Saturday, October 29, 2011

Penang Foldie Night Ride Part 1

The four-hour drive to Penang
I've obtained clearance to head up to Penang to do a piece on the Foldie Night Ride organised by G-Club, a group of cycling enthusiasts.
These are the same people who were responsible for the Campaign For A Lane 3 ride which I attended with my wife on September 11 recently.
I left KL for Penang with my Dahon Jetstream EX at 11:30am via the PLUS North-South Highway.
Only made one stop at Gunung Semanggol R&R area and continued my journey towards the Penang Bridge.
By 3:45pm, I was already on the Jelutong Expressway, heading towards the city area.
My mission was to locate the Tune Hotel in Burma Road.
This took a while as I trying to find my way around. I thought the nearest point of reference was McAllister Road.

After much struggling, I found the place that I was going to crash for the night.
Initially, I parked the Samo-mobile on the roadside next to a public housing scheme.
Later, when I checked-in a the hotel, I was told that a flat-rate of RM5 is charged for those who want to park in the hotel's compound.
There's just enough space to put 12 cars in the area.
Lucky for me, I managed to score a parking lot, making things easier.
The plan was to change in my 'away' RaceReady jersey and Zoic padded shorts.
For this ride, I brought my Pango folding helmet fitted with a Sigma Micro-R helmet light.

Booster fuel: Mee Rebus!
The ride plan
So, here's how it would go: I ride from Tune Hotel to Straits Quay.
This is roughly about 8km from where I was staying. 
But before that, my intention was to fill up my tummy.
I found a coffee shop serving Mee Rebus.
A friendly lady there prepared the meal at RM4.50 a pop.
After a hearty fill, I made my way to the carpark, set up my Jetstream.
It was drizzling and started to rain.
I set my Garmin EDGE800 on navigation mode as I am not sure of the way to Straits Quay where the ride is supposed to be flagged off.

Wet, wet, wet..
From Burma Road, I cycled towards Mount Erskine. 
This is a light climb and well, a warm-up round and the light drizzle made it a breeze.
After the sloped ride, its a sharp right-turn on Fettes Road before getting back on Tanjung Pinang.
Its started to rain heavily when I arrived at Straits Quay by 5:30pm and rode my way towards the event hall.
Nobody was there stop me as I slowly rolled towards the registration booth.
A lady, who was very helpful screened my name on the registration list.
My bike was tagged with number '0006' and after I was done with the formalities, I made my way to Coffee Bean and ordered a cup of coffee.
At Straits Quay, I met Mr Money, distributor of Strida Folding Bicycles at the event location.
He was going all-out to sell the Stridas.
I looked at another dealer whom I met before at PIPR series 11 in Putrajaya.
The dude was cycling a recumbent bike and was featured in an article published by The Star on personalities with folding bikes.
The man in question was 'Scuba Sim'..

Mr Scuba riding my bike..
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