After three days of rest and relaxation, and catching up with friends, John Whybrow and George Agate resumed their circumnavigation of the globe by tandem bike.
Nine of us met John and George, and their hosts from the previous night, for breakfast in the Ampang area. This restaurant is a branch of a very well-known eatery in Alor Setar, Kedah.
Breakfast was the staple that is roti canai, or the less usual nasi kandar. Then it was time to start pedalling, but not before some group photographs.
It was 9.30am when we started leading John and George from the restaurant onto the MEX highway, and then onto the KESAS highway. Retracing the route we took with them into KL.
KESAS was the preferred option, rather than alternate routes out of KL, because of the motorcycle lane that is separate from the main roadway.
Which gave me the opportunity to distract George with some chatter.
My Flipside friends and I regularly ride along the KESAS highway between Bukit Jalil and Bandar Botanic. We often stop for breakfast in the township of Kota Kemuning. Which also happens to be where Meng Thai Cycle Sdn. Bhd. is located. One of our favourite bike shops.
It was 11.15am. Meng Thai normally opens at 1.30pm on Sundays. We called Lee to see if he would open early, and give Daisy the tandem bicycle a once-over. The doors were open when we got there at 11.30am.
Daisy got a bit more than a once-over. Lee washed her thoroughly.
He also installed a new chain and new disc brake pads, and gave her a tuneup.
All free of charge. A massive thank you to Lee and Meng Thai Cycle for their contribution to keeping The Tandem Men rolling. Check out those shiny chains.
Daisy was in the best shape possible. The only downside was that it took Lee three hours to get Daisy sorted out. Enough time for the nine of us to talk the ears off George and John, to eat lunch at the restaurant next door, and to each have a bowl of yummy cendol.
It was hot when we started in the morning, and it was hotter when the eleven of us got back on the road at 2.30pm. We were between Shah Alam and Klang, where the temperature reading was 33°C / 91°F.
The “feels like” temperature was even higher. 40°C / 104°F in Kota Kemuning. Because of the temperature, the time, and how far we had to ride to get home, we decided to bid farewell to John and George when we got them back to the KESAS highway.
The guys were concerned about where they would stay for the night. It is a three-day weekend, and when George checked during lunch, all the reasonably-priced accommodation in Port Dickson was fully booked. Given the time that they left Kota Kemuning, they weren’t sure that they would even get to Port Dickson tonight.
The lucky charm must be working.
John and George didn’t get to Port Dickson tonight, but they did find a place to stay. A dangau, or traditional plantation hut, in a campground near Sepang.
Here’s hoping that charm brings good luck to John and George throughout the rest of their travels.
All of us will be following their progress with great interest, and hope and pray that they get back to Canterbury safely, and as Guinness World Record holders.