~ The beauty of nature lies in its imperfections ~

Thursday, May 08, 2008

N. Malaysia & Hatyai Ride - 30 April to 4 May 2008

What makes a good vacation?
- Great company, scrumptious food and lots of riding!

Day 1 : 30th April -

Morning started at 7am, meeting Roger, and getting through the Malaysian customs. A short ride later, rumbling tummies told us it was time for breakfast. Where else but at Yong Peng for a good serving of Wanton Mee to energize us for the day's ride.

The monotonous ride on the NorthSouth highway, led us to the Tapah, where we met up with KayKian at the base of Cameron Highlands. The dude rode down from Bangkok the day before, and was suppose to meet us at 2pm but the excitement was too much to bear & he was at the meeting place 2 hours before!

The ride up Camerons via the old route proved to be challenging to say the least... Landslide zones were abundant and it was nothing like the condition in March when we went up with another bunch.

Slippery roads meant jittery nerves and twitchy tyres. Not good for the sportbikers... nope.

Took a break at the waterfall midway :
All seemed fine until we decided to stop at a tea house for some Camerons tea, and all it took was a strip of gravel on the road and a slight miscalculation?

Roger's CBR6 took a lowside, and had a bit of his bike rearranged. Taking stock of the damage, there was a broken turn signal, scratched crankcase cover, the left mushroom decided to take shelter inside his cracked fairing & oh shit! the gear shifter's broken!

Seung "McGyver" decided it was time to summon his whatyacallit thingy.... oh yes, it's a grip lock pliers? and gripped it onto whatever remained of his shifter lever.
Ta Dah!
Sheepish grin from the owner with hardly a scratch, thanks to his armoured, padded riding suit. There....I told you so....got to wear proper riding gear ....

Reaching our hotel at Camerons & with dinner settled, we managed to find some fix-it items to replace the grip lock pliers, although it got Roger up the rest of hill okay.

A packet of cable tie, epoxy, a table fork (from the kindhearted boss of a tze char restaurant at Tanah Rata) and some creativity later...

CBR has a new gear shifter. Better than original! Who can boast of a fork as a shifter huh? Roger had half the mind to keep the design permanently as such. (By the way, this set up got him all the way to Hatyai! Almost.)

Day 2 : 1st May -

The morning was great and we descended from the cool highlands into the sweltering heat. Today is the day for great roads. Taking a long loop from Camerons, down through Gerik highway to Gua Musang, and finally to Ipoh.

This stretch of gentle bends and scenic landscape is a bikers dream come true. It was at least 7-8 years ago that we last came through these roads and this time was no less perfect.

We took a break as the pack took in the beautiful scenery at the look out point. Could almost hear them whispering to each other. Yeah, what a good ride! Hope the guys will take us through more! :)

We met up with Kin at Ipoh's Heritage Hotel, who arrived in the afternoon from Singapore.

Day 3 : 2nd May -

The ride from Ipoh was a rather uneventful stretch of highway riding. Getting to the Thai border was an interesting bit though for first timers Roger and Kin.

We did the obligatory photo op with the Thai customs checkpoint in the background, before the customs process.

The EVENT came about 20km after the customs. Roger's chain broke loose while we were all negotiating through traffic, causing him to almost loose control of the bike. All 200 pounds of him fought with the violently fishtailing bike and managed to keep it upright till it came to a stop at the road shoulder.

No Chain = No Go. :(

After several attempts to find work shops to fix a new chain, which was impossible outside Hatyai town, we managed to get a pick up at a nearby car workshop to bring the bike to Hatyai.

CBR gets a ride on the back of the truck. Was it a silent protest for the hideous cutlery so stuck on his arm? I wonder...

With bike in hospital now, we headed for a nice restaurant/pub to chill out. Happy faces now...

Day 4 : 3rd May -

A day spent fully in Hatyai. Roger & KayKian headed for the workshop to pick up the bike & then to Songkhla beach.

Kin & us took to getting massaged, tummy filled along the way.

Such are street hawkers that we don't find in Singapore... As Kin stares intently on the barbequed crabs & huge prawns, wondering if his stomach has space for supper.

Day 5 : 4th May -

Reluctantly, it's the last day of our trip. KayKian will be heading up north to Bangkok, while the rest of us have 2 borders to cross to get back to Singapore.

Last breakfast together at a dim sum shop...

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