Thursday, April 12, 2012

Journey to Port Klang - Part 2

Joe slow..
I was hauling some 20kgs of gear on my left and right panniers.
This made things really slow.
Average speed was 11.4km/h as I was staggering due to weeks of inactivity, the rest began to pull away.
So, fast-forward to the South Port, we arrived at the rally point after nearly two hours.
For the record, we did good time and had arrived safely.
But the shocker was to see just half of the 30-odd cyclists at the Pulau Ketam jetty area...

Priorities
My job at Port Klang was to clear as many Photo Malaysia members as possible.
I spotted two guys who were waiting there and showed them the way to the ferry terminal.
A middle-aged guy who came without a bicycle was asking around. 
Roger, Chew and Wilson was okay with waiting as I directed the rest of the flock towards the jetty.
Later, I went down to the pontoon to clear with SK Yeong, the ride organizer.
Just as I was about to leave the platform, one of the cyclists shouted out: "Oi! Samuel, help load the lady's bike onto the boat!".
My knee-jerk reaction was: "What the fuck?"
One of the lady who overshot to the North Port was alighting onto the boat.
I didn't want to create a scene and helped her to load her bike, then - one-by-one, the lady riders started to board.
They were the first batch who overshot towards the North port terminal.

Team Char Koay Teow reprised: Samo, Chew & Roger

Loading the bikes onto the ferry..
I was really annoyed at the ape on a bike who was showing off his prowess to the ladies by shouting orders. Rather than exploding into a fit of rage, I kept my composure. 
But my concerned wasn't the cyclists at all, it was more focused on the Photo Malaysia members as few of them had showed up.
Yeong too was concerned as a couple of people had showed up late.
The last person I cleared at the jetty was a young man. He was rather blur and after prompting a response, I quickly showed him to the jetty where the crowd was already waiting. He was the last Photo Malaysia participant who boarded the ferry. All was well.

An unforseen situation...
Wilson and I rode towards Port Klang town. 
Our next mission, was to score an early lunch at a Char Koay Teow stall.
Then, Roger blared his air horn.
It was a distress call...

 Roger showing off a 3mm piece of wire pulled out from his bike's rear tire
We circled back and found out that Roger's Tern Joe D24 had experienced a puncture on its rear tire.
Cycling along the debris-strewn route had taken its toll on one of our team mates.
Chew, who is one of the more experienced cyclist, went to work on removing the skewer on the wheel. 
I removed my saddle bag to get my tire levers and started working on the Schwalbe Big Apple.
We found a wire measuring about 3mm embedded on the tire wall. This was the cause of the damage.
After an inner tube change, the bike was back in action.
From Port Klang, we rode towards a hawker centre, about 1km away.
There, I treated the team to the town's Char Koay Teow.
We chat a bit before hitting the road.
Our destination was the Federal Highway motorcycle lane near Taman Berkeley.


Fixing the problem...

Near the outskirts of Klang town

Chatting with an old-timer in Klang...
The journey back
We needed to get to the Federal Highway motorcycle lane near Sungai Rasau.
The heat from the mid-day sun was getting to us.
As we slowly progressed, I did a mental map of Shah Alam.
The undulating terrain was something that I didn't expect. But, this was similar to a section in the KESAS highway.
Slowly, we crunched our gears, working it out to clear at least 21km from Klang towards the Subang Jaya exit on the motorcycle lane.
While we were cycling on a long climb, the hot weather was slowly taking a toll on my strength.
We took a break at a Petronas station before pushing off to the Shah Alam toll near Batu Tiga, which was situated on a plateau on a series of hilly rolls.

The final push: Shah Alam toll

Tea break at SS13 A&W restaurant
We did good time by clearing the Federal Highway and rode towards Subang Jaya.
At SS14, the traffic jam was building up.
Cars were hogging the road as we slowly manouvered our bicycles towards Persiaran Kewajipan and after clearing the roundabout, we made our way to A&W restaurant and Wilson had treated us to a round of Root Beer!
We continued conversing and decided to call it a day after completing the ride.
As far as my obligation is concerned, I delivered what was promised to the Photo Malaysia guys.
We decided to offer our space to the cyclists as stated earlier and I was glad that Roger, Chew and Wilson were there to provide the awesome company.
Hopefully, we will set out on a ride again. 
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