Monday, November 24, 2014

Ipoh Foldies' Open Day - Part 1

Lending a helping hand..

The Ipoh Foldies are a group of highly-disciplined folding bike enthusiasts. 
There are more than 50 people in the group consisting two smaller sub-groups.
They've merged to co-exist as a larger cycling peer group and is experiencing rapid growth in terms of membership.
I worked with their defactor leader Mohd Azam Azimi on conducting a workshop and ride in order to get the good folks of Ipoh to understand more about folding bikes.

The plan

We have a three-session talk on folding bikes. First-off, folding bike for beginners where I would lead off with a slide show and lecture.
This is followed by an experience-sharing session by my cycling buddy Mohd Radzi Md Nor and the last session is by Master Mechanic Johnny Ng of My Bicycle Shop. His practical session is about bike-tuning.
Azam spear-headed the programme by enlisting some of the Ipoh Foldies members who are staff with the Ministry of Youth and Sports.
We've secured a lecture room at the KBS centre near the Indera Mulia Stadium in Ipoh, which is roughly about a 5km ride from the train station.
To get things going, I booked the train tickets for my team of four, and hotel in Fair Park, with some help from Uncle John Cheong, a cycling buddy of ours.
Unfortunately, due to personal commitments, Uncle John couldn't join us for the ride.

Leaving for Ipoh on the first train

Having a meal on the buffet coach

When the day had finally arrived, I made plans to meet up with Des Yeo, one of our team member at a petrol station opposite Sunway Pyramid.
We then drove down to KL and parked our cars at an open parking bay in Brickfields.
Rather than cycling over, I offered to transport the bikes to KL Sentral.
I packed my Tern Eclipse X20 in a carry-on cover with my other essential gear on an Ortlieb Flight 27 waterproof backpack.
After dropping off Des at the station, I drove back to the carpark and made sure that everything was locked-up before walking over to KL Sentral.
We had to bring some goods for a lucky-draw session at the event, so, there are many things on hand.
When I got to the departure gate, Des told me that there was someone else there with his folding bike.
It turned out to be a member of the Kuala Lumpur Foldies, a new group formed with some help from an Ipoh Foldie member.
We had breakfast at McDonald's and met another member of the KL Foldie group.
Later, when the ETS departure gate was opened, we loaded our bikes onto the coach and waited to receive Johnny and Mohd Radzi at the Kepong Sentral station.

Arriving in Ipoh
A KL cyclist setting up his comrade's bike
There were 16 other cyclist on the ETS heading towards Ipoh.
The group boarded from the KL Railway station. They called themselves Folding Bike Instant.
We met up at the buffet coach where the guys had their meals and indulged in a conversation.
Most are members of the Perodua Alza Club who took up cycling recently.
They rode second-hand bikes imported from Japan and were curious to know more about folding bikes such as Dahon and Tern.

The group in Ipoh
On the coach, I also met Khairul Rijal, a reporter from the NST.
This guy lost his Dahon Speed P8 and bought a Tern Verge P9 to replace it.
We arrived in Ipoh just in time to set up the bikes and re-group with the Ipoh Foldies.
There was already a guy there to help take registration and collect payment for lunch at the KBS centre.
Later, Azam and his team arrived and we went on to the front courtyard of the Ipoh train station to snap a photograph of the three main groups.
From Ipoh train station we rolled out towards Kampun Manjoi and our destination was Keledang Sayong nature park..

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