Tuesday, 22 November 2016


Missing out Joho Foldies
At Nusa Idaman
At Nusa Idaman
On Lebuh Kota Iskandar
At Kedai Minum Chye Huat, Ulu Choh
At Kedai Minum Chye Huat, Ulu Choh
At Kedai Minum Chye Huat, Ulu Choh
At Kedai Minum Chye Huat, Ulu Choh
At Kedai Minum Chye Huat, Ulu Choh
Waiting for the lost lambs
In Yellow Jerseys
Ulu Choh
Ulu Choh
Ulu Choh
At Kedai Minum Chye Huat, Ulu Choh
At Kedai Minum Chye Huat, Ulu Choh
At Kedai Minum Chye Huat, Ulu Choh
Traditional bread
Charcoal toasted bread
Soft boiled to perfection
Oily CKT

This morning, when fellow Malaysians donned their yellow Bersih 5 t-shirts to march the streets for a New Malaysia, a free and fair elections and a clean Government among other things, our own little group of peaceful riders rode out in "Sunshine Yellow", our own version of symbolic protest. Ironically, it rained hard just before 6 am, clearing up half an hour later to give us a squeaky "CLEAN WORLD"!!!

Congregating outside Pan Kobo Cafe, was an "almost yellow" theme. Not everyone has a yellow jersey. Despite that, we were most honoured to see our countrymen coming together for a common purpose! More touching was the support we received from our friends from Singapore, Britain and South Africa!!!

We left later than usual as Yan Ling arrived with yet another tyre puncture! Even though Lucas helped to replace the tube, it burst again when they tried to inflate it. Hence, she had no choice but to pack up for home, leaving hubby, Ching Po to ride with us.

We were separated into 2 groups with TH and YL taking the lead. The slower group was led by Claudine while VT swept from behind. Those who finds it difficult to catch up with the lead group were advised to fall back or face riding alone and even getting lost!

Taking a different route, we went via Nusa Idaman. The faster group was led by TH onto Jalan Sentral 17 before taking J4 to get to Lebuh Kota Iskandar.

Thinking that TH had meant to use Nusa Idaman Roller, a route popular with riders before the road closure, Claudine took the slower group there. His enquiry and interest had led VT and her to recce the place twice before today's ride! This route is tougher with many steep hills to climb!

Picking up Carl, left on his own at Nusa Idaman, they conquered the hills, took a short water break at the peak of the climb, then continued on to SILC to see TH waiting with camera in hand.

A little further uphill was Janet waiting to get help. She had slipped and fell at the stop which left her saddle crooked. Lucas with allen key attended to her.

Somewhere along Jalan Tanjung Kupang, Eva was waiting alone. She was relieved when she found out Janet was fine!

Continuing on, we rolled all the way past Eco Gardens, Alam Jaya industrial park and a chicken farm before catching sight of the lead group waiting by the side of what looked like a formwork industry, producing reinforced concrete slabs. There on, we soon came to the intersection of Lebuhraya Skudai-Pontian.

Here, the lights turn very quickly and it took us a few rounds to cross over to Ulu Choh. This gives us time to chat up a few friends. The first contact was made between Claudine and Kee Tai and she will forever be grateful for his support.

Arriving at Ulu Choh, we saw Keat riding home on his own. The rest had settled down with orders of toast made over charcoal fire and soft boiled eggs. A few riders tried the noodle soup and char kueh tiau from the makeshift stall outside the shop. All in all, the toasts were the best, the soft boiled egg done to perfection, the noodle soup was authentically a taste from the yesteryears and the CKT.... oily! 

Another downside was our drinks took forever to arrive! Our huge crowd probably overwhelmed the sleepy village's only barista!!!

After breakfast, we visited the nearby temple for some quick photo shoots. At the entrance, we were greeted by the stone sculptures of the 12 zodiac animals in Chinese astrology. While the other faiths followed respectfully, the Taoists did not offer any prayers today. We were told there were so many deities in the temple, it will take a whole day to receive blessings from all!!!

Just before rolling again, we found out Jason has a tyre puncture!!! ....And much later, TH, at the exit!!!

Meanwhile, the rest of the non tyre-change department were given a treat by Sasee. He took us into SAJ Holdings, the once upon a time water reservoir for Singapore. A prohibited area, he talked to the personnel in charge to allow us in with strict instructions not to divert from the road and not to take any photos.

The place was well kept but looked like a ghost town. The buildings inside were all bricks, white washed and secured with strong wooden doors and latches from the 1950's. There was a clubhouse, a mosque, officer's mess and a few walk up flats. At the end of the road was the reservoir itself, a beautiful lake of turquoise colour.

According to Sasee, this place was managed by close to 200 British army officers at its height. A plaque by the secondary gates inside states the year of inception, in the 1920's and the names of Singaporean and British officers that played major roles to it.

Riding out, we met our fellow stragglers. Sadly, they had to turn back as this is not a public place for all to ogle.

Malcolm was all restless to go and rode ahead via the entry point. Instead, TH took us through the kampung which bypassed the shophouses outside. Half the crew went with Malcolm while the other half followed TH.

Exiting Ulu Choh, Claudine made a few enquiries but fellow riders convinced her that Malcolm's group have exited. Thankfully, an assessment was made before the final ride home. True enough, the first group were still waiting at the shophouses while Malcolm and Peter had left on their own!!! Like good shepherds TH, VT and Jolin rode back to find their lost lambs!

Taking yet another route, we rode home via Perpetual Memorial Park, past Uncle Lim Durian Farm and onto Jalan Pulai, the scenic kampung route. Everyone seemed to take it slow at the kampung but instructions were made for everyone who knew the way to ride home without waiting anymore as it was getting really late!

At the end, Carl, Maggie, Lim, Chin, Vinnie, VT and Claudine had a drink stop at Nusa Perintis before making their final ride home. While a euphoric Carl stated he was quite traumatized on his first 48km ride, he and VT arrived back to base earlier than the remaining 5 who were led by Maggie on her favourite route via Nusa Idaman rollers. This called for another steep climb and an additional distance of 5km!!!

While our country is plagued with many problems, today's ride has its own long line of complications. 4 of our riders had minor falls today....Janet, YL, Keat and Thomas Moy. There were also 3 punctures, suffered by Jason, TH and Thomas Moy!!!! Throughout all these, we see riders helping each other and working together patiently.

Rome wasn't built in a day. Having said that, may we see the light at the end of the tunnel soon enough!

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Ronda-Ronda Nusajaya (12 November 2016)

Rolling out from Pan Kobo, Horizon Hills

At Restaurant Xing Ho
At Restaurant Xing Ho
Women of the world should stick together, nurture each other, celebrate each other's strength and help each other overcome their weaknesses....

There are NO glass ceiling out there!

Change the mindset and start supporting each other. Only the sky is the limit!!!
At Sunway Iskandar viewpoint

This morning saw Peter with his new ride. A black and blue Boardman with di2, he got a friend to bring it all the way from the UK. Still new, he has yet to put on cleats. Claudine still remembered his words from long time ago..."I felt my feet were all over the place!"... in reference to riding without cleats.

It seems like the 2 ang mohs had assumed Ronda-Ronda was a town just like Layang-Layang until Thomas corrected them. This ride is an opportune for them to relive their younger, care free days of mucking around!

It's been awhile since Claudine rode with Benny....slightly more than a year. Ever since their last ride, he had sold off his blue pinarello and replaced it with a black steed instead!

Paul's friend, Joseph was slightly late. His car rolled into the parking lot at 7.05 am, but we politely waited for him. Our roll out was further delayed when Sue suggested we take a group photo.

Riding on Lebuh Kota Iskandar, we had a short regrouping after the GP climb. Then we were stalled by the many traffic lights along that road, all the way to the intersection with Jalan Ulu Choh and Jalan Tanjung Kupang. As we turned right, we were all over the place which irate a lorry driver! He bullied us by blaring his horn for the longest time!

We went along the busy road of Jalan Tanjung Kupang, turned left for Pontian before turning back to the safe haven of Kampung Pulai. Serenity at its best, this was a scenic route. We could not help but called for a photo stop on the bridge that traverse the narrow river.

As we progressed further, the familiar steep hills of the kampung loomed ahead. It was amazing to watch Thomas spin up the slope on his 20 inched wheels. Effortlessly, he overtook all roadbikes.

Back on Taman Nusantara, Malcolm got his coordinates wrong. Checking that we were turning right, he assumed breakfast was just at the shophouses by the junction. He carried his bike over the curb, much to the bewilderment of others! Realizing his mistake, he had to ride counter traffic until a break on the road divider allowed him to join us.

Arriving in Gelang Patah, we headed for Restaurant Xing Ho for seafood noodles. The place was crowded but the staff efficient. Coffee lovers will enjoy their coffee brewed with fresh coffee beans from a coffee machine.

Our next destination was Pinewood Studios to see the Great Wall of China, remnants of Marco Polo props which was filmed here in Iskandar. Then, we rode all the way to the viewing point of Sunway Iskandar to see the Second Link bridge, Singapore and the sleepy fishing village of Pendas.

We were meant to continue the ride to Puteri Harbour but the sun was mercilessly hot and burning today. Joseph Lee and Malcolm felt their muscles contracting. While the former slowed down his riding pace accompanied by Paul, the latter charged his way to Horizon Hills for fresh water supply before continuing his ride home. Maggie managed all the way to Horizon Hills but stopped short on the final slope to take a sip of water! Such was the power of the sun!!!

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Wet Wet Saturday (6 November 2016)

It's been raining......quite a lot lately!

This is a natural cycle in Malaysia. Come November, the north easterly wind will blow and together it will bring the year end monsoon. Every year, we get reports of floods, destructions and deaths.

During this rainy season, the idiom "Make hay while the sun shines" cannot be more true, especially for a cyclist! Ride whenever there is a dry day ..... or hour!!! Be prepared with a back up plan and be ready to ride in the rain!

It was with such thoughts that the few of us decided to hit the road this morning. We did not create an event but just called up a few close friends to ride together.

However, our covert plan was sniffed out by the Angels!!! As early as 5.30 am, Andrew Loh messaged that his side had decided to postpone their ride to the next day following a wet tarmac. Jolin also confirmed the rain in the city. And while it was dry in Horizon Hills, a light mist of rain fell from heavens at roll out time!

Another group pushing off from the same point were in the same dilemma. Sai Kit, Desmond Loh and Chiam, guest riders of GCC were enjoying breakfast at Pan Kobo when they saw Alex and Boon Yow turn in and backed out from the car park. Two more men from Johor Jaya were unloading their bikes, flustered but finally relieved when Patrick came.

Ground zero was like an arena for sportsmen! Hea, Sue, Ching Po and a few more runners were flexing and warming up. We were revving to go and GCC riders were beginning to stream in.

Like all good sportsmen, we exchanged greetings before rolling out. Just ahead, we bumped into Alex, Boon Yow and Anthony. Yet another set of greetings were exchanged.

Enroute to Pendas, Jolin was initially pulling Claudine and Eva. But when Eva fell back at the GP climb, Jolin slowed down for her. Claudine though was charging ahead, knowing VT was taking the sweep!

As on all hills, ladies tend to loose out. Jolin was first to arrive at the Pendas junction. Hesitating, Claudine cautioned him on the turn. He slowed down but decided to wait for Eva and VT instead, leaving her to ride on her own, all the way to Warung Poyot - The Heartstopping Roti Prata!

We all arrived at our breakfast stop in due time but our roti man was somewhat late. Just after a few mouth fulls of nasi lemak and bihun soto, Claudine had an abominable stomachache and had no choice but to use the toilet. When she finally came out, the roti man had arrived and together with him, he brought rain! This gives Jolin and Eva a chance to sample the Roti Prata.

When breakfast was done and the rain refused to stop, we knew we had to leave. We rode back in the rain, sometimes heavy, sometimes light. With each passing vehicle, we got wetter and dirtier. Where there were cars, we didn't mind one bit. But there were one dump truck and another lorry with garden produce .... and that's when we wondered if we got faeces on our faces!!!

It was also times like these that we appreciate our friends. Sweet Joshua had offered his rescue vehicle but we didn't mind riding in the rain at all.

While we were soaked wet to our underpants, another group of riders were in the same quandary. They were a group of Brommies on their way to Kukup. It was much later that we found out amongst them was our friend Jennifer Oh and traveling in the group were 2 young kids aged 11 and 14!!! Kudos to the Singapore kids for doing 76 km per day, back to back, made worst by bad weather conditions!!!

Friday, 11 November 2016

Sweeping Mr Lim (4 November 2016)

When we first moved to JB in Year 2001, Auntie Lily was one of the first persons we got to know. She was the "Tok Penghulu" or mayor elect, in charge of our community's security.
Throughout the years, both our families became good friends. We shared moments of nuptials, births and sadly, bereavement when she passed on last year....

Mr Lim had since learnt to live without his beloved. One of the sport he took up lately is riding. Spotted riding alone in Horizon Hills, Maggie often asked him to ride with us. We were honoured he came on Pink Pedals, Ride for Pink October - Grand Finale and yet again today, to Kg Sg Melayu and Puteri Harbour.

Meeting at Pan Kobo, we left when the sun was tipping towards West. Mr Pang who drove Eva to meet up point, escorted us to Golf East entrance where Maggie was standing in wait. Concerned that Mr Lim's seat post may be too low, he rolled down his car window to share his thoughts.

It was true but we were all revving to go. Besides, it was Mr Lim's very first "more than 10 km ride" and we didn't want him to be out of his comfort zone. He did readjust his seat post later at the kampung.

Rolling out via Southgate, we looped twice on the butterfly interchange and headed for Marlborough College. Riding on the Iskandar Coastal Highway, Mr Lim's Tupperware water bottle was starting to slide out from the bottle cage! Following her caution, he slowed down, bent over and readjusted it while Claudine watched with bated breath!

We took a short water break outside Marlborough College before riding all the way into Kg Sg Melayu. At the jetty, we sat down for tea and coffee, compliments of Mr Lim while we soaked in the entire river scene. Mr Lim was in disbelief when he saw Danga Bay from our jetty point!

Before exiting, we did a short tour of the village. The village scenes are different in the evenings with children playing outside. Junk food and bubble teas are sold from the verandah of homes.

We rode past the school where Mr Lim casts his vote in the last General Elections. Then, we took a glance of Singapore shores before frightening a school of monkeys in the trees. As we exit, the skeletal remains of malay ancestors bid us farewell from the 3rd burial ground in the village!!!

On the main road again, we rode to JSNAC before making a stop at Puteri Harbour. There we met K K Yap, a solo rider on his rounds.

As the sun dips further on the west horizon, we hurried home via Gleneagles Medini and Medini Mall. Stopping at Southgate, we bid Eva and K K goodbye before riding back to our own homes.

Mr Lim clocked 33 km today. Assessing him, he could do another 10 km without any problems as he did not show any signs of fatigue. However, he could do away with his thick mtb tyres meant for off roads, a pair of riding shorts, a proper water bottle and a less rusty bike!!!!