This is the second time I joined in a ride on the Malaysia Peninsula. Compared to similar event last year with 147 participant riders, in this year 2007 the event was participated by 300 riders and 50 of them are Indonesian riders; 10 are Singaporean and 2 Germany. Of course, the rest are Malaysian riders, coming from all States in Malaysia. We have been invited officially by the Malaysian Government to participate in the tour to celebrate Malaysia 50 years of independence and this convoy was arranged by Superbikes Association of Malaysia (SAM).
The bikes of the Indonesian Team were sent by sea and loaded into the container on August 11, 2007 at Tanjung Priok Port, Jakarta.
This time, we will start from Johor Bharu city then ride all over Malaysian States in the Peninsula and finish in Kuala Lumpur. This is our route map:
August 19-20, 2007 Jakarta – Singapore – Johor Bahru
Most on the Indonesian Team members departed to Johor Bahru via Singapore. Singapore is chosen because Johor Bahru is located at the bottom (south) of the Malaysia Peninsula in the border with Singapore and therefore closer to be reached from Singapore. We departed at 08.30 p.m. Jakarta time and after collecting all luggage, exit from Changi Airport in Singapore and directly crossing the border Johor Bahru by Bus. It takes some time to get all clearance from Singapore and Malaysian Immigration and custom check points until finally, we arrived at the hotel (Zon Regency) at 02.00 a.m. in the morning. Finish with the room arrangement, we still need to arrange for some T-Shirt, Jacket and Helmet distribution and finally finish all arrangements by 03.30 a.m. Uh.. that was exhausting and I was so sleepy…
Monday August 20, 2007 Bikes Unload and Ride Preparation
Not getting enough sleep, I have to weak up, have some breakfast and get ready to go to the Sea Port to take our bikes. In the breakfast place I met many Malaysian riders friends (who I can not recall all of their names) but sound very familiar faces to me. Many of them also join the similar ride last year and also join the tour we arranged from Medan to Bali last April (Le Tour de Indonesia). Nice to meet them again… Leaving the hotel to the Port at 09.30 a.m. we then unload the bikes from the containers, passing the custom and port clearance.
The unloading process take some time and a light rain was fall down during the unloading process. Finish with all custom and port clearance, escorted by some Police and Marshall Officers we ride to the hotel about lunch time which was continued by an official Tour Briefing.
The first convoy movement was made in the evening for an official dinner with the Johor Sultan.
After the dinner and welcome ceremonial we ride back to the hotel and filled in the gas full tank to make sure all bikes ready for the move tomorrow. Cindy and I did a last checking and packing not to rush in the morning, and then went to bed…
Ride Day 1: August 21, 2007 Johor Bahru – Melaka
Weak up early morning (at 05.30 a.m.), have a short morning pray, take a bath, have some breakfast, check out from the hotel and get ready. Morning briefing and some stretching exercise sound would become our routine morning activities:
We started at 09.00 from the Hotel and rode to Melaka.
After riding about 2 hours for 131 Km, the convoy had a short break in Batu Pahat at 11.10 a.m.
Cindy was interested to take a picture infront of a Malaysian bike fully decorated by Malaysian Flags:
Besides meals and drink, we also were offered to try a very tasty, fresh and sweet fruit called ”Pulasan” (read “Poolisun”) similar to what we call “Rambutan” in Indonesia with ticker skin Hm… that was fresh and yummy….
In half an hour the convoy moved further….
The convoy movement some how can not be fast enough. This is danger since the participant could easily felt sleepy. I tried to eat some candies not to get sleepy and saw some riders were stopped by the Marshall because they were sleepy and rode unsafely. Although Police Helicopter escorting us along the way, since it did not fly closer enough to us it did not help us that much in fighting with sleepy…
We then stop again in Muar at 12.50 for a lunch break.
Moved again at 13.50 to Melaka and before entering Melaka city, we again have another break to filled in the gas fully. It takes time we have to learn to be patient since filling in the gas for more than 300 bikes at once definitely takes time. Finally we enter into Melaka city.
I guess this fisrt day ride is a kind of adjustment for the riders as well as for all officers involved. The convoy still rides in a bit slow rhythm.
The total journey for the first ride day from Johor Bahru to Melaka is 262 Km.
Ride Day 2: 22/9 Melaka – Kuantan
Considering a longer trip for today, the convoy start earlier in this morning. After breakfast, check out from the hotel, morning briefing, and light exercises, the convoy start the ride from Melaka to Kuantan at 8.00 a.m.
First Break for 1 hour in Port Dickson (95 Km from Melaka).
Rode out side Port Dickson, we met quite good twisty road. Hm… that was nice. Although we still can not ride fast, the twisty road was good and not boring.
Not ride to far (only about 67 Km), the convoy have another break for filling in the gas in Kuala Pilah at 12.18 a.m. and further break in Muadzam Shah (126 Km form Kuala Pilah) at 04.30 p.m.
Arrived in Kuantan, we went directly to M.S. Garden Hotel, the place we spent the night di Kuantan. The hotel is good, with big size room. This second riding day from Melaka to Kuantan, crossing from the west coast (Malaka Strait) to the east coast (South China Sea) of Malaysia Peninsula was 394 Km.
Ride Day 3: 23/9 Kuantan – Kuala Trengganu
Weak up in the morning, take a bath, packing, check out, have some break fast, morning briefing and light exercise. The convoy starts at 09.30 a.m. The morning exercises quite often was changed to be the Poco-poco Dance (a traditional Indonesian dance, originating from the North Sulawesi, which has been well known in between Malaysian bikers) and becomes a routine morning ritual:
Before started, Cindy selected some friends to take a picture and said “See… I need no diet and I am slim enough….right ?” Hahaha…
The Indonesian Chief de Mission, The Retired Chief of Police of the Republic of Indonesia, The Chairman of The Indonesian Big Bike Association (IMBI), Retired Police General Roesmanhadi seems really… really… want to take a picture with me. So, I said, ok. Let’s take a picture…. Hahaha… (Just kidding. The fact is the other way around).
Cindy and I in Kuantan:
First break in Kemasek Beach, Kemaman Area at 11.30. This nice beach is famous as the place of the sea turtles for placing their eggs in its season. We have our lunch here and then continue the trip at 01.00 p.m. Almost at all points of stop during the ride we got a big welcome ceremonial from the local community like this:
Acting as if part of the VIP guess, Cindy walk in the midle of the welcoming crowd… Hahaha…
Cindy and I in Kemasek:
Continue the trip, convoy moved and entering into Kuala Trengganu. Convoy at 02.57, and directly filled in the gas fully. The average fuel consumption recorded 19,5 Km/liter. The weather today is good and a bit hot. Most of the Indonesian Team checked in at Permai Iin Hotel. Since there is no hotel with enough rooms for all of the participants and the other officers we were split into 3 groups in this city.
Cindy has to rush to the local Airport this evening and fly to Kuala Lumpur to be able to get the first morning flight to Jakarta (and continue to Surabaya) since she has to be in Surabaya before 12.00 a.m. I accompanied Cindy to the Airport before joining the official dinner host the Trengganu Minister. Today’s journey from Kuantan to Kuala Trengganu, along the Malaysia Peninsula east coast is recorded 309 Km.
Ride Day 4: 24/9 Kuala Trengganu – Kota Bahru
Today and days forward I will ride without passenger. So, I get prepared; especially to arrange my pocket digital camera hang up on my neck and slipped under my small waist side bag belt; so, each time, pictures could be easily taken with out loosing momentum. From right now on, I have to take pictures by myself.
Get ready in front Permai Iin Hotel. We then get all convoy participants ready at the meeting point at Grand Continental Hotel at 08.00 a.m. We then move to Kota Bahru after flag off at 10.30.
Closing to Thailand border, although Malaysian states on the north side of Peninsula somehow are more religious and heavily flavored by Islamic culture and laws, we could see the mix culture as represented by this Buddha Temple like this:
First Break at Air Tawar Beach (located just about 64 Km from Kota Bharu) at 12.00 a.m. Almost always, we could enjoy the view of good and clean beaches with the blue South Chine Sea view along the east coast of Malaysia Peninsula. However, it was a quite hot day. We had a long and break, lunch and went for a Friday praying at a near local Mosque here. The convoy continued the trip to Kota Bahru at 03.00 p.m.
Arrived at Kota Bharu at 04.15 p.m. we were welcomed by the local authorities at MPKB Bulilding, have some Laksa and various traditional local foods. Checked in at Grand River View Hotel at 07.30 p.m. As usual, we had an official dinner at 08.30 with the local authorities but likely, this time it was held at the Hotel. Hm.. the food was very good. I like the squid.. it was so yummy. Each of us also got additional one piece of T-Shirt, Polo Shirt and Shirt. I still did not feeling well (influenza) and decided to take some medicine and went to bed immediately thereafter. Today’s journey fro Kuala Trengganu to Kota Bahru along the east coast of Malaysia Peninsula is only 190 Km.
Ride Day 5: 25/9 around Kota Bahru
This morning I wake up a bit late. May be because of the flu medicine I took last night. Get rush breakfast then warmed up the bike. We will only ride close by 9inclusing to the Thailand border) today. As usual, morning time will be started by a morning briefing, Malaysia National Song and light aerobic. I stayed at the bike and getting wet without joining the exercise because of un-fit condition. Moved from the hotel at 10.45, filling the gas full tank just out side of the city, we the rode to Pangkalan Kubor, a Duty Free area at the border with Thailand. After we had a welcome ceremony and lunch break at 01.00 p.m. break at Sri Tujuh Beach, the convoy moved back to Pangkalan Kubor to participate in the opening ceremony of a local “Futsal” court. Back to the hotel jam 05.30 p.m.
In the evening (at 08.00 p.m.) we went to Cahaya Bulan (PCB) Resort Beach by bus. Dinner and attending the welcome ceremony hosted by the local authorities. Local food was nice. We have Chicken Sate, and some other local food and fruits.
Ride Day 6: 26/9 Kota Bahru – Sungai Petani
Hm.. this is the day we are waiting for…. Besides crossing the twisty road at Banding high land, we will also have a free ride there. Morning at the Alun-alun (Central) Kota Bahru:
Start from the hotel at 08.30 a.m. to Alun-alun (Central) Kota Bharu for flag off, the convoy then moved to Jeli.
As usual we had a welcome ceremony at Jeli and provided by local food and fruits. After filling he gas full tank, the convoys was split into several group. First group was the VVIP riders (the Minister, the Chairman of IMBI and some other riders). The second and the third group were Indonesian rides. The second group (consist of 12 riders) classified as faster riders than the third. Then it was followed by groups of Singapore riders, and the riders from each states of Malaysia. I was on the second group and has planed to enjoy the fast ride at this stage.
Get ready with a fast ride, I put the camera in may small side waist bag. I fully understand that this is going to be a real fast ride for some of us and there will be no time to take picture at this stage…
The first Stage my group started 3 minutes after the first group (VVIP) and just after about 3 minutes ride Boyke, Pandu, Andy, Jibang and I have overtook the first group. Most of the rest of the second group also took them over later and we was stop at Puncak (the Peak) waiting until all convoy participants be there. Hm… this half part of the free ride was still not maximum since one Marshall still try to hold us not to exceed his “safe” speed limit. On the next half we have discussed and will go to maximum and enjoy a speedy ride with or without any Marshall up to Gerik city. Ride down from Puncak, again about 3 minutes behid the VVIP group, we took the over only about 2,5 minutes after we start and continue to have a speedy ride up to Gerik. Once I got a chance to safely took over Boyke (on RT 1200), I open the throttle fully and enjoy the maximum light cornering (at around 150 Km/h) and straight (over 200 Km/h). 3 of us (Boyke on RT 1200, Joel on Honda ST 1300 and I on Multistrada 1000) then followed by Pandu (RT 1150) and Dyan (Yamaha) reach Gerik city (129 Km from Jeli) about 30 minute ahead the convoy. Wow… that was nice… It was a kind of bonus for us after being in a big (and slow) convoy for some times. The view between Puncak and Gerik is so beautiful with some bridges connecting the hills. Although I miss to take any picture in the fast riding stage, I really enjoy the see the view directly. Again, we had a welcome ceremonial in Gerik. Food and local dances also provided for us.
After attending the welcome ceremony in Gerik at 05.00 p.m. we then fill in the gas and move to Sungai Petani at 06.30 p.m.
Arriving at Swiss Inn Hotel in Sungai Petani at 08.00 p.m., I got a very good and big room (similar to the room I got in Kuantan). I guess it like a junior suite type of room. I feel a bit tired and still not really healthy. So I decided to take a hot water shower, order a room service diner, take some more medicine and went to bed…. The trip on he sixth day from Kota Bahru to Sungai Petani today again crossing the Malaysia peninsula to the west coast (Malaka Strait) for about 300 km.
Ride Day 7: 27/9 Sungai Petani – Kangar – Alor Star
Wake up a bit late and relax since we will only ride close by. We will start at 10.00 a.m. which then delayed to 11.00 a.m. since we will entering into high way which will take shorter time to Kangar. Ride to Kangar (the capital city of Perlis state) through highway is nice and fast. The convoy was maintaining an average speed at 125 Km/h on the highway.
Arriving in Kangar, the capital city of Perlis State at 12.50 a.m., as usual we were welcomed by a welcome ceremony and followed by lunch. This time the ceremony was quite short. We then filling in the gas and move at 02.45 to stop again Jerlum for another ceremony. We thereafter move to Holiday Villa Hotel in Alor Star, which is located only about 11 Km from Jerlum. We arrived and checked in at the Hotel at 05.30 a.m. Hm.. today’s ride is short and relax….
After getting fresh under a shower we get together again for a dinner at 08.15 at the Hotel lobby to ride and have an official dinner at Alor Star Tower.
After the dinner at 11.30, back to the Hotel and take a rest…
Ride Day 8: 28/9 Alor Star – George Town
Start from the Hotel at 09.00 a.m. we move to George Town, Pulau Penang. Flag off from the central city in front of a very nice mosque in the city center.
We were escorted by Police Helicopter along the way:
weather was ok but keeps changing in a second. It was bright blue sky with wet road of big rain last night when we start in the morning.
On the first break at the gas station, the rain although not too heavy, starts falling down. I decided to use my rain suite pant just to make sure I get ready and not to get sick since I am still at un-fit health condition. I still expect to light rain stop and only use the participant uniform with more airy without its internal plastic cover.
On the ride .. all of sudden the weather dramatically change and I could see the dark sky above me. I can stop in the convoy like this and just make myself ready. Not too long.. we ride in the middle of heavy rain. Some trees also fall down beside the road. Hm… I just hope we keep riding at arrive at George Town soon…At least I am still lucky because using the rain pant so all inside are kept dry… Xixixi… By the way, this is a time I test my waterproof camera. So I keep it ready to take pictures in the rain while riding. These are several pictures:
Still in the rain.. I am curious to see my own face on the ride. See this…Xixixi…
Not far away from George Town we stop in a shopping mall. Oh, no… I hate this, since entering an air-conditioning mall with the wet shirt and jacket, I could get sick again… So maintaining my body temp, I decided just to be in the welcoming ceremony for a while and get out of the mall for a warm air. Still cold and wet.. I then change my wet shirt with a dry one and keep staying out side the mall. Irma (Mrs. Freddy) was kindly provided me with some food and I eat it in front mall lobby besides the parking bikes.
We then continue the trip to the Hotel in George Town. Total journey for today from Alor Star to George Town is only about 155 Km.
Ride Day 9: 29/9 George Town – Ipoh
Start at 9.00 a.m. from George Town, in the light rain. I use may rain gear completely. Right guess, not too long after we start the rain was fall down heavily. This is when the convoy crossing the bridge above the strait between Pulau Penang (Penang Island) and Malaysia peninsula in the rain:
The longer we entering into the peninsula the better the weather. We then ride in a real good weather crossing plantation areas in an empty but nice plantation roads… Hm… I imagine if I only ride with small number of bikes here… it must be nicer and we could enjoy a bit speedy ride here…
Lunch break at a Toh Johan School (Sekolah Kebangsaan Toh Johan) in Trong, Perak State area. As usual, we were welcomed by a welcome ceremony. Today’s lunch menu is better. We could see yummy fried fish. Hm.. that is delicious after only mostly meet karee food for days. We also provided by a local fruits like “Duku”, “Manggis” and “Durian”…
Move again at 01.45. p.m. we arrive at Menglembu area (just a bit outside Ipoh city) at 03.30 p.m., filling in the gas full tank, and continue the trip to the hotel.
Total journey in this ninth riding day between George Town and Ipoh is 205 Km.
Ride Day 10 (the last ride day) : 30/8 Ipoh – Putera Jaya – Kuala Lumpur
Wow.. This is our last riding day… We were happy and enthusiastic after in the big convoy for days and finally we almost finish. Considering there will be a lot ceremonial agenda with important Malaysian officials today, including with the Vice Prime Minister of Malaysia, the convoy has to start earlier. We start at 07.00 a.m. and entering to the highway and maintaining an average speed od 125-140 Km/h. Hm.. I like this. If the front riders is at 140 Km/h, the tail riders could ride at about 175 Km/h.. If I feel a bit boring, not to get sleepy, I some time slowing down a bit and open the throttle wide at about 200 Km/h to catch up with the front riders again…
Boyke and Santi (his wife), my Indonesian friend, before entering into the toll road:
Filling the gas in Ulu Bernam (143,4 Km from Ipoh) we the move to have a break in Setiawangsa at 10.45 a.m. for a short welcoming ceremony.
After the welcome ceremony, the convoy move again to Selangor. Just before start, the rain was falling down but not to heavy. Entering into toll road again with an average 100-120 Km/h, the convoy arrived in Selangor at 12.45. a.m and have a lunch break.
Moving from Selangor to Putera Jaya at 02.15 p.m.
Arriving in Putra Jaya at 03.00 p.m (sharp, according to schedule) in a light rain. However due to the change of schedule of the Vice Prime Minister, we have to wait and it was decided to wait in a Mall in Putera Jaya up to 05.15 p.m. so the convoy participant could freely have some flexi time. I chose to have a cup of hot coffee in one of the coffee shop. We then move again,just clse by to be at the ceremonial place at 05.30. The ceremony was start at 06.00 and we got a change to take picture with the Vice Prime Minister who is using IMBI’s hat.
Continue the ride from Putera Jaya to KL for a dinner at KL Tower. We also enjoy the colorful light show reflecting Malaysian flag color at KL Tower:
Checked in at the Hotel Lobby, we can see exhausted but happy faces the convoy participants… I had a very nice and deep slept thereafter…
Day 11: 31/8 in Kuala Lumpur
We have a flexi day today until the official farewell dinner at the hotel. The Indonesian Team, hold a coordination meeting to arrange the shipment of our bike back home at 10.10 a.m. AT the farewell party, each of us receive a Sijil (Certificate) signed directly by the Prime Minister of Malaysia (YAB Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi). Wow…. That is very special….
After the all over, we say good bye to every one and hope to see part of them again on the next ride hopefully, Tour de Sulawesi in Indonesia, in 2008 ?Day 12: 1/9 Kuala Lumpur – Jakarta
Last packing check, have some breakfast, we then get ready to get to the airport. Our Malaysian collage will assist us to bring our bikes to the container at Port Klang.
Some of Indonesian Team members before depart at KLIA:
Believe it or not, it was a BIG tempting to see burgers at the Burger King shop at the airport after about 2 weeks in the tour. I then enjoy the food at Burger king and looking for some stuff for my kids at home, then rush to board to and fly with Emirates back home… Hm.. I am glad to be home safely, meet my family and get ready to be back to the real life again next Monday…
Total journey of this Tour is 2563 Km.