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Credit Card Tour to Port Dickson and Melaka

Photograph courtesy of Danial Marzuki

When the four of us were planning this trip we referred to it as road bikepacking. I have since discovered that is is not the correct term for what we did. Bikepacking involves at least one or more nights of camping.

What we did was credit card cycle touring. Which is essentially like bikepacking but without the camping gear. Accommodation was procured with our credit cards.

Day 1: Kuala Lumpur to Port Dickson. 108km / 67mi.

Map courtesy of Ride With GPS

Three Apiduras and one Topeak met early in the morning at the Shell station on Jalan Kampung Pandan in Kuala Lumpur. We got onto the Maju Expressway and rode south through Cyberjaya to Dengkil where we stopped for breakfast. From Dengkil we rode to Sepang. This is a section of Federal Route 29 somewhere around Kota Warisan.

Photograph courtesy of Danial Marzuki

We stopped at the Shell station in Sepang to refill bottles.

Photograph courtesy of Danial Marzuki

From Sepang, we would normally have ridden onto Federal Route 5 toward Port Dickson. But Choo Chian and Halim had never been on the little ferry that crosses the Sepang River at Sungai Pelek. So we rode 8km / 5mi in the opposite direction so we could take that 70-metre ferry ride.

Photograph courtesy of Mohd Farid Abu Bakar

The ferry carries pedestrians, motorbikes and bicycles. Contrary to Chris de Burgh’s advice, you pay the ferryman when you board. 80 sen / US20 cents per person and bicycle.

Danial, Choo Chian, Halim and I on the ferry.

Photograph courtesy of Danial Marzuki
Photograph courtesy of Danial Marzuki

It was 12km from the ferry to rejoin Federal Route 5 south of Sepang at Tanah Merah.

Photograph courtesy of Danial Marzuki
Photograph courtesy of Heng Choo Chian

And a further 15km / 9mi to the Waterfront Boutique Hotel in Port Dickson. We got there at 12.45pm, which was a bit early to check in. So we spent an hour over lunch at the McDonald’s nearby to pass the time.

The rest of the afternoon and evening was spent washing cycling kit (Choo Chian and I hung our kit to dry on a lamp post outside the hotel), napping and eating and drinking at PappaRich, Double Queue Thai Cuisine (the pad thai was pretty good) and Starbucks. All within walking distance of the Waterfront Boutique Hotel.

The Waterfront Boutique Hotel is in a commercial development that houses a bank, a 7-Eleven and a number of other restaurants. So the location is excellent. Another plus point is that bicycles are allowed in guest rooms. The only downside is that you have to carry your bike up and down stairs. No lifts.

Day 2: Port Dickson to Melaka. 84km / 52mi.

We were up early for the ride to Melaka. While Danial and Halim were getting ready, Choo Chian and I perused the bun shelves at the 7-Eleven looking for something for Halim to nibble before we started riding. We were spoiled for choice.

We were on Federal Route 5 towards Melaka at about 6.30am.

Photograph courtesy of Heng Choo Chian

The road was very quiet.

Photograph courtesy of Heng Choo Chian

Federal Route 5 follows the coast from Port Dickson until Pasir Panjang, where it heads inland to Linggi. We turned right off Federal Route 5 onto Jalan Pasir Panjang – Kuala Linggi (N143) and immediately stopped at a roadside restaurant for breakfast. Halim and Danial were happy at the prospect of food.

Photograph courtesy of Heng Choo Chian

The N143 continues along the coast. It becomes Federal Route 138 as it crosses the Linggi River, which at that point forms the border between the states of Negeri Sembilan and Melaka.

At Kuala Sungai Baru we left Federal Route 138 to ride along Jalan Telok Gong / Pengkalan Balak, which hugs the beach facing the Straits of Malacca for about 5km / 3mi. There is a concrete jetty at Kampung Sungai Tuang which we couldn’t resist riding onto.

Photograph courtesy of Heng Choo Chian
Photograph courtesy of Danial Marzuki

At 10.45am we were at Klebang. The day was starting to get hot (it was 37ºC / 99ºF when we got to Port Dickson the day before). Not that we needed an excuse to stop at Klebang Original Coconut Shake.

Photograph courtesy of Halim Zin

The home of the best coconut shakes in Melaka.

Photograph courtesy of Danial Marzuki

Choo Chian told us that we must visit Baba Charlie Nyonya Cake next. The Baba Nyonyas, also known as the Straits-born Chinese, are the descendants of Chinese immigrants who came to the Malay archipelago between the 15th and 17th centuries. They have developed a unique “Nyonya” cuisine which includes a wide variety of traditional kuih or cakes.

Photograph courtesy of Baba Charlie Nyonya Cake

It took a bit of time to find Baba Charlie despite it being only 3km / 2mi from Klebang Original Coconut Shake. When we got there we found that it is a take away kuih shop. No tables and chairs there.

But we also found out that there is a Baba Charlie Cafe less than 500 metres from the kuih shop. With AC and a lunch menu. It wasn’t noon yet so we have lots of time to burn before we could check in to the hotel. So we had a Nyonya meal.

Lemak nenas prawns, Cincalok fried omelette, brinjal udang kering and chicken curry. And kuih and cendol for dessert.

Photograph courtesy of Danial Marzuki

It ws 1.30pm. I was stuffed. And it was 38ºC/ 100ºF outside. Thank goodness it was only 4km / 2.5mi to the Fenix Inn. Our hotel for the night. Another bicycle-friendly hotel that allows bikes in guest rooms. Once again we asked for rooms on the first floor so we only had one flight of stairs to negotiate.

And once again the afternoon itinerary included laundry, a nap and a visit to the corner Starbucks. Once the day had cooled down we walked to dinner at Pak Putera Restaurant, which has a reputation as one of the better tandoori and naan restaurants in Melaka. We sat outside in the open air, which was pleasant. The food was merely okay, though I must admit that the tandoori chicken was good.

Day 3: Melaka to Tampin. 38km / 24mi.

We had another early start. We wanted to catch the 9.10am KTM Komuter train from Tampin station to KL Sentral station. That meant leaving the Fenix Inn at about 6.30am. Not that we got very far before stopping for breakfast. There is a McDonald’s 100 metres from the Fenix Inn.

The ride was unremarkable apart from the strong wind, which seemed to be against us for the entire ride. When we got to the station the train was already at the platform. We scanned out Komuter Link cards at the turnstile (KTM has introduced stored value cards as the payment mechanism for Komuter journeys) and took our customary places in car 6. As is often the case, we were the only occupants.

Photograph courtesy of Danial Marzuki

Other passengers did join us in that car as the train made its way to KL Sentral station. The Komuter trains on the southern route seem to have more passengers than the Komuter service to the north of Kuala Lumpur. Perhaps because the southern route connects to the KLIA Express and to the long-distance bus terminal at Bandar Tasik Selatan.

It is a two-hour ride with sixteen stops from Tampin station to KL Sentral station. It is a short walk through the KL Sentral station concourse to the street outside.

Photograph courtesy of Halim Zin

Danial had the shortest ride home. Choo Chian, Halim and I had about 8km / 5mi to pedal to get to where each of us lives.

We all enjoyed our latest credit card tour. Lots of fun and laughter. We are ready to do another one. The only question is . . .

Graphic courtesy of Bitmoji

Geometric Progression Weekend

Double

We didn’t plan for our ride distances to double everyday, but that is how our three-day weekend turned out.

Day 1

Leslie, Simon, Ridzuwan and I met at the Bank Negara KTM station for the Komuter train ride to Tampin.

Day 1 Bank Negara Arthur

Photograph courtesy of Arthur Ang

As is usually the case, there were only one or two other people with us and our Apidura saddle pack-equipped bicycles in the carriage at the back of the train.

Tampin is the last stop on the Komuter line that starts from Batu Caves, to the north of Kuala Lumpur.

Day 1 Tampin Leslie

Photograph courtesy of Leslie Tong

It took about two hours to get there.  Long enough for an appetite for lunch to develop.  So our first stop was at Restoran Nasi Kandar Impian in Tampin.

The Fenix Inn in Melaka is 40km / 25mi from Tampin.  So it wasn’t very long before we were on the outskirts of Melaka.

Day 1 Arriving in Melaka Leslie

Photograph courtesy of Leslie Tong

One of our rooms at the Fenix Inn wasn’t ready when we arrived there.  So we did what most people do when in Melaka.  We went cendol hunting.

Day 1 Cendol Hunting Leslie

Photograph courtesy of Leslie Tong

We found a shop selling cendol on Lorong Hang Jebat.  But the guys spotted Sid’s Pub across the road.  Cendol lost out to cold beers and lime juice.

Day 1 Sid's Simon

Photograph courtesy of Simon Soo Hu

While we were on our second round of drinks, the sky darkened and thunder rumbled.  We had had enough of riding in the rain in Southern Thailand, so emptied our glasses and rode back to the hotel.

It didn’t rain.

After a shower and a nap, we gathered for what Arthur described to me as a Melaka tradition.  Satay at 5pm.

Arthur, a Melaka boy, couldn’t ride with us as he had hoped.  So he drove to Melaka to act as our guide while we were there.  You can’t beat local knowledge.  Arthur knows which tourist traps to avoid, and where the hidden gems are.  The satay at the restaurant he took us to was excellent.

8.00pm is dinner time in Melaka.  Arthur took us towards Umbai, in search of grilled fish.  We found the Medan Selera MBMB, at the end of  Jalan Alai Perdana 21.  The Medan Selera (food court) houses a number of restaurants, all selling fresh seafood, cooked to order.

Arthur and Simon chose this place.

Day 1 Arthur.png

Simon loaded up a bowl with fresh prawns, cencaru (torpedo scad), pari (stingray), and squid, under Wan’s watchful eye.  The prawns and fish were grilled, and the squid was batter-fried.  Delicious!

Thank you Arthur for being our food guide, and driving us around Melaka.

Day 1 Umbai Dinner

Day 2

We slept in after all that food the evening before.  At 9.00am Arthur led us to a restaurant that is fabled for its fish ball soup.  Unfortunately the stall owner was on holiday, so we settled for soft-boiled eggs, and toast with kaya.

Then we headed north along Lorong Hajah Maznah toward Port Dickson.

Day 2 Rolling 1 Leslie

Photograph courtesy of Leslie Tong

32km / 20mi later it was time for a drink.  And some roti canai.  We shared two rotis between us.  It was, after all, only 75 minutes since we ate breakfast!

Eight drinks and two rotis for the princely sum of RM10 / USD2.45.  You can’t complain.

Day 2 Roti Stop Simon

Photograph courtesy of Simon Soo Hu

At 52km / 32mi we crossed the Sungai Linggi.  Worth a few photographs as the Sungai Linggi at that point forms the border between the states of Melaka and Negeri Sembilan.

Day 2 Border Bridge Leslie

Photograph courtesy of Leslie Tong

Day 2 On the Border Leslie

Photograph courtesy of Leslie Tong

A few kilometers later we saw a sign advertising mango floats.  It was 36° C / 97° F.

We stopped.

Day 2 Mangga Shake

There was a buffet with grilled cencaru and curried ikan parang (wolf herring).  It was as good a time as any for lunch.

At Pasir Panjang I led the guys on a detour from our planned route.  We left Route 5 and rode along Jalan Kampung Sungai Sekawang toward the sea.  It made a nice change to be on a road with no vehicles.

Day 2 Quiet Road

Photograph courtesy of Leslie Tong

Jalan Kampung Sungai Sekawang rejoins Route 5 near the Eagle Ranch Resort.  As the tepees indicate, the theme of this resort is the American West of cowboys and log cabins.

Day 2 Eagle Ranch Leslie

Photograph courtesy of Leslie Tong

By 2.00pm we were on the outskirts of Port Dickson.  We had time to burn before check in time at the Waterfront Boutique Hotel.  I saw a sign for Pantai Purnama.  That seemed a better bet than the beach further along at Teluk Kemang, which was likely to be crowded with weekend holiday makers.

 

This photograph of Purnama beach is misleading.  There was a reunion event going on at the beach.  Just out of shot, there were lots of people on the beach and in the water.

Day 2 Beach

We enjoyed the shade and sea breeze, and our ice cold rose syrup and lime drinks.

Day 2 Beach Stop Leslie

Photograph courtesy of Leslie Tong

Leslie bought eight packets of drinks.  We could only finish one packet each, so we gave the other four packets to the family having a picnic behind us.

40 minutes later we were riding past Teluk Kemang beach.  It did look very crowded.

It was about 85km / 53mi from the Fenix Inn in Melaka to the Waterfront Boutique Hotel in Port Dickson.  Day 1 distance x 2.

Arthur had headed back to KL after guiding us to the Melaka breakfast spot.  So we didn’t have access to a car in Port Dickson.  Which made the Waterfront Boutique Hotel, located on the boulevard walk, an excellent choice.  Within walking distance of the hotel entrance are a variety of food outlets, bars, a bank, a 7-Eleven, etc.

As per Day 1, a shower and nap were the immediate priority after getting our room keys.  Also as per Day 1, we kept up the Melaka tradition of tea at 5pm.

We sat at the Pattaya Bar, and had food delivered from the neighbouring Double Q Thai Cuisine restaurant.  A selection of Thai appetizers, and plates of pad thai.

Dinner followed at 8.00pm.  We walked to the Arab place a bit further along the boulevard.  A family platter of chicken mandi, with an extra serving of lamb, and Turkish coffee and crème caramel for afters.

The one downside of the hotel’s location made itself apparent at about midnight.  That is when the pub near the hotel sprang to life.  Pounding music and arguments in the car park kept us awake until 3am.  Except for Leslie, who brought earplugs.  Smart man!

Day 3

Port Dickson to Kuala Lumpur was the longest leg of our trip.  An early start, despite our lack of sleep, was necessary.

We checked out of the hotel at 6.45am, and rolled the 500 meters to the McDonald’s at the end of the boulevard.  The jazzy music which accompanied our McMuffins made a cool change from the Hindi-pop of the night before.

Day 3 Breakfast Leslie

Photograph courtesy of Leslie Tong

We were on the road at 7.20am.  Our target was a 9.30am rendezvous at Morib beach with Luanne, Chew, Mark, and Shawn.  They were riding from Kota Kemuning to Morib.  The idea was for us to take a break at Morib, and for them to ride with us from there back to Kota Kemuning.

The highlight of this leg was the ferry ride across the Sungai Sepang.  The ride from Tanah Merah New Village to Pekan Sungai Pelek using the ferry near Kampung India is 7km / 4mi shorter than it would be if we stayed on Route 5 to Pekan Sungai Pelek.

The N4 is a quieter road than Route 5.  The 1km to the ferry is even quieter.

Day 2 Off the Main Road Simon

Photograph courtesy of Leslie Tong

The river at that point is no more than 100 meters wide.  The ferry crossing costs RM0.80 / USD0.20 per person, including the RM0.30 / USD0.07 charge for a bike.

Day 3 Rolling onto the Ferry Simon

Photograph courtesy of Simon Soo Hu

The banks of the Sungai Pelek are lined with mangrove forest.  Sadly, one of the Earth’s most rapidly disappearing ecosystems.

Day 3 Mangrove Leslie

Photograph courtesy of Leslie Tong

Back on Route 5 in Pekan Sungai Pelek, we came upon the first road sign indicating the distance to Morib.  I had underestimated the distance from Port Dickson to Morib by 30%.  I said, with misplaced confidence, “About 50km / 30mi.”  It was actually 65km / 40mi.

It was clear we weren’t going to be at Morib beach at 9.30am.  We got to Tanjung Sepat at 9.00am, and needed a break.  We stopped at a roadside food stall for tea, coffee, and you char koay (deep-fried strips of dough).

The four we were going to meet at Morib beach had arrived there at 9.00am.  They were already tucking into their nasi lemak as we were ordering our coffee etc. at Tanjung Sepat.

Day 3 Morib Group Luanne

Photograph courtesy of Luanne Sieh

Morib beach is 18km / 11mi from Tanjung Sepat.  I sent Mark our live location via WhatsApp.  (That is such a cool WhatsApp feature).  Simon messaged Mark, suggesting that he and the others start riding and meet us on our way to Morib.

Which is what they did.  We crossed paths about 5km / 3mi south of Morib beach.  By then the Port Dickson crew were ready for another pit stop.  The Delicious Bread Café in Morib was our first choice, but it was closed.

So we rode a further 10km / 6mi to Restoran Madam Kopi-O in Banting.

Day 3 Banting Stop Leslie

Photograph courtesy of Leslie Tong

From there it was on familiar roads to Kampung Seri Cheeding, Bandar Rimbayu, and Restoran BR Maju in Kota Kemuning.

Day 3 Morib to Kota Kemuning Leslie

Photograph courtesy of Leslie Tong

The Morib four were done for the day.  Kudos to Shawn, who rode almost 100km / 62mi – his longest ride by some 60km / 37mi.

Simon and Leslie decided to call it a day as well.  They accepted Luanne’s and Mark’s offers of a lift home.  Wan and I had a relatively flat ride to get to Jalan Ampang, so we decided to ride on.

22km / 14mi later, we wondered if we had made a mistake.  It had been more overcast than sunny all morning, but by the time we got to the Kinrara R&R it was 35° C / 95° F and bright.

The die had been cast though.  We each downed an iced 100 Plus, and headed back out onto the KESAS motorcycle lane.

Fortunately for us, the clouds rolled in again, and we didn’t get roasted alive during the following 20km / 12.5mi to Mak Jah Corner in Ampang Jaya.  Which is just down the road from where Wan lives.

Mak Jah Corner is noted for its Malay kuih.  These were delicious.  I had two more iced teas in quick succession before saying goodbye to Wan and heading home.

Day 3 Kuih

I ended up riding 163km / 101mi.  Day 2 distance x 2.

The four of us had an excellent weekend.  Helped in no small way by Arthur being with us in Melaka, and Luanne, Chew, Mark and Shawn joining us in Morib.

We had dry and generally cool weather over the three days.  And no punctures or other mechanical issues enroute.  And lots of tasty food, good company, and laughter.

Route

Map courtesy of Ride With GPS

We are already thinking about where to tour next.

Chinese New Year 2017 Tour

gong-xi-fa-cai

Danial, Safwan and I kicked off the Year of the Fire Rooster with a three day / two night credit card tour from Kuala Lumpur to Port Dickson, Melaka, and Seremban.

cny-2017-day-1-route

Map courtesy of Strava

On the morning of Day 1, Safwan and Danial rode from Bangsar to the McDonald’s at Ampang Park.  I met them there.  This would be the standard start to each day.  Breakfast at McDonald’s.

cny-2017-day-1-ampang-park-mcd-danial

Photograph courtesy of Danial Marzuki

The ride along the MEX Highway was quieter than usual.  Being the second day of Chinese New Year, the roads everywhere were relatively empty.

We made a short “nature calls” stop at the Seri Kembangan R&R.  Then another stop at the PETRONAS station in Dengkil, for provisions.

Other than a few stops for traffic lights, like this pretty long wait at the junction of the Nilai – KLIA Highway (Federal Route 32) and Jalan Besar Salak (Selangor State Route B48), we kept moving for the next two hours.

cny-2017-dengkil-danial

Photograph courtesy of Danial Marzuki

Our next stop for a drink and a bathroom was at the Shell station in Sepang.

cny-2017-sepang-shell-danial

Photograph courtesy of Danial Marzuki

After that is was over the lumps on Federal Route 5 to Lukut, and then the flatter closing 12km / 7.5km to Port Dickson.  About 100km / 62mi for the day.

It was lunch time when we arrived in Port Dickson.  We had cendol and rojak at Azmi Cendol, and the guys bought cheap flip flops from a nearby shop,  before we rode to the Waterfront Boutique Hotel.

cny-2017-waterfront-hotel-danial

Photograph courtesy of Danial Marzuki

After a shower, in my case whilst wearing my kit so it got a wash as well, I took a short nap.  Then we met in the lobby for the short trip around the corner to Starbucks Coffee.  A venti Mocha Frappuccino hit the spot.

That evening we revisited Restoran Seri Mesra Ikan Bakar for dinner.  We had eaten there during a BCG Tour to Port Dickson.  Fortunately we didn’t have to cycle the 11km / 7mi to the restaurant.  Darshini had made a day trip to Port Dickson, so we had a car ride there and back.

There was the option for another Starbucks after dinner, but I was fading.  We planned a 7.00am start, so I fell into bed and was soon fast asleep.

My kit was dry, and more importantly, not smelling funky, at the crack of dawn.  We checked out of the hotel and rolled the few hundred meters to McDonald’s for breakfast.

cny-2017-day-2-start-danial

Photograph courtesy of Danial Marzuki

Melaka here we come!

cny-2017-day-2-route

Map courtesy of Strava

The roads between Port Dickson and Melaka, along Federal Route 5, Federal Route Route 138, Melaka State Route M142, and back onto Federal Route 5, are very pleasant.  The road surface is good, and there isn’t much heavy vehicle traffic to contend with.

cny-2017-day-2-otr-danial

Photograph courtesy of Danial Marzuki

33km / 20.5mi from Port Dickson, we crossed the Sungai Linggi, which at that point doubles as the border between the states of Negri Sembilan and Melaka.  We did notice that the road narrowed a bit, and changed colour, once we crossed into the state of Melaka.

cny-2017-melaka-border-danial

Photograph courtesy of Danial Marzuki

We made an early lunch stop at Restoran Kuala Seafood, in Kampung Kuala Sungai Baru.  Not everything on the lunch buffet menu was ready yet, but there was enough on offer for us to fill our tummies.

Our lunch stop, or more accurately, our brunch stop, came about halfway to Melaka.  We made a semi-emergency stop 10km / 6mi further on, at the Petron station in Masjid Tanah.  Danial needed an ice-cream to quell the flames in his stomach from the too-spicy curry he ate at lunch.

We had planned to ride non-stop the rest of the way to Melaka town.  We got to Tanjung Kling before large raindrops began to fall.  We ducked under the first shelter we could find, and waited out the rain.

cny-2017-day-2-rain-danial

Photograph courtesy of Danial Marzuki

I was quite smug about having packed shoe covers and a rain vest.  I put those items on as we waited for the rain to stop.  Twenty minutes later we rolled out onto the wet road.  We could hardly have gone more than a kilometer before the road changed to being completely dry, and the sun was out.  I wasn’t so smug anymore.

We had been caught, quite literally, under a cloudburst.  And now it was sunny and dry, and I was getting hot under my vest.  We started making jokes about my rain gear having the power to repel rain.

It was 12km / 7.5mi to Melaka from Tanjung Kling.  There was a traffic jam for most of that distance into Melaka.  I was glad to be on a bicycle.  We stopped on the bridge over the Sungai Melaka for a photograph of the river.  A river that is much cleaner these days.

cny-2017-day-2-melaka-river-danial

Photograph courtesy of Danial Marzuki

Then it was off the bridge and around the corner to the Fenix Inn.  The bicycle-friendly hotel that we have stayed at before.

Our post-ride routine was identical to the one the day before.  A shower with kit on, a short nap, and then a walk to the Starbucks Coffee next door to the hotel.  The guys even had to buy flip flops.  It turned out that the RM2.50 / USD0.60 flip flops they had bought in Port Dickson weren’t such a good deal after all.  They were more stiff plastic than rubber, and were very uncomfortable.  So the guys left them in Port Dickson.

I was happy to wait until dinner to eat anything.  Danial and Safwan were peckish, and wanted to try the chicken rice balls at Ee Ji Ban Chicken Rice Ball.  I related my disappointing experience with the chicken rice balls at that restaurant.  Ee Ji Ban Chicken Rice Ball has developed quite a name for itself, so the guys thought that I must have been there on an off-day.

They admitted after eating there that they should have listened to me.

Dinner was at the Restoran Ole Sayang, on the recommendation of AiLin, who is a Melaka girl.  AiLin was in Melaka for Chinese New Year, and not only came to Ole Sayang with us, but picked up the tab as well.  We owe you one Ailin.  Thank you.

A Starbucks was between the restaurant and out hotel, so we stopped for coffee and cake.  There were some brief thoughts of going on to somewhere else after Starbucks, but common sense, and age in my case, caught up.  I needed to get to sleep if I wanted to be ready for another 7.00am start.

Guess where we went for breakfast on Day 3?

cny-2017-day-3-mcd-danial

Photograph courtesy of Danial Marzuki

The sharp-eyed will have spotted that Safwan had packed a second set of cycling kit.  Danial and I stuck to our wash-and-dry routine.  Which worked yet again.

cny-2017-day-3-route

Map courtesy of Strava

Our route out of Melaka to Seremban took us onto the AMJ Highway (Federal Route 19).  A road which is characterized along its entire length by rolling terrain.

cny-2017-day-3-amj-highway-danial

Photograph courtesy of Danial Marzuki

Compounded on the day by a headwind that blew all the way to Seremban.  All that up and down riding against the wind was thirsty work.  We stopped at the R&R at Simpang Ampat for a cold drink.  We had covered all of 31km / 19mi.

The sun had come out in full force while we were at the R&R.  I pulled on my arm screens, and made a mini keffiyeh out of a bandana to keep the sun off the back of my neck.  Of course, as soon as we got going, the cloud cover rolled in and blocked out the sun.

We were blessed with excellent rising weather over the three days.  Apart from brief periods of bright sun, we rode in overcast and cool conditions.  We think my bandana was the charm.

cny-2017-day-3-sun-chasing-gear-danial

Photograph courtesy of Danial Marzuki

Our plan was to hop onto the KTM Komuter at Seremban, rather than ride all the way back to Kuala Lumpur.  After 39km / 24mi we turned left off the AMJ Highway onto Jalan Seremban – Tampin, which roughly paralleled the rail tracks we would be on later.

cny-2017-day-3-tracks-danial

Photograph courtesy of Danial Marzuki

The guys were hungry at about the 50km / 31mi mark, so we stopped at Isyani Café in Rembau.  They devoured large plates of fried rice, and I sucked down a couple of iced Milos.

There were 30km / 18.5mi to go to Seremban.  Or more precisely, to Restoran Nelayan Seafood, which is where Danial wanted to have lunch.  That restaurant is well-known for its masak lemak dishes, which are a Negri Sembilan speciality.  A variety of meats, fowl and seafood are cooked in a coconut milk and bird’s eye chilli gravy, which is coloured a rich yellow by turmeric.

cny-2017-day-3-restoran-nelayan-seafood-warisn9world-blogspot-my

Photograph courtesy of warisn9world.blogspot.my

The guys ate well.  Luckily it was only a few hundred meters from the restaurant to the train station.

cny-2017-day-3-seremban-station-danial

Photograph courtesy of Danial Marzuki

 

RM11 / USD2.50 each for ourselves and our bikes, and we were in air-conditioned comfort for the ninety-minute train ride to the Bank Negara station.

cny-2017-day-3-komuter-danial

Photograph courtesy of Danial Marzuki

I skipped eating at Restoran Nelayan Seafood.  I was looking forward to the Lamb Balls and Egg at Born & Bread Café.  A mere 4km / 2.5mi from the Bank Negara station.  Admittedly through some heavy traffic.  It was worth the wait and the ride!

cny-2017-day-3-lamb-balls-danial

Photograph courtesy of Danial Marzuki

Three happy guys, ready to do it all again sometime soon.

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BCG Tour Klang – Port Dickson – Klang Day 2

BCG Klang - PD - Klang Logo 2

The photographs are in!  Thank you Johan Sopiee.

The plan for Day 2 was to roll out at about 7.00am.  A few of us crept out of the hotel before dawn for breakfast at McDonald’s.  Trying not to wake up the person at the front desk.

BCG Klang - PD - Day 2 Hotel

Then it was time to put on cycling shoes (which had dried overnight after the ride through the rain), sun tan lotion, inspect our bikes, and wake up the desk clerk so we could check out.

 

 

Fikri, Izzat and I were ready to roll at the appointed hour.  We discovered then that the rest of the group had opted to eat breakfast after putting on their cycling kit and checking out of the hotel.

So the three of us hit the road while the rest went to McDonald’s.

BCG Klang - PD - Day 2 Early Breakfast

Before long we were making the left turn onto Route N4 toward Chuah.  I don’t think the others were that far behind.

By the way, despite what you see in these photographs, the national tree of Malaysia is NOT the oil palm.

BCG Klang - PD - Day 2 Kampung Chuah Oil Palm

The climb of the day came as we approached the left turn to get back onto Route 5.

BCG Klang - PD - Day 2 Kampung Chuah Climb

At 35km / 22mi the route curled through the small town of Sepang, before heading back toward the coast.  That was the closest we would get to the KL International Airport.

BCG Klang - PD - Day 2 Hot Day

It was 8.45am when I rode through Sepang.  I was supposed to be at Morib at 10.00am, to meet up with some Flipside friends, who were riding to Morib from USJ.  Morib is 45km / 27mi from Sepang.  I was going to be late.

I made a short stop at the PETRONAS station in Sungai Pelek.  The same one where Fikri and I stopped on the way to Port Dickson.  As I remounted my bike, Izzat rode by.  I chased after him and we rode together back out toward the coast.

About 8km / 5mi outside Sungai Pelek we came upon the U-turn point for the participants in the Klang Première Century Ride.  That ride started and ended at the Klang Première Hotel in Bandar Botanic, a kilometer or so from where we would finish our ride.

We shared the road back to Bandar Botanic with the Klang Première riders,including some who had decided that they had ridden enough for the day.

BCG Klang - PD - Day 2 Klang Premiere

I got to Morib at about 10.30am.  Alvin, Liang and Mark were still there.  I slurped down an iced Milo and an ais kacang, and enjoyed the sea breeze as we sat in the shade.

BCG Klang - PD - Day 2 Ais Kacang Mark

Photograph courtesy of Mark Lim

Just as we were leaving Morib beach, Fikri rode up behind us.  He had been delayed by a problem with his seat post.  He might have wished he hadn’t caught up with us.  Liang proceeded to set a pace between 35kph /22mph and 40kph / 25mph for the next 20km / 12mi to Telok Panglima Garang.

BCG Klang - PD - Day 2 Flipside 02

It was midday.  And hot.  And the pace had been high.  So a stop at Cendol Santan Sawit Mak Lang was called for.  Nothing like ice cold cendol to induce a touch of brain freeze.

BCG Klang - PD - Day 2 Cendol Brain Freeze Mark

Photograph courtesy of Mark Lim

Brain freeze or not, we stopped again 7km / 4mi later at a PETRONAS station for yet more cold fluid.

It is 5km from that PETRONAS station to the interchange between Jalan Klang Banting, as Route 5 is named at that point, and the KESAS Highway.  Fikri and I waved goodbye to the Flipsiders as they turned right at the interchange toward USJ.   The two of us crossed the KESAS flyover and rolled the final kilometer to the Hotel 99 in Bandar Botanik.

Izzat was already there.  He has a great capacity for riding long distances without stopping.

BCG Klang - PD - Day 2 Finish 03

Happily, everyone else made it to the Hotel 99 safely.

It was another excellent cycling event.  Foogie produced an excellent video summary of the two days.

Many thanks to Danial, Johan, Foogie, and the other participants for making this a fun weekend.

BCG Klang - PD - Day 2 Finish 13

So when is the next BCG Tour?

 

BCG Tour Klang – Port Dickson – Klang Day 1

BCG Klang - PD - Klang Logo

 

Johan Sopiee, Danial Marzuki and Foogie Sim organised the third overnight bike ride under the BCG Tour banner.  This time from Klang to Port Dickson and back.

The start was in the parking area outside the Hotel 99 in Bandar Botanik, Klang.  We loaded our bags into Johan’s car, collected our cue sheets, and paid attention as Danial briefed us on the day to come.  In the meantime Johan was already into his stride as official photographer.

Unless indicated, all the photographs in this post were taken by Johan.

BCG Klang - PD - Day 1 Start2 Johan

A dozen of us were going to spend the night in Port Dickson before riding back to Klang the next day.  Another eight or nine were joining us for the ride to Port Dickson, and were planning to turn around and ride straight back.  A 240km / 150m round trip.

All the formalities were done by 7.45am.  Danial tooted his roti man horn and we were on our way to Port Dickson.  Johan led the way in his car, while Danial and Foogie were in a pickup, on sweeper duty behind the group.

BCG Tour Klang - PD - Klang Support Truck Danial

Photograph courtesy of Danial Marzuki

The roads from Klang to Banting were not as busy as they have been on my previous Saturday rides through that area.  Fikri and I started riding together, and we stayed together all the way to Port Dickson.

Morib is about 40km / 25mi from Bandar Botanik.  Which made it a good place to stop for a drink and a nibble.  Some of us had soft-boiled eggs and kaya toast here.

BCG Klang - PD - Day 1 Delicious Bread2

The only photograph that I can contribute

Others rolled a further 500 meters to the food court at the beach.

BCG Klang - PD - Day 1 Morib kentmoo88 blogspot com

Photograph courtesy of kentmoo88.blogspot.com

Then it was onto the 25km / 15mi stretch along the coast to Kampung Tanjung Rhu.  A sea breeze was blowing.  Unfortunately it was a gusty block headwind.  I was thankful to have Fikri with me.  He did more of the work into the wind than I did.  I was finding the going tough.  Fikri spotted one reason why that may have been.  My rear tire was slowly losing air.

We stopped just after Tanjung Sepat.  A few seconds later Danial and Foogie pulled over ahead of us.  I decided to risk just pumping up the tire rather than replacing the inner tube.  It was a hot morning, I had been working hard, and one of the things I like least to do is fixing a flat with sweat pouring down my face.

Rear tire fully inflated, Fikri and I headed onward into the wind and sun.

BCG Klang - PD - Day 1 Tanjung Sepat Johan

40 minutes later we were on the lookout for a place to stop for some fluid.  Fikri’s bidons were empty, and I needed a refill too.  The PETRONAS station in Sungai Pelek fit the bill.  Cold drinks and air conditioning.  Danial and Foogie stopped there too, so I had my rear tire topped up as well.

By the time we got through Sepang and the climbs along  Route 5 to the right turn onto Route N4, the skies were darkening and thunder was rumbling in the distance.  In a matter of minutes the heavens opened.

BCG Klang - PD - Day 1 Rain Johan

It wasn’t long before we were completely soaked.  Both by the rain and the spray from passing vehicles.  The wind was still in our faces, but at least we were feeling a lot cooler in the wet.

At about the 100km point the group of ‘out and back’ riders rode past in the opposite direction.  The weather probably played a part in their decision not to ride all the way to Port Dickson.  Even so, they probably covered 200km / 124mi by the time they were done.

The roads were wet all the way to Lukut.  Fikri and I caught up with some of the other riders as we rode through Lukut.  With 4km to go to the hotel in Port Dickson, Asni had a puncture.  I wasn’t much better off.  The hole in my inner tube was getting bigger, and I was losing air at a faster rate.  After Johan fixed Asni’s flat tire, I had my tire fully inflated again and sped off, hoping to get to the hotel before my tire went flat again.

My tire held out, and everyone else made it safely too.  We stayed at the Waterfront Boutique Hotel.  The location on the esplanade walk of the PD Waterfront development means that the hotel is amongst a variety of food and beverage outlets, a bank, and shops.  Best of all, the hotel allowed us to take our bicycles into our rooms.

After a shower and a short rest a bunch of us headed out to lunch.  Danial and Johan drove to Teluk Kemang, one of the more popular beach locations in Port Dickson.  The eatery of choice, based on their past experience, was Cowboy Place.

BCG Klang - PD - Day 1 Cowboy Place Menu sharinginfoz blogspot my

Photograph courtesy of sharinginfoz.blogspot

Renowned for its grilled chicken and steamed rice.

BCG Klang - PD - Day 1 Cowboy Place Chicken  azienamico blogspot com

Photograph courtesy of azienamico.blogspot

The merely hungry ate quarter chickens.  The really starving ate half chickens.

Lunch was late.  It was about 3pm by the time we got to Cowboy Place.  By 7pm or so we were all thinking about dinner.

Foogie’s local knowledge took us to Restoran Seri Mesra Ikan Bakar.

BCG Klang - PD - Day 1 Restoran Seri Mesra Ikan Bakar TripAdvisor com

Photograph courtesy of Tripadvisor

You pick what you want from a variety of fresh fish, prawns, crab and other shellfish, and choose how you want each item cooked.  Sit back and wait a few minutes while everything is being prepared, then roll up your sleeves and dig in.  We had fish cooked two different ways, batter-fried squid, vegetables and rice.  Delicious.

We still had room for dessert.  McDonald’s was running a Mango Mania promotion.  A mango sundae sounded like just the thing.

BCG Klang - PD - Day 1 Mango

Photograph courtesy of Golden Arches Restaurants Sdn Bhd

Four of us went straight to the McDonald’s near our hotel after dinner.  Only to be disappointed.  They had sold out of mango sundaes.  We had to settle for chocolate soft ice cream cones.

Then it was time for bed.  It would be another early start the next day.