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Tag Archives: Kuala Sungai Baru

Roadies and Fixies Cendol Tour: Melaka to Kajang

being-tourists-5-alvin

Photograph courtesy of Alvin Lee

Our plans for an early start were scuttled by rain.  We lingered over breakfast while waiting for the rain to stop.

ready-to-roll-alvin

Photograph courtesy of Alvin Lee

We rolled out of the Fenix Inn at 9.00am.  Not to immediately head north toward Port Dickson and Kajang, but to ride to the ruins of the A Famosa fortress, and to the Stadthuys. Two of the most photographed colonial buildings, the first Portuguese and the second Dutch, in Melaka.

Photographs snapped, we crossed the Melaka River and started our 150km / 93mi ride back to Kajang.

alvin-1-mark

Photograph courtesy of Mark Lim

We retraced our route from the day before.  We also followed our schedule of stopping every 30km / 19mi or so.

The first stop came at a coconut water stand 27km / 17mi outside Melaka.  Mark and I had become separated from Alvin and Liang by that point.  We stopped again at the junction of Route 5 and the M142 to make sure that they didn’t miss that turn.

Riding together again, we got to Kuala Sungai Baru at 11.40am.  The Kuala Seafood restaurant already had its lunch offerings on display.  Everything tasted as good as it looked.

lunch-alvin

Photograph courtesy of Alvin Lee

We lingered over lunch and drinks for an hour.  It had been hot the day before, and it was already hot again.  I were all dehydrated, and our bodies needed all the fluid we could take in.

The weather can change very quickly, and it did so after lunch.  We had to take cover at a bus stop near Batu Ibol as a sudden cloudburst rolled by.

rain-mark

Photograph courtesy of Mark Lim

The rain eased after ten minutes, so we headed back out onto the very wet road.  We rode through drizzle and on wet roads all the way to Port Dickson.

We stopped at Azmi Cendol in the town centre to dry off a bit.

And for some of this.

why-we-ride-alvin

Photograph courtesy of Alvin Lee

And some of this.

liang-sleeping-alvin

Photograph courtesy of Alvin Lee

We were just over halfway home.  The sun came out again as we sat at Azmi Cendol.  Time to reapply the SPF70.  The rest of the ride was pretty uneventful.  No punctures!

It was hot and steamy.  We stopped for a much needed rest and something to drink just before the 100km / 62mi mark.  Coincidentally at the 99 Speedmart in Tanah Merah where we bought Cokes and such the day before.

There are 140 meters / 460 feet of climbing in the 12km / 7.5mi between Tanah Merah and Sepang.  Which was especially hard work for Alvin and Liang on their fixies.  They fully deserved the stop at the Shell petrol station in Sepang.

The climbing doesn’t stop after Sepang.  There is another 465 meters / 1,525 feet of elevation in the 45km / 28mi to Kajang.  By the time we got to Pekan Salak we all needed to refill our bottles.

refill-alvin

Photograph courtesy of Alvin Lee

We needed to catch our breath one final time with 20km / 12.5mi to go.  Then it was a leisurely ride past some high tech bodies:  the Atomic Energy Licensing Board, the Malaysia Genome Institute, and the Malaysian Nuclear Agency.

The National University of Malaysia in Bangi is the last landmark before the right turn toward Bandar Teknologi Kajang.  From there we had just 5.5km / 3.5mi to the police station where we had parked.  Oh, and a final 100 meters / 328 feet of climbing, just for laughs!

It had taken us ten and a half hours to get from Melaka to Kajang.  Six and a half of which were spent on our bikes.  We had done the return trip in about twenty five minutes less than the outward leg the day before.  Kudos to Alvin and Liang for pedalling for every second of those thirteen hours and fifteen minutes, as we covered a tad over 320 km / 199 mi over two days.  Very impressive!

We closed our credit card tour with dinner at Restoran Yip Sheng, down the road from the police station.  Fried rice, lemon chicken and braised beancurd.

dinner-alvin

Photograph courtesy of Alvin Lee

A tasty end to a very enjoyable two-day tour in the company of very good friends.

Roadies and Fixies Cendol Tour: Kajang to Melaka

melaka-banner-i1os-com

Photograph courtesy of i1os.com

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!

breakfast-alvin

Photograph courtesy of Alvin Lee

The road bikes were fitted with Apidura saddle packs.  The fixie riders carried backpacks.

ready-to-roll-2-alvin

Photograph courtesy of Alvin Lee

The ride didn’t start very auspiciously.  Liang had a puncture after 8km / 5mi.

repair-1-alvin

Photograph courtesy of Alvin Lee

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.

repair-2-3-mark

Photograph courtesy of Mark Lim

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.

buying-tubes-alvin

Photograph courtesy of Alvin Lee

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.

99-speedmart-1-alvin

Photograph courtesy of Alvin Lee

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.

mcdonalds-alvin

Photograph courtesy of Alvin Lee

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.

repair-4-alvin

Photograph courtesy of Alvin Lee

An almost forensic examination of the tire finally revealed the culprit.  Undetectable by touch, and visible only by flexing the tire.

the-culprit-alvin

Photograph courtesy of Alvin Lee

Another flat tire, and I would have been tempted to leave my bike up a tree.

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Photograph courtesy of Alvin Lee

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.

lunch-cowboy-place-alvin

Photograph courtesy of Alvin Lee

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.

catching-up-alvin

Photograph courtesy of Alvin Lee

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.

the-fixies-alvin

Photograph courtesy of Alvin Lee

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!

bike-shop-bar-alvin

Photograph courtesy of Alvin Lee

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.

dinner-2-alvin

Photograph courtesy of Alvin Lee

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.