Thursday, June 14, 2012

A departed man's living dream part 3

Meeting time was 630am at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Objective is to reach Kuala Kedah before 3pm with the whole convoy to catch the ferry into Langkawi Island.

Our mission:

1) bring late Sam Leong’s helmet, as a significant of his soul, to Langkawi as he had signed up for this trip 2 months before he passed away.
2) donate out cash to the needy family. Cash was received from Sam Leong’s family.
3) make a stone bench with Sam Leong’s name at the Guan-Yim temple at Hatyai, Thailand.

We need to set off on 7th June, 2am from Clementi. Knowing that we are using a small bike with heavy equipment, we expect to go slow on it. Working backwards, 630am to reach KL, 2am set off from Singapore, to have 6 hours of sleep we must go to bed at 8pm. After loads and packing, it was about 930pm when we go to bed. I only did 1 hour of deep sleep and the rest was rolling around the bed trying out a more comfortable position, also trying to tell lie to myself that this is the most comfortable position.

After clearing the Singapore custom, our hand pump comes in handy. A fellow biker on his Yamaha FJR had a flat tyre. We had this pump with us during our round the world trip and was a gift from Yang but we have never used it before.

The Yamaha Tenere 660XTZ has 1 piston and it was fitted with the Leo-Vince exhaust. The bike owner, Siong, made the passenger seat higher and pilot seat wider. 21” front and 17” rear, chain drive. Compared to my KTM 640 adventure, the Tenere has very much less vibrations. I could feel the petrol being sucked out when the RPM goes above 5000.


It was an official set off at 8am by the sponsors. Media were also involved and I believe it is an event that involves many VIP. Official traffic police also escorted the whole convoy of 100 bikes. They need to stop the traffic that is coming onto our way and regulate the speed of the whole convoy, making sure that everyone could catch up together and reach the destination on time. I see that it is a smooth ride for us. The eyes of the other road user were searching for the most important person that the police are escorting. I could hear noise, curse and shout from the other road user that were being stopped:

Road user #1: WTF, I’m late for work and I still have to give way to these ass holes…
Road user #2: Wasting tax payer’s money!
Road user #3: Everybody owns the road, why do I have to stop for you?

Unknowingly, I was the first few bikes of the convoy. When the convoy reaches the highway, they were going at about 130-140km/hr. The tenere has a hard time catching up, very hard. I have to catch up the guy in front of me making sure there is no big gap, also to make sure the one behind me is not too close, also, because 2 bikes are sharing one lane, I have to take care of the neighbour’s bike. At times, the marshall and traffic police that speed pass from our left. All these happening at the top stress speed of the tenere, with 2 big aluminium panniers, with a passenger.
After the first petrol stop, I told Samantha that we need to be the last bike.

The event director, Mr Azaha, came to us to borrow Sam Leong’s helmet. Because one of the camera crew has only a half cap and is filming on a fast moving bike, it would be much safer for him to wear a proper helmet. We are sorry that there isn’t any cushion inside Sam Leong’s helmet but at least, it is safer that the half cap.

Sam Leong’s first contribution was to protect the film crew’s safety.

The organizer booked a whole barge for us. We have to wait for the tide to be at the correct level so we could roll the bike onto it. Under normal operations, if one has to send the bike into Langkawi, he has to put the bike at the loading bay and wait for 3 working days to transport over. We are lucky enough to have this opportunity.

When we reached the ferry terminal, we need to make a U-turn. but the tide has flooded the road. and a GSA with Singapore registered number went through the flooded at high speed to make water splashing, creating an 'adventure effect' for the whole convoy to see.

See the picture below, right side of  the GSA, there is a scooter. I could witness the water from the GSA splashing onto his face, wetting his whole body and i could hear him shouting and see his angry facial expression. If I was that guy, i could have confronted the GSA. Lucky he was cool enough.


After a long day without any sleep, we reached the hotel and after the dinner, everyone gathered at the ballroom for briefing. The organizing committee observed one minute of silence with the entire participant for Sam Leong.

Thank you.


2nd day was a free and easy day for everyone.


We went to do the tourist stuff. The cable car ride is a must.

Locals pay RM$15.
Tourist pay RM$30.

I wonder if the Garden by the Bay, in Singapore, has the same system, encouraging locals to visit our own pride.

Don't be mistaken by the above picture. you CANT ride there.

Samantha and I went around the island to explore. Right to 161, end of Datai Beach, was a dead end with a private residence. We went into the Andaman resort. We parked the bike, walked into the high class lobby and was greeted by a staff. We told him that we would like to walk through and look at the beach. Guess what, we are more than welcome to do that! He gladly showed us the direction to the beach.

It was really a classy place. The beach, so so…

When we are done, we walked out and get ready to move. One of the shy hotel staff wanted to take a picture of the Tenere. Both of them were pushing each other to start the conversation with me. In the end, I asked them:

You want to take a picture of the bike?
You want to sit on it?


What I read on the travel guide about being a foreigner in Langkawi is to smile at the locals, and it really works! The smile break the ice. We could feel the warmness from the local.




And we also went to Galeria Perdana, a museum displaying gifts and awards presented to former Malaysia Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahatir ahd his wife. The gifts displayed were from world leaders, states man and fellow Malaysians during his term as the Prime Minister.




3rd day was the event ride event.


Ride to the main Eagle Square to take group photo.


Go plant a tree.

Ride back to Pantai Chenang where they invite the needy family and some disabled children for lunch and to receive cash, laptop and daily necessities from the organizer.


They need a helmet to go around all the participants to collect cash donation. Sam Leong’s helmet was gladly invited to do the job.


Picture extracted from official event's facebook.

It was a touching moment that they want to use the helmet for cash collection.

Picture extracted from official event's facebook.

Sam Leong’s 2nd contribution was to help collect more cash for the needy.

Also, we did what we suppose to do: to put the cash, given by Sam Leong’s family, to the needy.

Our #1 and #2 mission was completed.

Thro out the whole ride with the convoy, the tenere 660XTZ was feeling not so welcomed. It is slower then the rest of them riding 1400cc, noisy and blasting with the Leo-Vince exhaust. We are so sorry for the other riders that were around us. This is our very first trip with this bike and it belongs to Siong.

Most importantly, we have fulfill a departed man's living dream.

Rest In Peace, Sam Leong Chee Wah.


Anonymous said...

Great job ! You and two sam

Amzah said...

One good deeds goes a very long way. Pray God bless the donors.

singaporedream said...

Hi Amzah, are you back at home?

Latin America trip must be exciting!