Saturday, February 15, 2014

Car-Free Chinese New Year - Part 2

Jalan Mata Air 4 revisited

I spent half my life growing up in Setapak.
Before our road became Jalan Mata Air, it was Jalan Air Jernih. That was back in the early 70s.
This was also the neighbourhood where I first learned how to cycle.
My aunt Lorraine bought me a 20" cruiser which was used a lot until it fell apart.
Our mission in Setapak was to do the Chinese New Year rounds.
After clearing Jalan Gurney, we reached Kampung Air Panas.
This was where my father had lived the remaining years of his life.
In the hot sun, nothing meant more than a welcoming sight of a stall selling sugar cane juice.
We made our way to the stall and had a glass of chilled sugar cane.
After a good fill, we rode towards Jalan Air Jernih and towards the edge of Jalan Genting Kelang.
My aunt is still living in Jalan Mata Air 4 and by the time we got there, it was already mid-day..

Squeezing sugar can juice with a roller

At my aunt's home in Setapak
With our niece Yasmin
We spent some time catching up with the Matriarch of the Chong clan and was treated to a simple lunch prepared by May, my sister.
After all the formalities, we rolled out from the house in Jalan Mata Air.
While cruising into Kg Air Panas, Michelle yelled out at me.
Something was not right.
I realised that my back tire was hissing out loud.
It hit something and air was gushing out from a large hole.
We spent some time by the roadside to patch the long tear and just as I thought that my day couldn't get any better, the rear tire began to act up again.

Patching the torn inner tube

The schwalbe Kojak tire had a long cut

Changing the inner tube

Challenging fate: The tire after an inner tube change
Catching up for lost time

We spent nearly two hours fixing the busted inner tube.
Finally, after a tube change in Jalan Gurney, we were able to proceed without any further breakdown.
From Jalan Gurney, we rode towards Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman and proceeded towards Bangsar to join the Federal Highway bike lane from the University LRT station.
I decided not to head to Brickfields and enter the lane from Angkasapuri because we don't really have much time on our hands.
From Petaling Jaya, the journey was smooth.

Heading Northwest along the Federal Highway
We reached the Jalan 223 interchange and the tunnel that goes underneath it was closed for repairs.
Michelle and I was waiting at the traffic light and right behind us, I noticed the sound of a car jamming its brakes.
I turned around and saw a security guard's van.
The guy had his window rolled down and I didn't pay much attention to him.
Then, a motorcyclist pulled over.
It was an old Chinaman and he was mumbling to himself.
I was at the ready with my large can of pepper spray on my Camelbak's side pouch because he mentioned "Samun" (rob) a few times to a fellow motorcyclist.
When the light turned green, we proceeded with caution. Holding the pepper spray cannister on one hand with the safety off, I was waiting for his move.
He overtook us and sped off.
My take on this: the old man may be delirious, but you can't be too trusting or too sure.
We cleared the GAB brewery tunnel with no signs of the old biker and made our way towards the Subang Jaya interchange.
Once we exited the lane, it was smooth sailing all the way..

Riding past a KTM Komuter in Sungai Way

An old roadie cycling along the KESAS Highway
Riding into the sunset..
By the time we got home, it was already 6:30pm.
We clocked-in at 73.8km on the ride to KL and back.
Traffic was a breeze and we were just lucky enough to recover a busted inner tube and surviving some psycho on a motorbike.
Nothing untowardly happened during the ride which was a blessing to us..

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