Thursday, October 2, 2014

Soul of the Solo Warrior - Part 3

All good things..

Despite the short stay in Malacca, I've had a great time.
The goal was to get as far as I could and I did it.
So, the next order, is to head down to Melaka Sentral and get a bus ticket home.
I walked down to Jalan Temenggong to have breakfast and found it at Cheng Fong coffee shop.
They serve some really awesome soup noodles there.
After a fill, it was time to head out towards Bachang where the bus station is located.

Supper from the night before: wantan mee

Enjoying a hearty breakfast
Yong Tau Foo noodles at Cheng Fong

Weekends aren't really great for taking the bus

So, I reached Melaka Sentral around 8:30am. 
Went straight to a ticket counter and got myself a ride back to KL.
When I was about to board, the entire luggage compartment was full with stuff.
Boxes, suitcases and cargo had literally filled up the compartment.
The bus driver was nice, he went to the ticket counter and got me a refund.
I gave up after the buses were full. 
The next thing that popped up on my head was a ride back to Port Dickson.
All the buses were full and well, fuck it! 
Sure, I could push as far as Subang Jaya. But I would reach there rather late and the bad road conditions near Kg Lombong wasn't something that I had in mind.

My preferred stay in Malacca
Malacca town - Sg Udang

I rolled out towards Tengkera and made a turn to Klebang.
The day was bright and clear.
As I slowly progressed towards Tangga Batu, the Sun was already out in its full glory.
My aim was to go as far as Port Dickson, then towards Sepang and probably get a ride home from there.
The journey to Sg Udang was smooth as I made a pit stop at a nearby Shell petrol station in town.
There, I refilled my water bottle, in anticipation of a long ride.

At the Sg Udang recreational forest

Monkey crossing
Sg Udang - Masjid Tanah

There's quite a distance to cover from Sg Udang where there was a series of climbs.
With the Eclipse S18 and it's 18-speed drivetrain, it wasn't so bad.
I rode past this route before with my Dahon Speed P8 two years earlier.
At Masjid Tanah, I tried to locate the taxi stand to ask for a chartered ride to Seremban.
While trying to do so, I made a detour and was nearly hit by a motorcycle that was speeding on the main road. What an ass!
The rider beeped his horn and shouted. I raised my hands to signal my turn, but this guy was just uncooperative.
While zipping past the town area, I noticed a white guy on his touring bike. He had his tire fixed at the shop.
And seeing how things were done, I guess the bike shop owner is no strangers to touring cyclists.
I found the taxi station and asked about a charter to Seremban. It was RM150 one-way, take it or leave it.

A brief stopover at Masjid Tanah

Masjid Tanah - Kuala Sungai Baru

To cross into Negeri Sembilan, I had to pass through Kuala Sungai Baru.
By the time I left Masjid Tanah, it was already getting hot.
There was a series of short climbs along the way and I found myself at a junction towards Kuala Sungai Baru.
I had lunch in this town, a quick fill with nasi campur. 
Fried fish and vegetables came up to RM4.70.
I can't complain about the moderate quality of the food served.

Pasir Panjang

Kuala Sungai Baru - Pasir Panjang

I stopped for 20-minutes at the most.
Got back on the saddle and rode towards the Kuala Linggi bridge linking Malacca and Negeri Sembilan.
While I was cruising towards the Akademi Laut Malaysia, I saw a cyclist on the opposite side of the road.
He waved at me and I returned courtesy by doing the same.
My destination was Sungai Raya, a small village after the bridge crossing.
From Tanjung Agas, its a short ride to the junction leading to Pasir Panjang.
I cleared Sungai Raya in a breeze and reached the junction and a serious of climbs towards my destination.

Chilling out near Pasir Panjang
Pasir Panjang - Port Dickson

I have about 25km to cover from Pasir Panjang to Port Dickson.
While I was in this small town, I rolled over to a Caltex Petrol station and had a cold beverage.
It felt good to get out of the heat and in an air-conditioned room, its a bliss just to down a can of isotonic drink there.
I figured out that if I can reach Port Dickson before mid-day, the chances of getting into Sepang or Salak Tinggi before late in the evening would be good.
After filling up my water bottle, I began my journey towards Port Dickson.
It was series of rolling climbs and before I hit the town's Polytechnic, I saw a stall selling coconuts.
Since it was so hot, I pulled over to order a piece of coconut and drank it with some ice.
While I was at it, a chartered car driver pulled over.
He is Pak Busu and drives a 1.6 Proton Saga.
The man was having his lunch at the stall.
I walked over to him and asked if he's willing to take my fare.
The man gladly obliged and wanted RM130 to send me back to Subang Jaya.

Sayonara Malacca!

Coconut juice for the soul..

Pak Busu's car

The Road Warrior goes to the back seat
A car number feared by many Chinaman.. 
Ending the ride and homeward-bound...

I waited for Pak Busu to finish his meal, then boarded this car and was taken to his second wife's home.
He said his wife was not feeling well and asked for some goreng pisang which the man had gladly obliged.
During the ride, I learned that Pak Busu is an influential figure at the taxi station. He said Kuppusamy shouldn't have charged so high for the chartered car hire to Malacca.
I didn't argue with him and kind of enjoyed having a conversation with him.
In less than 45-minutes, we were in Sepang.
Pak Busu headed straight for the ELITE highway and I knew at that very instance, I was bound for home safe and sound.

In the car bound for home

Home at last! 
Getting some love from my girl..
Happy endings

I asked Pak Busu to drop me off at Putra Heights. 
There, I paid him RM130 for the car hire and began to deploy my bike.
Took me a few minutes to set up my ride and before I knew it, I was rolling down from Putra Heights to USJ26, where I began my 205km journey down South.
I reached home around 4:45pm and had ample time to do my laundry.
My kidz were happy that I was home and this was sort of a time out before the World Car Free Day ride the next day.
So, what did I learn from this experience? 
I found the link to Banting and beyond and that a ride from USJ to Land's End is pretty possible.
With time as a factor, I knew that it was possible to do the 220km ride from USJ to Malacca in one day, provided if I started way early in the morning.
Ideally, for a more comfortable ride, I can break the journey in Port Dickson and continue cycling the next day.
Surely, there's plenty of room for improvement..

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