The two-day ride to Teluk Intan and back has become a favourite for the R@SKLs. Seven of us did this ride in January 2018. The main attraction of riding to Teluk Intan is a dinner of Macrobrachium rosenbergii, better known as giant freshwater prawn.
Other attractions of this ride are the doable-in-one-day distance of about 145km / 90mi, the number of quiet backroads along the route, and the cyclist-friendly Yew Boutique Hotel in Teluk Intan.
Not to mention being able to start and end the ride from Pai’s factory premises in Kapar. For a start, we get assigned parking in a secure parking lot.
Plus access to restrooms, showers, and a water cooler. Wonderful!
Fourteen of us were ready to roll out of the Adtek car park at 6.00am. Including Natasha and Marco, who were celebrating one year of wedded bliss.
The first forty minutes of the ride was spent negotiating roads which have been damaged by a constant flow of heavy lorries. Street lighting was poor in places, so everyone had to be on full alert for potholes, bad patch jobs, and road debris.
The sun was peeking over the horizon as we turned right off Route 5 and onto Jalan Suara.
These were the roads we were looking forward to riding on.
Naturally, everyone was glad to be off the main trunk road that is Route 5.
Whenever there was a river to cross we had no choice but to get back onto Route 5. The first of the bridges was at the small town of Sungai Buloh (literally Bamboo River). One would expect the river there to be the Sungai Buloh, but it is not. We crossed the Sungai Sembilang and endured Route 5 for 1.5km / 0.9mi before we were able to turn right onto Jalan Tok Empat Yusuf.
We had 10km / 6mi of quiet backroad almost entirely to ourselves before we had to get onto Route 5 again for the Sungai Selangor crossing at Kuala Selangor.
I had planned for our breakfast stop to be between Sungai Buloh and Kuala Selangor, in a roadside stall at the crossroads between Jalan Teluk Piah Kanan and Jalan Kuala Selangor. We had stopped there for breakfast the last time we rode to Teluk Intan.
So imagine my dismay when I got there, with thirteen hungry cyclists behind me, to find the stall partially demolished. Some of the R@SKLs were very hungry. I know from past experience that hungry cyclists tend to lack a sense of humour.
Luckily for me, some scouting around by the group revealed that the now-demolished stall had morphed into a bigger and better restaurant just around the corner.
Phew! Good humour restored.
Around the time we were finishing breakfast, some other R@Skls were starting their Sprint Race at the Port Dickson International Triathlon 2018. 750 meter open water swim, 20km bike ride and 5km run. Way to go!
After breakfast, we made it safely back onto Route 5 and over the bridge at Kuala Selangor.
After exiting Route 5 at Jalan Sungai Tunggul, we would be on roads through paddy fields and rural countryside for the next 67km / 42mi.
We had covered about 58km / 36mi at a reasonable moving average of 25kph / 15.5mph by the time we got to the far edge of the paddy fields. We turned left onto Jalan Terusan Utama, which we would stay on for the next 30km / 19mi.
That was the plan.
A group of seven pulled ahead on the flat, straight and quiet road. The rest of us were rolling along at a slightly more restrained pace when Jeff went down. He was clearly in pain from an injured shoulder and was unable to continue.
We tried hailing down passers-by in vehicles big enough to carry both Jeff and his bicycle but were unsuccessful. Fortuitously, there is a rice milling plant, Dataran Pusaka Sdn. Bhd., 300 meters from where Jeff had his accident. Even more fortuitously, someone from there was willing to load Jeff and bike into his pickup truck and to take them to the nearest town, Sekinchan.
The seven of us who had stopped at the scene rode the 7km / 4mi to Sekinchan. Jeff was in a clinic waiting to be checked out. In the meantime, Simon had been on the ‘phone with Alfred, whose family was en route to Teluk Intan in an MPV. Alfred’s wife agreed to stop in Sekinchan to pick Jeff up from the clinic.
Once we were sure that Jeff was in good hands at the clinic, and that he would be picked up from there, we headed back to Jalan Terusan Utama to continue along our route toward Sabak Bernam, which was our predetermined lunch stop.
The group ahead of us had stopped at a roadside shop while awaiting an update on the situation in Sekinchan.
With Jeff sorted out, they rode on to Sabak Bernam. The rest of us were at least an hour behind them, so they had lunch as soon as they arrived in Sabak Bernam.
Then, clearly overcome with concern for Jeff, they had a massage!
Lay and Heng Keng were waiting for us at Kedai Kopi Nam May. It was almost 2.00pm. The coffee shop staff were a bit concerned that they did not have enough food left to feed us. But their worry turned out to be unwarranted. We shared three platters of delicious fried noodles with fish cake.
Massages over and reunited as a group again, we got rolling. It is a bit under 40km / 25mi from Sabak Bernam to Teluk Intan. Those who had done the ride in January were not looking forward to the first five or six kilometers. For a start, we would be back on Route 5. In January there were major roadworks in progress between the town and the bridge over the Sungai Bernam. Lane closures and an awful road surface made riding that section a nightmare.
We needn’t have worried. The roadworks are complete and that section of road is now a pleasure to ride on. We also had a significant tailwind to help us along.
Having averaged 34kph / 21mph for 13km / 8mi in 35° C / 97° F heat, we need to cool down when we got to the Petron station at Hutan Melintang.
The wind was still a help over the final 16km / 10mi to Teluk Intan. The Menara Chondong (Leaning Tower) in Teluk Intan is the symbolic finishing line for this ride.
Congratulations to the first-time riders to Teluk Intan: Kenix, Natasha, Martin, Jake, and Alfred.
My Biker Chick had checked everyone into the Yew Boutique Hotel and was waiting with room keys for us. We parked our bikes in the Cyclists’ Corner off the lobby and headed to our rooms to shower and change into fresh clothes. All except Alfred.
Jeff had been diagnosed with a suspected fracture, and Alfred’s wife had driven him from Sekinchan back to a hospital in Kuala Lumpur for further checks. It wasn’t until she had driven back to Teluk Intan that Alfred got a change of clothes.
Some people, including me, dashed off so quickly to their rooms that they left things behind in the hotel lobby.
After getting cleaned up, some of us met at the food court next door to the hotel for the famous chee cheong fun, and to claim our forgotten belongings.
We gathered in the hotel lobby at 7.10pm to either walk, cycle or drive to Restoran d’Tepian Sungai for aforementioned udang galah (giant fresh water prawn) dinner. 11.5kg / 25lbs of udang galah.
I have waxed lyrical in the past about the udang galah dishes at Restoran d’Tepian Sungai. They were just as good this time.
We had the pleasure of some non-cyclists this time too. Apart from my biker chick and Alfred’s wife and daughters, we were joined by Marvin’s wife, his two young children and his mother.
We missed Jeff though. We all hope he heals up fast and completely.
You would have thought that after all we ate throughout the day, we would have been stuffed. If you did think that, then you don’t know the R@SKLs.
After dinner, we walked to the Menara Chondong to take some more photographs.
That worked up a thirst in some of us. On the way back to the hotel six of us stopped at the Chris Café for a coffee and lemon cheesecake tarts.
I was in bed and fast asleep by 10.30pm. The FIFA World Cup 3rd and 4th place playoff match was broadcast starting at 11.00pm. I don’t think anyone stayed awake to watch it.