Sunday, 31 July 2011

Record high: 13 Chu Bi Chu Bi cyclists Round Island ride

Yet another record high for this ride, a total of 13 cyclists joined. The ride was very relaxing and I believed some of the first timers (round Penang Island ride) found the ride "easy". I must say that the time management on this ride was admirable. Everyone was on time and that's a really good start to a great outing among friends.

I have not uploaded all the photos and videos for this trip, but enjoy these, more to come.

Sam, Kwan and Kenny sweeping from behind.

I asked Goh how was the ride since he was not cycling (missing in action) for the past two weeks.

Khaw, as jovial as he can be..

Makan time before the climb to Balik Pulau hills

Our Sam Tan behind the camera.

Yeap with a difficult task recording the ride up...well done Yeap!!!

Kwan and Yeap conquers Nan Shan Hill

New nickname, "Non Stop Kwan"
It was a test of endurance for several team mates yesterday when ascent Nan Shan Hill at 4:30pm. Sam was trying out his Santa Cruz for the first time after getting it repaired after an accident several months ago. All this while he has been on a Corratec Superbow which weighs much more lighter than the Santa Cruz. Going up with the Santa Cruz was a real test.

As for team mates, Kwan and Yeap, they have been stopping for a breather at the 2nd hut before the dreaded 60 degrees climb and I told them that this practice needs to stop. It was a test too for these two guys.

Yong, a seasoned cyclist has no problem going all the way up.

"Khin Khin Yeap"
End of the day, the final verdict: All made it to Nan Shan Hill without rest despite several vehicles tried to squeeze and share the narrow road. I believed it was a fantastic feeling for them and congratulations for a job well done.

As for me, yesterday's ride up was my 40th this year. Hope to break the 50 mark by end of this year. Here are some of the photos taken during this ride. More videos to be uploaded soon.

The other side of Passion Fruit Plantation

Go beyong this hill and you will reach Air Itam Dam

Passion Fruit

Only one motive here, eat Passion Fruit to reduce fat

Yong, a seasoned cyclist. Nan Shan Hill is not a problem for him

Two new friends

Hill side with vege plantation

Sam, he fed us a lot of Passion Fruit..LOL

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Next to ride list: Gunung Jerai, Kedah

Formerly known as "Kedah Peak", this forest-clad Gunung Jerai is a massive limestone outcrop that rises 1200m above sea level. As the highest peak in the state, it adds a touch of variety to the scenic flat plains seen throughout the area. It's located near Sungei Petani, not far from the island of Penang. When you've been on Penang you must have seen the Gunung Jerai (across the sea) on the mainland.

From the historical viewpoint, Gunung Jerai plays an important part in the history of Kedah. Even before the Malacca Sultanate became famous, Indian and Arab merchants were already making a beeline for the Merbok estuary at the foothills.

After travelling from the Bay of Bengal, the first glimpse of this strategically located mountain was a welcoming beacon to the sea farers. As a result, they traded and even settled down at the foothills.

Considering this place to be sacred, traders built a complex of temples that have now been excavated and preserved at the Lembah Bujang Archeological Museum site.

Like all other mountains, Gunung Jerai has its fair share of history and fascinating tales. Legend has it that Raja Bersiong, the 'king of fangs', once had his ancient kingdom within the Bujang Valley, at the foot of the mountain. Recent archeological findings revealed the existence of the "Temple of the Ninth Water Pool"; many believe that it was Raja Bersiong's private pool.

Relics uncovered in the area provide evidence of a Hindu-Buddhist civilisation dating back to the fourth century A. D. Isolated from the other mountain ranges of Peninsular Malaysia, Gunung Jerai has a unique range of medicinal plants and herbs not found in other mountains.

Today, Gunung Jerai is Kedah's premier hill resort and recreational park. On a clear day atop the peak, the cool, refreshing mountain offers spectacular views of the rolling paddy fields of Kedah stretching up to Perlis, and the islands of Penang in the south and Langkawi in the north-west.

The mountain also offers a unique selection of plants, which make it even more intriguing for the botanist. The Sungai Teroi Forest Recreation Park houses an endless variety of herbs, ferns, flowering plants, and climbers. Picnic sites are scattered all over the park, offering sweeping views of lowland plains and padi fields. Hiking trails that are interspersed with flowerbeds of vivid hues provide opportunities for leisurely strolls. 

Trees along the path are labelled for easy identification. Part of the mountain stream has even been dammed to provide cool clear pools for swimming. For the more adventurous, overnight shelters have also been provided.

The main vegetation is the dipterocarp forest which consist of hardwoods such as keruing, cengal and meranti. Going up the landscape changes dramatically from lowland to montane conifer forest. Typical species of the conifers include Agathis dammara and Podocarpus imbricatus. Several rare orchids are found on Gunung Jerai including the Bulbophyllum longiflorum. Pitcher plants of the Nepenthes species are also quite common.

The famous Alur Naga waterfall is located about 200m from the resort, which is a magnificent spot. The hike down a path of steep boulders was well worth it as one could spend the whole day enjoying the serenity and beauty of the falls.

The water was clear and the 30m high waterfall simply breathtaking. The pool beneath it is waist deep and safe for swimming. The name was derived from a legend where a dragon was believed to have lived in the cave behind the waterfall and occasionally came out to bathe in the pool.

At the peak of the mountain, the Museum of Forestry houses a wealth of information and artefacts on Malaysian forestry. The museum is housed in a beautiful traditional Malaysian house. It's located on a short distance from the Peranginan Gunung Jerai Resort. At the museum visitors can derive useful information on Malaysian forests and learn among other things, the commercial and medicinal uses of different indigenous plants.

Monday, 25 July 2011

How to remove a Bicycle Rear Wheel

We are terrified when come to removing the rear wheel. Not to worry, watch the video and practice a few times, I am sure you can do it. I did!!

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Happy Birthday, Sam!!!!

Happy Birthday!!!

Blue House, The Bungalow and The Carpet..What a ride!!!

After cancelling the round Penang Island ride last night, the team quickly responded to the change of trail. This time, The Carpet at Sungai Ara. This trail has been explored by the team several occasions and it proved to be a great ride. Moreover, we were guided by Lau and Jacky to the "Blue House" and "The Bungalow". Thank you, Jacky and Lau!! Now we have two more new destination to venture!! 

A short rest before going up to the "Blue House", actually the Blue House has been demolished and converted into a farm plot.

From here on wards, it is single track with steep hills, takes lots of balancing to be able to ride all the way up. Once reached the top, we decided to do a reverse instead of going down to Balik Pulau because no one was sure about the trail towards the destination.

Here are some photos contributed by Sam, Kwan, Yeap....Enjoy!!

Reached a Siamese temple before Blue House

Siamese temple

Short rest before climb to Blue House

Trying out some local fruits

Sam reaching The Carpet

Kok, Yong and Kwan reached early at Carpet

Meng Ean and Simon

Bali Bali

Single track, easy for Sam

Group photo, but where is Sam and Yeap??


Duku langsat

Let me see, let me see

Jimmy on the trail

Waiting for Simon??

Road leading to Blue House from Siamese temple

Photo time

Yong, want Nangka or not??
Rest after being chased by dogs
Sam Tan
When the camera angle is such, the cameraman must be Kok
Blue House or farm plot??
Surveying the local fruits around. Chief Surveyor, Kwan.
Sam's dream house, he intends to buy it soon.
Jacky, Poon, Yeap, Simon and Yong
Simon decided to become a hermit and medicate in the temple
Mosquito, mosquito!!

Nangka time, after exiting the trail
Lunch with the gang, superb and delicious