Cycling is like life. Cycling with no goal is meaningless. What meaning is there cycling in circles? Or living aimlessly? Meaning comes from direction and destination. Join me in my life's journey on a mountain bike :)

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Saturday, August 10, 2013

Older, crazier

8-10 Aug, Johore, Malaysia, 317 km

Day 1, Batu Pahat, 164 km. Alarm clock sounds. As if on cue, strong winds buffet trees and rain

pours. I feel like going back to bed, instead of cycling. But out I go anyway.

Like one of them said (there are six of us), nothing tastes good on this trip: the roti canai is like inner tube, even the ice does not feel cold. Only the durians are good: sweet, creamy, fragrant. Even the houseflies are in a feeding frenzy. They are more energetic than I am.
Nice long roads: light traffic, nice drivers, no traffic lights

By lunch time, I'd covered the equivalent of half a month's work of cycling. Only half the day has gone by. Dragon Brother (on a classic Bridgestone MB3 and fat tyres rolling lazily at 30 km/h) drops back so I can draft him to rejoin the rest. "Welcome back", says the Treasurer. "Are you sick?" asks D. "Sick of cycling," I reply.

The last time I was at this hotel was in 2005. It was a slow, easy ride then. Why is it so hard now? Then I realise I'm older now, fully loaded and with fat tyres on downhill rims and straight gauge spokes. Instead of 1.25" slick tyres on Made in France Mavic rims and double butted spokes, and support vehicles. So now, I'm older and crazier. My performance today is still sucky, but I feel better than when I started, wondering why I left a warm dry bed for a long wet ride.

Better to ride slow and be in good spirits, than to ride at high speed in low spirits. And at least it stopped raining up north, cool and overcast is good.

Nightstop: Pelican Hotel

Day 2, Kulai, 97 km. So, should I head home the way I came, or follow M to Rengas then break off from the rest as they go to Mersing? Pointless chatter in my head. D decides we shouldn't be heroes. We will cut short our trip by a day.

As it turns out, I'm frisky today. The wonder of a good night's sleep. Along the way, we stop for pineapples, drinks, breakfast part 2, then lunch.

The hills roll along this route. It is so hot, Zambuk melts, then solidifies at room temperature when temperature falls as the sun goes down.

Nightstop: B-link Hotel. This hotel is RM65 per room. It is small, we're told to leave our bicycles locked outside the hotel, then bring it into the reception for the night. The sink leaks, the water cistern is without cover (to flush, pull the lever inside). There's room for us here (and good food a few minutes' walk away), unlike at Batu Pahat, where we found room at the third hotel we checked with.

Add colour to your life. Wear colourful jerseys :)
Day 3, Singapore, 56 km. Treasurer has a neckache. Last night, Dragon Brother used his steely fingers. Today, I chop with the edges of my hands like knives on mincemeat. This is called massaging the numbers?

It's good cycling in Malaysia. The people are friendly, some drivers toot to say hello rather than "get out of the way". Almost all gives us our right of way. Some pedestrians cheer us.

With new roads, there are fewer slip roads to filter past. It's almost as safe as going back via Sultan Aminah Hospital (the coastal route). The onky thing that bugged me is a crank that creaks. I imaginedbit might explode in a shower of parts but it didn't, of course.

I'm glad I came after all.

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