Sunday, December 18, 2011

RapidKL Car Free Day foldie Ride - Part 2

Ahh, the friendly station people..
For the record: the RapidKL station staff are the friendliest a folding bike owner can ever meet.
I mean, if you are humble, willing to bag your bike and are conscious to the people around you, its very certain that you will earn the respect of a train commuter.
We are talking about responsible bicycle ownership here..
I was hanging out, having a drink, out of the blue, a Prasarana staff walked up to me and asked: "Which Press are you from?"
I told her that I am from The Star and was at the station earlier because I didn't join in the ride from Damansara Perdana to Kelana Jaya LRT station.
We talked a bit and as the station staff started to crowd my bagged bike, one of them had asked if he could see the bicycle.
I obliged and began to open the bag and assemble the Curve SL.
Most of them were surprised to see a bike so small. 
I told them that the 16" wheel is perfect for train commuting.
One of the auxiliary cops even asked for a test-ride. 

Announcing the arrival of the entourage: Ahmad Nazmi (centre) is RapidKL's Kelana Jaya Line Rail COO. He handled the media conference..

The Press Conference

Cops looking after the cyclist's bikes...
And the moment had finally arrived.. 
There was a commotion at the ticketing gates.
A group of 20 cyclists had arrived from the Kelana Jaya station.
Their 'celebrity' status was apparent as most the cyclists were VIP customers at the Folding Bike Trading store in Damansara Perdana.
Being the Rogue outfit, I watched from the distance.
And right there in the crowd, was Kamarul Azhan Nordin or Encik KA of the Putrajaya Urban Riders. 
We knew each other, but have never met in person. So, this event was an ice-breaker.
Kamarul is an engineer with Sapura and is a talented sketch artist.
He shared some of his works with me during the lunch break.
I also met Prasarana's PR man En Azahar who greeted me at Sri Rampai.
RapidKL's Mohd Nazmi gave the briefing and this was followed by Folding Bike Trading's Boss Ms Well Tan.
He said foldies are allowed to board the KL Monorail and RapidKL LRTs and encouraged the cyclists to bag their bikes.
And for the record, NO LARGE BICYCLES are allowed on the trains. 
I posed this question to Ahmad Nazmi who said that big bikes would not be practical in a high-density commuter train.
The media briefing was short and sweet and the crowd broke for lunch soon after.
At the dining table, I sat down with Kamarul who shared his sketching experience.
With him were Pamela Lim, a scuba diver, former Miss Pahang and now, an on-line journalist and another dude who was owns a Dahon Eco C7.
I met Pamela more than two decades ago during an attempt by Raleigh International Ventures to swim across the Malacca Straits.
She is now a proud owner of an ORI bike.
The other dude wanted to join epic rides like the Ko Lanta expedition organised by bikepacking guru TT Siang.
I told him to get the details from Andrew Sia, The Star's Star cyclist and folding bike guru...
After the crowd had dispersed, I saw Azahar, the PR man doing some work, so, I think this opportunity to file in a quick take and send it via email to the newsdesk
In less than 30-minutes, the job was done.
I hauled-ass and headed towards the ticket vending machine to purchase my ride to Taman Jaya station...

The very-talented Kamarul showing off his masterpiece drawn in Pulau Langkawi 

A kick-ass view from the train window...
The journey home.. 
I boarded the train and the only thing in my mind, is to get back safely.
While I was chilling out in the train, a middle-aged guy shouted out: "Hey! Folding bike! What brand ah?"
I entertained this guy and later plugged-in my ipod. 
It was sweet music all the way.
While the train was approaching the Universiti station, I made a snap-decision to get off there and hit the Federal Highway's motorcycle lane.
The journey was smooth all the way towards SS 13 in Subang Jaya.
While I was making my way towards Summit USJ, I waved left to join the lane at the Kewajipan roundabout.
A brown-coloured Proton Wira was hesitant to give way.
When I passed, the driver and its passengers slowed down and gave me a dirty look.
I didn't let this bother me as there's still plenty of kilometers to cover.
The driver's action had showed that many motorists are disrespectful of other road users and are unwilling to share the road...
Since I didn't take breakfast or lunch, I decided to make a detour to the USJ 7 hawker centre.
There, I had Mee Bandung Muar at Gerai Mat Bess.
And man, this is the HIGHLIGHT of my day! 
The best mee bandung I've ever had so far.... 

My little and faithful Dahon Curve SL

Best Mee Bandung Muar in Subang Jaya USJ!
By 4:00pm, it was all over. 
I reached home to my lovely Huskies and parked the bike to prepare it for storage.
On the whole, I've clocked 37.83km in well over 2 hours of cycling. Not bad to close the day...
Later, I rang up the newsdesk to get confirmation on the story that I had emailed earlier.
The desk OC said everything was good go to, so, that was all in the day's work!
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