Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Southwest to Tg Sepat - Part 4

The definition of 'fun'
There's no doubt that folding bicycles are getting popular.
Compared to three years ago, more people are taking their bikes on the road.
From its infancy to maturity, folding bike touring has taken a new perspective in terms of mobility and range.
With a properly-rigged bike, the journey can be endless.
In our case, we've done fairly well on our Dahon Speed P8 and Speed TR.
And for the record, very few people have gone touring on a folding bike. That is a fact.
Tg Sepat in this case, is the perfect staging point for longer rides - especially towards Port Dickson and Malacca.
I see plenty of potential in this route with the exception of the Jenjarom - Banting stretch..
And when it comes to touring, our main aim is to have fun.
Making the ride enjoyable meant having planned the routing and breaks meticulously.
Our time in Tg Sepat had come to an end and its now back to our home in USJ26.
Having found the correct routing, we should not go off-course like we did the day before.
Before we set out, breakfast was in order.
And based on the recommendation from the owner of the Vietnam coffeeshop, we tried the Fish Kut Teh guy near the Chinese temple.
Now, here's a trivial thing: If you want to eat Bak Kut Teh in Tg Sepat, better be early.
There's competition as busloads of foreigners were racing to chow down their Bak Kut Teh.
We sat down at a table and waited for a young man to take our order.
He recommended shark meat to go with the Fish Kut Teh which I rejected.
So, finally, we managed to score a bowl with all the usual stuff and started to chow down our breakfast.
By 9am, Tg Sepat was already packed to the brim with foreigners.
We made our way back to our room and started to pack up and leave..

A foreign bus in Tg Sepat

Decent: the seafood Bak Kut Teh
  Before we check out, I worked on Michelle's Dahon Speed TR.
I lubricated her chain with some Teflon grease to make the ride smoother.
So far, the TR had held on very well, even on offroad environment, but Michelle said she preferred the Jetstream P8 as its more comfortable.
Once I was done, we dropped the keys and began to ride out of Tg Sepat..

Giving the chain a little clean-up

Found a place to chill!
Riding out of town

Our favourite photo spot in Morib
Pedal power!
We were averaging between 20 - 25km/h from Tg Sepat to reach Morib in 45-minutes.
It was getting really hot with the Sun directly over our heads.
I told Michelle that we shouldn't waste time to cycle to Banting.
Since we had quite a fill at the Bak Kut Teh shop, there's enough stored energy to push all the way to Banting, which is 23km away.
Morib was no sweat as we worked out way to places like Tongkah, Simpang Morib and Kanchung Darat.
When we reached Banting, a man driving a banged-up piece of junk had suddenly swerved out. I engaged my airhorn and by the look on his face, he wasn't really pleased. Fuck him.
We took a little more than an hour to reach Banting town and as we made our way toward the evil Banting bridge, I noticed a signboard that says: "Cendul Banting".
Now, having tried another stall further down the road, I was thinking out aloud: "Well, which is the 'real' Banting Cendul???"
I signaled for Michelle to pull over and we had a taste of this icy dessert.
Now, we had the 'kosong' (without glutinous rice and some red toad egg-like thing) with the Cendul and it tasted great.

The evil Banting bridge

The old way: a worker using an ice-shaver

Another Cendul stall!
I spent some time snapping some shots of the Cendul guy.
He didn't mind being photographed.
And a week earlier, some senior guy from the editorial floor actually criticized me on my photos.
"Eh Sam, you don't know how to take pictures la, your photos are lousy!," said the old-timer.
I told him that I am not a photographer and his reaction was: "Ah! Those cameraman, they simply snap only la! A good photo comes from the eyes of a reporter!"
What the fuck was this guy talking about and why did he insulted the photographers? 
He suggested that I take a short course in photojournalism without examining my background. What a prick!
Anyway, moving on, when we were done with the Cendul, we moved on the Banting bridge.
Michelle seems to be more energetic compared to the previous day and the first 500 metres was a climb.
With a heavy load, I was crunching my gears. But that was no sweat because our training in the hills of Hulu Langat actually helped.
I learned the proper climbing technique from the gurus back in the days and the skills had proven to be useful.
As we rolled down the Banting bridge, Jenjarom and its death alley is just a 7km stretch..

Climbing the Banting bridge

Taking a break at the Caltex Station in Jenjarom
 The heat, the heat, the heat...
We did okay from Tg Sepat to Jenjarom.
As the Sun rose above our heads, I signaled for a halt at the Caltex station in Jenjarom.
This is a crucial staging point in the ride.
My cyclometer had clocked-in 120km. The GPS recorded the same.
We have roughly about 30km to go in the journey home.
The decision was to ride towards Kg Jenjarom and turn to Jalan Sukepi and Jalan Kebun.
It will be a short and bumpy ride ahead.
Well, ironically, another group had set out on the same route, especially at Jalan Kebun.
What made me laugh was the fact that some of the riders had suspension folding bikes and they were pushing their rides on the unpaved road. What a bunch of pussies!

A lovely stretch: the kampung road near Jalan Kebun
As rough as it can get: the offroad section

Connecting to the home run: Jalan Kampung Lombong
 I think its a sheer waste of time modifying a full-suspension bike and pushing it on the gravel road: fearing damage. 
If this is so, the guys have no business on the trail. They might as well ride their Birdies on the race track.
The road to Jalan Kampung Lombong was straight-forward.
Just follow the sandy road and right at the end of it, we found the underpass on the Elite Highway.

The home-stretch..
We cleared Kg Lombong with no issues..
What looms ahead: is the seven villages in Puchong located along the Klang river. 
Total time spent on the road is roughly more than four hours and we have covered quite a bit to reach the bridge that connects Puchong to Subang Jaya.

Riding along the Klang River

Underneath the ELITE Highway

Home at last!
It didn't take much effort to cycle back to USJ26.
We stopped by the Petronas station near USJ24 to pick up some ice to make some iced Oolong tea.
After leaving Tg Sepat at 9:30am, we arrived at our home in USJ26 by 2:30pm. 
Rather than using the KESAS Highway motorcycle lane and Kota Kemuning, we have success in paving a route using Kg Lombong which is significantly shorter.
To sum it up, it was a fun trip!

Ride statistics

Total distance: 153.2km
Average speed: 10.7km
Maximum speed: 47.8km
Time: 14hrs:16mins:47sec (2 days)
Number of punctures: 0
Number of stops: 10

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