CLC 2018 #3: Up Before the Birds

Wednesdays are very early ride days.  Up to seven of us, if we aren’t otherwise occupied, do this ride.  Today it was a group of four.

This was the road 400 metres from where I live, at 4.15am.

I was on my way to pick up a friend and his bike.

Two bikes (one hidden under an old bed sheet) loaded for the drive to the start of the ride.

I usually start from Point 1.  One of the other ride regulars lives there.  He was away today, so I started at Point 2.  Another friend lives there.  I prefer Point 1 over Point 2 because it is a shorter drive to get there.

Riders from Points 1 and 2 start at about 5.00am, and congregate at Point 3.  Yet another rider lives at Point 3.  Others who live nearby also meet up at Point 3.  The entire group rolls from there at 5.30am.

Sometimes we have a coffee at Rasik Bistro while waiting for everyone to arrive at Point 3.  Rasik is a mamak-style restaurant.  Ubiquitous in Malaysia.

Mamaks are of Tamil Muslim origin, whose forefathers mostly migrated from South India to the Malay Peninsula and various locations in Southeast Asia centuries ago.

Almost all mamak restaurants are open 24 hours, and serve south indian influenced dishes.  Roti canai, dosa (known locally as tosai), and nasi lemak are some of the breakfast dishes which appeal to all Malaysians.

As you can imagine, the roads are deserted at 5.00am.  By 5.40 or so we are riding past the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah (aka Subang) airport.  This used to be Malaysia’s international airport.  It was replaced by Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) in 1998.  Subang airport now serves domestic carriers.  Some flights to Indonesia also depart from this airport.

The red eye flights start departing at about 6.00am, so there is some traffic as passengers head to the airport.  Once past the airport it gets very quiet again.

The Guthrie Corridor Expressway (GCE), as the name suggests, is a multi-lane toll road.  The GCE has a separate lane on either side of the roadway for motorcycles.  We ride on those lanes.

This photograph was taken, on the move (my excuse for the blurriness), at about 6.15am.  The almost empty expressway is to the right.  There are just a few tail lights up ahead.  We stay on the motorcycle lane until we get to the left turn onto the KL-Kuala Selangor Expressway (LATAR).  This expressway does not have separate motorcycle lanes.  It does have a wide shoulder / emergency lane, which is where we stay.  And at 6.30am, there is very little traffic.

We are on LATAR for just over 3km before we take the Kundang exit.  The go-to breakfast spot in Kundang is Sin Loong Kee Noodles.  Three generations of the same family have run this shop since it was opened more than sixty years ago.  That is one of the sisters, in blue, assembling bowls of noodles.

Most people sit at outdoor tables.  The shop opens at 6.00am, so by the time we get there at about 6.45am, the first set of customers has come, eaten, and gone.

Three happy consumers.

We skip LATAR on the way back.  Instead we take a meandering route on secondary roads before getting back onto the GCE motorcycle lane at Paya Jeras.

By then the sun is out.

I didn’t notice it when I took this photograph, but look carefully and you can see an aeroplane heading toward Subang airport.

By the time we exited the GCE today, those clouds had burned off, and the temperature was rising fast.  22°C at the start became 29°C at the finish.  But we were done at about 9.00am, with 85km in the bag.  The minimal time spent out in the sun and heat is worth the early start.

4 response to "CLC 2018 #3: Up Before the Birds"

  1. By: tempocyclist Posted: March 14, 2018

    That’s certainly an early start! I would definitely need that pre-ride coffee. I guess it’s needed to keep out of the heat. I do remember it being almost too hot to move at all during the day when I went to Malaysia as a youngster, haha!

    • By: Alchemyrider Posted: March 14, 2018

      Hot and humid doesn’t go particularly well with long bike rides.

      Regular stops at air-conditioned petrol stations and 7-Elevens helps!

  2. By: Suzanne Posted: March 17, 2018

    You’ve really got the ride well organized. I can imagine it’s good to have friends to ride with when you want to get out early. It’s a commitment that keeps you from rolling over in bed and sleeping another hour or two.

    • By: Alchemyrider Posted: March 18, 2018

      Definitely. Left to my own devices, I am likely to do exactly as you described.

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