Saturday, September 27, 2008

Thailand to Singapore, via East Coast of Malaysia, Ride: Day 13

Journal entry

'Woke up today feeling much better. 'Took a series of pictures by the beach. It is nice watching the sun rise when you wake. My dream cottage sits on the west coast of North America, however. Just as well, I'll take a sunset over a sunrise any day — there's less drama; and, if there's any, darkness hides it.

A 360° view.

During breakfast, I discovered that, somewhere along the way, the temperature inside the map case (the transparent plastic acts as a greenhouse) soared beyond 120° F (48.9° C) and broke my analog thermometer  :-(

Kinesys Performance Sunscreen. 'Discovered this at Sports Basement 3 years ago. This is the only sunscreen I am comfortable using when cycling. It is non-greasy, relatively sweat and water-resistant, and most importantly, does not attract sand or road grit. The small 1 fl. oz. (30 ml) size makes it easier to lug around for solo riders. Available locally from the fine folks at Campers' Corner.

It's remarkable how adaptable one can be: after 10 plus days on the road, it takes less than 5 minutes to pack this stuff up — waterproofed and balanced — onto the bike.

10:30 AM.
Back on the road.

47 km (29.4 miles) to Tanjung Pengelih.
Bukit Tuatau lies immediately ahead.

Turn off to Batu Layar. 15.5 km (just under 10 miles) from Desaru, this also marks the end of the hills section (apart from a brief climb before Tanjung Ramunia).

Nice! They cleaned up the place.

Today is supposed to be an easy ride and I took it easy. 'Did a little more exploring and discovered a few more chalets. 16 km (10 miles) from Desaru, I ran into a group of Singaporean novice cyclists; overheated and exhausted, they only covered the flats from Penggerang. I gave them a heads up regarding the hills ahead and wished them well.

Kampung road bypassing a section of Highway 90.

Sepang Muhibah Beach Resort lies south of Sea View Resort, on the same rural kampung road parallel to Highway 90.

Its location makes it a viable alternative to Sungai Rengit for beginner cyclists seeking overnight accommodation en route to Desaru.

Further south, after a short section of dirt track, a military outpost, and bumpy asphalt road, is another resort.

By the roadside at Sungai Rengit, a growling dog charged at me just as I was about to remove my camera to take a picture. I don't know if it was the heat making me irritable, or being incensed at the animal's attempt to thwart me so close to my goal or what, but instead of holding my ground — I had German Shepherds, Rottweilers, and a big-boned, really fat 62 kg (136.4 lb) Boxer, so your average 20 - 30 kg (44 - 66 lb) dog doesn't faze me — I bellowed and rushed at the dog. The surprised animal, not expecting the turn of events, caught a mouthful of Shimano steel studs, assumed a sub-orbital trajectory, subsequently obeyed the call of gravity, and, upon returning to terra firma, ran yelping back into its compound.

I'm a dog lover and it pains me to do this to a dog, but the fuzzy-cuddly goes out the window the moment your dog attacks me outside your property. Maybe I should have just squirted it with my water bottle in hopes of it backing off. I understand that rabies shots are really fun (and the pretty nurses give you candy after that), no? Or, maybe I should have called the Samaritans of Singapore on a mobile / cell phone and describe in vivid detail as I'm being bitten — how I am being bitten and where — and set up a counseling appointment when the dog finally lets go and I reach Singapore; that way, we can have a Kumbaya session about how my feelings were violated in the encounter with the excessively aggressive and offensive dog. Maybe.

We live in more of a pussy generation now, where everybody's become used to saying, "Well, how do we handle it psychologically?" In those days, you just punched the bully back.
         (Clint Eastwood)

Lunch was the usual affair:  2 bowls of laksa. The same deadly stuff I ate on the Glenfiddich Desaru Ride with NicIz2HardKore.

11 km (6.9 miles) to Tanjung Pengelih.

Pará rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis) fruits ripen, crack, split and fling seeds overhead.

As a primary school boy, I used to rub these seeds against concrete floors hard and fast, and then drop the scorching-hot seeds down the shorts of classmates. I got caned often. That's why I can ride ridiculously narrow — and occasionally unpadded — saddles for insane distances. The nerves were deadened a long time ago  :-P

In the center, an unripe rubber fruit. Each holds 3 seeds and 6 sections. Think of them as balsam (Impatiens balsamina) seed pods on meth.

Arrival at Tanjung Pengelih marks the official end of the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia ride.

Behind Tanjung Pengelih lies 186 m (610 ft) Bukit Penggerang, and the ruins of a British World War II fort.


Cateye AT-100
Elevation climbed  410 feet (125 m)
3 hours 12 minutes 25 seconds
Average speed  10.7 mph (17.1 km/h)
Maximum speed  24.8 mph (39.68 km/h)
Distance  34.4 miles (55 km)
Temperature  forgot to record

Cateye Velo 5
Distance  55.46 km (34.66 miles)
Maximum speed  39.7 km/h
Cumulative distance  883.5 km (552.2 miles)

Arrived 4 PM Saturday, 27th September 2008.

ELMO:  But... but... but Singapore's that way! The ferry is right here! The last one for the day too! 4 PM! I wanna go home! Wahhh!

BEN:  Shut up, Elmo.

There's a more hardcore way of getting back, but first, I am going to take a shower and get some rest.

Young oil palm trees.

12 km (7.5 miles) of this.

Plantation road to the rear entrance of Sebana Cove.

12 km (7.5 miles) of plantation roads later, the rear entrance to Sebana Cove.

The staff (dealing with accommodations) are charming. They readily acquiesced to my request for a room in a quiet corner of the resort.

Despite my protests, one of them even helped carry 45 kg (99 lb) Michelle up the steps to my room. I sure hope he didn't hurt his back. Thank you, Harrul  :-)

         They have a fine sense of humor as well  :-)

RM200 for the standard room. I understand the ones on the 2nd floor are nicer (at RM290), but I am not masochistic enough to lug a 45 kg (99 lb) bike up an additional floor just for a better view.

         A moment of narcissism.

Took a long shower and watched the sun set from my room.

Early start tomorrow. One objective has been fulfilled:  bagged the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia. The LORD has been exceedingly kind  :-)
-10:50 PM.


Cateye AT-100
Elevation climbed  450 feet (137.2 m)
4 hours 3 minutes 1 second
Average speed  10.6 mph (16.96 km/h)
Maximum speed  24.8 mph (39.68 km/h)
Distance  43.2 miles (69.1 km)
Temperature  forgot to record

Cateye Velo 5
Distance  69.63 km (43.52 miles)
Maximum speed  39.7 km/h
Cumulative distance  897.7 km (561.1 miles)

Here I have gone down with the sun
written syllables till time has surprised me
with the fact of his consistency.
I love not you but the sun’s going down
so easily.

         (Janet Frame)

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