Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Epic ride to Malacca

Some 240km away, organised by the most seasoned riders who frequent Malaysia... They decided doing it in a day was the way to do it, meeting at 2am in the morning:

12 riders set off into the night!
  Cruising at a modest pace of 26-27km/h, we cleared Johor and followed Route 1 where eventually the street lights were non existent... It made for a dangerous ride as the road quality deteriorated and visibility no more than a 20-30 metres, ave speed dropped to 22-24km/h and I moved to the front and switch my OEM Magicshine to high.

Even in high, not much can be seen, and hills were unidentifiable, playing an effective mind game where taking it easy and simply playing with the gears kept the heart rate stable.

Riding a Time Trial bike for long distances was a crazy choice and the thought was confirmed right after entering Malaysia . Trying many ways to change my riding position to as upright as possible, but doing so meant less control and I didn't want to do anything silly with so much distance to go...

After a short shower from the heavens, and what we thought was going to be a miserable ride in rain, sunrise in the horizon and we made it in to Ayer Hitam. Where there was a small coffee shop, time for food!

Circular bread toasted with Kaya and Butter... Too awesome... Gulped down 100 plus, a small packet of rice and off we went again.

Only for me to witness the most spine-chilling mechanical every cyclist should never ever witness. A rear derailleur going into the spokes.

I immediately knew a single speed conversion was the only way and the journey would get a lot tougher for the rider. A broken rear derailleur hanger was about as rare as it gets...

Looking good! But as we went on, the chain sometimes slipped and changed rear cogs, once the chain even came off.. Probably due to the damaged chain, as the chain was no longer true, bent beyond repair.

We were getting desperate for a solution, and some locals kindly showed as the way to a local bike shop:
The owner was so nice, he made a call and went off in his motorcycle, came back in a car, went off again and only came back some 45mins later where he said he couldn't find a similar rear hanger. Out of luck, the solution was for a new chain and to tension it tight!

Just like that we found new momentum, and enter the rolling hills towards Muar. On this 60km stretch, distance markers became our new found friends as the countdown began, kilometer after kilometer. One of our guys decided not to make take a rest and decided to push on all the way to Muah. Except we weren't going to Muar! We were going to turn right into the AMJ... We realized a little late, and the guy didn't have mobile coverage! I needed a rest but the others looked burnt and the fast guys were dealing with punctures.

Up to me, I sprinted for what seemed eternity and thankfully just before my limit I caught up. You know that if guy A travels at 25km/h and Guy B travels at 26km/h It would take 30 mins for Guy B to catch up with Guy A if Guy A had a head start of 500m.

During the day, hills were that more intimidating  as you look up the see where seems like a easy hill only to by spinning at granny at 10km/h wondering when the damn incline will end.

Anyway, we finally entered the AMJ (It's an abbreviation for the highway name, i think):
It was the last 50km stretch to Malacca, and it's the land of speed cars, smooth tarmac and luckily a decent road shoulder where we can ride two abreast. Probably the best/worse stretch of the whole ride depending on how you see it. Easy smooth flat terrain, or extremely boring sleep inducing road.

First it was the latter than the former, after which darkness came again but this time the body responded and I was falling asleep. Thanks to a Caffeine ball (Worked instantly), I took the lead again with my brighter lights all the way into Malacca.

Glorious food, a great ride there, lots of shopping malls, I should have stayed longer! But I guess there is always a next time!

Most of us took the bus back, but a brave four cycled back... To those four guys! I salute you!


  1. Sorry ar made u chase after me LOL!
    Hmm my phone have roaming and was on but i guess i didnt hear it ring lol

  2. This is great stuff. Epic ride. Still wondering which bus take on full sized bikes. Chartered one?

  3. Thomas: It's ok, everyone's safety first!

    Hey Jerping! We took a normal coach, it says "Delima coach", basically we just took our wheels put the bikes in the cargo area. Where all other passengers are entitled to do so.

    But 3 bikes on a single coach was pushing our luck a bit, luckily most passengers had small bags.