Thursday, 19 July 2018

Three is NOT a Crowd (Durian, Charcoal Factory, Orang Seletar) - 14 July 2018

Durian Fiesta
Some of the riders at Pan Kobo Cafe
Twisting and twirling clouds
Bikes swapped for cars instead
The Men
The Ladies
Inside a kiln
At Hafiz's
Fancy some earrings?
River view

Something must have happened on Mount Olympus this morning! A family feud, a betrayal, a treason or an attack??? Unless flown up by Pegasus, we will never know what actually transpired in the cloud palace above us.

A strange weather display beginning with clear skies, the sun was quickly eclipsed within minutes after rollout time. Westwards and beyond the golf course, rain had already touched base!

Facing West, Zephyros was blowing his might! Thick, dark clouds were closing in at rapid speed. Almost like a tank filled with charged up eels, the clouds were twisting and twirling as they came in, casting a doomsday gloom overland.

Stopping on her tracks after a mere 3 km distance, Claudine turned to ask the others’ opinion. Most were indecisive except for VT who suggested pushing on as we were already committed.

Hence, based on the green light given, Claudine charged forward. Little did she realized, everyone did not budge! Nor called after her!! Some 300 m later, she turned around to see the others still at the same spot but in smaller perspectives!!!

It was then that we came to a consensus to drive to Gelang Patah instead. Turning back with the storm at our heels, all of us were given morning showers regardless light or heavy. While the strong legged ones did not get terribly drenched, some did not make it back to base at all but had to take cover under Gateway’s guard post.


Congregating at Restoran Xing Ho in Gelang Patah later, it was heart warming to know TH and YL had gone looking for stranded riders whilst Frankie had offered help as well! Meanwhile, Desmond and Hong Yun had decided to abandon the ride/drive altogether!

Coming from different directions, the larger team consisted of riders who had flagged off from Pan Kobo. And whilst Alvin had a hard time driving his flock through the Causeway jams, Frankie had the cushiest journey given his stay at Hotel Holmes was just a stone’s throw away from the coffee shop.

After our choice of pork and seafood noodles, we made the short drive into Kampung Simpang Arang. Passing Hafiz’s farm, we made a brief stop to check on him before venturing to the charcoal kilns.

Stoking the fire
Collecting tree bark to be burned into ashes and used as fertilizer

After Ramadan and late Syawal, activities at the kilns were at its height! Logs were being debarked, to be filled into one of the empty kilns while another two were going through the smoking and cooling down processes.

In the adjacent factory, we met a family of orang Seletar who were willing to take us on a 20 minutes river cruise for RM50. A small boat which only sits 5 passengers, they explained the ride will only cover the river estuaries as it was not seaworthy to take on the waves at Tanjung Pelepas! Promising to return for the boat ride after our durian feast, we ran out of luck when it started to rain again!

Raziff was already waiting for us when we arrived at Hafiz’s. Being one of the only 3 riders who actually rode today, he was coated in mud after taking the trail along the railway tracks!

Meanwhile, Hafiz was all welcoming when we arrived. He greeted everyone with a handshake and even made tea for us! Sadly, due to weather constraints, we only stayed long enough to eat one round of durians before scurrying back to our cars for cover! As for Raziff, he probably had a good wash down on his ride back!!!

The durians marked the end of our get together. Some others though went on to Gelang Patah to purchase more durians before taking a short tea break at Claudine’s.

Leaving for the Little Red Dot, some of the Singapore group enjoyed the luxury of Alvin’s Nissan Latio. It managed to fit 4 Bromptons and 1 Dahon Dove. As for KC and Eugene, they had to endure a few more hours of leg work under the sun before they finally reached home!

Photo Credits :
1. TH
2. KC
3. YL
4. Eugene 

For more information about charcoal making, scroll to the bottom of this link :

Saturday, 14 July 2018

ACN's Connecting the Dots - A short tour to KL and Selangor (30 June - 1 July 2018), Day 2 : KL Car Free Day

With Brompton World Travellers; KL, Singapore and Indonesia
In the spirit of Hari Raya
Thumbs down at 6.00am in the morning when it rained heavily
KL City, wait for us!
Bandaraya MRT
KL Tower
Suria KLCC
Malaysia Tourism Center
KL Tower's Upside Down House with Loh, Jackson, Annie and Mindy
KL Tower
Riding in the city
Brompton friends
Riding in the city
Petaling Street
Petaling Street
Petaling Street
On the way home; LRT
KLCFD, zero fuel emission
KLCFD, zero fuel emission
KLCFD, zero fuel emission
KLCFD, zero fuel emission

Meeting at Taj Curry House, Subang Jaya this morning, KC, Philip, VT and Claudine were in a dilemma. While Roy had texted on the possibility of rain, the roads were already wet by the time Claudine peered out the window! In the midst of setting up their bikes, it started to drizzle again, turning heavier as they rode out to the breakfast point. Finally, they called defeat, cancelling the ride, when a car’s headlamps illuminated the rain drops as it drove into the parking lot.

As the rain teetered off to a light drizzle soon enough, they decided to see through their plans all the same. Off to Subang Jaya’s LRT station and on to the train, there were more passengers on board than they had expected.

Scanning the crowd as the train collected more and more passengers with each stop, Claudine spotted 2 Bromptons on the next coach. Always ready to make new friends, she approached the duo only to find out it was Sarah and her friend, Gan!

As Lady Luck was with them, the duo were on their way to KLCFD as well. Following their advice, they got off at Masjid Jamek despite their tokens for Pasar Seni, as it is closer to DBKL, the flag off point for KLCFD. Besides, the fare for both stations were the same!

The crowd at DBKL were spaced out unlike Claudine’s earlier experience with 1WP Konvoy Berbasikal on 24 February 2018. Past 7 am, the participants had been flagged off as promptly as can be BUT the loudspeakers were still blasting away at deafening decibels!

The inflatable archway, still decorates Jalan Raja Laut, coupled by buntings from sponsors though the permanent gateway had taken on a more festive mood, wishing our fellow Muslim friends “Selamat Hari Raya”. This time though, DBKL had taken the extra step by setting up a golden carriage for shutterbugs and narcissistic alike!

Riding along Jalan Raja Laut, they passed Sogo and Bandaraya’s MRT station before turning right for Jalan Sultan Ismail. Traveling a short distance, they then turned right again for Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, returning to the other wing of Sogo. Thereafter, they took the left turn to Jalan Dang Wangi as continuing straight on would have gotten them back to DBKL in a loop.

Following the car free route, they saw KL Tower looming over Bukit Nanas, whilst KLCC twin towers was a bit lackluster from afar. As they got nearer, the twin peaks turned all glitter but the only gold they found were in the Brompton friends waiting nearby. In true Hari Raya spirit, a large group of Brommies were dressed in Baju Melayu while the BWT group from Singapore had come in full force by bus charter!

Mindy was there waiting as promised and after the arrival of Annie and Jackson, they decided to continue on with their ride to Malaysia Tourism Center and KL Tower. This time though, they ventured a little further down the hill to KL Forest Eco Park, getting giddy over the suspension bridge.

Meanwhile, the southern group were in a hurry to return back to base as they had a long journey to JB and Singapore. Hoping to end the ride over Yut Kee’s famous Hainanese Chicken Chop, it was closed for the day. As a back up, their perfect hosts brought them to Petaling Street for chee cheong fun, porridge and soy bean milk.

Restaurant Ah Meng

Back in Subang Jaya, VT and Claudine played catch up with their family over lunch before driving the gang down south. After an early dinner at Restaurant Ah Meng, they dropped Alvin, KC and Berenda at Hotel Grand Bello, the nearest point to JB’s CIQ where the trio rode their way back to the little red dot. As for Philip, while he managed to hitch a last minute ride to KL with VT, KC and Claudine, his return trip involved multiple mode of transports!

Note : Tokens purchased for LRT rides can be topped up at the exiting station if one decides to take a longer journey with no penalties.

Photo credits :
1. KC
2. Philip 
3. Eugene Wee

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

THE ULTIMATE CLIMB, that never was! (8 July 2018)

Roaring to go at Hua Gua Shan Temple
Gearing up
Gearing up
Gearing up
Gearing up
At Layang-Layang's 7 Eleven

Initially initiated by Sue as she wants to train riding fast, furious and far, our ambitious 100 km climb distance was shortened as the dates drew closer. Instead of Simpang Renggam, we only rode to Renggam this morning, shortening the ride by 25 km.

As it is, when a member of the team buckles, the rest will fold as well. Thus, a slew of excuses were brought up this morning from sports injury and sore throat to lack of sleep and tight schedules.

Breaking into 2 groups as some wants an even shorter route, we managed to roll out together. Led by Madcats, the climb was almost immediate; beginning from Hua Guo Shan Temple, all the way to Layang-Layang.

Along the way we passed the entrance to Legends Golf and Country Club, the Tamil school and the railway tracks before entering the abyss of a palm oil estate. Cutting through its thick foliage, our speed slowed to a crawl, as we made the long and steep climbs while weaving through pot holes which seemingly spread across the road! Up on the hills, the moss on the giant boulders had turned a bright yellow!!!

Emerging from the canopy covered road, we free wheeled our way down to Kg Murni Jaya before landing ourselves on its dragon back hills! School was in session at SK Murni Jaya, loosely marked as our midway point to Layang-Layang.

Kg Sri Muar and Kg Sg Siam struck an interest in us. Possibly named after the migrants’ home country, we can only guess unless validated by the locals.

Soon the familiar stench of chicken droppings from Lew Peng Holdings filled the air. This was a welcoming sign as we knew the end is near!

Rolling to a stop at Layang-Layang’s 7 Eleven, we took a short 5 minutes break before adjourning for Renggam. Some others remained to enjoy Guang Fatt’s Handmade wantan mee noodles, cutting short the ride by half!

Reportedly only 3 hills to Renggam, Ah Ping’s famous quote can only be regarded true if we disregard the smaller knolls. Dauntingly high with 2-3 split levels, some of them were actually quite manageable as the first level acts as a booster for the next!
Disappointingly, the usual train had not pulled up at Renggam’s Railway Station. After taking a few photos on its tracks, we left when the last 3 riders delayed by a puncture, finally arrived.

The return segment was not as nasty. We even found the reserves to cheer after Mr Lim and Henry who had decided to take the same challenge after their wantan mee breakfast!

Arriving at Layang-Layang, VT, Maggie, Eva, Jessica, Chin and Winnie had left in pursuit of other eats; Choy Pan from Kelapa Sawit! As for us, we took a longer than usual break before making the final break for base!!!

Bumping into Mr Lim and Henry in the palm oil estate, we made our way back, sparsely separated into smaller groups. We were further separated when the boom gates began to close for the train’s passing.

Hoping to catch sight of the locomotive, Henry and Mr Lim made the stop but pushed on when it took a bit too long. By then, Wann Lee had finished fixing Sue’s chain drop and the duo didn’t want to be left behind!

Photo Credits :
1. Henry
2. Eva
3. Sue
4. CK