Friday, September 19, 2014

Taiping Foldies Ride - Part 2

Jamell and Megat
Early morning chores...

Yun and I were the first to rise. 
We had a mission: get food for the rest of the crew.
The night before, Encik Joned, the man who is in charge of the Bungalow, said he will come in first thing in the morning to switch off all the main lights in the facility.
"En Sam tak perlu bimbang, sini selamat," (You don't have to worry about safety) he assured.
I put one and one together and slapped myself on the forehead.
It's opposite the Taiping prison, one of the most "secure" buildings around.
I started the car and drove towards town.
Not a soul on sight.
My hunch was to get to the old train station because there is a mamak store there.
And we were spot-on.
We packed nasi lemak and teh tarik for the guys.
By the time we got back to the Bungalow, the guys were still in slumber.
Johnny and Mohd Radzi must be really tired.
En Joned came later with his family to make sure that everything was fine.
Then, it started to pour.
We ate breakfast in the dining hall and while we were at it, Mr Loo and his buddy Yong came all the way from Penang.
He asked for directions and I told him that it was best for him to load up on food before the ride.
I met Loo at Johnny's shop sometime back.

The Ipoh gang

Setting up for the ride

Signing an indemnity form

My part in this ride

I helped to coordinate and link-up with the foldies from the North.
One of my concern was safety.
Prior to the ride, I got Mohd Radzi to help out in getting insurance for the participants from KL on this ride.
This is so that we are covered in case of any emergencies.
To absolve us from all legal binding related to accident on the ride, we made the cyclists fill up an indemnity form.
We made it very clear that it was cycling at one's own risk and that the organizers are not responsible for any bodily harm.
While discussing about the route with Jamell's team, I also coordinated with Encik Azam who represented the Ipoh group.
All in total, there were 30 people from the North.
We just made the numbers and I also managed to get some support from Le Run Industries who donated some Tee-shirts and bicycling gear for a lucky draw after the ride.
I personally contributed some gifts for this event and Johnny did his part by handing down some trinkets.

The turnout

We were very impressed with the Taiping and Ipoh cyclists who turned out in a large number.
The Ipoh Foldies are possibly one the most disciplined group of cyclists I have ever met.
And they have no ego nor attitude problem like most of the riders from the Klang Valley.
After setting up their bikes, Jamell gave a short briefing about the ride and we set off towards a 52km loop around Taiping.
As Johnny had put it: "Just enjoy the ride.."

Cycling along the kampung route in Matang

These kids are disciplined and well trained

Taiping's foldies leading the way
The ride

We rode on a gloomy day.
It was fantastic because the weather was cooler than the usual.
Jamell's team led us towards the Lake Gardens and Changkat Jering before turning into Matang.
We rode past some kampung houses and I can't help notice the architecture.
Later, we came across a joss stick factory.
I grabbed the opportunity to snap some photos and Johnny was awestruck by a Godzilla-sized joss laid at a shelter.

The spirit of Malaysia lives in this wooden kampung house near Matang Gelugor

A worker loading up a giant joss stick 

Johnny with the Godzilla-sized joss in the background
From the joss stick factory, we weren't too far from Ngah Ibrahim's fortress.
This is now the famous Matang museum and it's really worth a visit if you are in Taiping.
The cyclists re-grouped at the museum.
Some went to check out the exhibits while others took a break before resuming the ride to Port Weld.

At the Matang Museum

The bikes

How tin was discovered in Perak

A diorama during the Japanese occupation in World War II
Jamell's team had made sure that the group had sufficient time to discover the Matang museum.
I saw Johnny seated at one corner, entertaining calls from his customers. He had to close his shop on a Saturday to ride in Taiping.
Yun and Mohd Radzi, on the other hand, were busy chatting with the guys from Ipoh.
After the re-grouping in Matang, we cycled towards Kuala Sepetang which was formerly known as Port Weld..

No comments: