Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Selangor-Kuala Lumpur : Welcome Home! 8TV Cyclists

You are at - Jotaro's Blog / AhPek Biker / Cycling Malaysia / Kuala Lumpur-Selangor / Welcome Home! 8TV Cyclists
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Welcome Home! 8TV Cyclists
Selangor-Kuala Lumpur : 1st May 2014
Cycling Distance Covered : 43.8 km.

Rickman Chia & Baki Zainal, two TV8 celebraties, have taken it upon themselves to cycle around Peninsular Malaysia to promote "Going Green" through cycling.
The two young man have been travelling around the Peninsular for thirty days,  experiencing the urban-scapes and rustic kampungs; meeting and connecting with Malaysians from all aspects of life - people from the cities, those from the villages, young ones, old ones, school children. Thirty days is some time to spend away from home; and Tailim (of the hApPy HaPpY blogs) together with some insiders of TV8 planned to surprise them with a welcome home committee (that's us).

And what better way then to have some of us cyclists ride up to meet them and cycle together with them on their last leg home. On an early morning of May, we met up at the Old Town Coffee outlet at Ampang Waterfront, had breakfast and was ready to go up to surprise the young cycling ambassadors.

On the ride up, we stopped at the viewing platform at Jalan Mulia 2/1. From here, on a clear day, there is a good panoramic view of Kuala Lumpur city. Unfortunately that morning was misty, so Kim & Sin brightened up the atmosphere with some colourful poses.

Crouching behind a low wall at the Ampang Look Out Point we hid stealthily, ready to pounce out.

Out we popped, calling out "Welcome Home" to the unsuspecting duo. I believe they were quite touched by our presence.

We mingled and chatted with the duo and the filming crew. Rickman and Baki were very amicable and friendly, they even showed off their suntan legs and suntanned striped feet, a memento of their harsh journey.
These two striped feet may look odd, but their fans will adore and hold dear what they represent.

Pleasantries and emotional welcoming over, it's time to RIDE!
Starting with a nice coasting down along Jalan Hulu Langat...

... and a quick lively stop at a junction.
I have cycled with beauty queens before (..... see blog), but this is a first for me - riding with TV celebrities.
For the route map of our ride from here to 
Sri Pentas in Bandar Utama, see the map at the bottom of this post.

Cycling with these two stars, I can see why their fans love them. They are cheerful, approachable, charismatic and yet take their roles seriously.

Rickman towering with the Petronas Twin Towers behind him.
He must have been taken aback when I suddenly lied down on the road to snap this shot. Well these are the antics we get down to, to bring memories to our rides.

We are in the heart of Kuala Lumpur now - the Chow Kit Road area.

Next to the Megamall Kuala Lumpur.
Baki shouting out "We did it! So can you!"

Cutting through Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club at Bukit Kiara, the two guys are almost home.

But for Rickman & Baki, the much looked forward to reunion had to be slightly delayed. We had to wait for the cue that the stage & crowd is ready at Sri Pentas for the return of the two.
While waiting for that cue, we sat it out for brunch at the Grumpy Cyclist in Taman Tun Dr. Ismail. An appropriate place as it is a cafe run by cyclists for cyclists.

After one month away from home, the two must have been happy to cut through the FINISHING LINE at Sri Pentas in Bandar Utama.

It was a tearfull & emotional reunion for Baki and his mother .....

..... and also for Rickman & his family.

On stage, Baki & Rickman recounted the ups and downs, the tribulations of cycling and staying together for one month.

And for us; the duo had a memorable group photo taken together with us for keepsake.
We would had love to stay on for the reunion lunch at Sri Pentas, but then we had to ride off for another important appointment.

One of beery cheers to a friend who have brought us together as a hApPy cycling group and taken us on many a fun-filled cycling adventures.

hApPy Birthday Tailim!

You may also like :

You are at - Jotaro's Blog / AhPek Biker / Cycling Malaysia / Kuala Lumpur-Selangor / Welcome Home! 8TV Cyclists
If you like this, view my other blogs at Jotaro's Blog
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Monday, May 26, 2014

Perak : Ipoh City Nite Ride 2014

You are at - Jotaro's Blog / AhPek Biker / Cycling Malaysia / Perak / Ipoh City Nite Ride 2014
                                    AhPek Biker - Riding Adventures                                      
Perak : Ipoh City Nite Ride 2014
Ipoh, Perak : 24th May 2014
Public Ride : Around Ipoh City
Distance: 45 km. (As per planned event, but I did not complete it.)
Time : 8:00 am - Uncompleted
Time Taken : Uncompleted

Route Recommendations :
1. The route recommendations is for the pre-ride that we had. Try not to miss the Street Art of Ipoh.
2. Take a short leisurely bike stroll down the Kinta River, surprisingly it's a very quiet and natural place right in heart of the city.

My apologies; this is one ride that I will not be able to write in completion as I did not complete this ride. This is a first for me - not completing a ride and going up the support truck. What happened you may ask? Well, I will tell you as we go on.

At the Bayan Lepas Climb during the Where2Go event in Penang.
In some of my previous ride (like the Where2Go event), I did take a longer time (actually a very much longer time) to complete the ride. But FINISH the ride I did! So this will be a first for me & for Goofy (my Brompton Bike), i.e. having to sort of sit it out while the rest completed the event.

My friends and me met at the Ipoh City Hall (the start & end point) about 3 hours before the official start. We will be going (as per our habit) for a quick pre-ride to warm ourselves up and acquaint ourselves with the city.
Here we met a large group of Singaporeans from the Brompton Singapore Group, Here we are in a group photo in front of the City Hall Building.

At the start point, there were these cute tandem bicycles with covered roofs. We just could not resist putting a hand (or in this case our legs) to try them out. They were not that difficult to ride.

Okay. Time for some fun, time to start our pre-ride. First order of things, EATS!
The Singaporeans did join us but only for dinner at Wai Sek Kai (Gluttons' Street). After that they went back to the start point as they were worried that it will rain. Some of us tried to chat with them, generally we found most of the to be reserved, keeping to themselves. They did seem a bit standoffish; perhaps there were tired as they did have their own ride in the morning (i.e. with a couple of our local Ipoh friends guiding them).

Kookkeong posing as a staunch Kapitan Cina in front of a Chinese Opera Mural.
First fun area: the Street Art Alley near the Panglima Kinta Mosque. Tailim (of the hApPy HaPpY blogs) and me have rode here during an earlier Ipoh Jaunt. But now, there are more murals lining up more walls of the alley, and it's even better when there are more friends to share this with.

Nash "dancing" with a costumed female Indian dancer. See more of these street art at Ipoh Street Art Blog.
Most of these murals depict life in the Perak Malaysian community of past and  present.

The next area of fun: the Kinta Riverside! There are tracks on both sides of the river where cycling and jogging is possible. They go only for a short stretch, spanning between Jalan Sultan Idris Shah and Jalan Sultan Iskandar, and slightly beyond. What is interesting is that they are run smack in the city centre.

And if one is lucky; at the right season and the right time of the day, cranes can be seen wadding on the river...

... and nesting at a large tree nearby.

I do hope urban redevelopment don't come too soon to this area, as the old timber houses here exudes an old nostalgic rustic charm.

Our friends were quick to recognise this large old rain tree with it's sprawling, fern grown branches. It's the tree where Tailim, Kookkeong and me had posed some photos of our bicycles "climbing" the tree in an earlier Ipoh ride.

And they were quick to warm up to the tree, climbing on and posing for photos. It's great that a simple tree can bring such joy to us, rekindling our childhood larkiness. They liked the tree so much that Anne has christened the tree "the hApPy Cycling Tree". Yes our FB cycling group now has a tree!


Ipoh City Nite Ride 2014 Route Map from MICA.
The route will start from the City Hall building and head to the Lost World of Tambun to the east. From there riders will head to the Ipoh Airport then the AEON supermarket before returning to the City Hall.

Back at the Start Point, the yellow tandem bicycles were all lined up; with their striped red/white rooves that emulate the Malaysian flag, these added to the gaiety of the atmosphere.
See YouTube video of the start point.

Oh-oh! The skies took a turn for the worst. The skies above turned dark and it started to drizzle; many went for cover at the temporary white huts. But we hApPy Cyclists just stayed put, after all it was only a slight drizzle and our motto was "We Ride Dry Or Wet".

8:10 pm - As it was only a slight drizzle, the organizers kicked off the event. Some, including many of the Brompton Singapore Group, decided not to take part. They were concerned that the rain will get heavier.

Within ten minutes we were onto the main roads at Jalan Raja Dihilir. The rain is now just a few droplets.

There were many participants and the riding did get crowded especially around the bottle-neck areas like the above Sultan Abdul Aziz round-a-bout. Many of the younger riders were riding fast, like this was a race. Hey! This is a fun ride!

Along the way, I saw this unicyclist. He is a newbie on unicycle; Dirk (a regular unicyclist at public events) was behind, keeping a watchful eye.

Then there was this young boy cycling on a small bicycle. He is brave to take on the 45km distance of the ride. One may think that it's risky letting him ride at a crowded event like this. But his father is behind him; at his front and sides were other relatives all escorting  & encompassing him to ensure his safety.

8:45 pm - At the Lost World of Tambun. No, we did not go inside the park but I hear it's an interesting place to visit.

Along a straight stretch, another cyclist knocked into my rear causing both of us to fall and  him falling on top of me. I looked down and saw a badly lacerated knee, and some lacerations on by elbow.
The guy quickly got up and apologised, stating that he could not brake in time. He asked if I was alright. Other than the lacerations, I seemed ok; and told him not to worry and he pedalled on. Thank goodness, the Red Crescent van came fast and they applied first aid to my wounds.

Well, this is a first for me & Goofy - going up the support truck.

Well, since we are up the support truck, might as well take advantage of the situation. Up  at the higher level of the truck the view of cyclist passing by was much better and I went clicking away.

Another stop for the truck, another injured rider.

Bicycles inside the support truck.
Many stops and many pick-ups later, the support truck was full of bikes and people. It was getting to be a tight squeeze. In that tight squeeze, I got know my fellow truck-riders better. Several had sprains, some had butt pain - I imparted some of my limited knowledge to them.
For sprain, perhaps it will be good to drink some salts or even isotonic drinks, these will prevent sprains to a certain extent but it is best not to push oneself too hard. One was a newbie, just cycling for two weeks and he daringly took on this 45 km.
For butt pains, it's best to change your seating position once in a while, OR take a short break. Padded pants will help to a certain extent, but they do get uncomfortable after a while.
Another, an older cyclist like me, took his doctor's advised to exercise by cycling. He was great, but the distance was just too much as he had just taken up cycling recently too. In view of his health condition, I advised him to take it slow; perhaps start with 10 km. rides and to work it up from there.
Getting up that truck did give me a new perception of these cyclist. Not everybody is strong, not everybody is super-fit. But everyone can have that SPIRIT and ride on.

Back at the End Point, I met up with Mr. Albert Quah, the Red Crescent volunteer who rendered first-aid to me ealier. In a proper surrounding, he re-dressed my wounds doing a fine job of it. Many thanks to you Albert, you are my saviour for the night.
Many thanks also to the Red Crescent Society for their support of the event, and to MICA  for ensuring the safety of the cyclists as best as they could. And lastly to my cycling buddies for looking out for me.

To my fellow truck-riders (and others who have been in this situation), don't let this hiccup deter you. Cycling is good; it's exercising that will let you meet nice people, see beautiful places, people and appreciate our Mother Earth more. I will just say:

Related Blogs:

Malaysia - Street Art of Ipoh, Perak : May 2014
Street art is slowing but surely blooming in Ipoh.

You May Also Like :

You are at - Jotaro's Blog / AhPek Biker / Cycling Malaysia / Perak / Ipoh City Nite Ride 2014
If you like this, view my other blogs at Jotaro's Blog
(comments most welcomed below. if you like this pls share via facebook or twitter)