We've booked ourselves for the Campaign for a lane series 04 ride in Penang and began to train on building our strength and stamina.
So, throughout the three months that we've trained, the effort had paid off!
|Charging up 'Dead man's climb'|
|Forward to the Hulu Langat Dam|
|With the foldie gang in Genting Peras|
For the benefit of the newcomers, I organised a basic folding bike recovery workshop. The topic we delved into was how to patch a punctured tire and change the inner tube. The response was really good. But we could surely use a better venue...
|Addressing the newbies...|
|Fixing the rear tire|
Michelle and I had planned for a trip outside Malaysia and we've decided on Ko Samui in Thailand as our destination.
The biggest hurdle in this trip was to get a bag large enough to transport our Dahon Speed P8 and Speed TR.
One thing I can say is this: Ko Samui was awesome!
|At a lookout point in the island|
|The kickass round-island ride|
|Ko Samui's large Buddha statue is in the background|
Once more, we took on an invitation by master bikepacker TT Siang and joined him to explore the tin-mining routes of Kampar in Perak.
Although we didn't reach the Kinta Nature Park as planned, this was an eye-opening ride that a handful of people really get to enjoy..
|Team Jetstream in Kampar, Perak|
Karak - Bentong recce ride - We linked up with our old friend Ah Pan and Farmer Wong to explore Sertik, Mempaga and Lurah Bilut in Pahang. It was an interesting ride as doors opened to more challenging routes in the district.
|This scenic route made our day..|
|The gang nearing the final stage of the ride..|
The Elephant Sanctuary Ride. Soon after the Mempaga ride, I followed-up with a recce ride to Lanchang. This is the famous Elephant Sanctuary operated by the Department of Wildlife.
After I blogged about this place and had put up some pictures of the ride, an internet celebrity began to organize the same ride. But they departed from Mempaga instead. Its funny when people are competitive to the extent of being a copycat. But the saying goes: "Imitation is a form of flattery.." We staged the Lanchang ride from the Sim Poh Farm in Karak and I must say that this is one of the most memorable events so far..
|The awesome ride from Sertik|
|Some serious off-roading|
|The rolling hills|
|Langsat, an orphaned pachyderm|
We were very surprised to see the overwhelming response to Penang's Campaign For A Lane ride. This is their fourth year in running and was a well-organised ride. Even so, there were two fatal accidents along the way..
|The awesome view from Titi Kerawang|
|Another medal for our keeps!|
I conducted another series of workshop for folding bike owners who want to use their bicycles for touring.
Atmosphere Outfitter's boss Mr Edmund Foo had generously offered his premise to conduct this session and the turnout was really decent...
|With Edmund from Atmosphere Outfitters|
|Sharing with the participants|
|Introduction to touring with a folding bike|
It's amazing that of the 4,500-odd employees in my company, only one guy had agreed to ride on the Pre-Car Free Day on Sept 21.
I rode to work and had organised another ride for the masses on the actual Car-Free Day.
|Another ride to the office, with a Tern Verge X10|
It takes all sorts and sometimes, you can't please everybody!
I organised a ride from Kuala Lumpur - Klang on the World Car Free Day that falls on Sept 22. The turnout was really decent. Spare the soggy road, the only incident that marred the event was a selfish bugger and his stupid antics..
|My bikepacking buddy Roger in Klang|
Sungkai Bikepacking Adventure - Its strange that so many newbies had wanted to ride, but when I actually called for a bikepacking trip, none had turned up.
So, it was back to the basics riding with Roger Teoh, one of my regular touring and bikepacking kakis. We set out from Slim River - Sungkai - Tg Malim covering quite a distance..
Once a while, I needed some time to myself.
I had always dreamed of cycling in Taiping and with a few days to spare, I actually took a train to this town and rode around the historical areas in this district. I also took a ride to Port Weld, which is one of the most awesome sights in Perak...
|My first solo-recce ride in a long time..|
|At the famous Port Weld|
|A Charcoal factory near Kuala Sepetang|
The one ride that I've been looking forward to was the Kayuhan Raub 2012.
This year, the organizers had added 36 more kilometers to cover a longer distance.
Michelle and I made it to the finish line with the help of Pak Din Misai. This was a sort of a reunion with Sungai Koyan's most awesome veteran rider!
|With the Legendary Pak Din|
I am very proud with the fact that all the hard work I've put in on my column has been compiled into a book.
It was launched by Toursim Minister Dato Sri Dr Ng Yen Yen on Nov 27.
|Signing autographs for officials from the Tourism Ministry|
Michelle and I took a road trip to Sabak Bernam on a Food Trail.
We took a pose on the roadsign that made us famous as a 'Bogus' couple as claimed by a certain cycling Super Master Guru.. Hahahah!
|The 'infamous' Samo bogus shot!|
The only fitting ride to end the year was a touring ride from Ipoh - Lenggong (230km).
I planned this with my regular kakis Roger Teoh and Patric Yee.
Both were committed men who are passionate about bicycle touring and I am just honored to be able to complete the ride with them..
|Great company made this ride memorable..|
Well, I must say that 2012 has been very kind to me. Got my EOS5DmkIII, G1X, EF50mm F1.4L, the 8-15mm F4.L Fisheye lens.
Apart from the toys, I also made a lot of friends through cycling.
One challenging moment was when a bike shop owner had threatened to sue me for RM1million.
The good thing was this: I had some friends who are fellow cyclists that gave some valuable advice. The matter was resolved with an apology letter drafted by the guy who wanted to teach me a lesson. For this, I have Mr Vincent Choo to thank!
On collecting knives, things were a bit slow. But, I managed to score my Wenger Ranger Swiss Army knife.
|The Dahon Speed P8 and the Ortlieb Trunk Bag|
|My Garmin Fenix|
|The absolutely Kick-ass Casio Protrek PRG-250T|
I've also upgraded my Android phone from the LG Optimus 2X to the HTC One X+.
Well, all good things said and done, I am very thankful to have a very understanding wife, two kickass Siberian Huskies and also the new Samo-mobile MkII!
I can look forward to 2013 as it is going to be an awesome year for bicycle touring...