A planned ride but did not materialise would be disappointing. Mostly because of the weather factor. On the other hand, unplanned ride but really happened gave double pleasure. Perhaps because of the spontaneity...
The newly founded underground Gombak Lame Cyclists (GLC) had had that experience. Our inaugural ride was instantly planned. Coupla calls late in the evening got me, Shaq and one anonymous rider (AR) (his identity had to be concealed because of his illegitimate methods of acquiring ride permit from his Minister of Home Affairs) rendezvousing at Sri Gombak BHP. Shaque complained because I was on slicks while they were on knobbies...I just shrugged.
The plan was quite simple - Ride from Sri Gombak > Tmn Pinggiran > Kg Laksamana > Selayang Baru > Hot Spring >>>> BREAK <<<<< > Jalan Bidara > Lebuh Raya Kepong - Selayang > MRR2 > Batu Caves.
At 2130 hrs riders congregated. A newfound friend, Sepitudang, met up with with us just to get to know each other. Thanks bro...Nice knowing you. Next time bring your bike along.
From BHP petrol station we moved to Sri Gombak making a quick stopover at CIMB bank. AR need to fleece the steel box for some cash. Then, without no more further ado, we traversed Lebuh Utama Sri Gombak. A cruel opening. Long and steep hill. Then, naturally, after the summit, downhill would follow...Zoomed we went towards Taman Pinggiran. A quick stop there because AR was left behind...
Once he caught up, we moved on. We passed by a pasar malam. AR wanted to make another stop at the pasar malam because he was the one with plenty of money. We had to drag him from the magnetism of pasar malam.
We made a left turn into Jalan Laksamana 2. The lavish streetlight was no longer present. Dim lights from my double barrel headlights almost caused my to fall into the scattered potholes on the road. It made me realised that my battery was weak and need replacement. Made mental note to look for shop afterward.
So all the way on Jalan Laksamana 2 that converged with Jalan Laksamana. We took a right at the T junction then left which took us to Jalan Sungai Tua (B23). Traffic was a bit heavy. Had to tread carefully to cross the road to make it to the junction for Jalan Besar Selayang Baru.
So off into Jalan Besar Selayang Baru then turned right at the traffic light into Jalan 11. Moderate traffic as opposed to chaotic traffic during daytime. Went further ahead for another traffic light then we turned left into Jalan 29. We made a quick stop at the kedai there allowing me to get new batteries. The sight of cyclists with the "racing look" complete with lighting gears was not common sight and, as usual would attract attention of the onlookers.
Batteries replenished plus few quick gulps of the 100plus, we trodded on. Taking turns in playing the lead. Perasan Tour de Selayang la a bit...Another traffic light in our path and suddenly Shaque sprinted like a lipas kudung. I suspected because he was scared of the cemetery on our left at Jalan 35A. Sprinting continued. I was panting but in pursuit. AR decided not to participate in that nonsensical race.
Shaque continued the fast pace passing along the roundabout than onto Lebuhraya Kepong Selayang. We got along break there waiting for the traffic lights to turn green in our favor. Long enough to enable us to take some photos.
Light went green and off we went. It was my turn to sprint then. Large chainring + smallest cog = Shaque left behind...far far behind. Running on slicks gave me more unfair advantage. Moderate traffic on Jalan Ipoh (Route no 1) in pitch dark night. Glimmer of lights emanating from the hot spring visible from afar. I kept sprinting, forgetting about the promise of having a "makan kacang" ride...
Time was 2230hrs. We were surprised to see big crowd still flocking the hot waterhole. We spent 20 minutes dipping our feet in the warm water. There were 3 pools there. Each with different heat level. The one that we chose to dip our feet was the coolest. I remembered visiting the place years back. There was no cement embankment. No stalls...Nothing. Just the hot springs surrounded by bushes...How things have changed.
From hot spring, journey continued. We took the slip road off Jalan Ipoh into Jalan Bidara. A change of pace from mostly flat to undulating roads of Jalan Bidara. Road was dark but fortunately very little traffic. Shaque seemed to enjoy tackling the climb and we let him off to enjoy his knee enhancing session...
From Jalan Bidara, we veered right back into Lebuhraya Kepong - Selayang. We passed by the junction to FRIM. My mind was thinking of having a nite ride in FRIM. Would that be possible??? I'll leave that question open. On on towards MRR2. Time around 2300hrs. The usual bustling and fast traffic on MRR2. Another round of pursuit game between me and Shaque. And, once more, slick tires proved to be really "slick". Batu Caves temple looming ahead while struggling on the flyover. Quite a challenging ascent.
We slipped out at the Batu Caves exit. Went underneath the flyover and into the forays of light industry factory in Batu Caves industrial area. Pit stop at Restoran Esfan for a night cap before departing for home. Time 2315hrs. Distance covered 25km. Satisfaction 100 percent...When can we do it again???