Friday, November 7, 2008

DAY 4 - JERANTUT BACK TO BENTONG

DAY 4 - JERANTUT BACK TO BENTONG
This would be our last day, a 130kms back to Bentong Rest House. We agreed to leave very early, before Subuh. Acid's water bottle is now filled with 100 Plus for today's final ride. The chocolate milk was now history. Our energy bar would be in the form of bananas. I filled my 3 waterbottles with mineral water and kek pisang as energy food in case breakfast got delayed.


Our timing was not perfect. Just as we started off, subuh azan sudah kedengaran. However, we decided to continue the ride and stopped along the route for Subuh. With blinking lights at rear and front, we made our way into the darkness as we said goodbye to Jerantut.



Rides in the early morning is always a fresh option. Breathing in the fresh cool air with the road almost to yourself is a choice I always prefer on my solo tours. Roughly 20 kms after, we stopped for our Subuh prayers. We were not very late. There were still jemaah about to leave the surau as we arrived.

As the mornig brightened up, we continued on. Eyes were now focussed on looking for a warong. We stopped at the first one we met. Nasi Lemak and half-boiled eggs were the main menu.


The rest of the journey was pretty uneventful. As usual Man, Acid and I took our time while the 2 Zuls rode at a faster cadence. The three of us stopped often. The first stretch from Jerantut to Benta was pleasant with the canopied winding road offering shady rest areas. This was the same experience on the first day.


By noon, we were in Raub. We had a pretty heavy lunch. The warong next to the Mosque had arrays of dishes - ikan bakar, gulai kawah, budu (of-course), sambal belacan, ayam goreng, ulams of various kinds, asam pedas, etc and etc. Lin Chi Kang, ABC, Kelapa, Sirap Bandung, etc and etc. A good lunch followed by jamak Zuhur and Asar. Next a 15mins doze off at the mosque terrace.


It was a chore pulling myself up for the remaining 34kms back to Bentong. The weather was still hot but we need to continue on. We stopped once at a warong and proceeded on for the last leg. The final few kms was a mighty climb and we could see the expanse of the valley of Lembah Bilut on our left. There were plenty of cars on both sides of the road. Then, it was a final stop at a sugarcane stall in Bentong where we met up with the 2 Zuls and then proceeded on to Bentong Rest House.

Acid and I took a quick shower at the Rest House. Refreshed, we exchanged our congrats and made our way home. For Acid, it would be another couple more hours. He left his car in my house. He would continue on to Muar.
A SUMMARY
A good short 4-day ride. I had planned this for the past several months, either solo or accompanied. The chanced meeting with Zulkifli during the Merdeka celebration increased the number of cyclists three fold.

Zul is a strong cyclist. This was his first touring experience and he is taking this newfound excitement like duck to water. I am happy for him. He is looking forward to his own future trips. I wish him all the very best as he chalked the kilometres in the future. My one advise to Zul would be, "slow down" a bit. After all, its not the destination. It is the journey. Incidentally, Thaqif my grand-nephew also knew Zul. They are both in the Wilayah Archery Club.

There is this other Zul. Together, they become the 2 Zuls I kept referring to. In his younger days (not that he is old), he competed in races. Hence his fast cadence. Zul rides very smoothly, very little body sway, a trademark of an experienced cyclist. I believe he too is getting hooked to touring. The 2 Zuls are now planning to do KL - Penang. Great. Same advise I would give this Zul - "slow down" to smell the flowers

Then there is Man. The cool guy. Already had done one solo ride recently from JB to Selangor. Strong cyclist too but prefers to take it easy and ride with the seniors. Travels very light, and I thought I am a light traveller. He will make a very good companion for anyone planning to do a cycling tour.

Last but not least will be the cyclist from Muar, ACID. He is certainly no acid. He is friendly and therefore very "alkaline". This is his first cycling tour experience, hence the chocolate milk drink for energy! He needs this experience to ready himself for his coming Sulawesi ride with me in Jan 2009. I would have done Sulawesi solo, if not for Acid "discovering" me through my blog. Like me, he would probably be trading his motorised bicycle with the non-motorised bike. I look forward to the ride in Sulawesi with Acid.

KEEP THE WHEELS TURNING GUYS

8 comments:

WOW power leveling said...

Not bad! I will come back to read more soon

acid said...

yes, it was a holiday well spent. 4 days on the road, fun and laughter (not mention sweat as well lar) with a small group of cyslists with good sense of humour.

nadya said...

en.ramli should ring my dad time sampai Raub, and hope not to late to welcome u n friend to my humble little town.

Don said...

Nice read ! ... & Sulawesi now awaits the both of u.

The same weekend we toured Kamunting-Lenggong-Kamunting via the Tasik Raban, & thn thru Ijok on the way back. Dun think u'll enjoy the climb on the rtn journey, tho. But the outback scenery & waterfalls was awesome ! ... no, we need not be rescued by the police this time ;)

ARZ said...

Nadya,

Next time I cycle thru Raub, I'll remember to ctc U first for direction to your house. Err...your mom is a good cook kan?

ARZ said...

Don,

Anyone from your ride group wrote anything about your Kamunting-Lenggong-Kamunting ride? Got climb one ha? Lucky thing you all don't need police rescue too.

Yes, Sulawesi here we come. My new ride partner ACID is itching to go.

Don said...

The climb kacang putih compared to the Thai 'experience'. Nevertheless, gradient some parts >10% & quite long too. But weather, road, traffic & scenery picture perfect. Mainly used for commuting by local villagers, incl org asli.

Anyway, I was jst reminiscing our horrid experience up in those Thai mountains & also distinctly remembered how much u 'love' pedaling steep climbs :p

Nope ... afraid none of us did a write-up. Will invite u to view my pic gallery soon.

Cheerz mate !

ARZ said...

Don,

Indeed one heck of an experience up on that killer mountain in Chengrai.
Appreciate d link to your photo page mate