akmal's bike park

akmal's bike park

Thursday 12 May 2016

28.04.2016 Solo Mini Tour: Seremban - Sungai Pelek - Seremban

If Plan A is a no-go, proceed with Plan B. Else, proceed with Plan C.

Lemonade with extra pressing sort of thing.

the view of Sungai Sepang on board the ferry. On the right is Selangor, Negeri Sembilan on the left
I took an annual leave on a Thursday and was ready to spend that day for a Masterclass wheelbuilding session. As Murphy's Law kicked in, at midnight I was informed that it has to be postponed (yes, not cancelled. Yeay!).

I was already in no mood to go to work, so I consoled myself to resort to Plan B i.e. a 42km mini tour from Sungai Pelek to Seremban via Lukut and Siliau. To get to Sungai Pelek, I'll be taking the bus from Terminal 1 in Seremban (cycling to T1 from home).

original route:

I took my sweet time prepping the bike after the rest of the family went out for school. For the first time I tested the bike bag that I had bought last year after the Labis to Seremban short tour. All okay, I set out to Terminal 1 at 9.00 am from home.

I reached T1 and went straight to the ticket counter to ask for the bus schedule to Sungai Pelek. I was told that there is none. 
Duhh... how uncharacteristic of me to not check for sure beforehand for such an important detail.

breakfast stop at Jalan Labu
Well, there's an impromptu Plan C, which is a bit crazy and unthinkable. Some sort of a gamble, but still doable. I think. While slowly pedaling out towards Jalan Labu, I thought 'hey, I've never been on Jalan Labu. This would be an adventure'. An adventure indeed. And I'm glad I did.

The very reason for the original mini tour is to get on board the infamous short ferry cruise crossing Sungai Sepang, the border of Selangor and Negeri Sembilan. That's the essence of it. And it is a very, very short ride. Not much of a drama, actually. So now the route has been extended extensively, I'm getting into the 'it's the journey that matters' state of mind.

The original route would have me pedaling about 42km, and with the additional adventure of about 60km (per Strava), the total is substantially extended to about 100km. Perhaps the longest I've ever pedaled in a day!

Not much preparation was made except on the bike that morning. A simple pack-up-and-go ride. Not even a proper breakfast (remind me not to do that again next time).

At 10:00-ish, I was on Jalan Labu and stopped for breakfast as soon as I spotted an eatery. After a plate of fried rice and iced tea (my current favourite drink), I continued on and headed towards Nilai on the spanking new road of Ainsdale after getting underneath the PLUS highway. It was already hot, but not to the point of getting exhausted and dehydrated. It was an okay kind of hot.

biggest pumpkin seen the whole day
Aunty Aini's near Nilai
Jalan Labu (route 362) towards SMAPL is a nice route. Perhaps due to a weekday morning, there were not many vehicles but still there were quite a number of lorries every now and then. At a T-junction, I veered right towards Nilai (N38) and carried on until I came at another T-junction where I turned left towards Sepang on route N28. Not far from Kedai Basikal Lasak Nilai, I stopped at a fruit stall for replenishing lost minerals. A cup of cold (diluted) coconut water did some work, and I moved on.

not in Thailand

I reached Salak and turned left at a T-junction towards Sepang on route B48. By that time there were many vehicles on the road as it was already nearing lunch time. I reached Sepang town at about noon and stopped for another cup of coconut water. I gave a call to Pak Ngah of DETC Bike Kitchen at Sg Pelek, asking if I could come around and say hi. Unbeknownst to me, I thought that Sg Pelek is not far from Sepang. It is actually about 12km. Seems a short distance by car. Hehe.

nearing Sungai Pelek town
Just a little after 1:00 pm, I was already there and greeted by Pak Ngah's warm smile as always, and a few of his bikes on the ground of his backyard. Immediately he offered me a seat at the Bike Kitchen and he went inside his house. A couple of minutes later he had a jugful of cold sirap selasih on a tray for us. This was followed by two bowls of cold sagu dessert. Delicious is an understatement.

with Pak Ngah at DETC Bike Kitchen
I have always admired Pak Ngah's generosity, be it in his sharing stories or knowledge or even the simple serving of cold drinks. Thank you, Pak Ngah. I pray that Allah would bestow upon you and family good health and wealth, and many more bikes (and fishing too).
one for the road - photo by Pak Ngah Ishak
At about half past two, I made a move and went out back towards Sg Pelek town for my lunch and solat. The small town and its nice masjid was quiet at that time. The weather was hot, but not too hot that I couldn't bear to go out. A little headache, yes, but not daunting.

lunch stop at Sungai Pelek town
After solat, and with the verbal instructions from Pak Ngah on how to get to the jetty, I pedaled slowly under the hot sun. There is not a single marking on the jetty. If you knew, you knew. Judging from the situation, I guess the ferry has never stopped getting back and forth with passengers since the morning. It was about 3:30 in the afternoon on a Thursday, and I was in the ferry with two others on their motorcycles. Over at the other side there were a couple more waiting for their turn. Also there were a husband and wife with their mountain bikes, just came back from their ride in Port Dickson.

unmarked lane to the jetty
jetty on the Selangor side
ready to disembark at Negeri Sembilan
Troll on the ferry
Mel and Penny
In our short exchange, Mel told me that they moved to Sungai Pelek from their place in KL some time ago. I get acquainted with his wife Penny as well. It was a brief encounter while they embarked the ferry with their bikes; and as soon as I was about to get ready to disembark, the ferry had already made a turn to the other side.
So I stayed for another cruise to get to Negeri Sembilan and enjoyed the view of Sungai Sepang with healthy mangrove trees on either sides. Not a bad thing to have a double dose of the essence of the trip. With no extra charge.

Now with the second leg of the whole thing in front of me, I started pedaling in Kampung India out to route N4 towards Chuah and moved further on to Tanah Merah. I took a right turn to route 5 to get to Lukut. Quite a  boring route and the day was getting hotter. Mel told me that Siliau is a good route, so I was really looking forward to that.

at Chuah
To be frank, I was getting a bit tired by then. What with the little headache and muscle cramp setting up, it is too easy to give up. However, I stayed dehydrated and made sure I have enough water. I stopped at a petrol station to replenish water, and get some salty chewables to aid the muscle cramp. That was in the form of Mor Far Kor. It worked, seriously. Gradually the niggling soreness died away. While the distance to Siliau got shorter, my motivation grew bigger.

At the T-junction of routes 5 and 53, I went to the left and headed to Siliau passing by Lukut town. As I get nearer to the Seremban - PD highway, the surrounding became familiar. Not boring, rather exciting. I turned into the Springhill housing estate for a change of view and hoping for lesser rolling hills. Well, there were a few but not that bad.

at Lukut towards Siliau and Seremban
Not far after exiting Bandar Springhill, I carried on riding along route 53. A quick stop just before the underpass of the Seremban - PD highway to check on my phone. It was running out of juice, so I decided to end the tracking on Strava and switched it off completely.

Very soon, I came around Siliau. And yes, the route is nice. There are many trees lining up the road. As it was already the end of the work day, the road got busier. Lorries were plenty. Buses too. I kept on pedaling steady while glancing once in a while on my side mirror assessing the traffic.

I reached Mambau, which is very familiar. My wife's late aunt's house is in Taman Kelab Tuanku. It is not far to the roundabout towards Seremban. By this time I was already feeling hungry but didn't stop for anything. The next stop would be the final point of this whole thing - home.

I passed by Hospital Tuanku Jaafar in Rahang and pedaled towards KGV. From there I went to Jalan Keliling and to Kolej MARA Seremban and got to Jalan Dato Muda Linggi (aka route 51 aka the road to Ampangan) via Jalan Penghulu Cantik. One of my favourite stretch of inner road in Seremban.

Not long after that I reached Ampangan and up the hill at Taman Bukti before concluding the 100+ km journey at 7:00 pm.

All in all, I enjoyed the ride. Simple as that. I learned a thing or two. I was on roads I haven't been on before. I finally did some things that I have wanted to do for a long time. A bonus too, for pedaling more than 100km in a day - my first. It was great.

But no, I won't do it again.
There are many more routes to be ridden on.

Captured routes on Strava:
1. home - Terminal 1 - Sg Pelek

2. Sg Pelek - jetty - up to Siliau (hp ran out of juice)

Photos are in here.


Anonymous said...

Salam bro... Bole bagi detail lagi x kt mana saya bole cari jeti ni. Dah lama mengidam nk try naik bot tu tp sampai skrg asyik sesat x jumpa.

akmalhizam said...

Wa'alaikumussalaam Amir.
Di sini:

Dah sampai ke pekan Sg Pelek, boleh ikut route yang ada di sini:

Harap ianya membantu.