I made my bicycle touring debut on 8 June 2013. I took a bus from Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (TBS) at Bandar Tasik Selatan (BTS). I always wanted to do a bicycle touring, and the reason why I adopted Opie.
After packing my “stuffs” in two Ortlieb front roller plus (which my friend told I “over-packed”), I took the LRT to BTS. I hadn’t bought the ticket yet, as I was quite certain that I would get the tickets that time. As it turned out, only 10 person boarded the S&S bus to Kluang at 8.30am.
I reached Kluang bus terminal at about 11am. As I found out from the bus driver that the KTM train station was not that far, I took my time to unpack my folding bike. My friend from Singapore was already at the train station by that time. He took the train from Woodlands to Kluang. I met him there at the famous Kluang RailCoffee.
After having our breakfast of toasts, nasi lemak and coffee, we rolled out to Batu Pahat. It was a very straight forward route. One long straight road all the way to Batu Pahat – 54-km of pedalling.
The route from Kluang to Ayer Hitam was quite nerve-wrecking. The road shoulder to cycle on was quite narrow, and I encountered quite a lot of roadkills, including dog, cat, bird and monitor lizard. It was definitely not for the faint-hearted.
Once you have passed Ayer Hitam (quite traffic jammed in this town), the road has good wide road shoulder for bicycle and kapcai. It was definitely easier to ride from Ayer Hitam to Batu Pahat. There aren’t many shades along the road, and the sun was out in full force. I was totally knackered by the time I reached Tun Hussein Onn University. My friend had already reached the outskirt of Batu Pahat by that time, and I was still 15 km away.
We started our journey at 12 noon and I reached Landmark Hotel in Batu Pahat at about 4.30pm.
After checking in and showered, my friend and I met up with Azizan CycleFriday. He drove us to Pantai Minyak Beku. We had our late lunch there and took in the scenic beach (I know, I live in KL and I seldom see the sea)
The next day would be the gruelling ride to Tg Piai (or so it seemed).