Thursday, October 2, 2014

Soul of the Solo Warrior - Part 2

Going solo, points to ponder..

So, there I was, Sepang on the horizon.
Take a right turn, and its Lukut.
But, before I continue, a lot of people had asked me on how to cope with loneliness while on the road.
For starters, I am a Lone Wolf.
It would be great if I can rope along a fellow rider so that its not boring.
But again, I've done a lot of things by myself. I've ridden my bike from KL to Singapore along on many occasions and cycling is no exception. 
The longest ride I've done in a day was 194km and I did it all by myself.
To take on the road alone, one must be highly independent.
Mental strength is also the main criteria. If you are a wimp, and whine a lot, going solo is definitely not for you. (Well, that's my personal opinion, some folks out there may take this
and rip it apart and argue among themselves - especially on Facebook..)

Having a meal in Sungai Pelek

My late lunch
Sepang - Lukut

It's just a short distance to cover, but this route is paved with pain.
The area is hilly and there's a lot of climbing to do.
From Sepang, it seemed to be a rather short route.
I made my way towards Tanah Merah, I noticed that the traffic was very heavy.
And for me, it's uncharted territory.
I have never cycled beyond Bagan Lalang.
Slowly, but surely, I made my way towards the Bukit Palong junction.
It was a fast downhill roll towards Lukut town and by the time I got there, it was already late in the afternoon..

Lukut - Port Dickson

I had a short distance to cover. 
But before that, I took a break at a Petronas gas station near Lukut.
There, I had time to reflect.
I've covered about 110km so far. And its getting rather late.
At Lukut, I made a decision to end the ride in Port Dickson.
There, I will hire a chartered car to Malacca where I was supposed to meet Ah Xiong, a friend from Singapore and a fellow foldie.
Slowly, I inched towards Port Dickson.
By the time I got there, it was almost 5pm.
With another 80km to go, it's impossible to reach Malacca before midnight.
And it's not safe to ride alone at night.

Hitting the road to Port Dickson

Clocked about 120km in 8 hours


I rode straight into the bus station. 
There, I found a chartered car office and asked if anyone would drive me to Malacca with my luggage.
The manager who heads the station introduced me to the driver, Mr Kuppusamy.
He wanted RM150 for the trip. 
I haggled down to RM100 and he agreed.
There, I folded my 24" Tern Eclipse S18 and loaded it onto the back seat of the Nissan Cedric.
Mr Kuppusamy told me that the car was formerly used in Singapore as a taxi.
With more than 80km to cover, I had about one and a-half hour's drive from Port Dickson.

In the chartered car
My room in Malacca
The traffic jam in Malacca was horrendous.
We reached Klebang and the cars came to a halt.
I told Mr Kuppusamy to drop me off at a Shell petrol station.
There, I have about seven km to complete my ride into Jalan Laksamana Cheng Ho, where my hotel is located.
I was to bunk in for a night before heading back to KL the next day.
In Malacca, I stayed at Hotel 7, which is quite bicycle friendly.
The weather was foul as it started to rain.
I rode towards Bandar Hilir and made my way towards Bukit China where the hotel is located.
My priority was to check-in, freshen up and meet up with Ah Xiong.

With my host in Malacca

Ringo's classic bar
Memoirs of a staff correspondent..

I used to work in Malacca and I loved it there.
The pace was moderate and its pretty easy to find good stories.
I stayed in Malacca for nearly a year back in 2004 before moving back to KL.
So, that said, I do know of some good makan places in town.
My plan of the day, was to meet Ah Xiong for dinner and near Jalan Temenggong, there's no shortage of food.
Ah Xiong told me that he would host my stay. We had some good food and beers and talked a lot about cycling.
He told me that he used to cycle a road bike before getting a Dahon Vigor P9 which he uses frequently.
After dinner, we walked to Jonkers street and hungout at Ringo's classic bar.
A lot has changed since I last stayed in Malacca.
I did a short tour with my wife back in 2012 and two years later, the changes were really drastic.
I chilled out with Ah Xiong until midnight and decided to call it a day before hitting the road to Melaka Sentral to board a bus back to KL..

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