Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Le Tour Le Lumut Day 1(with updated pics and entry)

Friday
8.30am - picked up Dr. Amir (Amir) at his house in PJ. Loaded bike and waited for him to finish his ciggie before pushing off to Amcorp's LRT station to pick Azly (Bandit) up.
8.45am - Bandit came out of LRT, walking in his SPD (Clipless Shoes), very much looking like some John Woo movie when he slung the bang with helmet over his shouder. The Ikea bag spoiled it though, he looked like Chow Yuen Fatt that just went to market and now going to assasinate someone...
9.15am - got stuck in some traffic whilst getting back to office, the RV point. Drop Bandit and Amir at the office and went home to get my bike.
9.30am - Alex (my boss) came in the office and was wondering what these 3 chaps are up to, he still thinks it's crazy to be doing a trans Selangor/Perak thingy...
10.00am - went for breakfast with wifey and cyclist. Had 1 roti canai with sugar while Amir and Bandit downed two each.
11.00am - Journey started from Damansara Perdana(DP)

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The three biker-teers having their last possible decent meal.

The Journey
D.P-Kota Damansara-Sg. Buluh
The sun was out, Bandit has his sunscreen on, Amir and me decided to be a man and deny that *girlie* thingy. We cycled up our first hill at DP, to a short downhill before turning off into Mutiara Damansara and then to Kota Damansara. Road were filled with traffic, trucks were everywhere and we felt kinda vunerable riding on the lil road shoulder. The road at Kota Damansara was kinder as the traffic became less until we touched the Sg. Buluh junction.

That was when our nightmare started. Lorries, trucks, motorcyclists, cars were everywhere. The under construction (as per always) road was congested. That leaves lil space for us to move around on the sides. it's more daunting especially when the motorbikes went buzzing through on our left side.

Then i heard a sneeze and a hearty laugh. I thought Bandit sneezed and he laughed.

Nope, it was Amir, being SNEEZED on his face, by some obnoxious looking chinaman in those one tonne lorry. Bandit was behind, and he witnessed the whole incident. Thank goodness bird flu wasn't reported in Sg. Buluh...

The road was filled with Lorry Hantu (construction lorries without road taxes) that whizzed passed the traffic at neck breaking speed, spewing stones and muds and dust as they passed by. I could taste sand in my mouth, though i kept them shut.

The situation ceased to improved until Desa Coalfield, the supposedly last development in this Sg. Buluh vicinity.

At KM 40, we came to where the big indian temple were along the old road to Kuala Selangor (KS). The whole piece of Oil Palm land was already cleared, seems to be making way for future development. Those days, about a year back, this whole place is cooling..with shades of trees admist the winding road.

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Amir having second thoughts about cycling

There is of course, a few odd lorry hantu around, which some dangerously come about an inch, or 4 less to us. It's scary. But the ride must go on.

We cleared Sg. Buluh and reached Ijok, where we stopped for a moment as Bandit needs to do some *readjustment*

SG-Ijok-KS
Bandit removed his boxers, as it is causing some chaffing between his thighs. Riding commando and braving the strong chill down under, we continued on, well, after taking pictures of course. We passed by Kampung Kuantan, the first place along this road where sightings of UFOs, or fireflies could be seen. We are 20km short to KS. The ride along this trunk road was safer as we found the road shoulder was big enough to accomodate 2 bicycles side by side. We stick to Route 5. The trunk road that will lead us from KL until Teluk Intan.

We were making good progress, as the average speed was about 20km/h, a highly crusiable and relaxing speed. By now, me and Amir has complained about being sun-burned (i got racoon's eyes today)

We reached KS soon after, the big KUALA SELANGOR sign atop Bukit Malawati greeted us before enything else, highly visible about 4km away from where we are. We saw the Bridge, which brought us over to Pasir Penampang. Seafood haven.

Unfortunately, it is all not open during daytime. So, since it was almost 2pm already, we decided to stop at the next stall to eat. Which we did, by then, slight drizzle began falling and we were slightly wet as we parked our bike at 60km from KL.

Lunch was uneventful. Pretty standard, at that point, we are just eating because we have to, not because we wanted to (hahaha, sounded like a good philosophy to live by ain't it?)

We rested for a good 45minutes, and told ourselves that it is only anohter 40km to do a century.

KS-Tg. Karang-Sekinchan
As we headed towards Tg Karang, the whole demographic began to change. Gone are buildings that resembled anything like civilisation and it was replaced by houses on stilts with tonnes of oil palms and a parit (a big drain, man made) infront. Most of the parit were flooded and some were filled with vegetation, a clear sign of high BOD (Bio-Oxygen Demand). And we are wondering why there is such huge cases of dengue fever out of KL???

We stopped half way through, Bandit running across the trunk road to the other side to get us fresh coconut water. Highlight of the day. The ice cold coconut water tasted like some freshly brewed coffee...only 100 degree less hotter and it gave me a brain freeze as i took the first sip.

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I want my coconut drink...

The rain started again as we approached the next settlement of Tg. Karang. We stopped and went into one of the many houses, well, the porch we meant, to seek shelter and also to keep our electronics devices (ie handphones and Bandit's MP3 player). The owner of the home came out to chat with us, still wondering why and what drives people like us to do these trips, when one could had driven there, comfortably.

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Amir and me awaiting for Bandit by the road

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Then Hero came cruising in...

He duly told us that it rain like these everyday, for 5 or 10 minutes, then stop...which is a good news. Rain and night riding is what we are trying to avoid at all cost. Too risky and too dangerous. Perhaps, we aren't as Braveheart as we thought we were ???

We braved the rain, it was somewhat refreshing to be splashed with rain, making you feel alive, being drenched while your face soak up the water on the road thrown up by the moving tyres.

It was a good 20km later (or an hour) that the rain stopped and by then, we almost reached Sekinchan.

"Stupe, i think your rear tyre pancit la" Amir said as we enters Sekinchan.

I looked down and yeap. I have a punture, but that meant we have anohter excuse to stop and rest.

I dismounted from my bike and pushed it to the BP station at the junction of Sekinchan. A quick check revealed that the tyre was puntured by a thin sharpnel of glass, cleverly embedded into the thin slick tyre, something like some covert operative would do la. Only differences is that this time, it was the road that gave me this problem.

Changing tyre wasn't much of a problem as we ended up goofing around while doing this pitstop. As per usual la, like they all said.

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Ever helpful teammates telling you how to change tubes...

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while the other tells you not to apply undue pressure while in squating position

I pumped the tyre to a max of 100psi and we cleaned up and were on our way again.

Sekinchan-Kg. Simpang Lima-Sg. Besar
We were flanked mostly by oil palm plantation on both right and left, with kids runing about in their yards, some of them fishing for ikan haruan(catfish) or ikan puyu. It is like a national past time here, if this part of the world is a country on it's own. The simple pleasure in life, the simple needs and the simple and carefree living, which most of us that grew up in town seriously lacked off. It's good. The journey thus far was some kind of relevation, that we should never forget, that there is people out of Klang Valley. Something, i must say, that driving past in the car, we won't get to experience it.

I guessed, somehow, riding a bike, going at 20km/h seems to be giving, as everything moved slower...and hour passed before you knew it did.

As we passed Kg. Simpang Lima, it started to drizzled again, poor Bandit has to ride in the rain, after sweating in his rain coat since the rain stopped at the last 10km, and him, keeping his raincoat in his bag. It's like as if the Big Boy telling him to *forget it la...just ride my son, just ride...*

We made a detour at Kampung Sg. Haji Duraini as we were told that there is a rest house there. A nice rest house, we were told. So, we went to check it out and oh boy, it was nice, but it will cost us RM140 per night...hence, we just took pictures to prove that we were there.

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Behind us is those water chalets and the beach

It was already almost 5pm when we reached Sg. Besar, Sabak Bernam, our supposedly RV point for tonite seems like a good 15km away, which mean a good hour ride away...which wasn't favourable as it started to get really dark and the sky opened up and spewed all it's worth on us.

We stopped at the Petronas station after Sg. Besar's junction. Pondering over what we should do next.

Then, we saw Satay Hj. Samuri. Now. Any Klang Valley worth their salt would know that that is the Satay kajang. That succulent meat, hot, served in spicy peanut laden sauce which would bring tears after 120km of pedalling.

We are aware of fake Hj Samuri. So, Bandit did the next best thing and went to ask the attendant if it was the ORIGINAL Satay Kajang.

what happened next made us broke into laughter.

bandit: Mintak maaf bang, tapi satay hj samuri kat depand tuh original satay kajang ke?
Attendant: Bang, mintak maaf la, tapi saya tak pernah pergi kajang.

(Translated:
Bandit: I'm sorry, but is that Hj Samuri the original Satay Kajang???
Attendant: I'm sorry la brother, i've never been to Kajang.)

Talking about ironic.

We went into Sg. Besar town, as we were told tehre is a hotel somewhere.

Lo and behold. Hotel Rose.

A 2 storey shophouse, converted into some hotel, i would give it no star, if you were to look from the outside. The whole establishment looked as if it was some place where bad porns are made, ie chow kit area rest house.

Me and Bandit went up to enquire. It seems like a family thingy, with Chinese altar near the front door and some grilled looking front desked, which reminds you of those old hongkong movie where men goes for a shagging good time at some cheap whore house.

Stupe: Uncle, how much is one night?
uncle: How many people?
Stupe: 3, plus 3 bicycle.
uncle: you want to put bicycle in the room ah? no need la, you can put here, out here. very safe.
Stupe: oh yes ah...how much?
uncle: TV or no TV?
Stupe: no TV.
uncle: Dark room, or bright room?
stupe: ???????
auntie: Dark room, you can sleep later la, bright room, morning morning you get the sun and you have to wake up lor!
Stupe: o_O
Uncle: RM40 per night.
Stupe: ON!
(ps-above conversationw as done in mandarin, as i do not know what dialect they speaks.)

Went down to grab Amir and bikes, parked it inside and the place is clean, no whore in sight.

We were placed in this room, with 1 queen bed and one single bed (which Amir claimed to be his...). I shared the bed with Bandit.

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At least the sheets and towels are clean

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Amir, on his single bed

We were given 3 towels, big enough to be classified as big face towel, but not enough to go around Bandit's waist (it only managed to overlap like 2 inches on me waist)

We were also given 3 bar of small Lux soap.

Not complaining by now, as the sheets and everything was clean. Complete with hot water shower and air cond.

We took turn to take bath, with bandit doing tonnes of Britney poses (some on camera, too obscene to be shown here when i get the pics from amir...)

After dinner, we setted out to hunt for food. Seafood of course.

We were told there is seafood at Bagan.

We went hunting for Bagan.

We came upon a Chinese Kongsi. I asked the 4 uncle, which in return spoke to me in 4 differnt dialect, of which i could understand only 3 (the last one was incomprehensible...sounded like hainanese, but then again, like Hakka).

I gave up, as they seems to be either asking us to go to K.S, or move futher up north to Teluk Intan.

We found Bagan of course, had ikan bakar, one of the biggest sting ray i've seen on the restaurant's ice box. Ordered 3 servings of cockles, grilled. and 2 servings of squid in cardamon.

Separately, we had burgers, nasi lemak and nasi campur to complement the lil seafood feast. We down it with teh ais, ais limau, lin chee kang and asi kacang. The bill came up to a whooping RM27.

We then went to 7-11 thereafter to get some water and snacks.

Believe it or not, we went back to the room, and slept like some baby by 9.30pm.

End of Day One.

to be continued...

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