akmal's bike park

akmal's bike park

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Pasir Gudang Nite Ride - the hiccup

Upon getting the call from Panjang last Friday, I was raring to go for the Nite Ride in Pasir Gudang on Wednesday night.

Just my luck, I have to attend a meeting in KL on Wednesday, the whole day. A PDMS Model Review for 3 FPSO topside modules (basically a design review with the help of 3D modelling) plus a Technical Bid Evaluation (TBE) Review for compressor. Scheduled to KL first flight (7.00am), and to board the last flight (9.05pm) the same day.
Okay, that is going to take the whole day. Looks like I have to forgo the ride, then.

Despair, despair… :(

Well, it was a mixed feeling - I could meet BC Kelolo and get me a set of night lights with infamous brackets (for future night rides) while in KL. At the same time, I felt quite frustrated - for not having the chance to ride along for the first mass night ride in Pasir Gudang. I don't know if there would be an offroad ride this Sunday - and that adds up to the frustration. What will be, will be. If Allah says I'm going to ride, then I would. I rest my feelings with that.

I woke up at 5.30am and went to Senai Airport after Fajr circa 6.00am. Traveling by air, rail and on foot, reached Menara Tan & Tan around 9.30am. The meeting had already started around 20 minutes before that. I couldn’t go out during lunch hour to meet BC – so, no night lights for me. The progress of the meeting was quite okay (for me) – the models were not quite up to the level we were looking for. Hence, upon reviewing the second model, we decided not to go further with the third. Yay!

From the outlook, there’s a glimmer of hope for joining the night ride – if I could catch the 7.20pm flight to Senai. However, I still have one more meeting to go – the TBE Review. It started at 4.55pm and ended at 5.15pm. I have to say that the meeting yesterday went very well (for me) indeed!

Off I went walking with a pace worthy for the Olympics, to Ampang Park LRT station. To my surprise, the queue line was not as long as the usual KL rush hour. I hopped on the train immediately upon reaching the platform. 6 stops later, I reached KL Sentral. Time check – 6.05pm. Good sign, so far.

Went off to ERL station (not forgetting to get some goodies for beloved wife, kids and mom-in-law), and embarked on the train. 30 minutes later, I was already at KLIA. I headed straight to the Standby counter, and hoping to get a seat on board the 7.20pm flight. I was in luck – immediately I was handed with a new boarding pass. Pasir Gudang seems nearer by then.

Not wasting any time, I dashed towards gate B5 and waited for the boarding call. Took a breather, and got myself up-to-date with the weather in PG – An SMS from Yad confirmed that the weather was favourable. Meanwhile, I ordered the night lights from BC through SMS. The flight was delayed for 10 minutes – I was not bothered with it. Pretty soon, I was in seat 14B (not a window seat – but it’s pretty darn good, anyway) of the Boeing 737-400 to Senai Airport. During the 45 minutes flight, it occurred to me that I haven’t had my dinner yet. Ah well, I settled for a pack of peanuts and a cup of orange juice courtesy of Malaysian Airlines – handed over by Ms. X the stewardess.

By 8.30pm I was already in the car heading back to Plentong. In my mind, I rehearsed the things to be done – in sequence – as soon I’m home. Also I made a call to Naza to acquire license for the night’s ride. She’s okay with it. I stopped at a Petronas station for solat jama’ & qasr. Hopped into the PLUS Highway at Kempas, and out at the Pasir Gudang/Kota Tinggi exit into Pasir Gudang Highway. It was max speed all the way from Senai to Plentong. Allowable speed, of course - 90 and 110 km/h. Traffic was quite smooth, although there were many cars. Time: 8.55pm. The night ride started to be a promising prospect for me. All the effort seemed to bear fruit.

After the Jalan Pandan intersection, my hope began to falter. Massive jam ahead. I saw Azizie’s pickup truck with 2 bikes inside, dashed in front of me. I know from Yad this morning that he managed to reach Pasir Gudang to join the ride. Me, I was stuck in the jam. Imagine the bottleneck, for nearly 3km. From 4 lanes to 2 lanes, then narrowed down to a single lane. Why? There was no police road block. There was no accident – be it on my lane or the other side of the highway.

Well, Bumi Masyhur Construction decided so to close one lane for roadbuilding/repair. I don’t know what it’s like during morning rush towards Pasir Gudang. That’s other people’s problem. For that moment, my problem was to get back home as soon as possible, pack my bike and things, then zoom off to Pasir Gudang. ASAP. And that plan gently blew away in the asap, as every minute passed away. It was a torture – being so near, yet so far.

I crawled in the jam for 30 minutes. Ironically, the jam ended right before the exit towards my house. At 9.30pm, Panjang gave me a call saying that he’s sorry with my situation and that he was entrusted with starting the ride right on time. Well, I felt sorry too, with the circumstances. Not for another 20 minutes, then only I reached home. What to do, what to do.

We can only plan. Allah’s plan is much greater than ours. I know that there is a silver lining for this. What’s that? Well, as I was about to close the front gate, I caught up with my neighbour. Busy with our lives, we haven’t really got the time to meet each other. We had a long chat – he told me about his adventure to Haadyai last week on a Gold Wing with his wife, and I told him about my mountain biking adventure. Right after that, I suddenly felt hungry. Haven’t eaten anything since the filet-o-fish during lunch break, and the pack of peanuts high up in the Malaysian sky.

This morning, Yad greeted me with two thumbs up – he gave a brief narration about the ride last night. It was awesome. Basically, a 28km ride with about 50 riders, around Pasir Gudang housing area, and it ended at 11.30pm.

One consolation for me, though. This Saturday is a working Saturday. I’ll ride to work insyaAllah.


BC Kelolo said...

Alah...alah...alah...siannya diaaaa...

Takpa, lain kali don't bother rushing back. Join me for spin in the KL City...

p.s. Your lighting paraphernalia will be on its way this Tuesday. Too busy to go to post office. Patience...patience.

akmalhizam said...

Huhu... Thanks!

As if a relief from my despair, today I was forced to ride to work. Mak nak pakai keta gi sepital for checkup.

jafa @ the panjang said...

salam bro..
really the sorry to hv let u down.
to disapoint u. n wat sowver yg tak best la..

but nvm.. i will arrage a small group ride during puasa, maybe mlm minggu. n i'll make sure u can join us.

selamat berpose..

akmalhizam said...

w'salam wbt.
No probs, man. In fact, I admire your integrity in upholding the mandate given to you.
Selamat berpuasa to you too, bro.