Monday, September 12, 2011

CFAL3 part 01

Highway star: A cyclist transporting his ride to Penang on the N-S highway on Saturday
Michelle and I had signed-up for the 'Campaign For A Lane' ride in Penang since May.
We were pretty stoked about the prospect of cycling round island with 3,500 people from all over the country.
As it is, the CFAL series has been a runaway success.
Its aim was to equip Penang with bicycle lanes and Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng had stated this at the flag-off on Sunday.
Since returning from China on Friday, I had very little time to sort out the logistics.
We were to ride as 'Team Jetstream' at the third series of the CFAL.
And like any other rushed trip, I tend to forget things. This took a heavy toll on my post-ride recovery.
So, that said, there we were, packing up, loading our bikes into the car.
Our kids were throwing tantrums again.
Queenie had shown signs of seperation anxiety by protesting with her whine.
Sir Naughty, well, he's fine.
We hit the road at about 10.30am after filling up with breakfast.
The road conditions were bad as it rained heavily.
On the highway, we saw plenty of cars with bicycles mounted on their roof racks.
By 1.30pm, we reached Nibong Tebal.
We checked out Cheang Kee restaurant which is said to be one of the best makan places around by the food gurus....
A disappointment: Cheang Kee
All the years I've experienced as a reporter is not to take hyped matters at face value.
I've read blogs and even food critic's articles on the newspaper about 'Restoran NT Cheang Kee' and how good their food were.
So, with plenty of enthusiasm, I tried their boiled baby octopus and deep-fried snapper.
The octopus was okay, but the fish, very disappointing.
And at RM40 a pop, its a lesson paid in full.
Cheang Kee left a bitter taste in my mouth and the food guru who raved about this place, well, I think he's a bogus! Hahahah...
Anyways, when we were done, we drove all the way to the Penang bridge and made our way to G Hotel to pick up our CFAL3 Jerseys, meal and medal ticket including some crappy door gifts.
Cyclists registering themselves at the counter in G Hotel
While making a beeline at the Powerbar counter, I heard a conversation between the salesman and a cyclist.
When he turned around, it appears that I was standing next to my old friend PC Lim.
Lim took my wedding photo and I've known him for more than two decades.
He rented a mountain bike to ride the 82-km course.
Later, we checked-in at the Red Inn and met one of the folding bike gurus. 
He gave us the low-down and said that the KL group including a large entourage from Singapore had arrived a day earlier.
Since the fallout over mailing lists and who's in and who's out, its now down to a level of professional courtesy and strict observation of diplomacy.
Its like closing an embassy and leaving behind a small trade mission in a hostile country.
That said, Public Relations must be observed...
Team Jetstream at Red Inn in Love Lane, Penang
Prior to arrival in Penang, Michelle had made some arrangements with the Goh family to pick up a child seat for her God Daughter who will be visiting Malaysia in December.
As for me, I was supposed to meet my buddy Echo Charlie who is in Penang at the same time.
We made our way to Ayer Hitam and spent some time with the Gohs before heading back to the hotel to freshen up and prepare for dinner.
Michelle and I had walked to Georgetown from the hotel to pick up some supplies.
The plan was to get some bananas and a loaf of bread to make tuna sandwiches.
We found a corner coffee shop at Carnavon street and savoured their Lor Mee, stewed chicken feed and Horr Chien. 
The food was excellent and a well-deserved treat after a long day on the road.
The corner coffee shop and its excellent hawker fare
Chicken feet for the soul
Back at Red Inn, we bumped into Wey and Ming, our old foldie friends and were introduced to Alvin, Patrick and his wife.
They survived the Ko Lanta tour and are now among the few and the proud 'Storm Riders'.
I saw Master TT Siang's photos of the tour where the cyclists had to endure gail force winds and heavy rain. Well, that was simply amazing....
After catching up with them, we were back at our rooms, checking emails and doing the internet stuff before meeting up with Echo Charlie for some beers.
When we walked out from our room, the foldies were lounging at the Inn's hall.
We told them we needed our daily dosage of Vitamin B.
Wey shooked her head as we sauntered away from the crowd.
We had three jugs of beer before calling it a night in anticipation of the big day that looms ahead...
Getting our dosage of Vitamin B 

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