Monday, December 19, 2011

The Seremban Experiment - Part 2

The plan...
I told Melvin that we are only going to check out certain parts of Seremban.
Mainly, the busy road stretching all the way to the Mantin junction and back to Rahang where we can find some good food...


The lonely Strida on a busy Seremban road...
We rode the entire length of Jalan Yamtuan and headed back South.
While we were cycling in town, Melvin spotted an old skool bicycle shop, so, we stopped by to check out the place.
An elderly man who was fixing an old bike, told Melvin to see his merchandise in the store.
He gladly obliged and took some photos of the bikes.
For an underdog, Melvin works very had to promote his ware and he is sincere enough to admit that the Stridas aren't built to handle the longer distances.
So, Seremban is an ideal set up for such small urban bikes.
Later, we rode off to Rahang where I showed him the best fishball noodles stall.
We decided to have lunch at a wantan noodles stall. 
This is said to be one of the best makan places at the fringe of Seremban.
But before we could get there, I made a bad judgement call and actually got lost.
We made a detour out of town towards Tampin.
So, after re-adjusting my bearings, we headed back towards town and found the noodles stall, which was partially hidden behind parked vehicles...


At one of the busy intersections in town
Wantan mee for the soul.... 
Food, glorious food! 
I never knew that Seremban has so much to offer.
In the past, I would give this town a miss.
The only KTM Komuter experience I ever had, was a visit to my ambulance-chasing lawyer's office off Jalan Yamtuan.
That was more than 10 years ago and I remember specifically walking for 3km from the KTM Komuter station to visit the lawyer.
At Rahang, we had a good fill at the wantan noodles stall.
I was told by the owner that he had been in business for nearly half a-century! Amazing....
I picked up the tab for the marvelous meal at RM13.50.
Then, we moved on to Choi Kee chicken rice just a short distance away.
This is said to be a 'must try' in Seremban.
The food was okay and while we ate, we shared our table with a local dude.
He was amazed to see our little bikes.
Even the lady who collected the bill commended us for utilizing our bikes to see parts of Seremban that I never knew existed.
After we were done, we rode towards town and made a pit-stop at a local bicycle shop.
We took some snapshots and can see that the shop owner had waved to us.
He gestured for us to see him.
Melvin, who was ever obliging, lend his bike for a test-ride.
The owner said he had never seen a Strida, which was in that point in time: the only folding bike of its kind to ever hit the streets of Seremban...


Seremban's most electrifying chicken rice...
Public Relations work: Melvin taking a shot of the bike shop owner...
From what I saw, I can clearly sum up that the bike shop was formerly dealing with electrical home appliances.
It as a drastic decision to switch from selling refrigerators and washing machines to bicycles.
We later rode off to the KTM station and packed out bikes to board the 2:30pm train to head back to KL Sentral.


A successful mission! 
As usual, the train was late.
And swarms of commuters boarded the Komuter which was providing a service to Rawang.
Again, the ratio is like 80% foreigners to 20% locals.
While I was chatting with Melvin, this fucking Bangladeshi dude had put his foot on the railing, obstructing commuters from moving into the coach.
I stared at him and he eased up a bit.
Even at 3:00pm, the train was crowded.
We chose to travel during the school holidays where the KTM Komuter was a choice transport for people living in the fringe of the Klang Valley to head towards Kuala Lumpur's city centre.
The train was packed like Sardines and towards the end of the journey, people were really squashed-up.
Melvin got off at the Mid Valley station while I carried on towards KL Sentral to make my switch for the train to Subang Jaya.
It was a quick affair as I had only minutes to get back into the right platform to board the Klang-bound train.
In the Komuter coach, there was this well-to-do dysfunctional family who boarded the train.
A middle-aged couple with her two sons were lugging their suitcases.
What I couldn't stand was the fact that their teenage son was a skinny assed faggot with earrings. 
They were talking so loud, it was not funny.
At this point, I wished I had my ipod on full-blast. Fuck them!
Anyways, after a short ride, I got off at the Subang Jaya station. My job was done.


Talk is cheap
Funny thing is this: There are people who can talk you to death, they end up doing nothing.
The Seremban experiment clearly shows that folding bikes can be brought along on excursions as long as you are civil-minded about sharing your space with other people as well as courteous enough to bag your bike.
If you ride a mountain bike or a road bike, forget about it.
While those self-proclaimed gurus out there are still imagining things, I set out to do what I had to do, board the Komuter with my folding bike and ride at my destination.


Summary



  • IF you expect comfort, well the Komuter isn't much of an ideal ride. For Seremban-bound commuters, I heard that the SKS buses are the way to go, its faster and cheaper..
  • Be prepared to offer your seat to the elderly and handicapped...
  • Xenophobia strikes with so many foreigners onboard, its not funny. Felt as if I was in Bangladesh or Nepal at some point of the journey..
  • Be prepared to wait for trains that are behind schedule.
  • Avoid boarding and traveling on the Komuter during peak hours and public holidays. Its bound to be packed with people.
  • Bring an ipod or MP3 player to switch off from noisy people
  • Expect people to kick your bagged bike when the coach is crammed like a can of Sardines...
  • Carry a lot of small change as some of the Komuter ticketing machines do not accept notes.
  • Most of the stations are not equipped with elevators, or if they have a lift facility, its broken down, so, be prepared to lug your folded bike up the flight of stairs.
  • Invest in a good bike bag. Don't be stingy, be kind, bag your bike...
And lastly, BE ALERT at all times. You have to keep your eyes on your personal belongings as well as your bike....
That said, enjoy your commute and REMEMBER: Be a responsible foldie so that other folding bike owners too can enjoy a ride on the KTM Komuter.


* This public service is brought to you courtesy of the ROGUE RIDER
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