Thursday, April 24, 2014

Malacca : Peranakan Bikers Day 1

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Malacca : Peranakan Bikers Day 1
Day 1 - Malacca 19th April 2014 
Small Group Ride : Day 1 - Malacca City>Tanjong Bidara
Distance : 81.57 km.
Time : 8:20 am - 7:30 pm
Duration : 11 hrs. 10 mins. (including stops - eats, rest, museum visit refreshment & photo shoots)

Route Recommendations:
1. The Submarine Museum is educational and interesting. It's one of the few in the world.
2. Nyonya cakes from Baba Charlie is a close to being authentic as one can find.
3. Do take care when riding on busy trunk & main roads.
4. Don't miss out on the renown Malacca Coconut Milkshake.


It's been a while since I last rode in Malacca, almost 1-1/2 years ago (well, that's a long time by biking standards). So when Chris invited a few friends for a two day ride in his home-town, eventhough that I was swamped with work, I was of very keen to join them. Managing to clear off my work, just one day before the ride I informed them that I will be joining.
On an early misty Saturday morning, I drove down to Malacca to meet up with the others.
  It's a GO!  


Cycling Route Day 1 : Malacca City>Tanjong Bidara
It will be a simple route with some riding in Malacca City for breakfast before heading via the coastal road to Tanjong Bidara about 40 km. away. En route we will visit the Submarine Museum in Klebang.

8:20 am - Unpacking and unfolding our bikes, we left Batu Berendam on the outskirts of the city. They were seven of us - Chris, Chin, Liliana, the Wong couple and me. Irene got lost a bit and ended up at another corner of the city, no worries we will all ride over and meet her.

A statue of a hornbill at one of the newer developments in Malacca City.
We did a loop of the newer part of the city to pick up Irene .....

..... and within minutes we were riding pass the maroon Dutch colonial houses of Malacca's heritage town centre. Going by these strongly coloured houses, one will definitely know that one is in Malacca, they are that iconic.

Breakfast was at Restoran Yong Tau Fu Cheng Fong nearby the Bukit Cina area.
We had.... er... what else but Yong Tau Fu. But this was slightly different, coming with a separate bowl of noodle soup. The fishballs here are excellent and fresh seeing that Malacca is a coastal city. Looks like we did eat a fair bit but then we have a long journey ahead.

Stomach full and palates sated, we are ready to begin our 40 km trek, heading down Jalan Tengkera. Along the way we will be making a few stops, some intended and some not so intended; some that we were welcomed, others .... oh... we shall see.
The first was a quick stop at the Tengkera Mosque, a noticeable landmark along Jalan Tengkera.

The next was Baba Charlie situated at a lane just opposite the Tengkera Mosque. Here they make Nyonya kueh that are one of the most authentic that I have tried (except for my Grannies one, of course). Chris has this great idea that we take away these cakes for a picnic lunch at Tanjong Bidara. Cool!

Yes, the cakes at Baba Charlie is authentic, there are even a few Nyonya ladies there, sitting down and patiently making the kueh. This friendly Nyonya lady was happy to pose with me; her warm and chatty ways reminds me so much of my late grand-mother.

Oops... a not so intended stop, and definitely an unwelcomed one.
Liliana's bike had a puncture, fortunately Wong was very adept at repairing the puncture. The culprit causing the puncture was a small shard of glass, probably from a broken car headlamp that we frequently saw on the roadside.
A word of advise: look ahead a bit when cycling so as to avoid hazards like this. Also try not to ride on sand accumulated at roadsides, on can never know what's hidden there that could possible cause a puncture.

We continued on, making our way down Jalan Klebang Besar, this is a nice stretch to ride on as one can view the sea while pedalling on. Along the way, I noticed several stall that I thought were selling some golden looking coral souvenirs.

On close-up, I found out that they were Jack Fruits (Nangka), peeled artistically to attract customers.

Chin seems so happy here as we made a short detour onto the reclaimed land here, which cyclists wouldn't be when they get to cycle on a nice stretch of beach.

That short detour brought us to the Submarine Museum which displayed the SMO Ouessant (S623) an Agosta Class French submarine. Good, I can be an old salt of the sea for a moment, while I imagine myself exploring the Seven Seas just like those mariners of the Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea TV series.

We are out of the city, leaving the high-rise towers behind riding now pass kampong houses.

1:00 pm - Making a left turn into Road M143 we headed for the Terendak army camp.
Chris was hoping to cut through the camp to head for Tanjong Bidara which is just on the other side of the camp. This short cut should save us several kilometres of riding; it would be a most welcomed short cut as the weather was getting hot.

What is seen as a public road is actually one that runs through the camp. Chris went to talk to the guards at the guardhouse to see whether they will allow cyclists to ride through.
Well, while waiting must at least take some photos of these armoured car parked at the entrance.
Chris came back looking forlorn, "Sorry, they don't allow cyclists to go through". And "We are not allowed to take photos here." Security sure is strict at this place, it's enforced even before one goes in.

Ok. Let's look at the brighter side. The longer route will give us an opportunity to ride pass the cooling Sungai Udang Forest Reserve.....

... and a chance to savour Malacca;s renown Coconut Milkshake from a road side stall.
Cheers, mate!

These Coconut Milkshake are made by blending together coconut flesh with vanilla ice-cream. Some coconut water and condensed milk is added too.

They look refreshing especially to us tired, hot and sweaty cyclists.

2:40 pm - We are at Tanjong Bidara Beach. Time to break open our take-away Nyonya kueh and have our picnic.
Chris is all smiles. He's a jovial person and when it comes to eating he's is even more jovial. He eats with gusto, cleaning up every tasty morsel. Watching him eat one can't help but smile or even laugh, his eating style is that entertaining.

Our beach time was to last an hour. Chin took the time to do some meditation and catch up on some sleep.

Tanjong Bidara faces the Straits of Malacca which is one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world. Very often containers ships and tankers can be seen sailing in the horizon. It is one of the few sandy beaches on the southern west coast of Malaya. There are not many such beaches as most of the west coastline are lined with mangrove swamps.
Local tourist comes often to swim and play on its beaches.

Its a favourite for campers too.

4:20 pm - Leaving Tanjong Bidara, we headed back for Malacca City. Our route back will be a different one. It will take us away from the coast through the Cheng Corridor and pass the airport. By the time we drew near to the city, the evening sun was casting long shadows.

But before ending the ride, Chris had another treat for us, another eats! I did mention that he loves to eat. This time it's for late tea at the Thong Shui House at Batu Berendam. Hot and cold desserts are served here.
I had this towering Ice Kacang Special. It had all sorts of filling from the read bans to sago seeds to sourish lemon strips and crowned by a scoop of ice-cream.

Till Tomorrow then, Adieu!

- this blog comes in two part, click here to go to Day 2.

Related Blogs :

Submarine Museum @ Malacca
Klebang Beach, Malacca : April 2014
Visiting this educational submarine museum rekindled my old salt of the sea spirit.

Malacca : Peranakaan Bike-Packers Day 1

You may also like :

Kuala Lumpur : World Car-free Day Ride #2 - Klang to Pulau Ketam

YummY! - Nyonya Temptations @ Aunty Lee, Malacca

YummY! - Crepes Layered Cakes  @ Nadeje Malacca

Sites : Nyonya (Peranakaan) Mansion, George Town, Penang , Malaysia

Be captivated by the water-puppets and awed by the beauty of Ha Long Bay

You are at - Jotaro's Blog / AhPek Biker / Cycling Malaysia / Malacca / Peranakan Bikers Day 1     | Go to Day 2
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  1. Jotaro, hi I love reading your blogs. I am an old Australian who likes to be a cycling tourist.I get away from Australia to beat the heat.But reading your articles makes me curious about cycling in Malaysia. Currently in Japan sitting out some very heavy rain and about to start back towards Tokyo and home. Covered 1100 klms now with about 600 more on my meandering path.

  2. Hi llewellyn,
    It's good of you to write to me here and thank you for reading my blogs.
    Wow! You really have travelled much on your bike and I have to take my hat of to you for that.

    About cycling in Malaysia, do message me at my AhPek Biker FB Page, where we can have a one-to-one confidential chat.