akmal's bike park

akmal's bike park

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Touring: Labis to Seremban - Day 2 (Part 1: Good morning, Muar!)

21.05.2015, Thursday.
Spending the morning in Muar

We got up for solat fajr, showered and got dressed. I didn't feel tired or anything like that, but looking forward for the day ahead. However, the mini mission for the morning is to have breakfast a la Muor. Satay!

the solid breakfast
To my pleasant surprise, Fendi had sent for us a set of simple breakfast - cekodok pisang (banana nuggets) and tea. Latfy was taking a nap and I had some by myself. Not long after that, Mak Nah, another of Latfy's relative came by with a tray of heavier breakfast - nasi goreng telur mata! Fried rice with fried egg. Well, that was really, really nice and truly unexpected although it means we had to alter our morning plan a little bit (and perhaps the rest of the day's too).

Rezeki jangan ditolak, goes the saying in Malay. Never push away something good, sort of. My father would be cheeky with the saying, as he would quip "you have to 'push' it, into your mouth". So we had our breakfast at the homestay and linger around for a while to bring the food down in our stomach and hoping that it'd spare some space for the satay later on.

Kak Bone Homestay

the cosy verandah is a nice place to laze around in the morning;
no direct morning sun
a beautiful timber house opposite the homestay,
lit by the morning sun
We took some time to pack our panniers and rearrange our stuff for the day ahead. Also, I took the opportunity to get my bike ready. Simple ABCD checks - Air, Brakes, Chains and Drivetrain. I discovered that the teeth on my chainring has worn out, but more severe on the first three pieces on my cassette at the rear. The chain is new so I don't want to ruin it by having the worn cassette for long. I had the annoying chain skipping during the ride the day before and found the culprit now. So I guess an inevitable visit to the bike shop later on before we take off from Muar is in the plans for the day.

besides satay, they serve other dishes too.
Open from 7.30 am until 12.30 in the afternoon.
At 9.20 am we took our bikes sans panniers and rode to the satay joint at R&H Cafe, Jalan Maharani, just on the opposite of Muar Bus Stand, next to the overhead pedestrian bridge. It is very nearby, less than five minutes' ride from the homestay.

Latfy enjoying his satay
By this time, the place was already full with customers. We were directed to a table near the front entrance. It was quite stuffy and gloomy, so I went looking for other tables deeper in the restaurant. To my surprise, there's a lot more tables at the back, and much better too. Airy, and brighter. Not long after we sat down, we ordered our drinks and satay. The manner of satay being served here is quite simple. In fact, this was the practice at the famous Sate Kajang long ago. A plate of a variety of satay will be served, about 25 sticks comprising of different satays: beef, chicken and tripe. Later on the waiter would come around and count the number of sticks of satay that you had for you to pay. The rest will be taken back. I myself had more than 10 sticks.
the satay compendium and my iced coffee
"Thank you for choosing us for serving your breakfast.
From the workforce of R&H Cafe. Satay Maharani Muar"
the satay man in action
At about 10.00 o'clock we went off for some sightseeing, and headed to Tanjung Emas. There are many nice old buildings at this part of town. I like the masjid the most. There are also a school, district office, magistrate office, traffic police building, a park, a jetty for riverside cruise and a row of eatery shoplots among others. One can see another beautiful masjid, Masjid Sultan Ismail, on the opposite bank Sungai Muar. I love the area, especially for the vast landscape dotted with many old buildings. Also, the area is with lesser traffic.

Our bikes near the jetty at Tanjung Emas
the river cruise jetty

Masjid Jamek Sultan Ibrahim

Muar District Office
Traffic police building

Latfy entering S2H bike shop at Jalan Abdullah
We revisited the bike shop again from Tanjung Emas to get Latfy's rear hub and possibly a 9-speed cassette for me. Latfy got his, quite some time after the shopkeeper rummaging through the assorted parts box. As for myself, perhaps the dying of 9-speed breed was apparent in the shop. They have only 10- and 11-speed cassettes, new ones.

Me in Muar
As we went back to the homestay to pack up and get ready for Melaka, I noticed a gloomy bike shop on a row of old shops at Jalan Hashim. Less than 200 meters from the homestay. While Latfy went straight to the homestay's toilet, I stopped by the shop to have a look. There, 26" MTBs and old relics are still up for sale. And 9-speed SRAM cassettes too! However, the owner of the shop was not around. I was entertained by his mother who minds the shop next to his. I bargained with her for the cassette which is of the same model on my bike. The price is ok, and I was tempted to get a higher spec for about RM50 more, but heck, that amount of money could be spent on food instead.

Latfy at the traffic light near the bridge to Tanjung Agas
The parts was in my hands, but the only problem was to take out the old cassette and install the new one. As the shop mechanic was not around, I had to do it myself. I had the liberty of going through the (unorganized) tools at the shop. It required some work to find the tools. I found the cassette opener tool, but not the chainwhip. Dang! It was quite some time before I found the chainwhip in the tool chest. So I took the shop's stool, remove my rear wheel and went to work. Et voila! A new cassette and guaranteed no-skip trip ahead. I could have argued to the aunty for some discount as I had to do the labour myself, but I was
 too lazy for more bargaining and was eager to get back to the homestay and pack up for the day's journey. It was drizzling, and it was already 1.00 pm by that time. We were supposed to leave at 11.00 o'clock, actually.

Latfy was already waiting for me when I got back. I packed up and got my bike ready in a jiff. We left Muar for Melaka at 1.30 pm.


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