Saturday, January 28, 2012

Journey to Land's End - Part 2

The path less-travelled..
We were well into our third hour of cycling and progress was slow.
Averaging at 16km/h, my projection was reaching Pontian town by nightfall. 
We rode past small towns like Semerah and Simpang Lima before hitting Batu Pahat in the afternoon.
The road down South was quite boring. 
Nothing much to see except for oil palm estates along the way.
We rode past these and managed to reach a small village outside Batu Pahat.
The sun was scorching hot as it slowly sapped our energy..

Cockpit view from the bike along the route..

Leaving Muar district...
Coping with the heat..
I must say that after doing the Century ride to Bagan Lalang, I handled the heat pretty well.
When you cycle under the sun, the heat coming up from the tarmac and surface reflection can burn you.
Like most long-distance cyclists, I took precaution.
Before the ride, I downed two Endurolite capsules. No cramps all the way!
The clothing that we wore, Race Ready long sleeved runner's jerseys actually kept our body cool.
While on the road, we kept our distance at 10 -15km intervals before taking a break.

Gear factor
We've had very good experience with the Dahon Speed series bikes.
I love the Speed P8 that is virtually no-frills and can be rigged to carry panniers on its front and back.
For this ride, we used our trusty Ortlieb frontrollers.
We packed essentials like clothing, personal grooming kits, clothing, recovery kit for the bikes, a netbook and other electronics to stay in touch with the world.
I also revived my Icom V-85 VHF transciever which is capable of delivering 7watt of radio power.
These proved to be useful for staying in touch with Michelle..

Batu Pahat in plain sight..
It turned out that Batu Pahat was a huge town.
We took about 20 minutes to round the area and managed to find a stall that sells bananas.
The night before, we gave up our search for this natural source of energy.
Later in the ride, we were literally running on bananas before reaching our destination...

Crossing the Batu Pahat bridge..
Dessert break..
My plan was to bypass Batu Pahat.
Too much time is wasted in this town since the distance is only 58km.
We pushed for at least 135km towards Pontian.
From Batu Pahat, we slowly made our way towards Senggarang.
Half-way negotiating the traffic, my chain got jammed on the last cogwheel.
This was down-time and it took me about 10-minutes to fix the problem.
The ride out of Batu Pahat town was a gradual climb towards Bukit Kelichap.
This is at least 12km of hills before a village called Koris.
We climbed under the heat, slowly but gradually made our way towards a short roll.
At Koris, we took a break.

Fuel for power and energy: Banana!

Senggarang sucks!
The Southern coastline of Johor is pretty boring.
Nothing much but oil palm after oil palm estates.
We reached Senggarang during mid-day and sought refuge at a petrol station.
There, we had a round of isotonic drinks and as Michelle rested, I spoke to a local.
I was told that there are more choices when it comes to good food in Rengit, another 10 to 15km away..
So, from there, we pushed on as the odometer began to clock-in a higher mileage..

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