Friday, August 16, 2013

Selangor : Tanjong Sepat Treks Day 1

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Selangor : Tanjong Sepat Treks Day 1
: A Bike-Packing Adventure
Day 1 - USJ Subang to Tanjong Sepat : 8th August 2013
Cycling Distance Covered : 79.06 km. (per MapMyRide App.)
Time : 7:30 am - 2:35 pm (up till Ganofarm Homestay)
Time Taken : approx. 7 hrs. 5 mins. (including stops for breakfast, lunch, rest, photo shoots, durian harvesting etc.)

Route Recommendations :
1. The traffic at Jalan Kebun & Jalan Masjid after Kota Kemuning can be heavy, do ride with care. We were lucky as it was a holiday season and traffic was unexpectedly lighter.
2. After Banting there will be some fruit orchards, talk to the owners and one can get some good fruits for free or at cheaper prices.
3. The coastal roads afford little shade, so do cover up to avoid sunburn.
4. Expect strong winds near the coastal areas too.
5. The water in Tanjong Sepat, Bagan Lalang & Sungei Pelek has an odd bitter & acrid flavor, use mineral water if you can't get used to the local water.

This is Part 1 of a 3 part blog, click on following to go to other pages :
Tanjong Sepat Treks Day 2
Tanjong Sepat Treks Day 3


Ride Itinerary Posted by Andrew Ng 
When Andrew Ng posted an invite for friends to join him on a 3-days bike-packing ride to Tanjong Sepat many were keen. As the ride will be a fairly long one, the invite was opened to eight other riders, on a first come first confirmed basis.

Ride Organizer & Leader - Andrew Ng
And was I glad that I managed to make it into the confirm list as I have always like to ride with Andrew & his wife Hui Min, they are such a cheerful, caring couple and it's good & fun to ride with them.

THE RIDE - Day 1 (USJ to Tanjong Sepat)

USJ to Tanjong Sepat Bike Packing Ride Map (click for Map Link)
Ride Route : UEP Subang Jaya>Kota Kemuning>Jenjarom>Banting>Tanjong Sepat
Starting from UEP Subang Jaya the ride take us pass Kota Kemuning with breakfast at Jenjarom Continuing we will pass Banting and reach our destination of Tanjong Sepat where we will have lunch and stay on for two nights.

7:30 am - We started off from USJ 8 and headed towards the main roads of the housing estate where ongoing construction was in progress for a new light rail transit system.

Pretty soon we were riding along the motorcycle lane of the Kesas Highway.

The skies were dark and fearful of rain, most of us covered up our luggage bags.
Here's Shereen with her make do "rain-coat" for her pannier bags.

8:45 am - Approaching Kota Kemuning, our average speed speed is only 12 km/hr. We are taking it slow, after all this is a leisurely tour and not a race.

Siew Yung's bike was giving our some scratching sound, so just into Kota Kemuning at a lay-by we stopped to check it out.
Luckily Wai Keat was with us, he's pretty good with bike problems. Initially we thought it was something to do with the brakes clamping to close to the rims, but after some testing he found out that the chain lacked lubrication - but then none of us did carry any lube oil with us.
But Siew Yung is resourceful, further along she popped into a sundry shop and got some coconut oil - well that's good enough to solve the problem temporarily.

Problems solved, we happily continued and via Kampong Batu 7 (that's 7th Mile Village in English) were reached Jalan Kebun. Surprisingly, this usually busy road had very light traffic today; this must be on account that it's a long stretch of public holidays. My conclusion is, it's better to cycle here on public holidays or Sundays.

10:10 am - We arrived at of first major destination, Jenjarom town. The weather was holding, dark cloudy skies with no rain giving us a good shade, just perfect for riding.

Just slightly ahead, we stopped by at our regular Jenjarom food haunt (a lean-to place quite near the Dong Zen monastery). The noodle stalls were closed on account of the holiday (well, there are pros & cons in riding during a holiday) so we had no choice but to go for the bak kut teh, quite a heavy breakfast. But it's okay, we are less than halfway to our destination and will need this energy boost.

On the road again, heading along the Jenjarom-Banting main road, a notoriously busy stretch - but then again fairly light traffic today. The left edge of the road (where we poor cyclists ride) is rather uneven and has many potholes, so we had to cycle with more care.

11:37 - For kilometers from Banting. We are now moving faster a bit doing an average of 14 km/hr.

A "sexy" Playboy pose at the bridge over the Langat River *smirk & blush*.

Beyond Banting the roads are quite flat, the tall oil palms with bushes below reminds me of the lowland tea plantation at Sungai Cheeding (... see Teatilliting Tea Plantation Ride).
We are getting nearer the coast and are facing strong headwinds making it more difficult for us to cycle.
Push, man  push ..... Whoomph comes the wind! .... push man push again!

Just after Batu Laut, we stopped at this kampong house rest shed for some relaxation. The owner was very cordial and warm, allowing us to rest at his place.

He was rather proud of his two babies - his new Vespa motor-bike and ...

... his grandson.
After a good short rest, we waved our goodbyes to this Pakcik and his cute grandson.

A little further on, Crystal's bike tire was low on pressure, a couple of us stopped to help her pump up her tire.
Crystal's predicament was a blessing is disguise; for up ahead the rest of the gang had a windfall - a durian harvest at a roadside orchard.

Our bicycles loaded with durians for later consumption (some were so enthusiastic that they even considered throwing out some clothing to make room for more durians - luckily they had second thoughts), we happily continued our ride.

2:30 pm - Woohooo! We are at Tanjong Sepat It has taken us seven hours to ride the 75 kilometers here, at an average speed of 12 km/hr (excluding stops for lunch and rests).

The Ganofarm Homestay - this is where we will be staying for two nights.
This is an interesting place, for the owner also operates a mushroom farm here.

Some of the mushrooms they cultivate here are :
The highly prized Lingchi Mushroom.

The White Oyster Mushrooms.

The Grey Oyster Mushrooms.

The Monkey Head Mushrooms.

Our rooms were not ready yet, so we rode out for lunch at a nearby shop.
Lunch was simple noodles accompanied by the durians we harvested ealier - YummY!

Oh-oh! Crystal's bike developed problems again and some of us stayed back to help change her tube.
But again her predicament turned out to be a windfall - up ahead the rest of the gang was having a harvest again! This time freshly plucked coconuts by some local.
After that we were all joking that Crystal should have more tube problems and we will have more windfalls.

Exploring Tanjong Sepat a bit - this is the view of the renown Lover's Bridge.

Along the way we met Ah Mei, the fishball seller. She was a bit over-sized, so I tried to telling her that riding a bicycle to sell her goods will be good exercise. But she's a pragmatist, saying "On a bicycle can't carry much and can't go far!"; well one has to earn a living.

Our rooms were ready - we went to check in and had a short rest.
Later in the evening, well rested and refreshed, we rode out to have dinner at the Lover Bridge Restaurant.

Among the dishes we had was this Spicy Stir-fried Squid.

Mantis Prawn In Sweet Sauce.

Deep Fried Grouper In Tomato Gravy.

White-shell Prawns Deep Fried With Oats.

Dusk at Tanjong Sepat.
After that hearty meal, we decided to go back to the Ganofarm Homestay to call it a day.
We were all tired after the day's ride, so no Karaoke - we will leave the singing for another day.
Sweet dreams!

This is Part 1 of a 3 part blog, click on following to go to other pages :
Tanjong Sepat Treks Day 2
Tanjong Sepat Treks Day 3

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