Sunday, October 30, 2011

Penang Foldie Night Ride Part 3

You don't get to cycle in Penang at night that often
The airhorn blared. 
In the rain, I can see a stream of cyclists on their folding bikes moving slowly into the rain.
I was riding next to Andrew and told him that I am just doing the ride at a casual pace.
Part of the first section was pretty dark and my Roxim RX-5 headlight actually helped in lighting up my path.
Most of the foldies were cycling with some really small lights, making it hard to see.
The first five kilometres were pretty easy as we made our way down to the Esplanade where the bunch regrouped.
From the rear, I can clearly see that the Dahon X10s were clearly out of the way.
These guys were fast!
Some of the foldies with smaller wheels like the Carryme and JABS were also doing pretty well.
I can see that there is a group from MiniVelo bikes in Penang who are cycling their JAB foldies.
Another bigger group, some sexy aunties were on their Dahon Dash P18.

An interesting ride 
The group came to an abrupt stop near the Esplanade.
There, a young boy fell.

He was okay as we proceeded towards the Heritage Row.
This is an interesting aspect of the ride which I think - should be exploited for tourists like me from KL.
We rode on cobblestones as some of the foldies were cursing.
Since I was on a full-suspension bike, it was a piece of cake!
We slowly made our way back to Burma Road, I can see my hotel and the night activities in the area.
Bit-by-bit, the crowd of foldies slowly made their way towards Jalan Kelawi and turned towards the Penang Plaza.
On my Garmin, the Straits Quay was in the middle of the sea.
This is reclaimed land with some really posh houses.
As I made my way towards the event hall, some riders ended their day by riding home.
The lucky draw offering a Polygon folding bike was the highlight of the day.
My number was drawn and I won a T-shirt which I gave away.
Andrew, En Jamil from Taiping and I took a photo together before parting ways..

Note to self: Never wear white when you cycle on the road especially after a heavy shower...
Touching-base and making new friends: with En Jamil and Andrew at the Foldie Night Ride in Penang...
Well, its over for some, not me...
Andrew rode off with his Dahon MuP8 towards Tg Bungah. 
He lives near a doggy boarding home where we sent Sir Naughty and Dame Queenie during our visit a few years back.
I shook En Jamil's hands and told him to frequent Malaysian Foldies Forums to say hello to the members and possibly hold a short tour of Taiping.
So, as the crowd dissipates, I mounted on my Jetstream.
There was a group of people who were watching from the distance. I waved goodbye to them and these nice folks returned my gesture...

Good, Bad & Ugly

Good - Excellent ride organization and management by the G-Club people. Marshalls were there doing their job, keeping the cyclists in tow and line. Nobody got hurt and well, here's hoping for more of such events in Penang. Kudos G-Club!

Bad - Stuck-up foldies. Some people have the knack of making outsiders feeling left out. While a handful thought they owned the road with their expensive bikes. I guess the Jetstream kinda spoiled their mood! Hahah!

Ugly -
Very bad Penang drivers. Some cars just shot out and nearly crashed onto the bunch. There was an Indonesian couple on a motorcycle, riding behind the cyclists, they were cursing. Rowdy foldies. These people thought they meant well, but when you behave like hooligans, you give others a bad rap. There were also some people who cycled in the middle of the road. They do not understand 'Keep Left". 

The bike and gear drying up after a hose-down
The aftermath..
My day concluded with a 8.5km ride back to Tune Hotel in Burma Road.
The ride was smooth as traffic was surprisingly light.
I made my way towards the city area and used several landmarks to guide me back.
By the time I got back to the hotel, the first thing in my mind was a hose-down.
I folded the Jetstream and took it up the room.
After stripping the gear and clothes, I noticed that my bumbag (waterproofed all the way) was filled with sand and grit.
Its black in colour and pretty disgusting.
The first thing I did, was to hose down the seatpost.
A stream of black gunk and sand filled the gutter.
Then, I took the bike into the shower, used a hose to shoot down the dirt.
Now, believe it or not, the high-pressure waterjet helped in hosing down all the dirt. 
My bike looked much cleaner after the much needed clean-up.
As soon as I was done with the necessary maintenance work, I made my way to the coffee shop where I had my early dinner.
There, I ordered a plate of mee goreng and downed it. It was my late supper.
The rest of the night, I stayed up to upload photos and check my emails.
Thankfully, I had my wireless broadband with a wifi hotspot on the Android phone to assist with all the work.
I called my wife and told her that everything was good before hitting the sack.

Ride stats

Distance traveled by car to ride venue: 780km 
Distance cycled: 34.94km
Average speed: 14.5km/h
Top speed: 32km/h
Time on road: 2hr 46m 14sec

Amount spent on this trip

Toll: RM90
Petrol: RM80
Hotel: RM87
Food: RM30
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