akmal's bike park

akmal's bike park

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Touring: Labis to Seremban - Day 2 (Part 2: Muar to Melaka)

21.05.2015, Thursday.
The interesting journey from Muar to Melaka

The goal of the day is to cycle to Melaka and go around the city by bike upon reaching Bandar Melaka. In my recent visits to Melaka before this, I was intrigued by the idea of going around the city by bike. There is so much to explore. Too slow by foot (and not to mention comparably tiring) and the area is quite vast to be covered. Bikes are accessible and simple. More importantly, they are much faster and less tiring. Of course, much more fun. However, I didn't have a plan laid out before hand on where and what to do in Melaka. Some sort of 'crossing the bridge when we got there' kind of plan. For the night's stay I've contacted my cousin Abang Bakar and he agreed to be our host in Batu Berendam, some 8km away from Bandar Hilir.

The route plan was to go to Tanjung Agas, Kesang, Sungai Rambai, Merlimau, Telok Mas, Bandar Hilir, Peringgit and finally to Batu Berendam. The estimated distance is about 52 km in total. We would be taking a coastal route, which is quite flat. So in theory it would be a fast ride and we would reach the destination in time. Of course, this did not happen, and we had to tweak our plan and route as we rode along.

the view of Sungai Muar from Jambatan Sultan Ismail
a little adjustment
for a smoother ride ahead
We crossed Sungai Muar towards Tanjung Agas on the Jambatan Sultan Ismail at about 1.30 pm. From there we went along Jalan Kesang (Route 5) and got to Kesang.

the welcome sign at Tanjung Agas
It appeared that we were riding on an expressway, so Latfy stopped and suggested for a safer route parallel to it. Hence a detour. The road we took was Jalan Kesang Laut (J134).

a deer farm by the road side on Jalan Kesang Laut
Latfy at the fishery jetty at Kesang Laut
across the jetty is Melaka and the river flows out
to Selat Melaka (the Straits of Malacca)
some colourful (tiny) hermit crabs- see if you can spot them
Boy, was I glad that we took the detour. The road was practically ours (again), breezy, lesser vehicles and interesting things to see. There's a small deer farm just beside the road. We went out further closer to the west and were brought upon a fishery jetty at Kesang Laut. On our way there, we spotted a cendol joint but upon second thought we went on our way instead of stopping for a bowl (or two).

taking the route less travelled
We made many stops and kept referring to the map on our phones. Latfy suggested the alternate routes, mostly, and I happily agreed. I'd say that I would stick to the main road and be quick but he seems unperturbed to have a more challenging route. Well, why not? There's nothing to lose but time, and gain things that we could not have otherwise if we were to drive a car. We actually didn't have much time as we started riding for the day quite late, but to miss the opportunity of going where normally we would not take by car could be remorseful. So we took the path less beaten, and I personally glad we did. For most of the part, I'm glad that Latfy suggested so.

no smog here for sure. I love the tranquility of the surrounding
the road (if you can call it so) ahead is not inviting,
but interesting nevertheless!
happy old boy
finally out to the tarmac in the end
I was surprised that the offroad route that we took en route to Sungai Rambai is actually charted in Google Maps as a viable road. It straddles along an inland waterline which I don't think a normal car would be able to go through it as there were bumps and potholes, and muddy. It was a slow ride, but we enjoyed it.

At the end of the offroad, we got onto Route 5 near the Lebuh AMJ exit towards Sungai Rambai. Not far from there is the small bordertown between Johor and Melaka, Sungai Rambai.

the gantry welcoming us to Melaka at Sungai Rambai
an obligatory shot
quiet small town of Sungai Rambai
old wooden shophouses lining the main road
It was quite an exhilirating ride, and we were famished by then. We stopped at a Petronas station for the toilet and had a meal not far from there at a stall by the roadside. Nasi goreng and cold drinks on our table not long after; and in much lesser than the waiting time, they're already in our tummies.

The road ahead towards Merlimau is flat and featureless. However, it is lined with trees and kampung houses making it an enjoyable ride. Again, as we rode along, Latfy suggested another detour closer to the shore. Eventually, we came to another jetty at Kuala Sebatu.

off on another detour

From the jetty, we took a kampung road (if we can call it a road) amidst palm oil plantation, local houses and eventually the road led to a dead end. Fortunately, there's a trail leading to a housing area and we got back out to the proper road. Albeit, we are still not on the main road towards Merlimau. Much to my surprise, we rode along a vast area of paddy field. It was scenic.

masked rider
we were actually smiling underneath our Buffs
the vast paddy field in Merlimau
onthels make nice road decor too
Masjid Jamik Serkam, built in 1853
From Merlimau we headed to Telok Mas. We stopped by an old mosque, Masjid Jamik Serkam, which was built in 1853. I made a casual check on my drivetrain and was dumbstruck as I found out the chain was not properly routed on my RD. The chain was rubbing outside the RD cage all this while. Duhh!!! No wonder I felt a bit hard when pedaling. It took me some time to make it good and make thorough inspection on the whole drivetrain. Looks like the chainring tooth are a bit worn now, and those will be the next to be changed. Fortunately, my SLX RD cage is not suffering major damage, only a parallel cut from the chain plates which is not too deep as I had anticipated. Pheww...

at the seashore towards Umbai, Pulau Besar in the background
at Umbai
We headed on the coastal road and reached Medan Ikan Bakar at Umbai nearing dusk. Earlier on, Abang Bakar had contacted me and invited us for dinner with him in Melaka so we stopped at Umbai only for snack; I took out the cekodok pisang that we brought from the homestay. Seeing that we are short of time, we cancelled our initial plan of riding around Melaka. Personally, I think what we had en route was a much better substitute if not on par. So we proceeded out to the main road and hurried on towards Batu Berendam.
night ride at Alai on Route 5
The flat roads of Merlimau and Telok Mas were behind us and we rode on the rolling hills of Alai, Kandang and Semabok (Route 5) before getting onto Lebuh AMJ expressway en route to Peringgit and Taman Melaka Baru. It was already dark and we focused on getting to Batu Berendam as Abang Bakar was already waiting for us at his house. We reached safely at about 8.30 pm, with mixed emotions. Happy, tired, elated and famished of course.

After taking our baths and getting all freshen up, Abang Bakar took us out to a special dinner at Dima Nasi Arab restaurant at MITC area. I couldn't believe that I could down the whole plate with large serving of rice and lamb. It was good, and partly because I was hungry too. After solah, we went to bed with tummies full, alhamdulillah.

Night night, see you the next morning.


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