Friday, December 14, 2012

Ipoh - Lenggong Ride: Part 4

Chilling out..

Lenggong is a laidback town.
Its mostly populated by the older generation and agriculture is the main economic activity here.
We rode to a restaurant for lunch and was served Sai Tou Yee Yeen (Giant Featherback fishballs) Sai Tou Yee Lam (Steamed fish belly) and a simple stir-fried fern leaves.
The bill came up to RM48 which is not bad.
And since there are only a few good eating places in town, there are a lot of good publicity about these outlets.
One noticeable photo was that of Hong Kong actor Patrick Tse. This guy must be in his 80s by now!

Celebrity endorsement: Patrick Tse at the makan place

Some beers to cool down the body

Patric at work with his phone camera
Laying out the plan..

We had a long day ahead and over a few beers, we discussed about our options.
It it rains, we will be taking a bus to Ipoh from Kuala Kangsar instead of riding there all the way.
This may be deemed as another 'bogus journey' by certain quarters, we don't care! Hahahah!
By hook or by crook, we had to reach Ipoh before 5pm.
Our train is expected to leave by 07:05pm on Wednesday.
I also found out that the coffee shops in town opens at 05:00am. 
This gives us an opportunity to feast before we leave for Kuala Kangsar.

Gearing up for the long ride
A long haul..

It poured the whole night.
Even at 02:00am in the morning, the rain had hit town and much of its surroundings.
I got up at 05:00am and packed up, the bike was rigged to go and all my stuff were placed in the waterproof panniers.
Patric, Roger and I made it to town for a meal at a coffee shop.
We had wantan mee with fishballs and some dim sum. 

Riding to Lenggong town at the wee hours of the morning..

The town at dusk

Dim sum counter

A decent makan place that opens early..
Riding in the dark...

All with the exception of Patric had powerful headlights.
My Australian-made Ay-Up lights did a wonderful job illuminating the path.
I had a dynamo powered light as well which is angled in such a way, its mean to warn incoming motorist.
We made our way towards the ramp leading to Kuala Kangsar.
It was dark and the road was steep.
My focus was on the ascent and as we slowly progressed into the morning, we did good time by reaching Kuala Kangsar before 10:00am.
We took a break at kampung Kati where we had coffee.
Later, I solo roadie was seen on the road.
He came up to us a struck a conversation all the way to Kuala Kangsar.
Roger did most of the talking while I stayed focused in getting to the mid-way point.
We had to cover more than 95km before reaching Ipoh.
When we arrived at Kuala Kangsar, the decision was unanimous: Ride to Ipoh.
There were a couple of climbs in Sungai Siput and towards Chemor.
By the time we hit Sungai Siput town, it was starting to get really hot, but dark clouds also loomed ahead.

At Kuala Kangsar
Doing good time..

We passed Chemor and the ride to Tanjung Rambutan was really awful.
It got so hot, I had to turn off at Tanah Hitam to cool off under the shade.
I found relief under a water tap in a Chinese temple.
We took a short break before pushing off to Tanjung Rambutan for  a simple lunch..

An inspiring lunch.
The last push was to Tambun.
From Tanjung Rambutan, its less than 12km away.
Slowly, we inched towards Tambun town and reached the outskirts of Ipoh before 03:30pm.
That was nearly 10 hours of solid riding.
We went to a coffee shop to savour its ice-cream soda drink.
Then, it started to rain
This is pretty much expected during the end of the year.
The guys and I made it to the Ipoh railway station and started to pack the bikes.
For me, it was a simple affair. Took me about 10-minutes to rig up my bike in the carry-on cover.
Patric was struggling with his Surly LHT because he couldn't get one of the pedals detached.
Nevertheless, we managed to pack up our bikes and waited for the train to arrive.
At 06:30pm, our ride arrived.
A couple of minutes later, we loaded the bikes onto the coach and waited.
Then, two ladies came and asked if they could share the same seat.
I didn't mind and offered my seat to them.
We hungout at the buffet coach all the way.
I was a bit annoyed when one of the ladies had used my Ortlieb frontroller pannier as her leg rest. Despite offering her my seat, what she did was out of bad taste. 
The guys and I had chilled out throughout the ride and talked a lot about future plans to ride and tour around the Peninsula and the Southeast Asian Region.
Patric was headed to Vientienne in Laos while Roger is planning a ride in Southern Thailand.

It's a wrap! The ride was successful..
Michelle, my wife had offered to pick me up at KL Sentral.
I was just happy to accept the ride while the rest had to make their way back to their respective locations.
As for the ride, we clocked-in 231km from Ipoh - Lenggong and back.
The journey was smooth, there were no untowardly incidents.
I guess that after experiencing such a good company and an awesome journey, I will be planning more of such trips...

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