Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Penang - Part 4

Here we go again...

An awesome mural in Balik Pulau
I didn't sleep well. Noise from the street-level near the hotel disrupted my snooze. I made me felt really grumpy and by 04:30am in the morning, I was already packing up. I have to make sure that all my riding gear is properly set-up for the long ride. I have a lot of confidence on my 24" folding bike. This was the second time I rode round-island with the Tern Eclipse X20.
While riding towards Macallum Road, I noticed some resistance on the rear wheel. By the time I realised that air was leaking out of the tire, I have already ridden about two kilometers. A loose valve was the culprit. The first thing that came into mind was to recover the rear wheel. 
Lucky for me, there was friendly guy with a hand pump. When I took off the valve cap, a piece of the valve came out and air was immediately released. The tire was completely flat. I screwed in the valve and pumped in air to inflate the tire. Once everything was back in place, all I had the bike, its faulty valve and a prayer... 

At the hotel waiting for Johnny and gang...
It was till too early for some folks...

With the rest of the gang during early breakfast...
We met up with the rest of the cyclists and rode out towards a mamak restaurant where they had breakfast.
I did my carbo-loading at the hotel with some sandwiches I bought the night before. I had stashed some food bars and recovery drink in my pack for the ride.
As soon as we were done with breakfast, we slowly rode out towards Batu Maung, our first leg of the round-island ride...

Sunrise

The second bridge is in the horizon...
Riders moving towards Batu Maung...
Roadies will be roadies...

We rolled out from the Queensbay Mall towards Batu Maung and when we entered the road, someone yelled: "Careful!!!!"
Then came this dreaded screeching sound and a loud thud! I turned to my right and saw a couple of riders crashing onto the ground. That was it. Someone got hurt.
There was nothing to see as we slowly progressed to Teluk Kumbar. From there, the ascent begins at Bukit Gadong.

Climbing Bukit Gadong...
The round-island ride is something that one should not take lightly. It has its challenges and if you are not physically fit to do so, you might end up on the back of a truck.
Some folks just gave up some 20 kilometers into the ride. Many who were not prepared suffered cramps on their legs.
Others were just too beat to continue with the journey. I took my hats off to Johnny Ng who rode a 3-speed 16-inch folding bike. Man, he has the prowess!

Destination: Balik Pulau...

I kept my promise by leading the gang to Balik Pulau. There, we made a pit-stop to have some street food.
There is an awesome assam laksa shop that I wanted the guys to try out. Rather than using the planned round-island route, we rode straight towards Balik Pulau. We regrouped at a petrol station and proceeded to the town area.

With Ricky at a mural in Balik Pulau

The Tern Eclipse and Dahon EEZE
We rode towards the assam laksa shop and was told that business starts at 10:00am. There was nothing much to do, but wait.
The guys were cooperative and we chilled out by having some iced coffee while waiting for the shop to open...


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