Thursday, May 29, 2008




Air Asia was near full. 1 dozen of us added to the number of passengers. At 5.30 am I met 3 of my Phuket ride buddies on the bus at KL Sentral enroute to LCCT - YB Boh, GPS KC and wife Siew Ping.

YB BOH isn't from any political party. Once he removed his helmet, he will have his Western name that I coined for him, you know that famous actor who acted in the King and I! Well YB Boh, you can also call me YB Ramli and I'm also not from any political party either. And I chose to wear a bandana under my helmet too!

GPS KC is of-course the sleveeless cyclist in Phuket, the techno guy who could assure everyone we won't get lost on our cycling route with his satelite tracking. This time around, his techno info would be telling us how crazy we 12 cyclists were on this trip. More of this later.

Where GPS KC goes, you can rest assure Mrs GPS aka SIEW PING would be there. No, I don't believe it was to "track" KC's whereabouts. She, like KC is madly in love (with KC of-course) and also with cycling!

So there we were, on the bus, with the bulk of other passengers, still in wonderland. In the words of DON, it was 3 hours of everything. 3 hours of sleep so that he won't miss the plane, 3 hours of flight-time to Chiengmai, 3 hours of wait for the bus to take us from Chiengmai to Chiengrai, and another 3 hours by bus to Chiengrai. So Don, good things come in threes! If you are not sure whether it is the stalagtite or the stalagamite that hangs from the cave's roof, Don can sure tell you. Don loves nature, and loves caves too. But he is no hermit.

LCCT was as usual hectic, even in such early hours. How else can Air Asia maximise their planes and crews for multi-flights in a day if they don't start early. My nephew flies this red plane too. In one day, he can "tapau" Nasi Dagang in Kota Bharu to have it for late lunch in Surabaya!

Tour leader is ALAUDDIN, in his youthful mid-60s. No thanks to him, he, together with YB Boh had raised the average age of this cycling group to above 55. But he cycles at par with his younger colleague....err.... like me .....

Just like GPS KC and Siew Peng, where Alauddin goes, WENDY will be there. No, she won't ride on tandem. She can beat the men on the ups but slows down on the downs to give face, to cyclist like me. Sorry Wendy, can't seem to find a close-up of yor photo.

Upping the average age to 55 is RAHIM. Rahim is a mountain-lover with the "yee-ha" scream whenever he sees the bukit. As I puffed and sweared at the gradient, this lanky mountain-lover will yell out this donkey sound, much to my heart's annoyance. He's a dualthlete and now polishing his swimming to become a triathlete.

The check-in counter was crowded. The bike bags were oggling for space with the trolleys at the counter. We had our trusty ALIA up front at the counter, sorting out the tickets and the weighing in. She's the one with the loud "Bengali jual roti" horn and a proud Malaysian flag flattering in her helmet, whenever she rides off the Malaysian shores. Such patriotism.

There's another cyclist I have never met but have spoken to on several occassions. I bumped into him in the surau for Subuh prayers wearing the group's Pharmaton orange-colored T-Shirt. And since I was in my Khaki traveller's shirt, he never knew who I was! AZMAR, like me, love our butts. So we both have this old-fashion BROOKS saddle to cushion our butt.
He bought his but I was presented mine by my daughter. I suspect Azmar loves his Brooks saddle more than his butt. His saddle is permanently protected with the ladies shower cap, even while riding! With his long flowing hair, the shower cap doubles up for his bath. In my case, I used the shower cap as intended, when it showers --- to cover the saddle. I find it of no use when I shower!

Azmar, together with several others helped to "lower" the average age of the group. One of them would be this Iron Lady, who never hailed from the Iron Curtain. CAROLINE, a triathlete is the baby of this entourage, except that when it comes to cycling and climbing, she is no baby.

Completing the group is yours truly. Here posing with this "Thai police". Long after we are gone, this Thai Police will remain at his post, not moving an inch, nor eat or drink.

Sunday, May 25, 2008


The month of MAY will be a very meaningful cycling month. During the early part of May, I played host to 4 cycling enthusiasts from DUBIC Adventure from Sumatra. They were on a short cycling trip to explore Kuala Lumpur suburbs and I brought them to Putrajaya and also explore part of the old Gombak road.
And I had just come back from a short cycling trip in Chiengmai from 15th - 21st May. Story to follow.

It is also this month that two golfing buddies chose to take up cycling. One was motivated to shed kilograms to be healthier for his goal to be single (I mean in golf). He is Mahmood and I am amazed at his commitment and enthusiasm. He hails from the land of keropok lekor and therefore his "ang" sound is very loud!

As he said: "Lo ni, makang pun doh kughang. Rokok pung doh tok isap sebatang. Teh taghek sudah dilarang. Dalang duo minggu, doh hilang 4 kilograng! Anok kawe yang bernama Hassang, Pun dah terror nok kejar pun dah dok dang!"



Living in Bukit Jelutong, considered a cycling haven with its wide open space and friendly neighborhood, his enthusiasm was infectious. Apart from his son, his wife Nona has also taken up cycling. Congratulation Mood and family. His recruit has grown to include his neighbors, including one Tan Sri. So, it was on this usual Saturday that we got together to cycle around.

At the same, I was very happy when another golfing buddy, Wan Yahya also decided to take up cycling. He had his wife's support and they bought 2 bikes and was soon equpping their car with the bike racks to take them around with their bikes.


On Day 1 of having the bike, Wan didn't waste any time and started to ride. Like duck to water, the couple is now enjoying the benefits of cycling. I had these interesting sms's from Wan:

"Ari ni cycle dgn bini. Tak lah rasa sunyi
Tak jauh sangat, jadi rasa bangat
Kejap laju kejap slow, tak mace bila solo
Lalu rumah saing stop hile penat
Langkah kane, dia offer teh hangat
Bini suka tak terkira, esok nok lagi abe
Kita pun suka lah sebab ada ce!"
"Today Romeo & Juliet went on a ride again,
Yesterday 7km today 8km, a gain
The morning breeze help eased the intermittent pain
Uphill downhill then uphill again
The pleasure just found Romeo hopes he can sustain
Life is after all full of pain, gain, fame, sane, shame
And all else we frame"
I'm also glad I managed to dust-off my wife's Specialized bike and took it out from the store. Wifey also decided to join the other ladies to cycle around Bkt Jelutong. She had son Rafeq to escort her part of the way.

Mahmood's house has a great outdoor area at the rear. Where neighbors socialize, it was also where we gathered after the ride. We had healthy biscuits, grapes and coffee, compliment of Nona, the generous host. Terima kasih daun keladi la. Guess next ride it will be pot luck!


Hari kedua, Grup DUBIC keluar dari concrete jungle into real jungle, dimana anginnya lebih nyaman dan segar. Destinasi kali ini ke Janda Baik. Tapi awas dong, Janda nya baik tapi perjalanan menemui Janda amat mencabar.

Bertemankan 2 teman speda dari Malaysia, Bapak Olmo dan Bapak Suhaimi, kami sudah siap untuk berspeda, bermula daripada Hospital Orang Asli di Gombak. Bapak Saiful nampaknya yang paling excited. Difahamkan Pak Saiful pada awalnya telah bertemu seorang gadis dari Gombak secara sepintas lalu. Langsung terpikat dan tidak sabar lagi untuk memulakan perspedaan dan mencari gadis Gombak. Sabar Pak Saiful, izinkan saya perkenalkan grup kita pagi ini. Dari kiri - saya, Pak Olmo (orang PJ aje), Pak Ardiman, Pak Tonto, Pak Saiful, Pak Suhaimi (orang Telekom la). Jurukamera nya Kahar, anak Pak Ardiman.

Udara sejuk dipagi hari sungguh memberangsangkan. Setiap kali aku berspeda disini, rasa hilang stress.

Memang al maklum Jalan Gombak ke Janda Baik tu mendaki. Bapak Olmo dan Bapak Suhaimi punyai speda jalan, lalu dengan sekejap waktu sudah jauh kehadapan dan hilang dari pandangan. Tapi ini tidak mematahkan semangat Bapak Saiful. Walaupun berspeda Mountain Bike dengan tayar off-road, beliau juga memecut, melintasi Bapak Ardiman! Gambar yang dapat aku ambil pun blurr, maklumlah, terlampau laju Babak Saiful ni.

Kalau dah laju sangat, beginilah akibatnya nanti..............bapak Saiful dan kudanya sudah pancit!

....dan perjalan seterusnya perlu didorongi oleh Bapak Ardiman, yang memang banyak bertenaga. Lain kali Pak Saiful harus lakukan pacing, heh...heh... begitu lah ya kalau umur kita sudah menjangkau separuh abad. Tapi, semangat dan mental attitude tetap positif ya

Dan Bapak Tonto pun apa kurangnya. Motosikal pun dipotongi!!! Err...kurang pasti saya samada motosikal tu baru menjelma semasa foto diambil....Tapi kan Pak Tonto tu sidekick Lone Ranger, jadi pasti bisa memotong motosikal kan????

Jalan terus menunggak dari mula hinggalah ke km 18. Pendakian secara terus telah mengakibatkan kecelakaan kecil sekali lagi. Kalau semalamnya ban basikal Kahar kebocoran, hari ini rantai basikalnya pula putus. Mekaniknya pasti McGyver Ardiman.

Setelah disambungi, nyata sekali rantai basikal nggak bisa meneruskan pendakian ke Janda Baik. Keputusannya -- make a U-turn back. Wajah Pak Saiful melukiskan kehampaan kerana nggak bisa ketemu Janda yang baik. Tapi at the same time, beliau juga mencuri senyum, maklumlah bila U-turn, yang pastinya jalan menurun!

So, it was just a short ride. Disebaliknya, ini memberi peluang kepada tetamu dari seberang untuk meneruskan sight-seeing diKL disebelah petang

Esoknya mereka berangkat pulang. Sampe ketemu lagi bapak-bapak kalian

Thursday, May 8, 2008


Mei 2, 2008

DUBIC Adventure. Begitu lah nama kumpulan speda yang menjejaki Pelabuhan Kelang kemarin. DUBIC adalah acronym bagi DURI BIKING CLUB, iaitu satu kumpluan penggemar speda MTB dari sebuah tempat yang bernama Duri, terletak di Sumatra. Mereka yang datang kali ini dikepalai oleh Bapak Ardiman. Bapak Ardiman merupakan kenalan ku melalui alam siber. Tegap orang nya, bertugas disebuah syarikat minyak yang besar di Duri

Bapak Ardiman kali ini membawa anaknya, Kahar untuk bersama. Dia seorang jejaka yang punyai banyak potensi. Dalam bidang renang, beliau top 5 di Indonesia bahagian breast-stroke. Top 5 di Indonesia bukan calang-calang. Juga seorang juara tilawah al-Quran. Memang Bapak Ardiman ni seorang bapa mithali.

Bersama dalam rombongan ini Bapak Tonto. Tinggi orangnya, memang saiz ahli gusti. Teringat aku cerita western cowboy Lone Ranger yang punyai side-kick bernama Tonto. Barangkalai inilah orangnya! Hanya "kuda" beliau kali ini punyai 24 gear dan tidak makan rumput!
Dan yang sentiasa tersenyum dan selalu bikin banyak jokes, Bapak Saiful. Baru pensiun dan punyai prinsip hidup yang relax. Beliau masih mencari barang-barangan yang bisa dibeli dengan harga RM1 !!!

Jam 7:30 pagi, mereka sudah sedia menanti transportasi untuk ke Putrajaya. Cuaca pagi ini agak membimbangkan kerana ada rintik-rintik hujan yang sudah turun. Tiba di Taman Warisan Pertanian di Putrajaya, the sky became beautiful. But first thing first. Sarapan pagi sebelum berspeda. Ada juga segelintir kaki-tangan pejabat kerajaan di Putrajaya yang sedang makan disini.
Destinasi pertama adalah Masjid Putrajaya. Di pagi Jumaat, sudah ramai tourist-tourist yang mengunjungi kawasan ini. Tidak dilepaskan peluang, pose pertama dari DUBIC team pastinya melatar belakangkan Masjid Putrajaya yang tersergam.
Kemudian kami terus berspeda di Boulevard dimana pejabat-pejabat kerajaan berdiri tegap, setiap satu punyai architecture yang berbeza-beza.

First stop, Kantor Perbendaharaan. Sebagai kenangan bersama, aku pun masuk pose sebagai ahli associate DUBIC Adventure!
Bangunan yang kedua ini aku sendiri kurang pasti. Not a very good tourist guide ya.
After several more photoshoots, we headed for PICC, Putrajaya International Convention Centre.
Dalam perjalanan. speda Kahar mengalami sedikit kecelakaan. Ban sudah kebocoran. What's Ban? Tube! But as true cyclists, they came prepared. The chief mechanic was Bapak Ardiman and I noted his excellent skill. He would make a good touring buddy for me.
Tasek Putrajaya yang dibikin manusia juga merupakan destinasi speda. A ride by the lake and around the residential areas was a must. I planned to bring them on a tour of the wetlands but two things prevented me. One was time, as today is Friday hence to stop for Friday prayers. Keduanya, local tourist guide (Azudin, Penghulu Speda Club Putrajaya) was uncontactable. He was to be the guide.

And we finished the ride back at the Dataran Putra.
Tomorrow, we shall take the challenge of cycling to Janda Baik using the old Gombak - Bentong road. Bapak Saiful was looking forward to this ride.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


Tanggal 1hb Mei, 2004, aku punyai tugas menunggu 4 rakan-rakan speda dari seberang melawat Malaysia. Mereka berasal dari Duri, Sumatra. Nama tempatnya agak "tajam" tapi yang datang adalah disebaliknya. Aku mengenali salah seorang dari mereka, Bapak Ardiman, melalui internet. Walau digelar "bapak", orangnya lebih muda pada Bapak Ramli (iaitu saya). Beliau banyak membantu memberi maklumat semasa aku berspeda solo di Padang, Sumatera bulan November 2007. Baru kali ini aku akan bertemu dengan beliau dan rakan-rakan speda lain.
Sebagaimana dijanji, aku tiba dijeti pelabuhan Port Klang jam 5.30 ptg untuk menunggu ketibaan mereka. Aku diberitahu kapal bakal tiba dalam masa setengah jam. Untuk menghabiskan masa, aku ke jeti pelabuhan Pulau Ketam, terletak disebelah. Aku pun tidak pernah berkunjung ke Pulau Ketam. Teringin juga hendak kesana. Mungkin ketam dipulau ini lebih enak dan murah. Tapi aku tidak akan mengajak rakan-rakan ku dari PGM untuk ke Pulau Ketam. PGM bukan satu persatuan ala politik. Ianya adalah Persatuan Gaut Malaysia!!!!
Boat feri ke Pulau Ketam adalah sama bentuk dengan feri laju di sungai-sungai Sarawak. Ramai juga aku nampak penggemar-penggemar memancing yang baru pulang dari memancing. Berapa banyak ikan yang diperolehi aku tidak tahu kerana kotak simpanan ikan ditutup rapat-rapat. Ah, tak mengapa. Inikan hobi masing-masing. Tapi awas "dong" (tumpang bahasa Indon sikit), jangan bawa pulang ikan bawal dan bilang sama ibu Ikan bawal ini hasil pancing. Kok nanti ada perang besar dirumah dan tali kail jadi penjerut lehir bapak-bapak kalian!
Aku nampak dua kapal dari Indonesia mendekati jeti. Yang dihadapan dari Tg Balai sementara yang dibelakang dari Dumai. Rakan speda ku datang dari Dumai. Ini bererti kapal Dumai mesti menunggu sehingga kapal Tg Balai memuntahkan passenger dahulu. Ditambah dengan pemeriksaan immigrasi dan muatan feri Tg Balai yang melebehi 100 penumpang, kawan-kawan speda ku terpaksa "terkurung" dalam boat hampir 2 jam.

Penungguan agak memenatkan kerana air-cond dalam boat sudah dimatikan. Harga disel kan sudah naik melambong. Apabila giliran boat dari Dumai tiba, aku nampak 4 speda diatas boat bersama banyak muatan-muatan lain. Speda dan barang-barang lain sudah pun diturunkan tetapi penumpang tetap terkurung diatas boat.

Dari jauh aku sudah nampak jejaka yang berupa Bapak Ardiman. Pastinya beliau tidak tahu yang aku sudah tahu siapa dia. Heh...heh...

Waduh, lama sekali menunggu. Matahari pun sudah terbenam.

Akhirnya dapatlah juga ke-empat empat wira speda dari seberang menjejaki kaki ke Pelabuhan Klang.

Dan kerana masanya sudah agak terlewat, aku terus membawa mereka kerumah untuk jamuan Nasi Kerabu.

Esoknya kami mempunyai acara speda di Putrajaya.