Saturday, February 15, 2014

Car-Free Chinese New Year - Part 2

Jalan Mata Air 4 revisited

I spent half my life growing up in Setapak.
Before our road became Jalan Mata Air, it was Jalan Air Jernih. That was back in the early 70s.
This was also the neighbourhood where I first learned how to cycle.
My aunt Lorraine bought me a 20" cruiser which was used a lot until it fell apart.
Our mission in Setapak was to do the Chinese New Year rounds.
After clearing Jalan Gurney, we reached Kampung Air Panas.
This was where my father had lived the remaining years of his life.
In the hot sun, nothing meant more than a welcoming sight of a stall selling sugar cane juice.
We made our way to the stall and had a glass of chilled sugar cane.
After a good fill, we rode towards Jalan Air Jernih and towards the edge of Jalan Genting Kelang.
My aunt is still living in Jalan Mata Air 4 and by the time we got there, it was already mid-day..

Squeezing sugar can juice with a roller

At my aunt's home in Setapak
With our niece Yasmin
We spent some time catching up with the Matriarch of the Chong clan and was treated to a simple lunch prepared by May, my sister.
After all the formalities, we rolled out from the house in Jalan Mata Air.
While cruising into Kg Air Panas, Michelle yelled out at me.
Something was not right.
I realised that my back tire was hissing out loud.
It hit something and air was gushing out from a large hole.
We spent some time by the roadside to patch the long tear and just as I thought that my day couldn't get any better, the rear tire began to act up again.

Patching the torn inner tube

The schwalbe Kojak tire had a long cut

Changing the inner tube

Challenging fate: The tire after an inner tube change
Catching up for lost time

We spent nearly two hours fixing the busted inner tube.
Finally, after a tube change in Jalan Gurney, we were able to proceed without any further breakdown.
From Jalan Gurney, we rode towards Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman and proceeded towards Bangsar to join the Federal Highway bike lane from the University LRT station.
I decided not to head to Brickfields and enter the lane from Angkasapuri because we don't really have much time on our hands.
From Petaling Jaya, the journey was smooth.

Heading Northwest along the Federal Highway
We reached the Jalan 223 interchange and the tunnel that goes underneath it was closed for repairs.
Michelle and I was waiting at the traffic light and right behind us, I noticed the sound of a car jamming its brakes.
I turned around and saw a security guard's van.
The guy had his window rolled down and I didn't pay much attention to him.
Then, a motorcyclist pulled over.
It was an old Chinaman and he was mumbling to himself.
I was at the ready with my large can of pepper spray on my Camelbak's side pouch because he mentioned "Samun" (rob) a few times to a fellow motorcyclist.
When the light turned green, we proceeded with caution. Holding the pepper spray cannister on one hand with the safety off, I was waiting for his move.
He overtook us and sped off.
My take on this: the old man may be delirious, but you can't be too trusting or too sure.
We cleared the GAB brewery tunnel with no signs of the old biker and made our way towards the Subang Jaya interchange.
Once we exited the lane, it was smooth sailing all the way..

Riding past a KTM Komuter in Sungai Way

An old roadie cycling along the KESAS Highway
Riding into the sunset..
By the time we got home, it was already 6:30pm.
We clocked-in at 73.8km on the ride to KL and back.
Traffic was a breeze and we were just lucky enough to recover a busted inner tube and surviving some psycho on a motorbike.
Nothing untowardly happened during the ride which was a blessing to us..

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Car-Free Chinese New Year - Part 1

Something different.. 

Michelle said she wanted to cycle from our home in Subang Jaya to my auntie Lorraine's house in Jalan Genting Klang.
"Let's cycle, do a car-free Chinese New Year visitation..," she added.
I thought it would be cool especially on the first day of the Lunar New Year. The roads are mostly clear.
We woke up a bit late, and prepped up our bikes to hit the road. 
Our plan was to utilize the Federal Highway bike lane to access Kuala Lumpur's downtown area and head to Setapak via Jalan Raja Muda Musa and Jalan Gurney.

Rolling out from our home
Since it was the first day of the Chinese New Year, most food stalls that are owned by Chinese traders are closed. 
With the exception of fast food joints like McDonalds and KFC, its literally a pain to find food during this holiday break.
We rode out to USJ7 where I knew that the Malay food court there would be open.
Our luck held as we treated ourselves to a plate of delicious mee rebus Johor.
The lady who ran this place remembered me and told me that she hasn't seen me around.
I must say that the noodles were a treat as we moved along towards the Federal Highway...

Michelle, having a go with the Mee Rebus
Cycling along USJ 4 in Subang Jaya
The heat, you've got to love it!

We rode towards Michelle's parent's home in SS3, Petaling Jaya. 
Earlier in the day, she had to send her brother to the airport.
And the Lau clan was just getting ready to do their lunch and visitation to a relative's home in SS2, Petaling Jaya.
I watched my other brother in-law offering his father tea before receiving his red packet.
From SS3, we hit the Federal Highway and rode towards Bangsar.
There are some safety concerns about switching lanes from Jalan Bangsar to the Museum and we proceeded with caution.

Short climb on a tunnel on the lane

For reasons unknown, the bicycle sign on the lane was removed..
The Sun was directly above our heads as we rode past Dataran Merdeka. Just weeks ago, the OCBC ride was held there.
We can see foreign tourists at the area, and the roads were pretty clear.
There wasn't much to see at the Dataran and I signaled for a photo-ops at the KL City Hall HQ at Jalan Raja Laut.

At the City Hall building
From Jalan Raja Laut, we rode towards Jalan Sultan Ismail and exited along Jalan Raja Abdullah.
This is a familiar territory to me as I spent a great deal of time growing up near Kampung Baru, one of Kuala Lumpur's oldest Malay settlement..