Monday, September 16, 2013

Ipoh - Part 3

Preparing for the trip home.. 

We've had a blast at the Hulu Kinta Forest reserve.
The cyclists spent some time exploring this part of Ipoh and took plenty of pictures.
I told Uncle John that it was time to move on and that we should break for lunch when get get out of the trail.
He told me to alert the rest of the riders about the downhill ride.
Inexperienced cyclists, he added, might encounter some difficulties.
We also parted ways to Patrick, his wife, John, a foreigner and a young girl. They lived in Tambun, so, that was their destination.

Coconuts for the soul

Cooling off

Mr & Mrs Wong enjoying their refreshment
We rode out towards Sunway Ipoh and found a place for a break.
It was a small stall selling coconuts and at RM2.50 a pop, the natural cooling juice was a welcoming treat.
Later, the group proceeded for a lunch break near Giant Hypermart.
I timed the break in such a way, we would be able to get back to the Ipoh Sentral station by 04:00pm at the latest.

Lunch break
A chance encounter...

After filling up our tummies, we rode out towards the Tambun junction.
There, we parted ways with Uncle Joe.
The group carried on riding until they reached a roundabout.
From that point, the cyclists were breaking up.
We regrouped at a bus stop and while we were waiting, Uncle John pointed out at a senior citizen who was pushing his bike.
The man wore a safety vest and was pushing his 26" bike.
"Hey Sam! You've got to meet this guy, he is 95-years-old and still cycling!," said Uncle John.
The man in question is Mr Joseph Sr. 
He was a bank employee and one of the longest surviving cyclist in town.
Uncle Joseph said he had been hit by vehicles a few times and thanked the Lord for looking over his shoulder.
I found his story inspiring and there's no doubt that Ipoh is a place for retirees.
Hopefully, I would be able to catch Uncle Joseph on the trail again. I wished him safe travels before moving on to the new part of the town for an early tea break.

Uncle John sharing a light moment with the Grand old cyclist of Ipoh..

The group, making a final run to town..
We had our tea break at a coffeeshop called Loke Wooi Kee which is famous for their ice-cream soda drink.
There, we feasted on their rojak buah and quenched our thirst with the carbonated beverage.
Uncle John, being the good host that he is, kept watch over our bikes while the group was split in half when some of the cyclists had decided to try out a soya bean drink outlet nearby.

The famous coffee shop serving ice-cream soda in Ipoh, Perak

Uncle John keeping watch
The ice-cream soda treat
After the tea break, Johnny decided to get some trinkets for his family.
He wanted to get the salted herbal chicken and one of the shop selling it had a long queue.
I told him that its all the same.
So, we went to a corner shop and bought some of the local delicacy.
When we were done, we rode out towards the Ipoh Sentral station.
There, we took a group photo to honor our host Uncle John and parted ways.
It was an awesome ride right from the beginning...

Thank you Uncle John! 
Johnny, packing up his 16" ride

The gang, heading back to KL
We said good bye to Uncle John and our riding kaki Roger and Patric had decided to stay behind.
After packing our bikes, we went to a cafe at the station.
There was a table where we sat down with Eric Eng treating the gang with some cool drinks.
While we were at it, an elderly Malay man started engaging in a conversation.
He asked if we were part of a club.
I told him that we were merely friends.
"Eh, you can help me la, organize rides for charity...," he said.
Then, he pulled out his business card and the man has a title.
So, I politely told him that we are not club members and event organizers.
He took my hint and changed the subject.
This is a stranger who wanted a group of cyclists to do his bidding. If we were naive, we might end up doing work for him while he reaped the profits.
So, the way to go about this is to lay low and go under the radar. I had a bad feeling about this and stayed away from giving out way too much information.

Summary

The Ipoh ride had turned out to be a success. Everybody was happy. That said, I can look forward to an overnight stay in Ipoh and spend more time getting to know the great foldies of this Northern town. Once again, Thank You Uncle John and Gang for making this happen! 
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