Biking Around Bertam

Bikelah Bertam Kepala Batas Penang Cycling

Biking Across The Breezy Broad Fields of Bertam

Right before the destructive typhoon Damrey came through the north of Peninsular Malaysia, we took to the rural streets of Bertam and Kepala Batas on our bikes, in an effort to raise awareness for increasing the sustainability of our human exploits.

Bikelah Bertam Kepala Batas Penang Cycling

Bikelah Bertam Kepala Batas Penang Cycling
Almost expect lightning to come out and strike that tree

Overall not a tough ride: we started in Kepala Batas in the north of Penang state, and made our way westward towards the sea.

Bertam Ecoride Kepala Batas Cycling

A very leisurely and almost entirely flat ride (save a few flyovers and bridges).

Bikelah Bertam Kepala Batas Penang Cycling
Kuala Muda beach head
Bikelah Bertam Kepala Batas Penang Cycling
Is that…Penang Island in the distance?
Bikelah Bertam Kepala Batas Penang Lady Cyclist
Lady of the water

Bikelah Bertam Kepala Batas Penang Cycling

Bikelah Bertam Kepala Batas Penang Cycling
Storm is coming

And here’s more biking action with musical accompaniment!

Touring With The VIPs Across Kampar


Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee

Why all the extra long bikes, you say? These are tandem bicycles, for two people to ride! And we’re here to set some records in the Tour de VIP, right here in Kampar, Perak!

Led by some of the most seasoned and solemn local marshalls this part of the world has ever seen!

Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee

Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee

I guess they can be a bit goofy sometimes.

Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee
The arrival
Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee
From the tallest hotel in Kampar

Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee

Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee
Briefing time
Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee
Tandem bike check

Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee

We had some time to kill, so we decided to take a look around the town of Kampar. Turns out they’re famous for their lakes – they are literally covered in tonnes of them!

Kampar Tour de VIP Lake
The immense lakes of Kampar

Kampar Tour de VIP Lake Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee

Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee
Gazing out across the cyan shoals
Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee
Cameraman hard at work

Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee

And they’ve got little fishies in them, too!

Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee

And of course, it wouldn’t be quite right without some crazy shenanigans.

Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee

Kampar has some lovely cafes and eateries, all within walking distance of the Grand Kampar Hotel.

Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee
Not the best way to carry a cat

Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee

Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee
Time for a smothering!

Before we knew it, it was the morning of the event. Nice and early, as usual.

Have to get in an early breakfast and get our gear ready before the sun even peeks its head up.

Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee
We’re awake…we’re awake
Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee
Everybody squeeze in!
Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee
What’s that in the distance?
Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee
Last minute recap
Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee
You need a bike, mate?
Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee
Ready for takeoff!
Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee
And awaaay we go!

Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee

Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee
Man aboard!

Kampar Tour de VIP Sam Shee

Tour de VIP Kampar Random Tandem Cycling

Tour de VIP Kampar Random Tandem Cycling
The happy marshalls that are both safety and morale boosters!
Tour de VIP Kampar Random Tandem Cycling
Marshalls – assemble!
Tour de VIP Kampar Random Tandem Cycling
I could do with a Mentos right now

Tour de VIP Kampar Random Tandem Cycling

Tour de VIP Kampar Random Tandem Cycling
Feeling that sun

Tour de VIP Kampar Random Tandem Cycling

Tour de VIP Kampar Random Tandem Cycling

Tour de VIP Kampar Random Tandem Cycling
Say hello to the KL tandem riders!

Tour de VIP Kampar Random Tandem Cycling

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
The joy of arriving at a rest stop!

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
Tandem in action!

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
The medics working their magic
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
A quick scolding. Just kidding, he’s a pretty cool guy
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
Two guiding hands

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
You take water, no photos!

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
Beep beep!
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
The jolly marshalls
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
Takes a lady’s touch to appease them

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
The shy kids from the hood
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling Ninja
Ninja rider caught on camera
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
Flying with ease
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling Cow
Mmmmove it, punk!
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
Upon the big tree
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
Fellow peloton riders!
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
Over the flyover!
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
Last rest stop

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
Dedicated water bearers are a life saver
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
Ready
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
Set go!

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
Walk that heat off!
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
Quick regroup
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
Power boost!
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
Boost into the sky!
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
It’s Larry!

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
The final rest stop
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
That’s quite the bumper sticker
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
Say cheese, ladies!
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling Nadrah
The ever-smiling Dr. Nadrah

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
Testing the tandem
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
The boys are ready to roll!
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
Zombie approaching!

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
The man on the motorbike
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
Taking all the shade we can get
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling Perak
The amazing hills and skies of Perak

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling

 

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
Say hi to Kumar!
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
Mmm…ice. So close yet so far
Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling
The final leg

Tour de VIP Kampar Tandem Cycling

Kampar Tour de VIP Cycling
Arriving home

Kampar Tour de VIP Cycling

Kampar Tour de VIP Cycling
Brothers in arms and wheels
Kampar Tour de VIP Cycling
Cool as ice, yo
Kampar Tour de VIP Cycling
The Grand Kampar Hotel rewards richly

Kampar Tour de VIP Cycling

Kampar Tour de VIP Cycling

Kampar Tour de VIP Cycling
The happy masses

Kampar Tour de VIP Cycling

Kampar Tour de VIP Cycling

Kampar Tour de VIP Cycling
Yes! We did it! Now can we go back to sleep?

Kampar Tour de VIP Cycling

Kampar Tour de VIP Cycling

Kampar Tour de VIP Cycling

Kampar Tour de VIP Cycling

Kampar Tour de VIP Cycling
Champion marshall
Kampar Tour de VIP Cycling
Happy record breaker
Kampar Tour de VIP Cycling
Time to go home, boys!

Kampar Tour de VIP Cycling

Kampar Tour de VIP Cycling

Kampar Tour de VIP Cycling

Kampar Tour de VIP Cycling

Kampar Tour de VIP Cycling

Kampar Tour de VIP Cycling

And here’s a wacky video of it all:

VIPs On Wheels

Do you know what the trending use for the acronym VIP is around here? It stands for Visually Impaired Person.

Not that they aren’t important, of course.

Here are some snapshots of these VIPs out and about on two wheels:

VIP Cycling with Blind VIP Cycling with Blind VIP Cycling with Blind VIP Cycling with Blind VIP Cycling with Blind VIP Cycling with Blind VIP Cycling with Blind VIP Cycling with Blind VIP Cycling with Blind VIP Cycling with Blind VIP Cycling with Blind VIP Cycling with Blind VIP Cycling with Blind VIP Cycling with Blind VIP Cycling with Blind VIP Cycling with Blind VIP Cycling with Blind VIP Cycling with Blind VIP Cycling with Blind VIP Cycling with Blind VIP Cycling with Blind VIP Cycling with Blind VIP Cycling with Blind VIP Cycling with Blind VIP Cycling with Blind VIP Cycling with Blind VIP Cycling with Blind VIP Cycling with Blind VIP Cycling with Blind VIP Cycling with Blind VIP Cycling with Blind VIP Cycling with Blind VIP Cycling with Blind VIP Cycling with Blind VIP Cycling with Blind Tandem Bike VIP Cycling with Blind Tandem Bike VIP Cycling with Blind Bike VIP Cycling with Blind Tandem Bike VIP Cycling with Blind Tandem Bike VIP Cycling with Blind Tandem Bike VIP Cycling with Blind Tandem Bike VIP Cycling with Blind Tandem Bike VIP Cycling with Blind Tandem Bike VIP Cycling with Blind Tandem Bike VIP Cycling with Blind Tandem Bike VIP Cycling with Blind Tandem Bike VIP Cycling with Blind Tandem Bike VIP Cycling with Blind Tandem Bike VIP Cycling with Blind Tandem Bike VIP Cycling with Blind Tandem Bike VIP Cycling with Blind Tandem Bike VIP Cycling with Blind Tandem Bike VIP Cycling with Blind Tandem Bike VIP Cycling with Blind Tandem Bike VIP Cycling with Blind Tandem Bike VIP Cycling with Blind Tandem Bike VIP Cycling with Blind Tandem Bike

Garden of St Nicholas
In the gardens of St Nicholas Home

Garden of St Nicholas

Garden of St Nicholas
It stares back
Garden of St Nicholas
What’s that hiding there?

Riding To Bagan Serai

To Bagan Serai & Beyond

Penang Permatang Tinggi Church Cycling

In September of 2017, we decided to explore the townships of Bagan Serai and Kuala Kurau in the northern Perak region.

We started off in Penang, from the Butterworth ferry terminal, and made our way south along the old trunk road.

Bagan Serai Cycling Sam Travels Map
Woooah, straight down!

You end up passing a lot of little towns and palm plantations.
Kuala Kurau Malaysia Cycling Kuala Kurau Malaysia Cycling

The roads were straight and the traffic low, and the locals probably weren’t as accustomed to hordes of cyclists passing through.

Bagan Serai Malaysia Cycling

Bagan Serai Malaysia CyclingAnd this is where my back tire went flat.

I hobbled my way to the nearest hardware store; thankfully this town appeared well accustomed to servicing passing vehicles. However, these vehicles tended to be of the larger variety, so I had to MacGuyver together some tube levers and a patch from keys and some decent duct tape.

Fortunately, the hardware store had a powerful pump and soon I was off on my merry way.

Bagan Serai Malaysia Cycling

Bagan Serai is a relatively simple town that I suppose is known for food, apart from being a hub town for the surrounding area.

Nothing much to see there, really. Lots of shops though.

After Bagan Serai, it’s a quick 15km jaunt over to the coastal town of Kuala Kurau.
Kuala Kurau Malaysia Cycling
Kuala Kurau Malaysia Cycling

Now Kuala Kurau is much more interesting.

Kuala Kurau Malaysia Cycling Kuala Kurau Malaysia Cycling Kuala Kurau Malaysia Cycling

Kuala Kurau is a bustling little port town by the sea, with some quaint little bridges spanning the delta.

It appears to be a town with some history – old, weather-worn buildings; typical salty fishing shacks; new, stone temples and bungalows.


Kuala Kurau Malaysia Cycling

And just out of town was where our true destination lay: My Homestay 21.

Located literally in the middle of a palm plantation, deep in Kampung Lian Seng, is a large expanse of pomelo orchards and sturdy houses with a thriving Chinese population.

Kualau Kurau Perak Malaysia Cycling AdventureKualau Kurau Perak Malaysia Cycling AdventureKualau Kurau Perak Malaysia Cycling AdventureKualau Kurau Perak Malaysia Cycling AdventureKualau Kurau Perak Malaysia Cycling AdventureKualau Kurau Perak Malaysia Cycling AdventureKualau Kurau Perak Malaysia Cycling AdventureKualau Kurau Perak Malaysia Cycling AdventureKualau Kurau Perak Malaysia Cycling AdventureKualau Kurau Perak Malaysia Cycling AdventureKualau Kurau Perak Malaysia Cycling AdventureKualau Kurau Perak Malaysia Cycling AdventureKualau Kurau Perak Malaysia Cycling AdventureKualau Kurau Perak Malaysia Cycling AdventureKualau Kurau Perak Malaysia Cycling Adventure

So we came along to feast on the pomelos, but stayed around to support (morally) the kind medical doctors that were there to offer free medical check-ups to the local residents.

Kualau Kurau Palm Perak Malaysia Cycling Adventure
Kualau Kurau Perak Malaysia Cycling AdventureKualau Kurau Perak Malaysia Cycling Adventure

The Beauty of Penang

CFAL Bikelah
Experience the beauty of Penang island all in one morning!

Ah, Penang.

Penangites sure have it lucky – you’ve got the calm blue seas under a balmy bright sky; swathes of sandy beaches; towering hills at your back; tropical rainforests interspersed with trickling waterfalls; crazy cyclists whizzing down your narrow roads.

Penang has always been this hidden gem of pearls and pride and prudence – a stronghold of businessmen and tourists. A secret blend of modern and traditional; an endless cacophony of smells and sounds and tasty food; a stark juxtaposition of relaxed colonial landmarks and frenzied industrial monoliths; a harmonious mix of ethnicities and cultures and crazy people.

Bikelah Penang George Town

And no, I don’t work for the tourism board of Penang.

Here is a really nice blog I stumbled across during my research (with my good friend Google).

Happy riding!

Penang’s Secret Garden

Hidden deep in the recesses of one of George Town’s many rows of Chinese shophouses is a rather magical alleyway, a quaint little secret garden of greenery!

Penang George Town Secret Garden Bikelah
Penang George Town Secret Garden Bikelah Penang George Town Secret Garden Bikelah

Complete with clever will artsy pieces of natural and artificial!

Penang George Town Secret Garden Bikelah Penang George Town Secret Garden Bikelah Penang George Town Secret Garden Bikelah

Bringing a dead appliance to life!

Penang George Town Secret Garden Bikelah Penang George Town Secret Garden Bikelah

It may look like a creepy dilapidated alley from outside, but I’d say it’s perfectly welcoming

Penang George Town Secret Garden Bikelah

And it wouldn’t be complete without bikes!

Come bike lah!

P.S. I mean, I could waffle on for another 230 words about nothing much in particular, if for no other reason than to make the SEO engine Google slave happy. So much of what we do online has become dictated by the search engine giant that we are at its mercy. Remember a time when people wrote random essays on random things like secret gardens for no other reason than for the hell of it? Well…they still do! But now they have to keep keywords and optimised content at the back of their mind so Google doesn’t give them the flick. I mean, sure I could just copy and paste the text “Penang Secret Garden” over and over again (interspersed enough so that the Google crawler doesn’t get suspicious and downvote me even further into the blue nothingness), but that would be far less entertaining than typing up this seemingly coherent piece of prose which is much ado about nothing; much like Seinfeld, but see how entertaining that was! And I could probably paragraph better for readability and such humdrum, but who really reads this stuff anyway? Go read about the latest Wolverine movie, why don’t you?