Bin Soo joined us for the Taiping to Penang leg. She and Ai Lei had driven to Taiping. Mark told Bin Soo that we would all meet in the hotel lobby at 6:30 am.
I am sure we were all still asleep when Bin Soo and Ai Lei got to our hotel at 5:11 am 😲. They were there early to take us to breakfast. Ham chim peng (Chinese fried doughnuts) and coffee.
Amy and I didn’t make it to breakfast. I for one was nowhere near ready to head out of my room before 6:15 am.
We rolled out of Taiping at 6:30 am. I used Ride With GPS to plot the shortest route from our hotel to Federal Route 1. We would spend most of the day on that road.
All went well until 7km from the hotel. We came to a right turn where the paved road became a narrow gravel track. Too narrow for the truck.
So Marvin had to find a driveable way to get to Federal Route 1. We forged ahead into the unknown. I had no idea how long we would be riding off-road.
All credit to Bin Soo for being willing to ride over gravel and through puddles on her brand-new bike.
No one dared to ride across this bridge.
The track was luckily rideable enough to get us to Federal Route 1. Except that we were on the wrong side of a divided highway. That required a dismount and quick sprint over the highway divider.
We came to another interesting bridge across the Sungai Sepetang 14km into the day.
We made our first restroom stop at the PETRONAS station in Bagan Serai after ninety minutes of cycling. The ride itself was unremarkable. So much so that trailing a tractor for a short time was exciting.
The reason we didn’t draft behind the tractor for longer was that it was moving too slowly.
We took a short detour off Federal Route 1 for a pit stop at Bandar Baharu. Marvin guided us to this place on the Sungai Kerian. The food here was excellent and cheap.
We were back on our bikes at about 10:00 am. One hour later we were sitting in Nasi Kandar Rizq in Simpang Ampat. It was already 35º C / 95º F. Significantly warmer than it had been at the same time the day before. We all needed cold liquids and some shade.
There were 22km to go to the Penang Sentral ferry terminal. The run from Simpang Ampat was in the most traffic we had encountered on the entire trip. There is a lot of commercial traffic on the roads to Butterworth. For the most part, we had no other route option to take. We did a detour to avoid riding on the Butterworth Outer Ring Road over the last 5km to the ferry terminal.
We were on a ferry at 12:50 pm, having paid the princely sum of RM1.40 / USD0.34 each for the privilege. Which is incredibly cheap because no ticket is needed for the return trip from the island.
The ferry ride takes fifteen minutes. There is a nice view of the Penang Bridge during the crossing.
It is just over 1km from the Raja Tun Uda ferry terminal on Penang island to our respective hotels on Lebuh Chulia.
After getting cleaned up we wasted no time getting to one of the main reasons to come to Penang.
Food glorious food! Both on the streets and in the cafés.
Lots of Penang food was a very nice way to celebrate riding about 330km / 205mi over three days. Without a single puncture amongst us.
We are already talking about where to ride to next.