The word went out one month ago. There would be a special santai (relaxed) ride followed by lunch to celebrate TH’s birthday.
Then the route was revealed. We ride from the Veg Fish Farm Thai Restaurant car park through Batu 14 and over Bukit Hantu to the Sungai Tekala Recreation Forest. We would then retrace our route back over Bukit Hantu and up 3km / 1.9mi of the climb to Lookout Point back to the restaurant. So much for a santai ride.
The day before the ride I was asked to map an alternate route for the “less strong” riders who didn’t want to climb Bukit Hantu.
There was really only one option. Ride from Batu 14 to Batu 18, and then along Jalan Sungai Lui and Jalan Sungai Lalang to the Jalan Sungai Tekali junction. Then turn around and ride the same route in reverse.
The alternate route prompted lots of chatter about where to start the ride. The thought of 140 meters / 460 feet of climbing to get back to the restaurant with Bukit Hantu in our legs didn’t appeal to many. So we decided to park at the Gou Lou Chicken Rice shop on Jalan Sungai Tekali.
That turned out to be a good choice not just because it eliminated that final climb. We discovered that the road from the restaurant car park to Jalan Hulu Langat was not only bumpy and heavily patched, it was also steep. 70 meters / 230 feet of elevation over 0.6km / 0.4mi.
Twenty-five of us turned up for TH’s birthday ride. A discussion in the Gou Lou Chicken Rice shop car park on the relative merits of each of the proposed routes ended with everyone deciding to do the Bukit Hantu climb.
We regrouped at the top of the climb, and again after the descent.
And when everyone got to the Sungai Tekala Recreation Forest, we decided to continue on to the Fatt Hwa Gong Temple in Semenyih.
Two riders chose to wait at the Sungai Tekala Recreation Forest while the rest of us rode to the temple.
“The temple is only 5km from here,” said a few in the group.
Yeah right. It was 12km / 7.5mi later that we were on the steps of the temple.
The jaunt to the temple added 25km / 15.5mi to our ride. When we got back to the Sungai Tekala Recreation Forest we all decided that we would tackle to climb back over Bukit Hantu rather than ride the flatter but longer route to Batu 18 and then back to Batu 14.
It was a challenge going up the steeper side, but everyone got over Bukit Hantu for the second time that morning. It felt warmer than the thermometer temperature of 29°C / 84°F. Cold drinks were required before we drove to the Veg Fish Farm Thai Restaurant.
We had some time to burn anyway as lunch wasn’t until 11.00am.
The restaurant is built around a large fish pond. The food is delivered from the kitchen to various sections of the restaurant by a small motorboat.
And food there was aplenty.
Of course there was cake too.
Naely and Kevin also have birthdays in June.
Everyone was stuffed to the gills (pardon the seafood pun!)
Thank you TH for inviting us to a fabulous lunch after a tough but enjoyable ride. And an especially big thank you to Alison for the behind-the-scenes organisation.