Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Ipoh - Lenggong Ride: Part 1

An inspiring story..

Cikgu Azis, a member of the Taiping Foldies Fan told me stories on how their group had cycled to Kuala Kangsar and Lenggong.
I don't know much about the Royal Town of Kuala Kangsar in Perak.
Just by merely passing through and having lunch at this location some years back.
As a matter of fact, I had vague memories about Kuala Kangsar...
So, having heard his experience, I began to research about cycling around the town and beyond.
While shoving shit at work, I sat down to plan the details..

And so, the journey begins..

Basically, I don't really need to do much about my bike.
Its touring-ready and I am raring to go.
The 2008 Dahon Speed P8 is built like a Mule.
It may be slow, but it surely gets you there and back.
To get things going, I contacted my regular touring and bikepacking kaki Roger Teoh.
He has been with me on a few trips and I felt that he is the right guy to ride from Kuala Kangsar to Lenggong.
Then, I informed another friend, Patric Yee, who just bought a Surly Long Haul Trucker.
Yee was also excited to test his new bike.
Initially, the plan was to take a train up to Kuala Kangsar, then ride to Lenggong.
I won't say its easy, but it was worth a shot..

The trouble with trains.. 

Well, the train service isn't that reliable when you expect regularity.
Either we take an early Senandung Pagi train to Kuala Kangsar, or board the hourly ETS service to Ipoh and cycle from there.
So, I planned the ride in two stages. 
First, we head from Ipoh to Kuala Kangsar.
The guys had no issues to meet up at KL Sentral and then board the ETS.


With Roger, my touring kaki

The gang in KL Sentral
Well, the plan came through as we had unanimously decided that it was best to cycle from Ipoh to Kuala Kangsar and stage the ride from there.
Roger did the task of booking the hotels and I laid out the riding route.
The thing is that with trains, you tend to lose a quarter of the day on the tracks. Its the travel time from one point to another that we are really concerned about..

The right stuff...

I learned from previous experiences that on a long-haul, you can't have selfish people and Rock stars in the ride. 
They are very likely to screw things up.
Selfish people often think for themselves, while Rock stars tend to slow things down by turning up late, wanting to do things their way and expecting things to be done for them.
I for one, am glad that Roger and Pat were really level-headed dudes.
And you can't have guys who want to break the land speed record or simply want to burn rubber on their bicycle tires for rides like these. For that, I am grateful to have two really reliable touring kakis. Roger is the more seasoned guy while Pat rode with his touring rig for the first time.
I too am not keen to bring newbies for such a ride as they require a lot of baby-sitting.
Its a chore to take care of the beginner as they are often ill-informed and unprepared.


Pat, setting up his Surly LHT
A group shot at the Ipoh train station
Expect the unexpected...

For starters, long-journeys are challenging.
A million things can go wrong on the road.
So, that said, its best to pack in your gear in accordance to the bike's requirement and carry lots of spare essentials.
We had a smooth start from Ipoh towards Tambun and the fun was about to begin..

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