Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Now, I am back on track. Had ran 45km in 5 days. Just want to push it harder and have no regrets on 3Dec, Singapore Marathon though I know I am behind schedule to hit my desired timing. Well, have to look forward KL Marathon then ;-(
26Oct, 8pm, Drizzle 10K
After work. Rain started to pour lightly. What the heck, we only live once. RUN! Blindly run around the apartment area and going west. Then, headed to north and east. Made a big circle to round Tiong Bahru. I smelt sweat and rain.
28Oct, 7am, Sunny 25K
From Tiong Bahru -> Outram Park -> China Town -> Clarke Quay -> Suntec -> Esplanade -> Marina Promenade -> Kallang River -> U-Turn.
Thought of doing a 30K actually but the route just took me abt 2.5hr... spore is small ;-) The Nike Dry-Fit didn't behave nicely to my nipples...
30Oct, 7pm, Evening Off Work 10K
HSBC Building -> Esplanade -> Marina Promenade -> Kallang River -> U-Turn.
Ran with higher tempo. Want to know how's my muscles doing. OK la.
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
It was just too fast. So sorry that he didn't have chance to go back home since admitted. So sorry that he had to endure the ill feeling chemotheraphy. So sorry that he had to bear most of the fear. So sorry that I refused to bring him for a mountaineering. The disease is just too much for him and for us to face it. God damn it! Why him? Suppose every patients in the ward had asked the same question.
During my brother's graduation at MMU, he was actually already sick. We were just didn't aware. We had a family photo session. 没想到, 那是最后一张完整的合家照...
To have spent 3 weeks with my dad was tiring. Mentally tired. The disease stretches everyone's patience and mental strength. The family was in tense.
I remember dad's last smile. After few days of fever, when the nurse told him that the fever had gone, he smiled so happily and hailed 'wah, hari ini ada untung, ada untung...' Indeed, it was a small victory for us before the chemotheraphy started.
On Saturday, before I left the ward, I ensured he had his lunch and nutrition food. He wasn't too willing to take food. Suppose, the chemo had done some effect to his appetite and emotion. His condition was stable after 2 days of breathing problem. I left him with relief as I am confident that he will get over the 1st cycle of chemo. I remember vividly that the last sentence to him was "Dad, I will visit you next week ok. 你要坚强!". Too easy to say though. I am aware.
On Monday, received his blood count report. White blood count still low. But he was doing okay.
Tuesday, things just changed. Received sms from my brother, telling that he was in critical condition after he collapsed while on the way for ultrasound. The gastric overspilled into his lung, aggravated the pneumonia. He was again short of breath and coma. Subsequently, he passed away on Wednesday morning in coma. I believe that he went away in much less pain. It is indeed a relief to him and perhaps, his family too. Yeah... that was the best way for him to leave us.
I dreamt of him twice. The last 'meet', I asked him, 'How are you? Is everything ok?' He replied, 'Ok. But toothache on the left...' I presume he is alright out there, 神游四海 as he wished. Miss you dad. Hope you enjoy the new world and please let me know if there's a GOD out there...
I have no regret of trying to save, or at least, prolong his life as I know we have tried my best. But I do have tonnes of regret of not spending quality time for him while he's alive. Yet, another typical human who could only moans over mistakes/regrets. One of his far relatives knew about his dismiss via newspaper. She visited us on the funeral day and told us that dad had 'somehow' visited them. Brought some CDs of my brother's badminton games and share with them. Also, telling them '我的孩子全部都很乖。。。' I guess, as the children, we all feel that at least we have made him a proud man!
My close friend's mum was also diagnosed with leukemia in NY. He flied there immediately but could only spend a day with his mum as she had passed away the next day, not long after the chemotherapthy started. Things happen in a blink of eyes.
So, what say you my dear friends? Bring your parents out for a dinner this weekend? Ask them what do they wish to do?
Blessing everyone and family 身体健康，合家平安。。。
There's never a constant life. Things come and gone in a split second. One might be horrified by a sudden change. Something that they have never think of, or not expect it to be so soon. Mentally gruelled further when they choose not to accept the change and the outcome. We are flesh and possessed by a soul with emotion. We are human. Birth, Aging, Disease and Death are part of life. To be a happier human being, somehow, we have to learn how to accept the fact of life in a positive manner.
Friday, October 20, 2006
This is the 3rd week of my planned 'come-back'. Started to run again after all the things in life have settled down. It is fun actually, to plan and search for routes and roads to run in the foreign soil. Map, verbal and written direction, scaling the distance on the map etc.
My 1st run was quite a blind run. I know where (Padang, our ultimate finishing line in SIM06) I wanted to go but I don't know HOW to go about. The map shows that it's near to my office, HSBC Building & Fullerton Hotel. Somehow, once I 'think' I am going to the right way, an angmo popped out in front of me. He ran like someone who knows well a running route, so I tagged on him from behind. Good, we were running around Clarke Quay. Ups and downs the underpass. Eventually, he was actually headed to his home around Fort Canning. May be he got frighten that a moron was following him from behind and that's had him to change the course?
Eventually, I just ran with my instinct. Somehow, I found myself at Esplanade. Cool. Running along the coastline will let me to Marina Park. Packed with runners there.
After an hour of running, I am back to my office. Feel great. It was a good run. Hope that every cells has awaken that they need to get ready for my coming runs.
It's very safe to run around Spore. The pavements are ample enough. Seldom can I spot a pit or unentertain rocks or building structures along the roads. Sure I will explore more and more running routes and keep the fun and curiosity running along too. Hope I wont get bored too soon. Ultimately, Spore is still a small city. Credit to the local government though, a well organized city. If Kuala Lumpur or Petaling Jaya can match 8 of their 10, I am already a very proud Malaysian.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
G7- 7 mountains in west msia with height more than 7,000 ft. Chamah is 1 of them. Mount Chamah, the 5th highest mountain in peninsular Malaysia. With the height of 2170m above sea level, is ranked as the toughest mountain trek (for single peak) in Malay peninsular.
another mountaineering that i felt excited as chamah is not a easy mountain to be conquered (as we heard from ppl) especially, heroically, we purposely choosen the hardest way. 3 days to get our ass at the summit, 2 days to decent to kg Lerlar, our starting point.
11 NOV 04
departed from Leong's hse after a good rest. heading to Lasah. Hooped on the 4WD Hilux, a bumpy ride started. roasted for 4 hr under the sun. Kg Lerlar was our destination where we were to start. Met the penghulu, Eddie, the same mid-age folk as 2 yr ago when we attempted G. Ulu Sepat. More rumah papan than ever as the population grows. wink*_*wink
had a simple lunch, at 1330, off we go with 2 asli guides. paid RM500 for their service. past by rubber estate then streams, then, we were in the jungle. abt 2hr walking, i overstretched my tendon at my left knee. lifting it was killing pain. wat a good start it was... everytime wh there's a trunk to get over, i took longer time to do the routine. i had to lift my left leg with my hand, couldn't really bend my knee. frustrating really but i accepted it and keep walking in slower pace.
rain poured around 1500. it was monsoon season in msia. i didn't expect the weather to be good to us. i actually looking forward to it. i love rain ;)
arriving Kem Agas (Sandfly Camp) at 1820 in 5hr with a limp. asli were off to look for water point and found 1 small water source which only sufficient for cooking but not bathing. i smelt salty;) familiar 'friends' came to visit without invitation. we all replied with ferocious slaps. damn sandfly... they made us gone crazy. another pour while we were cooking. lucky enough, we had our food ready. dinner in the fly sheet with a hot warm mushroom/tomato soup. as usual, we all looked for KM or BK for massage. BK lost in action that night as he sneaked into girl's tent and do whatever. haha.
12 NOV 04
BK looked rash on his face! i gagged myself from making fun of him. poor him, KM & Fred who had to sleep under a piece of fly sheet. it was a Raya open hse for sandflies. many thanks to KM who had fogetten to bring his tent. he is aging indeed... ;)
0815, at 550m, started to ascend a hill with a pain at my tendon. felt the pain vividly everytime i lifted my leg. reached viewpoint peak (1700m), then Chandrik Camp, from 1450m, it was a descent all the way down hill. at 1100, crossed the Perak-Kelantan border. touch n' go, toll free!
according to photos we have as reference, we should be expecting a balak trail (logging trail). wide, red soil and sunburn. somehow, we were in the bush instead, covered by overgrown thorny floras! love bites were all over our legs. skin cell was slashed and sliced. sharp sticks poked you from nowhere. itchiness strikes, pain and frustration prevailed. it was THE MOST GOD DAMN @#$%^&*XYZ trek! asli were paving for us by chopping down the plants. at 1330, regrouped with the front team. they looked exhausted while helping asli to cut off the secondary jungle. a torturing maze to get over it. lunch break! appetizer, fruit cake. main course, 'plane' biscuit & 'pillow' biscuit with stream water. desert, califonia raisins.
journey continued with another secondary jungle to overcome. @#$%^&*XYZ. enduring such condition until 1610. another T. asli told us they were not to continue open up the path to Kem Rekom, our next camp site! instead, bringing us to a near kg asli! i felt doubt abt their credibility really. we took time to cross a river with rapid current. danger but fun. the men dipped themselves in it. the water was icy cool. we transported all the bags over the river, then, gave our hands to ladies. after another hour of walking, we reached a piece of land at 1800. it was Kg Rekom! after a negotiation with penghulu, we rented a bamboo+atap hut from them (RM5 per head). KM decided we should stay there for 2 nights. we were served with delicious ubi kayu by the villagers. finally, in 2 days, we got all the water we need from a stream. i smelt pantenne;) we had a good rest under a bamboo roof.
13 NOV 04
with KM fell sick, Leong decided to stay. good news to me was, the pain on my leg gone! the toughest day in the trip as we will attack all the way to the peak, then descent back to kg Rekom! expecting a 12hr walk.
0800 - a bright morning to start the attack. man... the asli really didn't live up with the credential they should have. we made a disastrous start. they guided us to a wrong way, a route where the locals go for hunting instead. a precious 1.5hr was wasted. worse, it demoralized the team. but, when a local told us that we can make it to Tongkat Ali in 2.5hr, and another 2.5hr to the summit, it reenergized the team's mood. i didn't buy it though! we walked faster to compensate the time lost ealier.
1130 - surprisingly, we reached Tongkat Ali camp site! exactly 2.5hr as told. i was a bit more optimistic then. while continue the quest, i overheard Rwen, who was in front, saying there's a wildboar's foot print. nah, i wasn't amazed. but it didn't look like a pig's print for me. a big and deep palm shape. (BK told me it was tok belang's (tiger) at later night)
1230 - lunch break at 1600m. Rwen, Ailing, BK were moving fast then others. i tried hard to push the back faster, and pull the front slower. try to keep the team in a tolerant distance. the track was quite frustrating as we endured ups but also downs. Gosh... it evened the vertical height that we attacked earlier! hence, it took lengthy time to hit another 100m.
1350 - '1850m, another 45min to go!' i shouted my 'kind-lie' to spur those at the back. intelligently, GW doubted abt it. but i insisted my 'lie' and told them, it can be done! that was my last sight to the pack at the back. gradually, the team spilted into 2. i had joined the front pack without i really realised it while focus on attacking the steep slopes.
1430 - we were at 2040m. mathematically, just another 0.5hr to go. but, the slower team was a distance from the us. i pleaded the front team to stop. minutes later, somehow, GW caught us from the back! he past the message, saying the rest were to turn back becaused we had reached the agreed cut off time which was 1430. i know this summit is important to Ailing, BK and Rwen as this is the final summit to complete their G7 quest. but the slower team did raise our concern of their physical level. a dilemma for us. finally, they + GW decided to continue the journey uphill. i had decided to go back to the rest at the back. it wasn't a tough decision for me as safety always is my 1st priority. we have to get back to Kg. Rekom before dark, intact! that was the challege.
1445 - i turned back with the tired team. gauging from the time we had, we should be able to reach kg Rekom before dark. my worst time in mind to reach was 1930. we left some foods for the front team on the way down, coz mistakenly, i thought they carried foods with them. WL had asked the asli to lead the way to gear the speed and make sure we were in the correct way back. i followed asli's back and tried to match his speed of going downhill while keeping eyes on the rest at the back. it was kind of pacesetter strategy. MC, Amoy, Fred and WL were following closely.
1700 - reached Tongkat Ali. the rain started to pour on us! to me, it was so refreshing as i personally love rain very much. been through some dangerous, slippery and narrow trails along the cliff. a ferocious sg Rekom after the pour can be seen just aside the cliff. i really prayed hard for the front team which will need to walk in dark for 1 to 2hr on the way back. MC & the rest were tailing me closely from behind.
1900 - sharp! we saw what we were dying to see. we reached the kg. KM and Leong were cooking for us already. sky turned to dark just after 15min then. at 1945, wh i was moaning to WL that he sh make use the walkie-talkie as other did, intuitively, i pressed the paging button. it followed by an immediate response! it was BK who replied the paging. thank God, they were within 3KM to us already.
2000 - i felt so relieved when the front team had arrived safely.
i can't skip to mention abt the dinner. an extremely hard to crush kg chicken meat and wild vege were from the local villager. purple vege soup, octopus slices with cabbage. sausages... as whole, it was a sumptous dinner with candle light;) rain splashed that night. while i tried to keep my eyes open for red bean soup, i fell asleep Zzzzz...
14 NOV 04
the effect of 11-12hr of walking yesterday still on everyone's face. we looked tired. plus, we all look no more enthusiastic. yeah, we have to go through the mailto:~!@#$%5EXYZ balak trail again. KM seemed to have regained his fitness from illness. departed at 0815. bushy and thorny trail boiled our temper well. a lengthy and boring trail. everyone was just so moody. 1330, we got out from the balak trail and heading straight to viewpoint peak. an ascent all the way. reached the peak at 1400. i was refreshed by the cooler climate. then, a descent all the way. 1530, as KM noticed the team was in bad shape, we stopped at Retai Camp (1400m) to get a good rest. a good spot with stream just aside. it was a chilling bath i had. Leong tried to have a camp fire but failed! woods were well soaked by rain. just as our iron chef Ailing finished her final dish, sky poured again. the outcome? apart from a romantic mess tin licking good dinner, we got ourselves a watery tent. GW and WL cleaned up the aftermath in the tent after the downpour, sacrified my towel for 'dry-cleaning' the tent. mother nature had been kind enough to us though. it was a dry night during our rest. BK squuezed in with us as he had surrendered to sandfly cavalry. poor Leong who agreed to switch;)
15 NOV 04
GW's bushy mustache showed it was a day i was looking forward to! we were abt to head home to kg Lerlar. as GW was the 1 who sufferred from injury most, KM decided that he had to make a move earlier than the rest. an inflated elephant-like legs, peeled toe nails, cuts, scratches and slashes, bandaged knees... ironically, he is 1 of the summit conquerer! stubborn old man actually, huh! ;) he was escorted by the 'notorious speedy wild horse' - RWen and a asli for earlier departure at 0815. the rest were only departed at 0930 after having a KM style fried rice. it tasted so good! encore!
obviously, we were all in a good mood. we sang along the way until noon. from #20's till 70's. from classic to hip hop. hey, we still can't catch up with GW and Rwen! they were surprisingly fast! after a lunch break, we tried to move in full speed to catch up with them. suddenly, i felt something stung on my thigh. it was a hot pain feel! while i saw a bee was flying by, some others yelpped to the team, 'run! bees!'. we ran for life in shocked breath. after the horrific moment, we did a health check to confirm that everyone was alright. WL also got some stings. i took out some allergic medicine for him as he is allergic to bee sting. ya, i know abt it when we climbed Tahan together. he was like having skin disease at Tahan. 'u r welcome, WL;)' after awhile, we heard Rwen's shouting! great, finally we were able to catch up the lady horse. 'Gosh, what happened to you?!' her face was swelling! like an obesity lady indeed. she also stung by bees, worse, the bees stung at her face. basically, there's nothing we can help. moral support and care were all i gave.
good news was, we had regrouped. walking in a unit again towards the end point. 1330, we were back to Kem Agas. somehow, the following trek was really bad. the soil washed by rain. this made the trek so slippery. it dragged down our speed again. we fell numbers of time. Amoy hit 17 times! a record that no one wants to break. i slipped once, and hit hard with bamboo sticks on top of me. hurt my wound which i fell from bike months ago as well. piss off man... BK swore hard, Ailing released her anger by chopping down the thorny plants. others kept the frustration within themselves. i felt alright comparing to the notorious balak trail. our 'day'mare indeed. at 1715, we found ourselves in rubber estate. i looked at ppl around me, we smiled to each other as we knew we were very near to kg lerlar! finally, touch down at kg lerlar at 1730. at 1800, everyone had arrived. we rented a big hut for our last night. when we, the men, washed ourselves at the river, we were well served by some stunt show from the children. they were doing somersault with a degree of difficulty, plunging themselves from a giant tree trunk into the river! we gave our applause, they got even more excited to show off! children... ;)the most sumptous cooking happened that night. trekking together with Ailing is a luxury with her iron chef cooking. too bad, the sky wasn't as clear as 2yr back where i spotted my 1st shooting stars in my life.
16 NOV 04
at morning, a breath-taking scenery as the cloud uncovered Chamah from far. Hooped on to the Hilux and off we go. our final destination to complete the journey, a camp site called HOME;)
when i read an open invitation which ended with a line "we can't fail" from kmeng, i giggled. i seldom heard something so adamant from kmeng that, to reach the summit is a MUST. it's the 2nd attempt to chamah for me. back to 2004, it was a nightmare to try on chamah via Pos Germah, Perak. which, only 4 out of 12 managed to step on the summit. i am NOT 1 of the 4. since kmeng demanded only fit horse could come along, i replied yes without 2nd thought. 1 is bcoz i am a fit horse. 2 is fit horses will able to travel in speed of light ;-) thus, logically, "we won't fail"!
11pm : back from work. packing, dinner, washing
2am : meet up
230am : kia sportage off towards karak
730am : reach gua musang. b/f
8am : waiting for HILUX
815am : waiting for HILUX
830am : waiting for HILUX
845am : STILL waiting for HILUX
9am : HILUX showed up before plan B.
KL-5hr->gua musang-0.5hr->kg bertis (carpark)-roasted 2hr on HILUX->kg simpoi (get a guide)-roasted 3hr on logging trail->kg rekom.
i was so worried that this is going to be another deva ju. the same 4WD company failed to show up last time, caused us to change course to mt. batu putih instead. when miew asked around for transportation, a passionate local even offered us a van! gosh, it just means that he has no idea what is a logging trail is.
2hr of bumpy ride to kg simpoi. believe it, i managed to have a nap! once got down from the HILUX, i knew i have got a burn from the sun. BBQ red coloration and roastered evenly if that's how to promote a good known kenny roger's chicken. too late to apply a SPF30.
after a short lunch, the guide led us to kg rekom. another 3hr of sun bathing along the logging trail. erosion and landslides were what had happened to the trek. the trek is being narrowed. jz wondering if we could able to use back the same trek next time.
godness me. a familiar picture provokes my memory to say "yes, great to be back to the village in 5hr rather than 2days in previous trip". we reached kg rekom at 1600. we still have plenty of time to rest b4 the big day tomorrow. but the face of the village has changed. a river which used to be wide has became a narrow drain. sand from aside has made the river shallow and narrow. last visit, the village was more tidy. it gave me a spacious feel. now, grass stands tall amd cramped the place.
rafflesia! the biggest flower suppose to have decorate chamah everywhere. now, we hardly see one as it has been harvested by the locals for commercial. RM15 per kg for its petal. it gives the power to heal to women who had miscarriage.
i always looking forward a dinner during a camping trip. this time, though without our iron cook, ailing, miew teamedup yanying and gwah still managed to turn the can foods into sumptuos like dinner. kmeng became the center of attention again. he didn't bring the rice! we end up with eating ubi kayu from the locals with the dishes. same like last visit, we rented a hut. roof is made fo attap while bamboos frame the structure. it rained that nite but the roof hardly leak. a cosy and quite surrounding to me.
kg rekom-2hr to reach last water point->4hr ascent->
i kept looking at my watch. it showed we were making a steady progress to the summit. this time, the guides were more reliable. no miss turning like last attempt. there were slopes that made us gulped for air from the already low pressure atm. it had been some time that i didn't do any serious outdoor activity. work had been heavy. the gasping was actually made me felt 'alive' in the outdoor world. i exchanged my bag with yanying. she was carrying a bigger bag. im a gentleman. i didn't want her to get tired faster as the ascent was quite energy dissipating. and, the agenda is, "we can not fail!" by kmeng. we made some timely breaks to replenish energy to our body. i became more appreciative to the foods and drinks. i can felt every drip of water reached every cell that needed it. the filling to my stomach had me felt with great satisfaction. perhaps, that's 1 of the reason why i love mountaineering. it cultivates the moderation and appreciation within oneself.
i knew that we were close to the summit when i saw some familiar plants that grows above 2000m. at 1330, we reached the top! it was one of the cleanest camp site at summit i have ever seen. perhaps, due to the toughness of the mountain and the effort to carry the water up, less ppl choose to stay overnight at the summit. we had our lunch there, celebrated it with a toast of 100+ and group posing with jalur gemilang again. but we can't really enjoy the view from the top as cloud covered the view in a 360 manner. i knew it means 'rain is coming'...
gosh, rain really poured down while we still wanted to spend more time on the top. every1 brought out the rain coat for cover. most of the coats were not really water proof but it captured and insulated the body heat to keep ourselves warm. anyway, the rain showed the mercy. it didn't pour us with full force and had stopped after some hours. it was a smooth descent back to the village. stepped on the flat ground with a feeling of greatness! we all made it safely!
another nite of ubi kayu campur lauk dinner. tasty though. i always find camping foods tasty witht he extra flavour of appreciation and thankful. i couldn't recall when was my last sleepless nite. i can sleep in anywhere, anytime when the sleeping mode strikes me. i barely move my legs. they need a quality rest...Zzz
reluctantly, i woke up. a good day to look a head as to get ourselves back to the city. we housekept the hut and ourselves. we 'donated' (rather than left ;-) whatever we feel no more necessary to the villagers and their kids. caps, shirts, bottles, shampoos etc
3 grilling hours to reach back kg simpoi. the erosion along the logging trail really put some negative thoughts to my mind if there will be a landslide... horific scene. i kept my mouth shut of coz.
saw a freshly dissected rafflesia. gosh, the flower was huge! instinctively, i don't think the flower was being harvested by locals. looks more like an outsider's deed.
we were late. the 4wd driver looked a bit annoyed. we wanted to take a shower around kg simpoi but Mail, the driver ushered us to hurry up as a rain looked imminent. we were somehow persuaded by him to take bath at gua cha. once we reached there, no one feels want to dip into the stream. milky coloration. that driver must be kidding us when he told us that was a hot spot for climbers to wash themselves. nonsense... we thought the other way. the water looked like as it filled with chemicals.
we were out at kuala bertis! while refilling the petrol, we managed to take shower in the shower room provided at the station. had KFC and off we headed back to KL from gua musang. we dropped by bentong to have a dinner break and reached home at late nite after enduring the jam along the karak highway.
somehow, miss that talkative fellow, TBK. too bad he couldn't join us with a last minute pull out. he himself made a diagnosis that he mite get a appendicitis. typical master student who is doing a research... like to do diagnosis but he is right eventually ;-)
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Sun, 28Aug05, Kuantan-Kijal 107km
Merely a 4 hours sleep after we rushed from KL to Kuantan for InterState 2005, Kuantan-Batu Rakit Merdeka Cycling trip. At 0430, we had got our baggage ready on our support car, WL’s tough look Kia Sportage. Final check on our bikes, off we headed to Hotel Vistana to meet up the rest of the cyclists.
After the registration and loading our baggage to the official baggage vehicle, we started our first ‘chain reaction’ at 0600 sharp with the lead of the safety vehicles to make sure the road was clear for a swamp of 100+ bikes. It was indeed an exquisite scene where the main road flocked with blinking red rear lights & front lights from bikes.
We were heading to a light industry area then into oil palm plantation area via a narrow, stony & pitted tar road. Exactly at 20km, my back tyre punctured. God, not a good start at all! Thanks to RW & CM for their skillful pit stop like tyre change action. Shame on me, they are girls! WL, who is our support car driver on 1st day, arrived on time with the foot pump. Eventually, we spent about 20min to have the wheels rolling on the road again.
We had a short break at 51km. CM started to grumble that she had have enough. We also started to psycho her that she can do it and she should try to exceed her own limit. We got our feet on the pedals again and heading towards Kemaman. Rolling hills awaited us! There were so many camel backs to overcome. One of the steepest ascents almost made me felt that my bike was actually going backward! When HW overtook me, somehow, it stimulated my thigh muscles to generate more ATPs to attack the hill like mad! I feel good every time I beat a hill which deserted with a speedy decent. I often enjoy watching my speedometer’s raising reading while doing an aerodynamic posture. Lifting my butt, head keeps close to the handler, eyes stare in front. I could feel the wheel spins so hard, making a hissing sound; the air glides swiftly through my face, and, ventilating fast through the helmet. That’s when you could feel the SPEED!
After the hilly route, it is a flat tar road where I started to lead in front for the rest to draft. We were heading towards Cukai town where the famous Hai Peng Coffee Shop awaiting our arrival to refill our stomach at 85km. We rode in a faster speed as I was driven by my own hunger for a good lunch. We arrived at noon. The shop was crowded with tourists, locals & 100+ cyclists to have a sip on their aromatic coffee and charcoal toasted roti. Really nice! Somehow, it seemed that only me who still having a good appetite. I wanted to order more but the rest didn’t show much enthusiastic on the nice foods there. May be CM & HW who are from Kuantan felt no fuss to the foods there.
With the newly loaded carbo to be burnt, we waived good bye to Cukai town. At 99km, Perwaja Steel factory was within our sight. We were able to maintain our steady speed until we finally reached Strawberry Hotel. Touch down… We congratulated each other, especially those 1st timers like CM & HW. They surprised us and themselves I suppose to have finished the day 1 in a good shape. It is all about ‘Mind set’ as I kept telling them.
Due to some mistake by the organizer, 2 groups of cyclists tried to check in a same room. Eventually, we made the way although we had already settled down in the room in prior. Dislike a fellow’s bossy attitude.
At evening, we went out to the beach side. Only 2 morons took along their office material to read at the beach (me and WL :-). The rest were having a good time with the sea. It was so relaxing while watching CM & RW on swimsuit. My only comment is, they were not sexy enough… Too many clothes on themselves… Oops, I should continue my reading J
At night, we enjoyed the video taken by WL earlier. I know WL was very itchy to put his feet on the pedals next day. I just can’t find my toiletry bag! I went back to the previous room to look for it as I might have left it behind. None of them saw my accessory bag though. Damn it! I slept with anxiety…
Mon, 29Aug05, Kijal-Marang 133km
At 0530, I woke up with a moody face. My mouth still tasting the bananas I had before my sleep. No teeth brushing, no face cleaning. Hate it! Rushing for the 0600 2nd day flag-off. Grab my bike and baggage and head to the starting point. Once I threw my baggage into a truck, the bossy cyclist came to me and told me that my toiletry bag was in their room! I was more than happy to hear that rather than put anger on them! It was a great morning to start with though my mouth still smelt like banana. Today, CM will take over from WL to drive the support car.
The longest distance of the trip, 133km begins. At 0600, the main road was so dark. We could only spot the blinking red lights. I never like to cycle in the dark! It makes me feel unsafe with ‘unknowns’ awaiting you until your front light reaches it.
We had been told it will be an ‘all-flat’ day. WL led the group as I had done my duty on the 1st day. He pedaled so hard like a just released mad cow! 30, 32, 31km/h… were the ticking readings on my speedometer. All managed to follow tightly. Passing by the Petronas & ExxonMobil’s crude oil ternimal. The plant is so huge, which covers hectares & km of area. A genuine heavy industry. Just about 2hr, we arrived at a Chinese stall for a break at 56km. CM was there already with the support car. First words came out from my mouth to her was why the heck she didn’t shoot us with RW’s video cam. Because I know I look great in video J No battery... L We were among the earliest troops to arrive. I felt the stiffness on my thighs already. I was scared that I couldn’t last long. ‘Mind set’…! Replenish my empty bottle with 100+ and mixed it with 2 packs of energy powder. Taste great! Just want to make sure dehydration & cramp were away from me.
At 61km, once we made a left turning at a junction, it was a ‘Oh My God’ seafront scene! Once CM’s car overtook us, I quickly called her to stop for photo session. The breeze was refreshing. The seafront was captivating. The camera never stops clicking J
We strolled into a suburban town and paced towards Marang. We managed to catch up a medium speed peloton & drafting them. I had saved up a lot of energy for not fighting the wind at the front. We did stop by a motor shop to have HW’s bike fixed. Loosen nuts. Each pedaling he did, the joint will ‘TICK’ once. I teased him that it was his RPM indicator. It was annoying though.
Anggullia Resort! The ultimate destination of the day.
My longest single day ride ever, 133km! Surprisingly, I didn’t feel the fatigue that I was expected! I felt my body was ready for the last day. My mixing of the energy substances with 100+ must be working well on me! Checked in to a neat chalet nearby the seaside. Having the coconut juice that CM bought us was so rewarding!
Goodness, I realized I had accidentally put my baggage onto a wrong truck instead of the official baggage truck! Investigation showed that it should be on a truck which driven by a group of Penangite cyclists. The bossy cyclist was one of them L Waiting for them to come back… Then, we decided to go out for lunch first. I had to borrow change from WL. Except his underwear of courseJ No doubt, it was as windy as the wind at east cost down there… wink wink *_*
We circled around the town for food. Then, we met ‘the truck’. Exchange of words confirmed that my bag was with them. Thank goodness. I had been the laughing stock of the day. My teammates labeled the bossy cyclist as my ‘lover’. We do have the fate to know each other from the hundreds in this trip J It is a blessing.
Evening time was the PCC group photo session! Everyone was on an official yellow shirt. Smile and say Cheese!
HW complained about his fingers movement after his 2nd day ride. He felt the numb and couldn’t bend his fingers. We thought it was alright and it shall gone soon. I teased him that caused by he spent too many time on guitar. A rainy night made me slept like a baby.
Tue, 30Aug05, Marang- Batu Rakit 110km
Our last quest! Another 110km to wrap up the trip. Marang to Batu Rakit is only 50+km from main road. The organizer is kind enough to discover other alternative routes for us so that we could enjoy more sight seeing. HW’s fingers still having difficulty to bend as usual. I saw him still able to push a button on camera, so, it was ok (Piu… he still able to take our picturesJ). Luckily, it was his turn to drive. From a winding road, we strolled into the outskirt villages where booby trap was everywhere. The notorious Cow Dang! Freshly baked! Everyone was yelling ‘Oh Shit… Ooh Oh Shit’. Shit indeed. Later on, CM complained that RW’s rear tyre was actually splashed up a small piece of dang to her face! Puke!
We caught up with a big peloton which in size of 100+ school kids in uniform and with Jalur Gemilang. The parade leader was possessing no less than 5 flags on his bike. I suppose it was a typical school event to celebrate ‘Merdeka’ Day. As a patriotic youth, I led the vow of ‘Merdeka’ while passing them. They replied in a joyful louder volume! We all felt excited and proud. It feels great still.
Kuala Berang! We stopped for our breakfast. A sumptuous east coast local delicacy! 1st time in my life, I ate a curry puff with fish filling. In fact, mostly, the kuih muih are all with fish filling. It was so tasty! Chatted with some local postmen who curious about us! We all shared the same Merdeka eve joy.
Sun had been so kind to us for the past 2 days.
Not today! We were roasted! The hot weather, UV and body heat started to tell me that I was tired. I got a second wind after a short break to regroup as some of the members were dropping further gradually. We also kept pumping water to hydrate ourselves. The last 20km, left only CM and me in group! WL left behind with his own pace, RW left us to tag with faster cyclist at a speed of 35km/h like remora fish (Traitor!). Poor CM had only me as cover. And, me, had nobody to cover! At least, I got CM as companion. Pity WL, only sun was with him. J
We were nearer to Batu Rakit for each pedaling we did. Chain and crank were swiveling well with each output from thighs to toes. Last 10km, we rode at 30km/h, CM still able to catch up. Great, I could put more focus on the road and maintaining the speed. I shouted out for the count down. 5km to go… 4km to go… 1km to go…
Cheeky RW came over to congratulate me and held my hands up and pose like winners. HW was video tapping. No wonder… We were the 2 in the group who survived in style throughout the 3 days of 350km. Shortly, WL arrived with his trademark smile! Officially, we declared “We all have made it”. Most importantly, we were all in one piece. God bless.
Had a very relaxing day. Soaking in the sea water, playing with the wave, peeping on bikini ladies, teasing each other for fun, sing together… WL continued his lonely walk along the beach. Must be missing his girl friend so much J Myself, already thought of my diving trip on the next day at Lang Tengah. The dinner was the most sumptuous one in 3 days. Lovely night to sleep in a cosy room.
I woke up late but still able to join the group for breakfast. HW showed me his catch-of-the-day in his camera.
Goodness me, a sexy bikini lady! Mouth watering & saliva dripping man… yeah, that had improved my appetite so much.
After some effort to squeeze 3 human beings & 4 bikes into Kia Sportage, it was time to waive goodbye to WL, CM & HW as they headed back to Kuantan, then KL. Me, RW & Richard who arrived last night will head to Lang Tengah instead for diving trip.
It is such a satisfying trip! Last year, the experience of falling when I tried to do drifting like InitialD still haunting me! Now, it is a history. A special compliment to RW who had stuck to the group, and giving her support to the rest most of the time. Normally, she is the typical remora fish that will suck herself to a faster group. A handful wild horse to control J WL’s organizing is a legacy that we shall not take for granted. HW & CM should feel proud of themselves for their 1st taste of such long distance ride. Their face already stamped with the wordings of ‘Ask for More’ for such energy-dissipating event. Indeed, it is another milestone for everyone. For me, it is another chapter of my OutdoorXplorer.