Monday, September 23, 2013

Ride for Rations 2013 - The Ride

Our Seven Riders

Due to the haze, the event which was supposed to be held on 6-7 July was postponed to 14-15 September 2013.

A chartered bus was arranged to pick us up from Pasir Ris to Malacca.

Waiting for the bus at Pasir Ris

Loading our bikes

BC clearing the obstacle course to get to his seat

We had a smooth bus ride to Malacca.  There were pockets of rain on the way to Malacca and we all hoped that the weather will be fine for the ride tomorrow.

Unloading our bikes

Storing our bike for the night
Shireen helping us with the admin stuff

Malacca's landmark
First we had durian chendol
Then we had our Peranakan food

It was a day of relaxation in preparation for the next two days of action.

On 14 Sep morning, we had breakfast and gathered at the hotel main entrance area for a group photo and flag off.  The route was from Malacca to Batu Pahat, a distance of about 104km.

Malacca to Batu Pahat map
Breakfast at the hotel
Preparing our bikes at the hotel storage area

Loading our bags into the support vehicle
Final internal briefing before we start

Group photo before flag off

Finally we are off

All raring to go

First rest point

Lunch break

Final regroup before heading into Batu Pahat

Finally, at the hotel in Batu Pahat
The first day's ride was quite tough as it was very hot.  We had to slow down as some of us were beginning to feel the effects of the heat.  Well, we wished for no rain so we got super hot weather.  We hoped tomorrow's weather is not so hot.

We had a good dinner in the hotel with everyone sharing our day's experience.  It also happened to be the exact date of Victor's 70th birthday.  He and all the other September babies were surprised with a birthday cake.  We had a jolly good time.

Dinner time
Victor and the other September babies with their birthday cake

The next day, 15 September 2013, our journey took us from Batu Pahat to Sunlove Marsiling.  We were told that the distance was about 140km.

Batu Pahat to Sunlove Marsiling

Our wish came true again and to the extreme.  The weather was not hot anymore as the morning started with a heavy thunderstorm.  This caused the planned early flag off to be delayed.

Group photo while waiting for the rain to stop

Due to safety concerns, we were flagged off only when the rain subsided a little.  We were all literally soaked from head to toes.  It was a completely different experience from the previous day.  We had to cycle in the rain, which was heavy at times, and also through two flooded areas.  It was our first experience cycling through a flooded area.

Replenish energy with bananas at rest stop
Rest Stop

Getting ready to go again

The rain finally stopped and for a large portion of the ride till our lunch point the weather was nice and cool.  We made good progress, so good that somehow we made it past the first support vehicle and missed a critical turning point.  We rode for about 3km before we saw the support car who told us that we missed a turn.  Luckily the support vehicle came for us or else we could have rode even further off before realizing it.  Anyway, we had to backtrack another 3km for the critical turning point.  On the positive note, we got to cycle 6km more for our sponsors.

The going is good

Be careful the road is wet
Having a break with Sebastian

Lunch at Pekan Nanas

After lunch we gathered and formed a big group to ride together into JB.  As there were many turns, the appointed riders who knew the route well led the way.  As we moved off, it started to rain heavily again.  All of us pushed on as it was already quite near to the causeway.  The rain finally stopped and we were cruising through the nice wide highway roads.  We made it past the causeway using the motorcycle lane and rode all the way to Sunlove at Marsiling. The total distance covered for the day was about 155km.  We were warmly greeted by the nice people at Sunlove and were given hot coffee and snacks.

This was a great experience for all of us.  It was the first time we cycled two long rides on consecutive days.  Most importantly, it was a nice feeling knowing that we were cycling for charity.  

Overall, we managed to raise more than 18 thousand dollars.  A big thank you to all the donors for sponsoring this good cause.

A special note of thanks to support vehicle no 3, the young couple with the Toyota Camry, who patiently waited for our guys when they were fixing a flat tire and subsequently leading them back to the main group.

We also like to thank support vehicle no 2 for transporting our bags.

No comments: