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
Sungai Tong, Trengganu
East-West Highway stop at Royal Belum Resort
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.
The machines, that have made history…Triumph Bonneville T214 and Street Triple ABS. The car, as you know Golf GTI
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)