Sindrom Kematian Mengejut – Sediakah kita?

Dikhabarkan dari harian Metro seorang lelaki berhenti di R&R dengan enjin kereta hidup, ditemui dalam keadaan tidak bernyawa setengah jam kemudian. Semoga rohnya diampunkan dan sejahtera di alam barzakh, takziah buat keluarga semoga dipanyungi kesabaran atas ujian ini.

Sindrom kematian mengejut memang sesuatu yang biasa kedengaran dari masa ke semasa. Tidak mustahil, beberapa insiden kemalangan yang berlaku di jalanraya, mungkin disebabkan oleh pemandu mengalami sindrom kematian tiba-tiba ini yang menjadi punca berlakunya kemalangan – yang mungkin melibatkan nyawa orang lain.

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Darah beku dari saluran koronari, kerap ditemui semasa prosidur PCI untuk merawat pesakit mengalami serangan jantung

Walaupun statistik di negara ini tidak diketahi secara pasti, di seluruh dunia, terdapat sebab-sebab yang biasa dikaitkan dengan kematian tiba-tiba. Secara umumnya ada 5 atau 6 sebab utama (yang lainnya adalah sebab yang terjangka contohnya kemalangan maut baik di jalan raya atau situasi lain). Sebagai petua mudah, kematian tiba-tiba adalah sebab jantung, sehingga dibuktikan sebaliknya. 90% atau lebih kematian mengejut adalah disebabkan jantung, sementara lebih dari 70-80% penyakit jantung ini dikaitkan dengan serangan jantung (heart attack- myocardial infarction). Ada sebab-sebab lain yang dikaitkan dengan jantung abnormal yang boleh berlaku pada usia amat muda – contoh yang biasa ialah HOCM – Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy di mana jantung menebal (biasanya keturunan) ia antara punca kematian tiba-tiba yang lebih biasa di kalangan usia muda.

Oleh itu – fatal arrhythmia – gangguan rentak jantung yang bahaya seperti ventricular fibrillation/tachycardia adalah satu dari sebab utama. Ia boleh berlaku dalam konteks serangan jantung atau penyakit jantung kongenital tadi atau HOCM, walaupun terdapat sebab-sebab lain yang boleh membawa serangan ‘cardiac arrest’ ini, samada dikaitkan dengan struktur jantung tak normal, atau boleh jadi normal (ada gangguan elektrik, electrolyte dsb).

Seterusnya Serangan Jantung – dijangka sebab utama kematian pada usia muda 30an ke atas, malah ada yang lebih muda, 20an, jika ujudnya faktor risiko seperti sejarah keluarga atau kolesterol tinggi berketurunan (familial hyperlipidaemia). Ianya mungkin didahului dengan sakit dada, tetapi ada kes yang terlalu drastik di mana mangsa boleh terus rebah tiba-tiba, jangkamasa antara sakit dan pengsan terlalu cepat. Kematian disebabkan serangan jantung boleh berlaku kerana ‘pump failure’ iaitu jantung berhenti berfungsi akibat tisu jantung mati, atau gangguan rentak jantung (arrhythmia) seperti disebut di atas.

Oleh kerana serangan jantung ini merupakan sebab yang paling kerap, eloklah jika kita sentiasa memastikan terjauh dari risiko dengan menjalankan saringan serta amalkan gaya hidup sihat. Jauhi rokok, pemakanan sihat serta senaman adalah resepi yang baik. Jika ada darah tinggi, diabetes atau kolesterol, juga buat yang pernah mengalami sakit jantung pastikan mendapat rawatan dan pemantauan berterusan

Stroke yang besar (massive intracranial haemorrhage/stroke) boleh menyebabkan kematian mendadak. Simptom awal mungkin sakit kepala teruk, tetapi banyak kes yang berlaku secara mengejut, penderita terus pengsan (collapse) dan tak sedar. Di kalangan usia muda ‘sub-arachnoid haemorrhage’ – salurang darah (aneurysm) pecah menyebabkan pendarahan otak. Mungkin ada kaitan dengan sejarah keluarga. Sementara itu kes yang berlaku pada usia yang lebih matang mungkin banyak kaitan dengan darah tinggi, tekanan yang terlalu tinggi adalah satu risiko besar boleh berlakunya stroke/pendarahan tadi.

Darah beku di saluran paru-paru (Massive Pulmonary Embolism) boleh berlaku secara tiba-tiba menyebabkan kematian mengejut. Ia menyebabkan oksigen/darah tidak sampai ke jantung dan seluruh badan membawa situasi ‘shock’ yang membunuh. Mungkin didahului dengan simtom bengkak kaki (DVT) walaupun ada kes yang berlaku terlalu mendadak – PE dikaitkan dengan beberapa faktor risiko seperti pasca pembedahan, perjalanan jauh atau lama terlantar (tiada mobilisasi). Antara simtom awal ialah sesak napas, sakit dada dan pengsan berkali-kali.

Aortic dissection – luka saluran pembuluh utama (aorta) antara sebab lain membawa kematian mendadak. Ia mungkin berlaku pada seorang muda, ada kaitan dengan penyakit kongenital seperti Marfan’s syndrome, atau sejarah keluarga. Lebih kerap di kalangan usia pertengahan atau lewat, di mana ia juga dikatikan dengan darah tinggi yang tak terkawal. Simtom awal ialah sakit dada yang boleh menyerupai serangan jantung.

Senarai sebab-sebab kematian mendadak ada panjang lagi, yang lain mungkin kurang kerap menjadi penyebab. Pokoknya, jantung adalah penyebab utama, oleh itu saringan penyakit jantung terutamanya di kalangan mereka yang ada sejarah keluarga (ahli keluarga mengalami kematian mengejut) perlu dibuat untuk memastikan seseorang itu bebas risiko, atau jika ada dapat ditangani melalui pencegahan atau rawatan spesifik. Risiko atau penyakit jantung koronari yang menyebabkan kematian mungkin agak mudah untuk disaring, tetapi risiko penyakit-penyakit lain di atas kadangkala tidak mudah untuk dikesan dan memerlukan ujian rapi dan berulang.

Akhir kata, saya ulang kata-kata seorang bapak kardiologis Indonesia: Sudden death is a bad news, but it may be not as bad after all, think about the other way of death? Mungkin ada betulnya, cuma yang menjadi perhatian utama ialah mengesan dan mengurangkan risiko kematian mendadak pada usia muda atau pramatang. Selebihnya baik kita sentiasa menyediakan diri kerana tiada seorang pun tahu bilakah masanya akan tiba.
“Sesungguhnya ketetapan Allah apabila telah datang tidak dapat ditangguhkan, kalau kamu mengetahui” (Nuh: 4)

A historic journey of a father and son on their Triumph bikes touring the Peninsular in 4 days

Not to forget their awesome company, a Golf GTI singly driven by the mother

It was a great delight and a sigh of relief as both of us arrived in front of the house gate on Thursday evening at 7.34pm on two Triumph bikes (a Street Triple and a Bonneville T214), shortly followed by the Golf GTI. A duo of father and son who have just completed 4-day tour of Peninsular Malaysia, accompanied by the rest of the family driven by their mother on a Golf GTI which acted as a backup vehicle as well.

Altogether we rode a total distance of 1668.5km, starting from Petronas Hulu Klang covering the following destinations:
Parit Sulong, Batu Pahat – mother’s house
Kampung Maju Jaya, Skudai Johor – Sekolah Islam HIdayah & nearby homestay
Mersing Jetty & town
Cherating Pahang
Dungun Trengganu
Sungai Tong, Trengganu
Jeli, Kelantan
East-West Highway stop at Royal Belum Resort
Gerik, Perak
Ipoh Perak
Yup, we missed Perlis, Kedah and Penang completely! though the initial intention was to stretch the route northworth covering the three states, however due to some circumstances, we changed plan in the last minute…nevertheless this was a fascinating experience and a real breakthrough in my relatively new riding history. Prior to this, I had never been out on a long ride longer than two days.

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The machines, that have made history…Triumph Bonneville T214 and Street Triple ABS. The car, as you know Golf GTI

The inception
No big activity could have taken place without proper planning. I have been dreaming of taking this Peninsular tour for quite a while, and waited for the best opportunity to invite the son, Harith to join. This was going to be our, two of us, ride. Well, other people might join or be invited, since I always wanted assurance and guidance in tackling such an arduous journey. Bearing in mind, we had never toured the Peninsular by any means, including cars, for the whole lenght of my life. This was a history.

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The Route, courtesy of Route4Me iPAD version, this apps greatly help to chart your journey, draw as many checkpoints or stops and you can edit or change the sequence as you like

The son was just finishing his works at the Espresso lab, so the timing was just right. This also coincided with the wife having a meeting among school principals in JB. Then I needed to visit the mother in Batu Pahat. I have always wanted to do this Peninsular tour on the bike, but time never permitted. With a little bit of adjustment here and there, I thought all can be accomplished this time at once. Knowing from friends who have done the road tour, three days is a good duration for quick, light tour – longer time needed depends on the particular purpose of the tour, say if for tasting local delicacies and enjoying scenic views on every town then you definitely will need a week or so.
I began by drawing the plan, starting from home, each of the major checkpoints drawn up. The route was constructed using an app called Route4Me, downloaded on the iPAD – it came on similar version on Android, though not as flexible. My aim was to follow as much of the trunk road that run along the coast – on the East especially, as I had never been through this route before (well technically, yes I did once or twice before, on a car, driving – between Johor and Trengganu).
The big issue is tackling the unknown. I have done several long trips alone before, therefore have a good confidence of my endurance and patience on the road. The machine – be it the Street or the Bonneville, both have been tested and I have good confidence in them for long distance ride, they are not dedicated touring bikes, but they are rather ideal day to day  bikes, and now I would like to take my day to day machine for a long distance tour, why not? In fact I had taken the son along once or twice, that’s apart from other group convoy with the MyIkram Bikers that he joined. Therefore, I have a good feel of how to deal with the different roads on a long journey. What I mean by the unknown, in such a long trip (exceeding 1000km), you have to be ready to face issues like correct timing, where to stop/overnight, what are the roads like, and more importantly potential technical problems with your bike.
There is nothing more convenient than consulting friends/groups in order to reassure yourself of the plan. Immediately after I have drawn the route, I posted the map on MIB facebook, asking the members for advice and feedback. Many were pleasantly surprised at my intention – they had always been teasing me as a frequent traveler on the two wheels despite my insistence that I mainly ride for work (!). They offered advice and helped to refine the plan. Some gave advice about preparation – emergency kits (basic tools including puncture repair kits – which would only work for the tubeless Street tyres), where best to stop or eat, which best route to take or even offering to meet up if I pass by their towns.

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Both riders and bikes were tested riding various terrains and weather over the 4 days period

Though I have driven on some of these roads before, riding is a totally different game. This is where experienced friends come in handy. They told me what the each of the routes are like and what special precautions need to be taken on each of the route, especially the coastal road between Johor Bahru-Mersing-Kuantan. Then the famous East-West highway linking Kelantan to Perak, which I had never traveled by in the past.
Two most important concerns were the timing and distance to be covered so that I could complete the journey within the intended time. In general my aim was to cover not more than 500km a day, may be slightly more or less. Technically 500km can be tackled within a full 5 hours riding, add in the stopping time for refuelling and rest, this would come to at least 7 hours total time, easy riding that is. Syed hinted that the optimum speed would be 130-140km/hr which was my target too, though I aimed slightly less when riding at night time, or through the more challenging route, it would be safer to ride at your own comfortable pace. On a long journey like this, high speed would only make you tired faster especially with strong wind gust, furthermore most of the journey was going to be on trunk road, giving less chance for speeding anyway.
In the beginning we left the checkpoints very flexible – having fixed the first two which was Batu Pahat and Johor Bahru, the subsequent one could be anywhere as near as Mersing or as far as Kuala Trengganu! I had a little concern though about the East-West highway, and because the Golf is part of the team, we have to consider the traffic condition to suit our plan. I asked the friends what would be the best time to start the journey from the East so we could reach Grik before night time. At this moment there was some anxiety and uncertainty, from hearing the story of other people who have traveled the road during night time. The particular hazard or fear was with wondering elephants! And now one friend said we may encounter the beast even during the daytime. That prospect worried us a bit, so I sought a workable solution by asking if Su Yan (Wan Sufian, my wife’s uncle) who is a biker, to accompany us. We could not confirm this until we met him during our night stay at his house. As a precaution we changed plan a bit so that we shall start crossing the highway by 3pm – giving plenty of time for the Golf in case there would be long traffic ques along the way.
The two machines – Street and Bonneville have been known to be reliable, no major mechanical problems thus far. The only thing that ever immobilised the vehicle – the Street Triple in this case, were tyre punctures and flat battery. With over 20,000 km clocked on both, I had full confidence that both bikes should be able to tackle the entire journey with a breeze. I brought the Street for a quick check at Fastbike PJ, in case of any anticipated issues. Everything seemed fine, I was told, nevertheless the brake pads were a bit more than halfway worn (40%), which should be safe enough to proceed the journey without replacing. I brought the emergency puncture repair kits (plugs) and a home manual bike pump which we loaded into the car due to its large size. I also took a set of electronic jump starter (worked with a power bank). We have contacts in case the vehicles encountered serious problems that required towing.

The Round Tour began
Night riders…Ampang-Batu Pahat
Distance 225km. Travel time: 3 hours 10 minutes (25 minutes break)
It was not the intention at all, but partly may have been due to poor planning plus fatigue. I had planned to begin the journey on Sunday evening, immediately after the meeting that took place at the Space Bukit Jelutong, aiming to complete the ride before dark, mostly. This proved impossible, as the meeting ended past 5pm, we have to ride back home, get the kids ready and only then start the trip. Then I was feeling drowsy due to lack of sleep the previous night, so on reaching home I took a quick nap, woke up at maghrib time. In the end we did not start moving until 9pm. Yes despite my earlier worries and trying to avoid riding at night, here we were pressed by circumstances, so around 9pm we started the ride from Petronas Hulu Klang. The Golf had started slightly earlier, we caught up with them somewhere past Cheras, both bikes cruised handily amid the traffic congestion.
Leaving at this hour, with much to catch up, I tried to keep everything calm and told Harith to take his time. We got all the gears ready, refueled and quietly began the ride. Traffic was heavy but both riders were used to this kind of situation, we moved smoothly, applying the skill of lane splitting. Occasionally we had to slow down manouvering along tight vehicle gaps. Once passed the Sungai Besi Tol things were fine. Weather was good and the cool night time temperature allowed us to enjoy the ride better, though I kept the speed down, increasing it gradually as the traffic eased off. Riding on the PLUS highway down South has been a fairly regular affairs for me, not less than 4-5 times before, and perhaps a hundred times driving, therefore this section of the road was among the most familiar to me, including the B road from the Pagoh exit to Parit Sulong. This probably was the main reason for having confidence to begin the journey at night, besides the time factor.

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As it goes, the only obstacle to smooth and straight riding on the highways is the volume of traffic, plus those fast lane parkers nuisances – even at the four lane highway between Seremban-Melaka, we still have to ride between cars on fastlane, which did affect the speed somehow. We took a stop at Ayer Keroh for refuelling and quick bite. The wife decided to continue with the journey hence we were left for a good distance behind.
The most tricky part of the ride at this hour was the B road on exit at Pagoh. Most part of the journey was unlit, with not so much of sharp corners, and few slopes. We took it easy, maintaining speed between 100-120km/h (at corners the speed might drop considerably due to poor vision!). For Harith this would be considered his first experience of long ride at night, he seemed to be doing fine, closely following behind. I kept track of his movement every few minutes by glancing at the side mirrors, when I spotted the double spotlights (or ‘bug-eyes’ trademark of the Street Triple) that meant he was there following close behind.
We arrived at Parit Sulong and rode further, climbing the famous tall bridge crossing the river and took the right turn at Parit Jalil. Kampung Parit Abdul Hadi is located somewhat in the middle between Parit Sulong and Tongkang Pechah. The turn to the village was a narrow tarmac runs along a canal, but there was no highly visible signboard to the village, and shamingly even after having passed by this route for hundreds of times I could stll miss the turn to my own village! It was not difficult for me to realise I have gone too far from my mother’s kampung turn, as the road (Jalan Parit Jalil) leading to the village is all a straight one, once the road started turning I instantly knew I have well passed it! So off we went, made a U-turn and slowly rode back up toward the village, keeping close eyes on the barely visible signboard and hut facing the village.
Riding on the small tarmac road along the canal, only a few seconds before turning right to ride on gravel towards my mother’s house. Earlier my sister in law warned us of a fallen log (from the dead palmtree) blocking most of the road. Indeed there was just a narrow passage around it, it did allow a car to pass with most of the body has to roll over the grass. This should be a job for me in the morning, I reminded myself.

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At mother’s house we rode both bikes under the shelter for the overnight parking. This was not the first time father and son arrived here on the bikes, yet my mother was still baffled as usual, she must be impressed how the little boy had grown up fast and now able to bring himself to travel the distance to visit the grandmother. This was the first mission – visit the mother, pass her some medicine for my brother, met by younger brother, and the next morning used my bare hands to lift that big log that was blocking the road. My younger brother left for work early in the morning, so I did the job removing the log mysef and all the women were pleased now the passage is clear.

Ride 2 – Batu Pahat – Johor Bahru
Distance 123km. Time: 2 hours (10 mins break)
Since we did not have to be in Johor Bahru so early I took the morning time to rest, had a nap and only started the journey at 1pm.
We followed the Jalan Parit Jalil-Tongkang Pechah heading to Yong Peng towards the Yong Peng Tol Plaza to join the PLUS highway JB direction. We stopped at Machap for refuel, again the Golf left us. We followed the highway passed Skudai exit, towards Kempas tol plaza then followed the B road heading to Sekolah Islam Hidayah. This time we arrived slightly ahead of the Golf, as we parked the bikes across the road we spotted the Golf coming from the opposite direction driven straight to the school ground.
This was mission 2: accompany the wife attending school Principal’s meeting, and the daughter Nawal attending the Musleh school competition. We stayed at a homestay nearby, this was a village slightly bigger and developed than my kampung. In the evening we rode around the village to the nearby warong. There was a nearby Surau which I went for the maghrib prayer, and at Subuh I joined the congregation at the mosque nearby the Hidayah.
There was nothing peculiar about the ride, highway was straight road with modest traffic. We did not have to pass by the very dense and crazy traffic of Johor Bahru since we zoomed straight after the Kempas exit to the Hidayah school, the road were small and fairly busy with many potholes here and there. Going the homestay direction was even smaller tarmac road, and turning in toward the homestay we rode over rough gravel gently manouvering the healy and uneven surfaces with rocks splattered everywhere, this could be some hazard to the tyres if we were to press hard. Fortunately the passage was fairly short and we mostly used the car to go in and out of the house. Yes, I admit, this is an advantage of having a car in the convoy without which your movement would be much different perhaps.

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Ride 3: Johor Bahru – Mersing- Pekan – Cherating – Dungun
Goal 3: Visiting Wan’s uncle. Goal 4: Coastal ride Mersing-Dungun Goal 5: Meet up Ahmed (not done)
Distance 493km. Travel time (minus break): 7 hours 40min
This was the longest ride covering three states of Johor, Pahang and Trengganu all in one day. First of all I was a bit exhausted from lack of sleep the night before. We stopped for two and a half hours at Pekan Pahang, for prayers, quick bite and long nap. With the exception of short stint at Kuantan-Cherating bypass, all the other rides were not highways, this has given us a unique experience on the bikes, the car had to cope much with traffic and narrow road forcing Wan to go at slower speed I believe. Throughout the journey the rides have given advantage over the car I supposed, when we consistently arrived earlier than the car, if not much earlier. Hilly roads, bends and rough surfaces at many points especially JB-Mersing route, we kept speed below 130km/hr mostly, traffic was quite busy, at times we were forced to sneak through the narrow ‘motor’ lane (technically hard shoulder!), which was the only option for overtaking. When doing this I ensure the boy can see enough (me) in front of him, speed is kept low, and I tried to spend as little time on this hard shoulder. On small road like this there was always the possibility of encountering vehicles including motorbikes parked over the hard shoulder therefore blocking smooth access, or even caught us by surprise – in order to avoid this hazardous situation, I always try to stay on the hard shoulder (when necessary) on the straight part only, whenever there is a bend, I quickly moved in. One more, all these hard shoulders tend to disappear or get extremely narrow when it comes to a bridge, so you are well advised to move in on sighting a bridge ahead. Here I start to sense the boy has developed his own instinct, which he sometimes did not follow my tempo completely, like going over the hard shoulder, though I noticed he would not go over the hard shoulder by himself, means he has made sense of the potential danger.

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We left around 8am heading towards Mersing. I made one stop for refuel. We headed towards the Mersing Jetty then made a round and stopped by at Chamek cafe for breakfast. Wan who arrived a bit later parked the car in front of Chamek to join us. The cafe is facing the Mersing river. We had nasi lemak for breakfast which lasted almost an hour. I intentionally gave a longer break, anticipating a long and undulating journey ahead. Then we realised the car was parked at the town council spots and before we managed to do anything the uniformed staff had issued a summonse ticket! I later rode to their office and paid the summonse of RM10 (discounted), there you go, RM10 for an hour parking in Mersing was a bit much you guessed! Wan left earlier, so we took a round towards the beach, took a photo snaps, then hit the road towards Cherating.

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The Mersing-Pekan route was a fascinating coastal ride, the roads were much wider and smoother, with quite a few bends in between. Here we enjoyed empty roads at several parts, lovely views and at certain points we could clearly see the blue sea on the right. We arrived in Pekan town, rode slowly passing the modest traffic and stopped at Masjid Sultan Ahmad Shah. Here we had a long break, allowing the afternoon hot weather to subside. It was adjacent to the royal cemetery and the historic muzeum. Then we crossed the Sungai Pahang and rode the remaining of the coastal road heading to Cherating.
Though the initial plan was to follow the coastal road all the way, the Gmaps had somewhat mislead me to follow the Kuantan bypass instead. Here we rode past the reminiscent of red bauxite mining site, the pollutants can still along the highway. Pekan-Cherating was a good 2 hour ride, almost.
We stopped at Petronas Cherating for refuel and evening tea. At 6pm we hit the road heading the destination for the day in Dungun. This was slightly less than 90 minutes ride along the scenic route of Jalan Kemaman-Dungun. We stopped at the oil depot to capture the evening sunset view of the area. It was near sunset, we continued riding and arrived at the mosque nearby Su Yan’s house just when the Azan was called. Here we stopped for maghrib and isya prayer combined, after which we rode the bike to Su Yan’s house. Now everyone was almost flat after enduring such a long ride or drive. We chatted for a while, mostly about bikes and rides. Su Yan is a season rider, he currently owns a BMW GS1200 (latest version with low seat). Prior to this he started with an ER6, then a Yamaha FJR, then Honda VFR before changing to the GS. After much persuasion he agreed to accompany us for part of the journey heading to Gerik. We agreed now to skip Kota Bahru (therefore dropping Goal 6: visiting Wan’s grandmother).

Miracle of a sick child
The day did not just end there. In fact the day did not end, it was another sleepless night when our daughter Nawal complained of severe stomach ache. She had it for two days, I have tried some medicine and today we bought some other medicine for antispasm and sickness. She did not settle completely but I saw her falling asleep so we left her in the other room. Suddenly just past midnight she came awaking us crying, seemed to be the worst one. All the medicines were given. Hmmm a bit more paracetamol, I groaned. She never stopped sobbing. I woke up and sat beside her, told her to drink water. But she refused saying that the pain got worse when she drank water. I immediately summoned the wife to look for milk, there was no fresh milk in the house, so we went out to the nearby 7-eleven, get some milk and bread, noting that Nawal had not eaten much during the day. We gave her the milk and prayed she will get better. She slept for a wink then awoke and complained again. Now its a failure of a home doctor, and time to move on to next step. We take her to the hospital then, I said to the wife. It could be appendix, I murmured (recalling the past experience how I diagnosed my wife of having appendicitis, she successfully underwent the operation).
Many things came in mind then, maybe, I thought, this is the end of the tour then. We have to scap everything and focus on getting our daughter treated. The wife even suggested she drove home straight away, bring poor Nawal to a local hospital in KL where it will be near our home, and furthermore better facilities and experties. I on the other hand, as a doctor, thought we should get her diagnosed then make plan after discussing with the doctors.
We asked the young girl to put on her dress and tudung, meanwhile I asked my wife if we have her birth certficate or Mykid for identification when registering. Both negative. So, I sat down while browsing my old emails and folders contained in Gdrive, after a little while found her birth cert and passport scanned. Hmm that will do I thought. As we were doing all that I asked Nawal about ther pain. Kind of sharp and in the middle of her stomach, earlier on I felt no tenderness, now there was some tenderness. I pressed a bit to elicit rebound but negative. Then pressed again…and read Al Fatihah and prayers. Then not long after she felt asleep. Just as we got up and ready to move, she was lying in bed, deep asleep. So I thought, maybe we can wait, if she did not complain anymore we can take her in the morning. I woke up just at Subuh, and Nawal was not there, apparently she went back to her room. Later when I asked how she was, she said fine, and asked me a strange question: Ayah, what did the doctor do last night? Taken by surprise, I paused a while, and quizzed her: Did you remember going to the doctor? ‘Yes, his name so and so….and he said I did something wrong and has to pay a fine or something…’ that was a bit baffling. We kept asking her later and she told us of having a dream and met this nice doctor who had done something that cured her.
I kept close eye on her daily, and she never complained of the pain anymore, the severe stomach ache had completely gone! Praise be to God.

Ride 4: Dungun – Sg. Tong – Gerik (Royal Belum)
Distance: 362 km Ride time: 4.5 hours (Dungun-Sg. Tong 3 bikes including GS)
We started a bit later than planned, at 0730 we were ready on the bike and the Golf left after a brief photo session. Su Yan asked me if I wanted to ride the GS and he will ride my Bonneville. That will be great I thought. This is a low version GS and I could comfortably reach both feet on the ground, tip toeing that is. Otherwise I was quite familiar with the bike, in term of handling at least, as I had already done a test ride previously at Motorrad. We first rode to nearby petrol station for refuel of the two Triumph. The GS has got a near full tank when I started it, with one bar less on the fuel indicator. Su Yan lead the journey heading towards Kuala Trengganu/LPT.

I stayed in the middle, and soon could not cope with the temptation, so once we hit the highway I cruised passed Su Yan revving the throttle hard, and soon the speedo topped past 180km/hr. But I could not last long, as I have to wait fot the two bikers anyway. Harith attempted to follow suit whenever I sprinted at speed. The GS is a wonderful machine, it is light, powerful and quick. I have to be careful with the throttle, in fact there was less of a feel as to what speed you are, that happened when I hit past 200 mark and the bike did not show any sign of fatigue. It was a real breeze, putting the Bonnie in shame I supposed. By now, I guessed Su Yan may be wondering why he bothered switching bike! I tried to tempt him by riding close, and he did reach close to 160km/hr, thats it, no sign he is going faster, indeed he kept his speed around 150km/hr, so I had to follow his pace, and sprint ahead once in a while, then slowed down to wait for them again.

As I experienced before, standing still you could feel the vibration from the twin cylinder engine, it has got short gearing for first to third, a third one could take you to 100plus and good for rolling slowly, feels steady and fourth can take you all the way beyond 160 though screaming exhaust notes will come fast, so you better take from the 5th gear onward. Sure its a speed demon, with an average of 180km/hr is reportedly the ‘normal’ speed for all those GS users. What more, the new bike has a sleek design, the pannier bracket is hardly visible if you take out the pannier boxes. And it is designed to take loads, plus passengers, and can cope well with various terrains! Other less able competitor, from Triumph like the Tiger XC or XR, of a smaller capacity of course, and does not have that high sprinting ability (as far as I have tested the Tiger which was great for ‘lower speed’ travel per se, understandably with lower cc). The Triumph Explorer would be the matching competitor, though not available yet, and no guarantee it can fit my height. Or Sports touring, which again I will be faced with height contraint… The only lacking in GS, its not a sportsbike, a little lack of characters, thats it. So for now, I can only dream….yup, I have got two wonderful Triumph bikes now about proving their worth by completing this tour.
We had tasty local breakfast Trengganu style (nasi berlauk – rice with fish) at Sungai Tong. Here I took the wife for a quick spin on the GS, she seemed a bit scared with the high sitting position and could not adjust herself comfortably, well maybe I went a bit rough on the ride, trying to push hard to a high speed too fast on that small and bendy road!
Now we parted with Su Yan and continued our journey heading to Gerik, via the LPT. We stopped at Jeli for refuel – this is a must since there will be no refuel station between Jeli and Gerik (about 124km). The ride was kept at much lower speed due to high traffic volume and small road, hardly any hard shoulders. We were stopped twice at the Police roadblocks – cleared on both occassions and I had to apologise to the cops for not having P plate on Harith’s bike, they seemed not bothered by that…so when we stopped at Petronas Jeli, I bought two pairs of P plates and put them on both bikes front and rear.

From Jeli, we exchanged bikes – I rode the Street Triple and Harith the Bonnie. That was a world difference riding a sportsbike going around corners, well, the Street is the perfect answer for those brave enough, I was only half brave, yet it was definitely more enjoyable, keep at low gears and the bike roared loudly snapping corners one after another. I noticed Harith was left far behind, and on a few occassions I had to stop on the roadside and wait. This did not happen when he was riding the Street, well, maybe familiarity, that also proved the boy is a careful rider, he knows how to suit the ride according to the bike.
The fantasy ended as we reached the R&R (banjaran Titiwangsa), we changed back to our own bikes. I was still able to manouver the corners nicely with the Bonnie of course, in a slightly different style. Riding this highway is fun, and perhaps the only way you can pass by the congested road caused by many heavy vehicles like the military trucks. We started at the same time with the Golf as we left the R & R, soon the Golf was left behind along with the strings of vehicles. There were quite a few overtaking lanes along the way thankfully, but the big difference for the bikes, we did not have to wait for those lanes! Whenever there was little ‘clearance’ we could march forward for quick overtaking, especially most of the vehicles were going at fairly slow pace around the corners.

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The two beasts standing proudly ever willing to take the owners anywhere they wish…

Overtaking at corners can be a bit tricky though, one has to aim for the correct timing and good throttle control otherwise you are looking for for an overshoot soon. I did have that once (almost) when, without realising, after passing a corner the road surface suddenly changed to a much irregular one with some gravel here and there….the bike kind of veered straight heading to the ditch, I quickly countersteered to lean on the opposite site. That remedied the situation but with one other problem. The boy who followed too close behind was caught by surprise and had to swerve rightward to the opposite lane (by inches), lucky the road was clear or no speeding junkies coming from the opposite! Since my policy was to give ‘room’ for escape everytime I passed other vehicles, that did help to keep us clear of the potential hazards.
Perhaps due to the preoccupation with tackling the bends, we missed the next checkpoint at Royal Belum resort! and when I realised, we were already 30km away…you are just 15mins to Gerik town, sir, the girl at the BHP station told me. They have however run out of petrol so we could not refuel. But no urgency as yet, we still have over 100km to cover with the tank half full, so we made a U turn heading back to the Belum. This time I put on the GPS, which was not used earlier, due to poor network signal.

At the Belum Resort, night with elephants and all that…
The most important reason to stay in Belum, is its scenic view which only from the resort viewing plane you can enjoy the beautiful landscape of the forest, mountain and the lake (Tasik Temenggor). Besides, you can stay till midnight when it is time for elephant watching, if you wish. We did that, drove out around the midnight heading towards the R & R, and spotted the elephants on the way going and coming back.

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Apart from this, the resort is quite decent, perhaps a 3-4 star quality, food so-so, its got a lovely yet shallow pool, and quite ‘isolated’ from all amenities, which is not less than half an hour away if you are talking about Gerik. The cost? very dear at close to RM400 per night. For us as a family, and first time experience traveling via this highway, it was just the perfect solution for an overnight stay, for the above purposes.

Ride 5: The journey home
Due to the elephant watching, we had so little sleep at night, therefore we started the next day a little late. Starting at 10.30am, we had another stint of cornering lesson, and stopped at Rahim Mydin restaurant for breakast.
Our next destination was Ipoh, with a brief stop somewhere past Gerik town for refuel. In Ipoh we visited Wan’s friend who just lost her 19 year old son out of a sudden (sudden death). There were discussion with the family who were still grieving the loss, and a bit of medical consultation about screening the family members took place.
From the house we visited, we headed towards the highway (PLUS) and rode till Ulu Bernam for prayers, late lunch and refuel.
It was not till we passed Tapah (the refuel was in Tapah R & R) when heavy rain started, both of us were drenched! This was the only rain experience throughout the ride. I was quite used with dealing with rain, wore a rainproof gears (leather jacket/trousers) though this time was a real heavy, forcing many vehicles to move slowly (below 80km/hr! though some remain in fastlane which was a big nuisance), we still have to observe every caution when the rain became too heavy somewhat impairing good visibility. Though I managed to keep dry my socks were half wet, that needed change at the stop.
We only managed to leave Ulu Bernam R & R around 6.30pm, and reached home at 7.34pm (the Golf followed suit a little later).

Successful tour, 3 awesome machines accomplished the mission!
We spent in total just over 24 hours on the bike from the start to the end.
Both bikes, the Triumph Bonneville T214 and Triumph Street Triple have proven their worth and reliability for completing the tour without any problem at all. They have afforded the riders so much thrill and adventure.
Not to forget of course, similarly the Golf GTI driven by an unbeatable woman, a strong performance car giving endless joy and comfort
Thanks God, everyone was safe and sound and back as welcome heroes after completing the challenging journey.

(For short video depicting our experience click here)

Ramadan datang lagi…jom sediakan diri!

Simple tips seperti yang terkandung dalam Riadhussalihin yang kami baru mentalaah semasa usrah tadi.
Puasa adalah kewajipan yang telah difardukan kepada umat terdahulu – Yahudi/Nasrani, dengan tujuan yang sama, untuk membina Taqwa. Oleh itu tema puasa adalah pembinaan Taqwa. Taqwa menggambarkan dekatnya hamba kepada Allah, dan terpelihara (dari melanggar batasan/murka Allah). Ayat al Baqarah 183
Hadis yang jelas menyebut keistimewaan puasa: Hadis Qudsi: Semua amal anak Adam dapat untuknya kecuali puasa, maka itu untukKu (sahaja), dan Aku sendiri yang akan membalasnya. Dan puasa itu sebagai perisai…untuk orang yang berpuasa dua kegembiraan – ketika berbuka puasa, dan ketika mengadap Allah nanti. Memang benar, seseorang boleh dilihat bersembahyang, bersedekah, haji, jihad dsb, tetapi kita tak boleh melihat seseorang itu berpuasa! Anda puasa? Ya jawabnya, apa buktinya? Kerana anda tak makan dan minum, di hadapan saya. Tetapi kalau anda mahu, anda boleh sahaja makan minum di belakang saya. Pasti anda tidak mahu melakukannya, kerana tahu ALLah Maha Melihat! Itulah istimewanya puasa, ia melatih kita untuk taat kepada Allah walaupun orang tak melihat kita.
Hadis Abi Hurairah juga menyebut: Siapa yang puasa bulan Ramadan kerana percaya dan benar-benar mengharapkan pahala dari Allah (Imanan wahtisaban), maka diampunkan dosanya yang lalu.
Puasa melatih jiwa/hati supaya dapat mengawal jasmani/nafsu/akal. Semasa puasa inilah yang berlaku, tubuh badan menyuruh anda berbuka, lidah menyuruh anda lagha, tetapi anda menentang, demi untuk menjaga puasa. Oleh itu, bila puasa dah berlalu, jiwa kita dah bersedia untuk terus kuat mengawal nafsu dan jasmani kita insyaAllah. Itulah konsep Taqwa yang letaknya di dada. Ujian pertama ialah bila berbuka, dapatkah jiwa yang telah dilatih dengan puasa itu mengawal nafsu dari makan berlebihan, atau mementingkan diri sendiri sahaja seperti berebut-rebut makan membelakangkan orang lain dll.

Iman dan mengharapkan pahala/keredaan Allah, adalah inti puasa seorang itu, berlapar dahaga dengan satu tujuan – keimanan dan mengharapkan reda Allah. Ini adalah asas puasa kita. Puasa mempunyai banyak kebaikan-kebaikan fizikal, sosial dan kesihatan. Tetapi yang dikehendaki seorang itu berpuasa hanya kerana keImanan kepada Allah dan semata-mata mengharapkan balasanNya. Begitu juga setiap amalan soleh yang dibuat di bulan puasa, dengan tujuan yang sama, dengan itu bulan ‘training’, latihan ini akan menghasilkan taqwa.

Sebagai madarasah Taqwa, seorang ulama ada menyebutkan, hari pertama kita berpuasa, seperti kanak-kanak masuk tadika, baru belajar huruf/membaca dan berjinak dengan sekolah. Hari terakhir puasa, kita ibarat seorang graduan yang telah mendapat ijazah tertinggi – itulah ijazah Taqwa.

Biarpun tujuan puasa dan Ramadan untuk membina Taqwa yang letaknya di hati, di dada, Allah swt telah mensyariatkan keseluruhan bulan Ramadan ini dengan berbagai aktiviti/amalan lahir demi untuk membina hati yang bertaqwa itu. Oleh itu perlaksanaan puasa dengan sebaik-baiknya – menjaga kualiti puasa dari sebarang rafas (lagha), disertai dengan amalan-amalan soleh yang lain akan memperkuatkan pencapaian Taqwa tersebut.

Disunnatkan bersahur. Simpel sahaja, bersahur itu memang keperluan zahir, tetapi bila seseorang bersahur dengan ‘Imanan wahtisaban’ tadi, ia akan mendapat pahala yang besar kerana memenuhi sunnah. Lebih elok melewatkan sahur ke penghujung malam, dan berhenti kira-kira sepuluh minit (50 ayat pendek) sebelum subuh. Paling minima bersahur adalah meminum segelas air atau seulas tamar.

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Disunnatkan untuk menyegerakan berbuka. Memang bila dah berpuasa dan letih sepanjang hari kita sentia ‘looking forward’ untuk berbuka. Sedangkan, bila kita memulakan berbuka dengan niat memenuhi sunnah tuntutan berpuasa ianya akan mendapat ganjaran, dan digalakkan untuk tidak melengahkan berbuka. Untuk orang berpuasa, bila sudah masuk waktu maghrib, hendaklah berbuka, tiada lagi pahala dalam memanjangkan puasa. Itulah praktikalnya Islam.

Banyakkan bersedekah, infaq, zakat dan lain-lain kebajikan di bulan Ramadan. Rasulullah adalah seorang yang pemurah, dan di bulan Ramadan beliau lebih lagi bersifat pemurah, amat mudah memberi. Membayar hutang, di bulan Ramadan pun akan mendapat pahala berganda.

Tiga amalan yang menjadi tunggak untuk memperbanyakkan ubudiyah di bulan Ramadan ialah solat, Quran dan itikaf. Yang pertama layaklah untuk menjaga amalan solat jamaah setiap solat fardu, terutamanya Isya dan Subuh – bahkan minima KPI untuk beribadah di malam Lailatul Qadar itu sendiri ialah solat Isya dan Subuh secara berjamaah. Seterusnya solat malam & tarawih. Terlalu banyak peluang untuk melakukannya jangan lepas satu malam pun tanpa tarawih. Minima dua rakaat solat malam pun sudah memadai, dan seeloknya menyempurnakan sebelas rakaat termasuk witir, atau lebih. Banyakkan solat sunnat juga menjadi galakan dan ‘refresher training’ untuk kita lebih gemar solat sunnat ini di luar Ramadan juga.

Ramadan adalah bulan Quran oleh itu penuhi dengan membaca Quran, minima khatamkan tiga puluh juzu sekali, atau lebih dari itu. Di bulan Ramadan ini amat digalakkan membaca sebanyaknya alQuran, melebihi dari mengkaji tafseer dan sebagainya, kerana inilah tuntutannya di bulan Ramadan ini.

Seterusnya beriktikaf di masjid, ini amalan Rasulullah terutamanya sepuluh malam yang terakhir. Tidur di masjid, inilah di bulan Ramadan, tidur pun menjadi ibadah yang akan mendapat ganjaran besar. Termasuk juga memburu Lailatul Qadar, sama iaitu terutamanya di sepuluh malam yang terakhir.

Tidak lupa aspek jamai/kemasyarakat di bulan Ramadan. Sebab itu, selain di atas, antara amalan digalakkan ialah memberi makan orang berbuka di mana menurut hadis Nabi, seorang yang memberi makan orang berpuasa akan mendapat pahala ganjarannya sama dengan orang yang berpuasa. Juga kesempatan untuk mengeratkan talian keluarga dengan berbuka bersama keluarga, atau ukhuwah dengan mengadakan iftar jamaí maupun menjamu orang berbuka. Juga amalan sedekah – boleh diperluaskan dengan contohnya memberi juadah berbuka, hadiah kurma, sedekah kepada fakir miskin selain zakat dan fitrah. Dan solat tarawih secara jamaí juga memperkuatkan ikatan sosial dalam masyarakat walaupun harus menjaga tidak terlalu banyak masa dihabiskan dalam berborak kosong atau makan berlebihan.

Inilah konsep mujahadah (Iman dan mengharapkan redha Allah), bersungguh-sungguh di bulan Ramadan, memenuhkan bulan ini dengan puasa yang berkualiti dan meningkatkan amal soleh supaya akan ‘graduate’ dengan tingkatan Taqwa yang lebih tinggi.

Menjiwai kehidupan classic rider dengan Triumph Bonneville T214

Pada 23 April lalu genap setahun saya memiliki Triumph Bonneville T214. Sebelum ini saya telah pun menulis panjang lebar pengalaman dan ‘thrill’ bersama Bonnie T214 ini, rujuk

Bagaimana setelah setahun dan menempa hampir 20,000km perjalanan? Atau adakah apa-apa pengalaman pahit manis yang telah menukar perspektif saya pada Bonnie T214 ini?

Apa yang pasti, saya dapat merasa kini, tahun keempat telah mengenali alam bikers, semakin jarang pula rasanya berulang ke tempat kerja dengan kereta. Bike menjadi pengangkutan utama, ke tempat kerja, mesyuarat, menziarah, kenduri-kendara, konferen, masjid/surau, malahan shopping sesekali disebabkan kebolehan ‘storage’ yang agak baik. Kini ada peningkatan wajah baru dengan penambahan ‘topbox’ – pandangan orang berbeza, mungkin ada yang mengatakan saya telah merosak imej classic bike ini, tapi dari segi praktikalnya 3 biji kotak ini cukup selesa untuk memuatkan barang keperluan malah buat shopping kecil-kecilan tiada masalah.

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Ada apa-apa insiden? Hanya satu insiden ‘jatuh bodo’ yang telah saya ceritakan dulu. Selain itu semuanya baik sahaja alhamdulillah.

Baiklah saya mengaku, apa perubahan yang berlaku dari segi aksesori/penambahan/tukar.

Menukar suspension (Ohlin) yang meragut lebih RM6k, untuk meningkatkan keselesaan memandu terutamanya penumpang. Tambah windshield (GIVI). Dan Topbox yang terkini. Dua set tayar pula telah ditukar baru-baru ini semasa servis kedua (harga dalam RM700), dan juga break pads! yang telah hampir kehabisan langsung!

Sedikit mengenai penerimaan sosial jentera klasik ini. Orang muda mungkin tak pandang, walaupun ramai yang pandang juga disebabkan design yang unik dan menarik. Lebih ramai yang pertengahan umur atau berumur yang minat, kerana ada nostalgia 60an yang mereka pernah lalui. Saya memang pernah mengidam, sebuah bike yang dapat saya gunakan untuk apa-apa tujuan tanpa merasa janggal dan tidak terlalu ‘intrusive’ iaitu imej yang ‘decent’ saja, bunyi pun tak menyakit telinga, tapi cukup besar dan berat boleh untuk tujuan berjalan jarak jauh. Juga selesa untuk penumpang. Pada saya classic bike ini memiliki ciri-ciri seperti ini. Memanglah untuk perjalanan jauh dan merentas benua, ia agak terlalu kecil dan ‘full throttle’ pulas pun mungkin tak memuaskan sangat, top speed pun sederhana saja, setakat 170-180 dah terasa peritnya walaupun ia mampu.

Jadi sebagai jentera yang sesuai untuk berbagai kegunaan dan lebih ‘santai’ untuk ditunggang, imej yang sederhana (tak terlalu ganas atau gah), Bonnie telah memadai buat saya.

Semenjak beberapa ketika saya telah melakukan beberapa siri perjalanan jarak agak jauh contohnya konvoi Selatan, ke Johor Bahru, Konvoi utara MIB dan ke Lumut/Telok Intan – hampir separuh perjalanan tersebut dilalui di tengah malam atau hujan lebat. Alhamdulillah dengan gaya pemanduan yang lebih relaks dan mudah jentera ini cukup menggembirakan buat masa ini. Sekarang kalau saya memandu Street Triple (umumnya anak saya yang pandu sekarang) terasa janggal pula dan ‘miss’ ciri-ciri Bonnie yang mudah ditunggang di sebalik posisi yang selesa, dan tidak ada tekanan untuk ‘rush’ sebagaimana seseroang menaiki naked bike…

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Yang ini bukan saya…pemandu nak action saja…isteri mencuba-cuba pandu Bonnie T214…

Sudah ada ancaman ‘rival’ dari versi terbaru STreet Twin dan Bonnie T120 (atau Thruxton), yang lebih berkeupayaan dan lengkap dengan ABS. Pastinya yang baru nak mulakan langkah ini pilihan yang amat tepat, walaupun buat saya cukuplah Bonnie yang ada biar saya puaskan hati memandu sehingga mencecah 50k km.

MyIkram Bikers menjejak sejarah Melayu di Asia Tenggara?

Nota pengalaman penulis bersama konvoi MIB ke Gunung Jerai

Perjalanan yang jauh di payungi panas terik dan cuaca kering, di selang seli hujan lebat dan kesesakan lebuhraya Utara-Selatan memaksa mereka menyusup di tengah kenderaan yang tersangkut, tidak sekali melemahkan semangat ahli-ahli konvoi MIB. Perjalanan dua hari merangkumi lebih 1000km berhasrat menjelajah dan mengimbas sejarah Kerajaan Melayu Islam Kedah di samping membaja ukhuwwah dan menikmati lanskap utara dan sekitar Kedah.

Jelajah Utara ke Gunung Jerai kali ini dianggotai oleh 14 orang ahli ditambah oleh 2 wanita (pilion riders). Mereka berkumpul (rendez vouz) seawal jam 7.00 di R&R Rawang pada pagi Sabtu. Selamat pulang ke destinasi masing-masing keeseokannya sekitar jam 7.00 petang.

Ahli Rombongan: Riders – SGH (VS), ZMG (GSA), AH (GTR), ZulK9 (Versys), Ismaily (XJ6), Bai (HD Glider), Aidil (V1000), Abdullah (GTR), Dr. Al Amin (NC), OM (Triumph T214), Shah (VS), Masri (GSA), KZ9 (Versys), AmmarK (Triumph ST), Us Rosli (NC). Pilion: Wan, Ayu

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Geng ‘GDL

Lumrahnya memang setiap kali jelajah MIB, ada sahaja kekangan yang menghalang saya dari turut serta. Kali ini saya tetap bertekad sertai konvoi biarpun telah ada komitmen awal sebagai komiti penganjur majlis Reunion. Saya telah merancang untuk meninggalkan majlis reunion tersebut sejam dari waktu bermula. Entah macamana ada agenda lain di waktu pagi iaitu menjaga anak-anak termasuk anak sedara pada paginya. Anda tahulah, melayan kerenah anak-anak, mendokong, memujuk dan bawa berjalan sampai ke Zoo Negara memang agak memenatkan walaupun tetap seronok. Selesai tugas saya telah tertidur sejam menyebabkan kelewatan menghadiri majlis reunion tersebut, seterusnya terlewatlah bertolak untuk sertai jelajah Jerai ini.

Sebenarnya, satu yang biasa berlaku ada sahaja ahli-ahli kelab yang datang lewat dan kami berikan istilah ‘Geng Datang Lewat’(GDL). Ada juga yang pulang awal – GBA – Geng Balik Awal. Manakala sesetengah ahli yang asyik terlewat atau perlahan pula diberi istilah GKT – Geng Kena Tinggal.

Maka bermulalah hikayat Geng Datang Lewat menjejak langkah konvoi MIB yang telahpun sampai di destinasi. Saya memulakan perjalanan (tayar golek) dari tol Duta jam 5.20 petang. Walaupun tiada teman hanya bersama isteri sebagai pilion, saya kuatkan semangat di sebalik kegelisahan menerokai separuh dari perjalanan di waktu malam. Saya pastikan isteri bersedia, selesa dan bertahan di atas motor sebelum pitstop seterusnya. Ternyata berbagai cabaran terpaksa dilalui seperti hujan yang lebat mencurah, memaksa kami berhenti di lorong kecemasan untuk mengenakan pakaian hujan isteri saya. ‘Pitstop’ pertama di Simpang Pulai – rupanya silap congak dan berkesudahan menunggang secara berterusan sejauh hampir 180km dari tol Duta. Buat saya sudah mula tegal dengan jarak sejauh ini, syukur isteri pun akur tak komplen.

Kali ini saya menggunakan strategi pandu secara tenang, dan kurangkan waktu berhenti di pitstop, hanya untuk isi minyak, minum, sedikit rehat luruskan kaki dan terus pandu semula. Pitstop kedua di tol Juru (Shell) untuk refuel dan solat. Disebabkan hujan dan keadaan jalan yang lembab, kelajuan terpaksa dikurangkan antara 120-140km/j, sesekali terdapat gangguan bila kedua-dua lorong sesak dengan kenderaan berat, memaksa saya mengurangkan kelajuan, mencilok atau melalui laluan kecemasan (laluan motor…). Di bahagian jalan yang lebih kering dan dirasakan selamat kelajuan dijaga antara 140-160km/j. Sebaik berhenti di tol Juru saya mengenakan GPS navigation dengan berpandukan Googlemaps. Biarpun begitu berlaku kekeliruan sedikit bila sampai di exit Alor Star Selatan, lalu saya keluar exit tersebut, akibatnya terpaksa berpatah balik dan kerugian masa sedikit (hmmm jika tidak, mungkin, mungkin dapat memecah rekod 4jam perjalanan….). Alhamdulillah jam 9.40malam kami sampai di Siti homestay Alor Star – membuatkan keseluruhan perjalanan 4jam 20 minit dari tol Duta-Alor Star.

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Sebaik sampai kami terus diarahkan bertemu rombongan yang sedang menjamu selera di warung berdekatan. Rupanya mereka sedang menikmati makan malam sambil menonton perlawanan akhir FA antara JDT-PKNS. Kedatangan kami disambut penuh ukhuwah oleh Dr. Azmi yang menjadi tuan rumah (sebab beliau bermukim di Kulim…) dan ahli konvoi yang lain. Sambil menunggu pesanan, saya bergerak keliling meja berborak dengan ahli-ahli konvoi, kongsi cerita. Topik yang biasa mengenai prestasi panduan, kawalan motor dan trafik atau insiden-insiden yang pelik di jalan. Semuanya nampak segar dan bersemangat, sambil menumpukan perhatian pada skrin TV sesekali, al maklum orang lelaki yang qowiy, jika tak minat bola memang tak kena…Rupanya ada yang pertama kali sampai di Alor Star, dengan bermotor pula, sah MIB telah memanjangkan langkah ahli-ahlinya. Buat saya bukan pertama kali, tahun lepas telah sampai di Alor Star bersama Nasir, dan kemudian satu trip lagi bersama isteri ke Baling, di mana sempat berjumpa Ustaz Rosli waktu tersebut.

Ada yang melahirkan rasa teruja kerana kesungguhan saya walaupun terpaksa menunggang di lewat petang ke malam, dan turut membawa isteri pula. Biasanya kebanyakan ahli konvoi memang solo, hanya sesekali ada yang berteman, manakala ada seorang dua ahli yang sentiasa datang berteman…mungkin sebagai bikers merasa lebih selamat dan bebas menunggang seorang. Saya secara peribadi pun (sebab menunggang berdua perlu ambil kira keselamatan dua orang berbanding menunggang seorangan), biarpun kerapkali saya merasa lebih selesa membawa isteri bersama, dari menunggang berseorangan. Cuma, bila ada penumpang, gaya pemanduan pastinya berlainan dan banyak urusan lain perlu diberi perhatian contohnya barangan (kapasiti yang terhad), stamina rider dan juga penumpang perlu diambil kira, dan yang penting ‘availability’ kedua-duanya.

Selesai makan kami singgah sebentar di Seven Eleven memberi barang keperluan asas, dan terus pulang ke homestay. Bilik yang disediakan amat luas dan selesa, saya diberitahu ada 8 bilik kesemuanya yang mampu menanggung 20 orang. Sebaik mandi dan mengenakan pakaian tidur saya keluar melihat sahabat-sahabat, yang sedang lepak sambil menonton perlawanan piala FA yang hampir berakhir, berteman kacang dan air minum yang dibeli di Seven Eleven tadi. Tiada program spesifik untuk malam, lagipun sudah lewat, jadi selepas membaca Quran saya melelapkan mata.

Tawaduk dan Disiplin

Bezanya ahli-ahli MIB ini penuh tawaduk, walaupun karakter biker biasanya mungkin suka rasa gah dan hebat. Mereka cuba beraksi biasa, sanggup menunggu demi untuk sahabat, bersusah payah, korban untuk yang lain. Dan mereka cukup peramah, mudah mesra dengan orang ramai di mana sahaja, mudah jadi kawan.

Di sebalik itu, mereka punya disiplin yang tinggi. Contohnya, pagi tersebut saya dah pasang alarm untuk bangun pada jam 5.00 pagi. Rupanya sebelum jam 5 sudah ada sahabat ketuk pintu berkali-kali. Saya bingkas bangun, berwuduk dan solat malam ringkas, terus bersiap untuk ke masjid. Isteri memilih untuk tinggal di bilik sambung berehat. Selepas panaskan enjin kami bergerak beramai-ramai menuju Masjid Zahir.

Setiap waktu ada kerahan – On the Bike! Arahan yang tak lekang dari mulut Marshal dan Chief. Sewaktu bertolak pun, mereka dah tetapkan untuk berkumpul jam 7.00pagi, dan tayar golek jam 8.00. Masing-masing dikehendaki mengurus sarapan sendiri disebabkan kesuntukan masa. Sesiapa yang lewat ditetapkan untuk berjumpa di checkpoint seterusnya.

Biarpun mengamalkan disiplin dan patuh arahan, unsur persahabatan dan kelonggaran tetap diberi, untuk yang terlewat atau memerlukan masa sedikit, atau lebih oder makanan, diberi peluang supaya setiap orang rasa puas hati. Masa yang cukup diambil untuk ‘posing’ ambil gambar kerana ini salah satu bentuk dokumentasi perjalanan masing-masing.

Sketsa perjalanan

Boleh tatapi gambar-gambar berikut wajah-wajah ahli konvoi yang segak dan tegar ini…

Ada yang keluar rumah seawal 6 pagi untuk berkumpul di tol Rawang. Briefing dan doa sebelum ‘flag off’ beramai-ramai. Nasir, seorang ahli MIB yang tak dapat sertai konvoi juga turut hadir di flag off ini. Mereka berlepas kira-kira 8 pagi. Bai (HD Glider), terlewat dan jadi GKT, terus ride dan bertemu konvoi di checkpoint pertama, R & R Simpang Pulai (kira-kira 150km dari Rawang). Seperti biasa di setiap checkpoint ini mereka refuel, berehat sebentar luruskan kaki atau minum-minum, snap gambar atau selfie dan sambung perjalanan. Mereka tiba di checkpoint kedua iaitu tol Juru jam 1130 untuk refuel kedua dan sambung sehingga ke exit Sg. Petani menuju Gunung Jerai. Sebelum mendaki, mereka menjamah makan tengahari di Kedai Makan Jamilah Guar Chempedak.

Perjalanan mendaki gunung dengan motor memerlukan skil kawalan yang baik, kerana jalan yang berliku dan curam. Lebih mengerikan adalah perjalanan pulang yang memaksa penggunaan brek yang lebih. Ada yang mengadu terasa brek belakang kurang berfungsi memaksa mereka perlahankan panduan motor. Sekurang-kurangnya, cuaca yang cerah dan jalan yang kering membantu pergerakan lebih lancar.

Destinasi seterusnya dilawati di sebelah tengahari ke petang ialah Lembah Bujang, di mana pameran tapak purba tamaddun dapat di lihat, seterusnya makam Sultan Muzaffar 1 dan ziarah Muzium Arkeologi. Memang power konvoi MIB ini, sebab disebalik santai bermotor, mereka ada misi tersendiri dan secara serius mahu mencapai hasrat mengimbau sejarah malah mungkin penemuan baru yang bakal mengubah sejarah!

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Di pagi keesokannya seawal jam 5 mereka telah bersiap dengan jentera masing-masing menuju ke masjid Zahir yang terletak tak jauh dari homestay. Bersolat sunat, itikaf, solat subuh berjemaah dan diikuti dengan penyampaian sejarah Ayuthia dan Negara Kedah oleh Tuan Syed mendapat perhatian serius dari semua ahli konvoi. Ustaz Rosli yang tidak dapat serta dari awal kerana terpaksa turun ke Trengganu, datang dari Sungai Petani dan sampai sebaik konvoi selesai sesi sejarah. Seterusnya mereka menyusun motor untuk posing gambar berdepan kubah masjid Zahir yang penuh sejarah.

Apa pula di sebalik sejarah Kerajaan Islam Kedah yang agak jarang diketahui yang menjadi bahan celoteh Tuan Mursyid MIB? Ianya bermula dengan kerajaan Siam – beza dengan Thai (Sukothai), dipercayai dari bukti2 sejarah kerajaan Siam berasas di Ayuthia adalah kerajaan Islam di mana Raja-raja negeri Melayu tertakluk di bawahnya. Tentera Thai telah menyerang dan menakluk kerajaan Siam ini pada 1747. Raja Siam yang terakhir dipercayai Raja Kedah iaitu Raja Tuanku Syed Long Jaafar dibunuh oleh tentera Thai-Buddha pada 1876 dan selepas itu digantikan oleh raja yang mendapat mandat dari Thai. Kaitan dengan Kerajaan Islam Aceh dan Hang Tuah – itu pun satu misteri yang hampir terungkai, sehinggalah ada berita penulis sejarah Nusantara Prof. Madya Dr. Hafizi akan ke Alor Star di hujung bulan ini untuk menelusuri sejarah yang telah terkambus lama itu, kini mula menjadi tumpuan setelah kemunculan semula buku Undang-Undang Kedah yang dibawa masuk oleh bekas PM Malaysia Tun Mahathir pada 2003.

Rentetan dari itu, masjid Zahir ini mempunyai sejarahnya yang unik di samping usia yang tua, ia merupakan tapak bersemadinya ribuan jasad para syuhada yang mempertahankan kerajaan Islam Kedah dari serangan Thai. Begitulah, anda boleh lihat bagaimana MIB di sebalik identiti bikers santai mempunyai misi yang serius ini untuk menjejak sejarah yang hampir dilupakan.

Ikuti video ringkas jaulah MIB ke Gunung Jerai di Youtube: link

Tazkirah santai tapi sentap dari Ustaz Rosli…
Hidup ini perjuangan, itu temanya tazkirah ustaz. Orangnya cukup tawaduk tapi amat serius dalam urusan ummah dan dakwah.
Sebelum membuka tirai kata ustaz survey setiap biker yg hadir – anta pegang jawatan apa dlm masyarakat? Power soalan nih…
Usaha sampaikan dakwah dan risalah Islam pada yg belum Islam – ianya kewajipan dan keperluan untuk agenda perubahan ummah
Setiap orang perlu ada peranannya. Tak bermakna kalau berada di satu2 komuniti tapi kehadiran tak dirasai (tiada sumbangan)…owh mmg terasa kelalaian diri hehe
Bikers ada peranan penting untuk dakwah pada anak2 muda dan satu wasilah melonjakkan dakwah, dokonglah kumpulan2 bikers yg ada potensi utk agenda perubahan ummah
Ahli2 Ikram punya keistimewaan kerana tarbiyah. Oleh itu keperluan main peranan besar memimpin di mana saja berada
Jazakallahu khair ustaz amat berisi peringatan ustaz tu
(Nota kaki – ber title kan ustaz, beliau seorang yg serba boleh dan amat disegani dlm masyarakat. Sebagai biker pon beliau punya skil dan pengalaman yg melayakkan beliau menjadi penasihat Harapan Baru Bikers. Ustaz memiliki Honda NC700 dan biasa berulang alik Sg Petani – Kuala Trengganu dgn jentera tersebut)

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Perjalanan pulang

Sekarang giliran otai Sg Petani, Ustaz Rosli pula memimpin, beliau bawa konvoi bersarapan di sebuah gerai berhampiran masjid, yang menyediakan selera makanan utara yang berat, saya yang sampai lewat sedikit kerana menjemput isteri dari homestay, hanya sempat menghirup kopi dan makan kuih-muih sebagai alas perut.  Pada asalnya ada cadangan mengelilingi bandar Alor Star dan ke Pekan Rabu, oleh kerana saya orang yang terakhir bergerak, akhirnya tertinggal dari konvoi bersama Aidil. Kami pandu terus ke bandar dan berhenti di Pekan Rabu. Rupa-rupanya ada silap komunikasi, konvoi yang lain telah pulang ke homestay. Kami bergegas membeli sedikit buah tangan dan terus memandu pulang. Sesampai di homestay saya ambil masa untuk melayan mata, al maklum selepas ini akan ride jauh, saya pentingkan stamina dan takut memandu dalam keadaan mengantuk. Kira-kira jam 11.30 kami bergerak ke gerai Laksa Kak Ani untuk merasa selera laksa negeri Kedah.

Kira-kira 12.30 kami memulakan pergerakan pulang melalui beberapa checkpoint – Hentian Juru, Simpang Pulai, Ulu Bernam. Pada fasa pertama saya memilih untuk berada paling hadapan pada kelajuan sederhana hinggalah sebelum sampai ke Hentian Juru, dua orang pemuda telah memotong dengan teramat laju, hmm siapa lagi kalau bukan Ammar dan Abdullah (yang dikenali dengan pakar memecut sesuai dengan usia muda dan lincah mereka).

Walaupun ada yang tidak memandu dalam kumpulan, kami tetap berkumpul di setiap checkpoint, berhenti untuk solat, refuel atau minum-minum secara jamaí.

Pada fasa terakhir di Ulu Bernam, saya telah mula kehilangan stamina sedikit, sambil memberi masa lebih kepada isteri, akhirnya kami telah ditinggal oleh konvoi (fasa akhir ini kami dah bertemu dan buat majlis penutup, muhasabah dsb) jadi memang ikut rentak masing-masing. Kebetulan sewaktu mengisi minyak kami didatangi sepasang kekasih menunggang GSA, rupa-rupanya Masri (bersama isteri, Ayu) yang bermalam di Jitra semalamnya. Syukur kebetulan bertemu, jadi sempurnalah penyertaan saya bersama konvoi ni sebab dapat bertemu dan chatting dengan semua ahli konvoi walaupun ada yang sebentar setakat di atas motor saja (!).

Kebetulan, sewaktu berjalan menuju sahabat-sahabat di Ulu Bernam tersebut, saya terserempak dengan geng Triumph (Ratpack) Dato’ Jet dan Kamaluddin. Dato’ Jet memang kenal saya dan kami sempat berbual ringkas, beliau rupanya dalam perjalanan balik dari Golok Bike week

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Sebaik tiba di lebuhraya bahagian Bukit Beruntung-Rawang berlaku kesesakan kenderaan yang amat sangat. Pelik pula tak pernah mengalami sesak seperti ini. Almaklum, keesokannya hari kerja mungkin ramai yang bersesak pulang. Tapi nampak lebih teruk dari trafik raya pula. Terasa letih pula mengawal handlebar sepanjang jalan dengan kelajuan amat rendah sambil mencilok dan mengelak sesekali, tekan hon bila perlu sebab kenderaan bertukar lane. Rupa-rupanya berlaku kemalangan maut melibatkan dua buah motor – scrambler. Sewaktu tiba di tempat kejadian telah ada polis dan ambulan, mangsa masih terlantar sementara seorang lagi yang parah di bawa dengan ambulans. Menurut berita yang kami dengar selepasnya, 4 buah scrambler rupanya memandu gaya ‘towing’ di laluan memotong (paling kanan) berakhir dengan mereka berlaga sesama sendiri, wallahu alam itulah berita yang saya dapat. Memang ngeri, alhamdulillah kesemua kami sampai dengan selamat, saya dan isteri tiba paling lewat – sebab kami bertolak paling akhir dari Ulu Bernam, dan berhenti pula di tempat kejadian. Tak mengapalah, sebagai geng GDL, datang lewat, sampai pulang pun paling lewat…yang penting semuanya selamat.

Stupid fall? or was it a good fall (instead of a crash)

I always have this scary thought. Riding a bike requires precision and 0 error rate all the time, or else you will end up in a fatal or serious crash. It means in riding, you need to be 100% all the time, that is an impossible task no matter how hard you try. Fortunately, referring to airplane disaster, according to aviation experts, a disaster or crash usually happens as a result of a series of mistakes, and not an isolated mistake. I believe it also is true in any vehicle crash, usually is a result of several errors that took place in succession. Therefore, hopefully, everytime you make a mistake, you will not end up in a crash, though of course you must aim to 0 or minimise these mistakes. God is Merciful hence you just have to do your best and keep learning.
So there it goes, this evening I had a fall. Oopss this was one of those so called ‘stupid fall’ (in Malay we called ‘jatuh bodoh’, ie a fall that occurred when it should have not). But I must say it was a potentially much more serious incident, except that somehow I did manage to control the situation, barring keeping the bike upright!
It was around 8pm, I was riding calmly along Jalan 1 Kemensah, on my way home from the mosque. I knew the road well, and the traffic was usually mild, though at times there could be a pile of vehicles moving along the hilly and tortuous road. There are several turns some of which sharp one, like the junction with Jalan 2, and steep one like at the intersection with Jalan 7. I enjoy riding along this road, though usually at a low speed due to the many turns, realising some of the vehicles coming from opposite direction do occasionally overshoot posing serious risk of head on crash.
I passed the Jalan 2 sharp bend and took it elegantly, coming to Jalan 7 intersection. It was my right of way but, usually when there are oncoming vehicles, I would slow down, preparing for the unexpected such as a car turning right without giving signal or even waiting for clearance.

map junction jalan 1 kemensah

Tricky intersection…

Tricky, so it is foolish to take this kind of intersection lightly, next time I will sound the honk when seeing oncoming cars so anyone thinking of making right turn will stop till I pass!
It was dark, two cars climbing uphill towards the intersection, the one in front slowed to almost a halt (this was not necessary, though I noticed frequently many do slow down to a stop (due to the sharp turn uphill). My right of way, I was ready to take the turn when a thought of caution struck me, slow down, my quick thought! How sure am I if both cars were going straight? I was right, just as the first car separated itself from the other, I saw a right turn signal on the second car. But the driver did not bother stopping of course, it sped of, took the right turn heading to Jalan 7. My quick reaction was to pull the brake to a halt. I did fine there, the bike stopped. But alas, it was on a downslope, my left foot barely reaching the ground, while my right foot hanging on the air, ouch before I could react further the bike slid and fell on the right side!
I did not fall or got thrown on the ground. No scractch, nothing, I did not fall at all. There was no loud bang, the bike technically slid under me. Now this 220kg mass is lying still on the ground, the engine shut. It was dark, no one around. Though I did not know too much about the technique of lifting a dropped bike, I felt confident to handle the situation. There was another oncoming car, turning right to Jalan 7, the guy slowed down and stopped his car. By now I was ready to pick up the bike. Coz there was no bar that I could hold in the middle of the bike, I focused my effort on the handle. My first attempt failed as I was relying on ‘lifting’ the bike. Second attempt, with the handle fully locked to the left side, I grabbed both handlebars and slowly pushed the bike upright, it worked! Then I realised that I forgot to pull the stand out….this was where the man who just stopped the car came handy. No worries, I told him, I am ok, just help me to pull the stand. The man was baffled, he had no idea where the bike stand was till I pointed it out. That’s it, the bike was now upright and I was ready to carry on my journey as if nothing had happened! Thank God, something worse could have happened, or a crash, have I not decided to pull the brake and stopped then.
Apart from a bit of aches on my back, I did not feel apprehensive or bewildered, instead I felt elated and more confident now, yeah I have handled the fall well. Though I hope and pray hard, it will never happen again, God willing.

A year on past the Duke crashed incident…introspection: Am I a safer rider?

That is a terribly hard question to answer. Not by fact nor by reality. One can always claim a yes, but the fact that ‘nothing’ had happened since one year had passed did in no way guarantee a secure future. Of course, no one ever knows for certain…but God.

If you are wondering, my posting a year ago on this    vividly told the whole story.

Thank God, I was virtually unhurt, apart from some aches over the back, that qualified for a one week medical leave. The bike was badly damaged and up to date still awaiting completion of repair. Since then, I have changed bike. I already own the STreet Triple, 3 months following the incident, I purchased a Triumph Bonneville T214 classic.

So you know I did not stop riding. Did I change my riding style? Maybe yes, sometimes a no. But I certainly am more careful and calculative on the road. Speed has been somewhat curtailed, especially when riding the Bonnie. On occasions I still do speed up a bit, when riding the Street. There were two particular episodes, once I was in mad rush when one of my private patients was critically ill, I had to make it to the hospital in as little time possible. It was night time, traffic was terribly busy, I managed to filter the traffic and made it to the hospital door within 15 minutes.

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Another incident was the ride to Trengganu, accompanying friend who tried to catch up with the MIB convoy to cross the border. 800km ride in total, in which the return journey was undertaken at night, along the much dreaded LPT2. Thank God, the ride went uneventful.

I ride the Bonnie mostly, and my speed has generally been 10-20km/hr lower than when I ride the Street. I have also been reading some books on motorcycle safety, self trained on improving body English when dealing with corners. I kept reading about every fatal accidents, try to draw important lesson from each.

During rides, there were a few unexpected circumstances which required instance evasive action such as hard breaking, extreme leaning or steering control, all handled tactfully. I had also some opportunity to analyse my own ride, via studying the Gopro videos recorded during rides, that helped to understand a bit.

There were a few key things that had made theme in the safe riding zone:

Understand your machine, get familiar with handling it.

Understand your own limitation – good at speeding, weak at cornering, so-so at breaking – means lot more to learn, meanwhile to be alert of all these limits

Defensive riding – basically when on the road, you assume everyone else around is a lunatic and could suddenly come in your path, or crush on to you. Therefore, maintaining a ‘buffer zone’ and keeping alert all the time.

The 12 second, 0.8 second rules – looking 12 second distance ahead (within 0.8 sec) every now and then, while maintaining close view of all vehicles and other potential hazards immediately in front of you

Maintaining safe distance – visibility distance. At ‘high’ speed (referring to speed above 110km/h) it is advisable to ensure a clear view ahead of at least 300m (this could apply to speed above 150km/hr), and once or anytime your forward view if obliterated for any reason – corners, traffic, other obstacles, it is most sensible to slow down and ready for action.

Not to forget is one’s own stamina, or level of alertness, which may be greatly affected by many things like sleepiness, extreme exhaustion (heat/rain), or mental instability!

Wearing protective gears. I emphasise on wearing full face helmet all the time. This is also what I taught the young lad who has the havit of taking things too easy with the ride gears. Having a decent and comfortable helmet is a must esp for long rides. As for other gears like riding jackets, trousers, boots and gloves are the ideal which I ensure them to be in order when going for medium to long rides.

A question which may still linger in many people’s mind is whether or not I stop taking risk? Its almost impossible in short. At any moment when one is on the road be it driving or riding, there is always element of risk taking. So to say that one stops taking risk at all is impossible, unless you stop riding, something that I am not willing to do. All one could do is try to reduce the risk, and the mistakes being made with the hope that the ride will be safer.

May God save me and my son, and friends riders and make us example for others as safe riders.