Thursday, September 1, 2011

Cari2 Makan Angin - Kuala Lumpur Part 2

Break time: Mr Silversurfer and Mr Sam Choy resting at Lake Gardens
Amazing guys!
Well into the second-leg of the ride, I was already impressed with how Jimmy had led the group.
He kept tabs of all 28 cyclists in the group and John Ng, our sweeper, did an outstanding job by stopping traffic.
On one instance, he literally stopped a speeding bus when the cyclist had crossed the busy Jalan Pahang to head towards the city centre.

Dangerous places
One of the most dangerous stretch along the route was Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman.
I knew this because it was my cycling route.
The buses gave no way to cyclists and motorists are also fighting to control the road.
Fortunately, we made our way towards Jalan Raja and regrouped to head towards Lake Gardens.
It was a gradual climb towards the Lake Club junction.
We rolled down towards the children's playground where I met this dude who still owed me my nut.
Its been almost a year and I think the nut is as good as gone.
Later, we rode for a round in the Lake Gardens and while we were at it, we saw two other foldies on a Chevrolet folding bike and a Dahon Curve D3.
After riding the Lake Gardens, we crossed over to the Parliament building where we took snapshots before proceeding towards the Tugu Negara (National Monument).
Michelle said that Jimmy had done a good job by using the Merdeka theme as the inspiration of our ride.
The gang at Parliament
Doing the el turisto stuff
While the gang was busy taking snapshots at Tugu Negara, I took the chance to catch up with Mr Chan, a Dahon Speed P8 rider I met at the 10th Putrajaya Interparks ride.
Chan also upgraded his bike with a Topeak Turbo Morph pump. This is amazing!
Then, came Mr Sam Choy.
I've seen this guy at the Sports Toto Charity ride in KL sometime in April, but never really had the chance to speak to him.
He rode a KHS F-20 folding bike which he bought in Taiwan.
That was a really slick machine at RM1.8K a pop. I saw Choy riding along the LDP highway sometime back.
He told me that he lived in Taman Megah, Petaling Jaya.
Oh, forgot to mention about this middle aged dude who rode a silver coloured folding bike.
The handlebar on his bicycle was filled to the brim with gadgets and what caught my attention, was the cooler box he had lashed onto his rear luggage rack.
And what is more astounding was the fact that he had gone for tours with his bike.
The story that inspired me the most was his ride from Bukit Tinggi in Klang to Tg Sepat.

Foldies: (L-R) Yong, Yik and Chan

Team Jetstream in Dataran Merdeka
Little Nepal, using the airhorn and the human traffic jam
From the National Monument, we made our way to Dataran Merdeka.
We chilled out there before heading towards Jalan Bandar for lunch.
Jimmy had asked me to lead the cyclists towards Petaling Street.
I made a mistake by cycling into Jalan Silang which was crawling with foreigners.
They were literally fighting with the buses and cars for space on the road.
To them, the concept of walking on the sidewalks and five-foot way is alien.
I blasted my airhorn to clear a path, but our cyclists were separated along the way.
We re-grouped at Jalan Hang Lekiu and made our way toward Choong Wah Hong which is famous for its chee cheong fun and kari laksa.
There, I caught up with a family of three and had lunch with them.
They were surprised to learn that we had cycled all the way from Subang Jaya to Stadium Merdeka.
To me, it was an avenue to break-in the bikes.
Michelle had some problems with the Jetstream P8's inner tubes. (details later..)

Jimmy, parking his bike at Madras Lane
The journey home
After a hearty meal, we parted ways.
I thanked Jimmy and John for taking care of us along the route.
Mr Sam Choy, who rode all the way from Petaling Jaya, had asked if we wanted to join him on the ride back.
We agreed and followed him to Brickfields.
There is a motorcycle lane that leads to Petaling Jaya. Once we hit the lanes, we are home-bound.
Choy, an experienced rider, took lead and later, I led our group of three back towards Angkasapuri, the national broadcasting centre.
Before we could reach the Pantai exit, Michelle had experienced a puncture on her Jetstream's rear tire.
I took out the wheel and worked on patching it. 
But failed to inflate the tire.
At this point, the only thing to do was an inner tube change.
Fortunately, I had a Schwalbe spare tube tucked in my saddlebag.
I took us less than 30-minutes to recover and Michelle had to cycle with a half-inflated tire.
This was risky as it could damage the wheel's spokes, but we had no choice as most of the bike shops are closed.
We also encountered problems with the rear brake.
Mr Choy, who us experienced with this, had pointed out the brake calipers as the cause.

That was fixed as we hit the road again.
Our newfound foldie friend took lead and pointed out the hazardous places along the route before parting ways at the Jalan 222 exit.
From there, we were on our own....

A close call
Michelle had signaled to pull over near the GAB brewery in Sungai Way.
We chilled out under a viaduct and as I was watching the highway, I noticed a pothole about a foot long and two-inches in depth.
In my mind I was thinking out loud: "Fuah, if someone bangs the hole, he would go airborne!"
There, right before my eyes, an idiot who was speeding on his motorbike had hit the hole.
The bugger lost control momentarily and nearly crashed onto a tunnel wall just meters away from the pothole.
Lucky for him, nothing happened.
If he got injured, its up to us to provide help.
From Sungai Way, we cycled towards the Subang Jaya exit.
We pulled over near SS13 and had a can of 100PLUS isotonic drink before proceeding to cross over to USJ1.
Once we hit the Summit area, it was a home-run.
After cycling for 4 hours 52 minutes and 13 seconds and clocking about 79.47km, we did pretty okay.
The next thing that we need to do, is to send the Jetstream P8 to the shop for some tuning-up, especially the rear brakes. 
Ride completed: Team Jetstream back at home
Ride stats
Distance covered: 79.47km
Duration: 9 hrs 12 mins 51 secs
Number of stops: 6
Number of flat tires: 1

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