Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Ipoh Foldies' Open Day - Part 2

A bicycling tour of the greater Ipoh..

One of the newest attractions in Ipoh is the Keledang Sayong nature park located on the outskirts of town.
To get there, we need to cycle past the Manjoi Malay village and Jelapang. 
Basically, this is the traditional route towards Kuala Kangsar, bypassing Tanjung Rambutan.
The park will be declared open by HRH Sultan of Perak next year after his Royal installation.
So, we are just there to catch a glimpse of the new facility and were told by Azam that there are camping grounds including an aircraft wreckage in the area...
"This used to be a Communist bandit's campsite back in the days of the Emergency.
"Archaeologists found eating utensils and other equipment belonging to the bandits sometime back in the hills surrounding Keledang Sayong," explained Azam.
The cycling experience along Gagasan Manjoi itself, was an experience worthwhile.
I witnessed the greater Ipoh like I never did over the years and was really surprised with the beauty of its countryside.
We rode past Jelapang and re-grouped before heading towards the next checkpoint: Keledang Sayong.
To get there, it was a gradual climb towards the gate of the nature park.
The heat and early departure from KL Sentral took a toll on some of the inexperienced riders from the Folding Bike Instant and KL Foldies group.
Nevertheless, they showed great sportsmanship by pushing their bikes towards the rendezvous point.

Cycling along the Gugusan Manjoi
The climb to Keledang Sayong nature park
The cyclists at Keledang Sayong

Re-grouping before pushing off to the town centre..
A fellowship of foldies..

It's simply amazing to watch how organized the Ipoh Foldies were.
Azam, who led the ride, had coordinated with a few key individuals in the group to marshal the visiting cyclists.
They kept in touch with two-way radios and re-grouped frequently to get the party of 50 cyclists in tow.
No one was left behind as the marshals kept a constant lookout for everybody.
Once we got to Keledang Sayong, the cyclists were given bottled water and bananas.
They've gained some really good experience in organizing rides on Tuesday nights around Ipoh.
I guessed that the KL Foldies were impressed by how things were done and wanted to learn from a more experienced and organized groups.
There were also appointed medics with First Aid Kits to assist cyclists experiencing leg cramps. 
In this case, at least one or more visiting foldies from KL were treated for muscle cramps along the way.
With the Sun directly above our heads, our next destination was Ipoh old town.
We were brought to a site were street mural paintings were displayed.
Azam and his team had carried out recce rides prior to the event and made sure that there's ample time to ride along the 30km route before heading to the Ipoh stadium where the workshops were conducted.

Azam, briefing the cyclists about Keledang Sayong
Cyclists rolling out towards Ipoh town


Jamell of Taiping Foldies Fan taking a video of the ride..
Talking to a stranger in Ipoh about folding bikes

Riding into town..
And when you least expect...

We re-grouped at a petrol station near the Jelapang underpass.
While I was waiting for the rest to roll out, a stranger walked up to me and stuck a conversation.
"You are the dude with the cycling blog right?
"I read about your Tern reviews. I want to get a folding bike, what you think is good for me?," he asked.
What are the chances of meeting some random dude who reads your blog? 
Well, I was surely as surprised as the guy who asked the question.
We talked a bit and he excused himself after filling his car with petrol and drove off.

One for the photo album!
A mural in town
As noon drew closer, we rode to the Ipoh stadium where a bicycle distributor had set up shop to display their ware.
The Sun was directly above our heads as everyone were seen to be pretty worn out from the 30km ride around Ipoh.
To me, it was a splendid introduction to the greater Ipoh.
I guess that everyone has their very own perspective about their hometown and the guys from the Ipoh Foldies had taken great efforts to promote their cycling routes.. Something very commendable.

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