Monday, December 01, 2008

And around we go...

There will not be any on-water session for the sailors today so I took the opportunity to cycle a longer distance. The past three days, it has been a mixed ride with two trips towards the airport and one, on Saturday, going around town. And I felt like taking a ride around the island.

I started a bit late, filling up with fuel before the ride. After all, I am expecting easily a 60 to 70km ride, if I got it right. Slowly warming up to the ride, when at the 5km mark, I heard an unmistakable sound of chains gliding over a drivetrain. "Nak ride pi mana?", came the question, from a triathlete (I guess) on an aerobar equipped bike.

I answered, "Tak tau lagi" as he passes me over. He is riding faster than me, but I felt that his moving his body too much. The first incline looms and suddenly he seems slowing down on it. I am inching slowly forward and suddenly I am by his side at the top of the hill. He must be surprised that I managed to catch him that he continues to speeding downhill.

The athlete in me wants to chase him down, but the more sensible side of me continues with my warm-up. Slowly increasing speed and I am feeling good, not forgetting to drink at specified interval crusing along Jalan Padang Matsirat. At the airport took the route towards Teluk Nibong. Inclined switchbacks were the staple of the route. I just love these kind of route.

After a good few kilometers of switchbacks I saw the most beautiful petrol station, just by the marina at Telaga Harbour. Stopped for a while and takes in the view. The cable car platform atop Mount Machincang can be seen in the distance. Next stop? But of course towards the cable car station.

Took the route to Mutiara, along the treetop lined road towards Oriental Geopark where the cable car station is. Stops to snap a few photos and were tempted to continue towards the Seven Wells, but not knowing where I will be heading, turn back and take the route along Jalan Teluk Ewa.

I think I should have gone towards Pantai Cenang (and check out the many hotels there), but took the inland route up north. The Teluk Ewa route was deserted except for the occasional car. It goes through a few villages, where rubber plantation is visible along the way.

Riding along I was tempted to go to Datai, and maybe visited the waterfalls but decided to trudge along towards Pantai Pasir Hitam. I saw a sign for Ibrahim Hussein Gallery, but I must have missed it earlier. Its a cool route, with the occasional village kids trying to race me on their bicycle. Hehehe...

After the LaFarge cement plant, I reached Pasir Hitam. the scenery is beautiful. I stopped at the public park there and took a few pictures. Then it happens. !@#$%!!! I dropped Sonny. I was trying to balance him on a ledge, but unfortunately its unbalanced, dropped and hit the lens on the wall. I could not retract Sonny's lens, it's jammed.

Tried to make it work again to no avail. Too bad, but still needs to continue. Hati panas je. Ride through the hot springs, along the way spotted a few nice views, but what to do, no cameras. The Wildlife Park and Galleria Perdana beckons but with no photo ops, decided not to stop. If Sonny was OK, definitely I would stop at every attraction. Sigh.

Approaching Kuah town after more than 2 hours riding (slowly, hehe) I planned to check out the banks so that I could do my banking obligation before its due :)  Cycling around Kuah, I spotted a few of my banks and proceeded to ride back when it struck. I broke a spoke on my rear wheel. Cheh, patah pulak but thankful that it broke nearing the finish.

Scotty limped through and after 2:45 on the bike, I reached base. Not too bad, for a 66km leisure ride. Hmm, now, would need to find out where can I repair my bike... Maybe, I'll ask Shahril then

No comments: