Sunday, May 25, 2014

Ipoh - part 1

Collaborating with a bike shop..

I was asked by Johnny Ng of My Bicycle Shop to organize a follow-up on their successful outing to Ipoh last year.
The shop arranged for 20 cyclists from KL to travel to Ipoh where the town's own foldies had led a ride around the historical area.
That said, I worked with my buddy Eddie to arrange for a group discount for ETS tickets from KL Sentral to Ipoh.
We managed to get 25% off the Gold Class ETS tickets and the number of people traveling via train to Ipoh was 10.
This was a manageable number and in terms of logistics, the plan was to meet at KL Sentral and board the ETS on Platform A in the station.

With Mohd Radzi Mohd Nor, Mazwir Anwar and Johnny Ng
Handing over the tickets
The group, at KL Sentral prior to departure
Accommodation arrangements.. 

I had Uncle John Pah to thank for booking us a night's stay at the Fair Park hotel.

This place is about 15-minutes ride away from the Ipoh train station and is very near the Indera Mulia Stadium.
We booked about 10 rooms, narrowed down to eight after four fellas decided to drop out from the trip.
This is usually expected when people came up with plans of their own.
That said, I rode out towards KL on the morning of the event. It rained, so, I diverted to the Subang Jaya KTM Komuter station instead.
It took me about 25-minutes to arrive in KL Sentral where the group was already waiting.
They had an early lunch at McDonalds, a place that I would usually wait for my riding buddies on my tours to Southern Thailand.
I handed over the train tickets and went up to the departure area.
There, I met Yun, a fellow bikepacker who was already waiting with his bike.
We had lunch at KFCs and prior to departure, I met up with Siti Ayu, a KTMB staff who arranged for the tickets.
She explained about the boarding procedures which I am too familiar with and I assured her about the publicity that will follow-up after the ride.

Party pooper

Everyone checked out in the list of cyclists except for one.
I don't know who invited this person who boarded the train from another station and joined us for the ride.

Nevermind that, there's room for people, but the one thing that burned me was the fact that this particular individual had broken away from the group during the ride from Ipoh to Tg Tualang the following day and this had many of us worried.
This, bearing in mind that the said person had decided to break away with a new rider.
That said, Johnny reminded me to inform participants in future rides to follow the ground rules.
I don't mind people coming aboard on the last-minute, but if they decide to do things on their own, being so selfish its bad for the morale of the group. What if something happens to them? 

Riding the ETS to Ipoh
Gino Wong setting up his Dahon Vigor at the Ipoh train station

Rain, again and again..

The weather was not kind at all.
It was raining all day long.
By the time we arrived in Ipoh, Uncle John was already waiting for us.
I handed over the agenda to him and the first thing we did, was to set out towards the Fair Park hotel.
The rest of the afternoon was a free and easy affair.
We decided to group up at 7pm for the night ride around Ipoh town and hook up with the rest of the Ipoh foldies group.
Plans were also afoot to link up with Jamell from Taiping the next day.

Rolling around town with my Tern Road Warrior

The night ride

My Bicycle Shop's Randy Yap handing over a prize to Zairil Hakimi Ishak at a lucky draw
And the rest of the night.. 

I've planned with Johnny a simple lucky draw.
It's more like an appreciation for those who took the train and rode with us.
During dinner, I had the opportunity to meet up with some new foldies from Ipoh and enjoyed a conversation with them.
Later, we rode back to the hotel for the draw as prize were handed down to everyone.
After the dust had settled down, Uncle John invited me to some beers.
I also asked Jeff, my roomie to tag along.
We had beers at a hawker centre near town and indulged in a good conversation.
Uncle John told me that it was hard for him to round up some good cycling kakis as opinions differ.
I told him that I went through the same situation and concurred with him that good kakis are far and few in between.
After a couple of beers, it was time to hit the sack before the long day ahead the next day..

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