Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Day 02/03 Tue/Wed 29/30/06 - Relexing at the Gurney Drive seafront

Ride distance: 0                                    total:134km
2 days spending:   rm 50.30 + 28.10     total: rm 78.40

Yes, no riding for these 2 days,only eating,internet and of course watching world cup at the local favarite Kafe restauran Mr. Pot . I was watching the game between Japan and Paraquay.Being asian ,I supported Japan after South Korean was knockout earlier. But luck was not with them after playing well for 120 min.they lost out on penalty shootout . But the Japanese can walk tall with their heads held high. Can our country Malaysia do that.I really hope one day will come when we can shout loudly Malaysia Boleh!!! Earlier before the game at the same restaurant, my relative in Penang had treated me with a delicious dinner of BBQ chicken with spaghetti and we had a really good conversation. Thanks a lot to Mr/Mrs Johnny Ming and son Adrian. Tomorrow will start the ride from the mainland into Thailand with Brent.
                                 Dinner with my relative Mr/Mrs Johnny Ming and son Adrian

                                   Famous landmark at the Gurney Drive roundabout sponsor by IJM

                                     View of the seafront from 9th floor of Grand View condo

                                      Thanks to Anne for 3 nights stay in this nice room

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Day 01 Mon 28/6 - Kuala Kangsar to Penang Island

Today Distance : 134 km        Total Distance : 134 km
Today's Temp   : 30 - 33c
Average Speed : 20.8 kmh      max: 56.0
Time On Bike   : 6 hr 25 mins
Average Climb : 2%                max: 6%
Total Altitude : 284 m              max: 176 m
Today's Spending : rm 28.10   Total: rm 28.10

Woke up early at 6am to adark morning,surprisingly I saw a full moon and few little stars . The ground is still wet after an heavy evening downpour.My sister already busy in the kitchen preparing my breakfast of fried mee hun and a cup of hot milo drink.Sharp at 7am I was already hit the road rather cautiously due to the wet road and also was fully loaded. I choose to ride pass the town center but quite disappointed not to meet up with anyone I know,guess most are still sleeping soundly.Shortly after Padang Ranges,I hit my 1st 100m climb of with a 6% gradient . Not much of a problem as i roll down to the entrance of Taiping later for a quick rest stop. Basically I am following route 1 with less traffic and mostly flat all the way to Butterworth. By noon , the sun is getting hot and again have a light lunch stop in Bagan serai. From Parit Buntar,the traffic started to get heavy on bumpy narrow road .Reached Butterworth at 3.30pm ,following the motor lane and onto the ferry for a 20min ride to Penang Island. The fare for bicycle is Rm 1.40. Brent , my riding partner appeared 4.30pm after I waited for 30min in a chinese coffee shop with a plate of Penang famous fied  kuew tiew. We cycled together to a bike kafe only to find it was closed . While waiting for his fren Anne at 7pm, we had teh tarik in a mamak stall near Gurney Drive to discuss our bike trip. By 7.30pm we rode to Anne's rented condo where I will put up 3 nights.Thanks Anne!! Thanks also to Ming Kat and wife Eureka to drive all the way from Bukit Mertajam to meet me for dinner/supper.

                                 Ready to go from my sister house in Karai,Kuala Kangsar

                                                               My first taste of schooling here

                                       My secondary school very much remain the same

                                                    Out of town ,on my way to Penang

                                     Scenic view of the limestone hill near Padang Ranges

                                                           Towns that I will pass on route 1

                                     Colourful statue at the rooftop of an Hindu temple

                                            Resting under a flyover near Butterworth

    I thought this is the Penang bridge as bicycle is not allowed. but later found that this flyover is leading to  the ferry.

                                    View from the flyover. Background is the Penang bridge.

                                              Fighting for space with the motorists on the ferry.

                                                                        Oil tanker from Panama

                              Dinner cum supper get together at the Gurney Drive hawker stall
From right :  Anne -  French environmentlist working for ngo in Penang, Ming Kat -from Bukit Mertajam drove to meet me , Brent - New Zelander  sofeware engineer ,my riding partner. Me the bentrider and Eureka wife of Ming Kat.

Day 0 Sun 27/06 - A little about my hometown Kuala Kangsar

Kuala Kangsar located 50km north of Ipoh and 32km north of Taiping,is the royal town where the Perak sultan's palace stands majesticaly in Bukit Chandan. A state Mosque and Muzuem also located there with a view on the scenic Perak river. Two bridges: the historical Iskandar bridge was built 1932 surviving the 2nd WW on route 1 from Ipoh to KK and the new bridge connecting from Parit to the water front, The new bridge comes to live at night when lighted up. The famous Malay College where only the rich and famous royal families entitle to study. The historical landmark is non other than the clock tower roundabout where i used to play hide & seek during kid's time. The chinese Tsung Wah primary and secondary school. Nowadays ,Kuala Kangsar started to attract masalleh tourists and a tourist information center was built near the roundabout with lots of beautiful decorations of flowers and plants around the town. You can even spot an American jet fighter Skyhawk. This is definately a good place to relex and enjoy life in a slow lane!

          Iskandar Bridge built year 1932 survivng second WW connecting Ipoh to KK on route 1

                                        World largest - Labu famous handicraft of KK

                                    KK historical landmark clock tower roundabout

Imagination runs wild - Skyhawk landed in KK

                                                                      The new bridge

                                                         The royal square fountain

                                      Scenic Kangsar river I used to catch fish and swim naked

                                                    State mosque in Bukit Chandan

                                           Sultan's Palace view from the road outside

                                                         Calling from KK to London

                                      Sunday morning market near the water front

                                                               The old palace

A note of apprieciation to TTK for this tent


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Preparations and Packings - Getting Excited!!!!

                                  I am almost ready...........
Bike equipment:
1 short wheel base (swb) Taiwan made rucumbent ,above steering handle bar mounted with MC1.0 cyclometer able to read temperature & altitude, rightside mirror, bell , torchlight and watercage.MSR bottle at the front boom and a 1.5L water bottle cage under the seat.
1 pair of Orthlieb waterproof 40L panniers mounted on both sides of a modified rack just under the seatback. These bags will keep things that are not use during the ride eg: sleeping bag/mat,clean cloths,spare tire/extra spare tubes,stove,toiletries etc...
1 Merida saddle bag with raincover and zip compartment on both sides,mounted on the rear rack. Tent,ground sheet and fly folded into square shaped to fit in the top compartment ,wheares things that you need to use during the ride will go into the sides compartment like food,raincoat,map,handpump,tubes,fruits etc.. Tent poles will be tied on the rear rack. 20" front spare tire secured on top compartment with tape wrapped around to avoid direct sun .
1 twbent handcarry back with 2 side pocket for 2 plastic water bottles . This beg insert into the top part of the seat and usually carry things like camera,money,biscults,chocolet,map etc...
Bike tools and spares:
 Multitools, allen-keys, tire-levers, spoke-key, brush (for chain), grease, lube, 26''spare tire foldable (1) tubes (2), 20" spare tire (1) tubes (2), puncture repair kit, chain links, spare brake/gearshift cables (4) spare spokes with nipples,1 set brake pads, duck tape, footpump cable ties and extra screws/nuts.

cycling long pants (2) ,cycling T shirt (2)  camp/street shorts (2) , arm/leg-warmers (2) , superlight wind breaker, rainproof jacket and pants, cycling gloves (2), cycling socks (2), sleeping socks (2) regular lightweight t-shirts (2), underwear (3),  mtb shoes (with SPD), croc sleepper (1), helmet, under helmet hat,  sunglasses.

Cooldman dome tent, sleeping mat, thermarest, groundsheet, sleeping bag, air pillow, multi-fuel stove (msr dragon fly with windshield and repair kit), fuel bottle, lighters, pots (2), mug, knife-fork-spoon,cup ,dishcloth and sponge, wet tissue for cleaning.

Toiletries and medicines:
Towels, toothbrush, toothpaste,skin lotion, soap,powder, shaver , small mirror, sun-screen, mosquito head net, washing-powder, sewing kit, mini scissors, plasters, painkiller, antibiotic,dierrhae etc...

Digital camera (Lumix 2 AA batteries), SD-cards (2 GB x2), SD-card reader,external hard dish 450gb with usb cable, mobile phone and charger, rechargeable batteries (2) and charger, maps, paper notebook and pen.

Documents and money:
passport with photocopies and extra photos, ID card, driving licence, credit and debit cards

Monday, June 21, 2010

The possible route and visas

From Penang to enter Thailand ,either we ride thru' the border post in Padang Besar in Perlis to Padang besa in southern Thailand or taking a ferry from Penang to Langkawi and enter Thailand in Saturn, continue up north to Chiang Mai or Chiang Rai , from there to Laos and Vietnam,Hongkong,Chengdu , get permit to enter Tibet to Ladhsa , down south to Katmandu on the friendship highway , crossing to India and finally fly airasia back to Malaysia. Estimated time 5- 6 months.
Visas : China  double entry valid 3 months cost Rm 78
           Nepal  visa on arrival cost ??
           India double entry valid 6 monthd cost Rm 168

My Bike

       My trusted Taiwan made short wheel base recumbent that successfully completed Beijing to London

Introduction and welcome to my blog

I am a keen bicycle touring Malaysian aged 54 who found nothing better to do after I was forced into early retirement a few years back.Ever since I had completed 3 tours ( 18 days euro tour in 2006 , 7 months beijing2london in 2007 and one month Taiwan tour 2009 ). This coming tour starting from my hometown in Kuala Kangsar,Perak up north to Penang to join my riding partner Brent Leslie ,a New Zealander who had completed his 2 years assignment and wants to travel back there by bike. I came to know Brent thru' CGOAB who is looking for ride partner, so frankly, I am very thankful to him for accomodating me in his trip. Hopefully, we can click till the end of the trip,2 totally strange souls who never met,put togehter on the road for 5-6 months, challenging the world toughest and most extream terrian and weather,whether the mission a success or failure, Who cares??!!! The joy and fun ( of course with pains and sweats as well ) of this trip is in the process of everyday cycling where opportunities to interect with the locals,understanding their unique way of life in term of cultures and religions.Brent and I might be stranger now but we had one thing in common, is the Passion and Love for bicycle touring. So friends, do follow us all the way in our journels and drop your sweet word of encouragements for extra power up the Himalayas!!!