Four of us, two on road bikes and two on fixies, did a credit card tour to Melaka. We started from Kajang. After breakfast, that is!
The road bikes were fitted with Apidura saddle packs. The fixie riders carried backpacks.
The ride didn’t start very auspiciously. Liang had a puncture after 8km / 5mi.
You know that feeling you get when one of your mates gets a puncture? That “Glad it’s not me” feeling? I lost that feeling as soon I got back on my bike.
My rear tire was flat.
I checked the tire for any embedded sharp objects that would have punctured the inner tube. I didn’t find anything, so installed and inflated a new tube.
Which immediately started losing air. So I had to go through the whole process again. We were at this bus stop for fifty five minutes, fixing flats.
As we were in touring mode, the delay didn’t bother us. And with Alvin and Liang having to pedal nonstop, even going downhill, speeds were moderate.
We figured on a stop every 30km / 19mi or so to rest and fill bottles. The PETRONAS station at Pekan Salak came at just the right time. As we left the petrol station we spotted a small bicycle shop, where Liang and I stocked up on inner tubes. At what was a slightly overpriced RM18 each. But as the saying goes, beggars can’t be choosers.
From Pekan Salak the route took us to Sepang, where we joined Route 5 to Port Dickson. Our route was almost identical to that taken by the BCG Tour from Kajang to Melaka.
Our next stop was at the 99 Speedmart in Tanah Merah. For Cokes, Nestlé Bliss peach mango yogurt drink, and water.
We got to McDonald’s at the Port Dickson Waterfront at about noon. That McDonald’s has become a standard stop on any of our rides through Port Dickson. Usually for something to eat as well as something to drink. This time we just had a drink. Lunch would be grilled chicken at Cowboy Place in Teluk Kemang.
When we got back on our bikes, I saw that my rear tire had flatted. Again. I was getting tired of this. It’s a good thing I had bought some inner tubes in Pekan Salak.
An almost forensic examination of the tire finally revealed the culprit. Undetectable by touch, and visible only by flexing the tire.
Another flat tire, and I would have been tempted to leave my bike up a tree.
By the time we got to Cowboy Place it was 1.30pm. We were all hungry. To the tune of one and a half chickens, a plate of mixed vegetables, and two omelets. Washed down with pitchers of watermelon juice. In retrospect the grilled chicken wasn’t all that good. But as I said, we were hungry at the time.
As we were finishing our lunch, a storm rumbled through to the north east of Teluk Kemang. All we got was a very light sprinkle. Nonetheless, very much appreciated as it cooled the air. But not for long. The sun came back out, and the air turned steamy as the day warmed up again.
With the sun beating down, we were ready for our next “every 30km / 19mi” stop. Which came at Restoran Kuala Seafood in Kuala Sungai Baru. We rehydrated, and caught up on essentials. Be it social media updates, or a nap.
After Kuala Sungai Baru we hit 25km / 15.5mi of rolling terrain to Tanjong Kling. Liang and Alvin stopped along the way in Sungai Udang to get something to eat. I am not surprised that they needed food. Riding fixies had to be really hard work.
Liang was riding a 48 tooth chainring with a 16 tooth rear cog. Alvin had a 49 tooth chainring with a 17 tooth rear cog. That means that for each turn of the crank, Liang travelled 6.3 meters / 20.6 feet, and Alvin travelled 6.0 meters / 19.7 feet. Those are hard gears to push on the flat, let alone uphill. Without the opportunity to coast and rest every now and then.
Mark and I continued on into Melaka to visit a bike shop. While fixing my first flat tire of the day, I had discovered a cut in the sidewall of my rear tire. I had booted the tire with a one ringgit bill (a benefit of plastic notes), but didn’t want to risk riding on it for longer than absolutely necessary.
KHS Bicycles installed a new tire for me. And in the process discovered that I had a suspect tube in my front tire. So my ride to Melaka cost me five inner tubes. I bought four inner tubes at KHS, for a more reasonable RM15 each.
Alvin and Liang caught up with Mark and I at the bike shop. Which Alvin and Mark must have mistaken for a bar!
It wasn’t far from the bike shop to the Fenix Inn. Our home for the night. Chosen for its proximity to the historic heart of Melaka, and for the fact that it allows bicycles in the rooms.
Showered and changed, it was time for dinner. The original plan was to walk to Restoran Nyonya Makko. However that restaurant is closed on Tuesdays. So Mark consulted Google for alternatives.
We chose Big Nyonya Restaurant on Jalan Merdeka, which was a short bike ride from the Fenix Inn.
Chicken rolls, fried brinjals with chilli, cincalok omelet, pineapple prawn curry, and of course cendol for dessert.
The food was as good as we have had before at Makko, but pricier.
After dinner we took a short ride to the Riverine Coffee House on Lorong Hang Jebat. We sat out back, right on the edge of the Melaka River. Where we watched the river cruise boats race by.
Alvin took some arty photographs with his new Huawei P9. The smartphone with the Leica co-engineered dual lens camera. The low-light shots are impressive.
Then it was bedtime. We wanted to have an early start in the morning.