions permitting.