Thursday, February 18, 2010

Sungai Lembing Ride

Faizal in front..

Passing a small town.

Next to it is Gua Charas...

Reaching Sg lembing...

The museum of course...

The final product. A melted bar of tin.

These shop houses must have seen better days...

Sg Lembing is a about 35km from Kuantan. What makes this place special, is that my dad actually lived there during his childhood years. The town had once thrived on the tin coming from the belly of the hills surrounding it. And my grandparents, and most of my relatives, had their roots there.

But it had been eons since I visited it. A good 10 years I guessed. So, when Faizal suggested we ride there, I thought it would be a good way for sight seeing.

Now, the road is not exactly flat. Rolling with some steep climbs is more like it. On the way, Gua Charas, which looks more like Batu Caves stood at least a hundred feet up in the air.

Took us more than an hour just to reach it.

Since we were there, I thought a visit to the Museum would be nice. It's located on a hill just at the end of the town. In fact, the town is pretty pretty small. Think Klawang, and then redial into the 70s. You'll pretty much get an idea. Even the petrol pump is analog, and unbranded.

The museum housed the relics of tin production and its' mine which lasted more than half a century. Looking at all those stuff transports you back to the time where the town had probably a more vibrant economy. Most of the things like lamps, type writers, tools were made in British.

Actually, my eldest uncle had worked in the mine before. It must have been dangerous, crawling hundreds of feet deep. Most of the digging is done using manual labor.

Anyway, then we left for some breakfast. I had roti telur, and surprisingly, it tasted very good.

Then we headed back home, on a faster speed, as we left a town that will most likely be there, but had seen better times decades ago.

As I rode on...a thought went on my mind.

The people of the past had shaped the world as know it. How then, one day, would we be perceived as we leave this world, and time seals us in a frame, for the future to see? What would they think of our lives? And would we really care to reach out, now, to tell them this is who we are, and how we had lived?

The divisiveness of time seems like a wall. Yet we are all heading in the same direction.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


I was hoping to have an enjoyable ride up to Fraser Gap from HOA with the rest, but things got unlucky.

Thanks to Vong3, Stupe, Jason who stopped to help. And Mac as well. The problem was...

I hit a very large hole while going aero. Luckily the wheelsets didnt break. But as I went on, the back wheel seemed to leak air (slow leak).

I stopped, then found out that the extender valve was broken. Changed the punctured tubular with another one, but that proved futile because the size was too big for the frame's back wheel. So I stopped again and put back the original tubular, thinking that the problem was with the valve.

After Mac came to the rescue, and after a few KMs, it's confirmed a slow leak. Since the gang already went on, I turned back after clocking 74km.

The only way to do that is to pump air every 5-6km. Amazingly it worked. But of course it's not enjoyable having to stop so often. I stopped by Bentong ABC for drinks and nasi lemak before going back sempah.

Then just before the bkt tinggi climb, my portable pump had lost the valve. Must have dropped it somewhere. So that's it. I can't move forward. So I walked with the bike. Tried to call Sean Chang but they were way far behind.

Managed to meet 3 riders, whom I borrowed the pump to go on. But then after some time, the tubular proved to be out for good. Air just went out.

Then Jason came and we flagged down a 4WD. The driver was a real help. I don't think I could have walked another few KM. I think I've already done 9km.

So there you have it. I learned a lot of lessons on tubulars. Just hope this kind of mishaps won't happen during IM.


Now, we've all seen violence on TV, the internet, the newspapers and sometimes you think it will never happen to you. Well, all that went off when I came upon 2 guys trying to open the front door.

Before I could even asked who they are, both of them were already hand locking my back arm, and flung me to the ground. One guy said "Don't move" in chinese...All I could think of ...SHIT.

They took the keys from my pocket, then dragged me into my own house. Then I noticed a third guy appearing (he was the outside scout). One guy was anxious getting me to lie flat on the bed. The whole room was filled with foul smelling ciggies smell, as the men ransacked my room.

Now I thought I could make a dash for the door. Nope..bad luck. Couldn't make it. Then got whacked on the head with my bike pump. And of course more punches, but I couldn't notice how painful was it.

As they kept on ransacking, I was just thinking what's next. Come to think about it, my life was in real danger. One guy tied my hands with the cords from the iron cloth. They had suggested to tie my legs as well...but I think they wanted fast exit and decided not to. It could have been worse.

Then they left. I was left there struggling to get the hands untied. It was hard. These guys must have been pros. Finally after dislodging my watch on my left wrist, did I finally get it out.

The room was a mess. And I was disoriented. Then I cycled to the nearby police station for the report.

The damage was having a bump on my head and a few scratches. Now the weird thing is after taking a beating, I don't feel much pain. I think after so many races, and ultra distances, the body just adapts to it. I felt more pain running 84km. And the funny thing is, they took my defunct laptop. The good one, they missed.

You don't have time to think. You just hope they won't kill you off as evidence. I just told them to take whatever they wanted.

Humans are born to choose the path. It's either right or wrong. These guys apparently were able bodied and choose to do crime.