Our wonderful short tour is coming to an end. What a lovely place Samosir Island. Although an island in a lake it has really a great island vibe to it and would be a great place to spend a couple of weeks to explore it. Well maybe next time we do a round island trip. I really enjoyed the laid back and village feel of the place.
Today our plan was to ride 141KM to Tanjung Balai starting from a ferry ride from Tuk Tuk back to the mainland. Looking at the profile and the distance the night before with the ride leaders, it became clear to us that it would be a crazy plan. The first 20 plus KM would be a uphill ride on a very busy road. Thankfully we decided in the end to hire a lorry and some MPV to bus us to the point where we turn off to a village road. That would save us from the heavy traffic and the climb as well. No matter the ride would be still almost 120KM.
The ride back to Tanjung Balai itself was rather unimpressive and at times boring. Road conditions was bad at some parts and heavy traffic also was common. As you imagine we took very little photos as we where focused on getting to Tanjung Balai.
The weather was the hottest of the trip too. We finally arrived Tanjung Balai around 6pm and was let by our host to our abode passing through some really incredible traffic full of motorbikes and rickshaws. Finally we arrived at 630pm and got our rooms and settled in. Tonight everybody was bonked and decided to order in and did not even bother to go for beers. That was really a first for this group.
There was really not much to do at Pengururan except for their thermal baths nearby. We visited it yesterday and had a nice hot dip to relax our sore muscles. A combination of Durians before sleeping and a room without air condition and fan with noisy road side makes sleep a bit of challenge. I did get in a few winks. Today’s ride would be a massive climb up to 1650m or so. A net climb of around 800m. Tough if may be, I am hopeful that the scenery would make up for it. And it did. The ride was spectacular. We passed by many small villages and as many churches. Minangkabau influence houses with bull horn shaped roofs where everywhere. I am really very intrigued with the Batak culture and way of life there. There must be some interesting history in this region.
As we were riding along, there where also a lot of school children going to school and was fun to see them being so happy and cheerful upon seeing us passing them. What a joy.
The first part of the road was rather rough but eventually it got better and we had a nice downhill run back to Tuk Tuk and also back to the original resort we was at last. Nice. Tomorrow we will have our longest ride of the trip. A thumping 141km ! Oh well let’s enjoy the evening first. And boy did we have a great time partying with the hotel manager before calling it the night.
Finally some Saddle time. We took off for our first ride of the tour. We left after a quick breakfast. Weather was perfect with some cloud. It will be an easy 40KM ride to Pangururan. Along the way it was interesting to note that there are lots of churches and huge elaborate tombs. We also passed by very impressive house with very high sails like roof and really tiny doors. I wondered if these are the Minangkabau style houses. A really great day out riding and seeing the locality and appreciating the culture and the way of life here. It seems so familiar and yet so different. I am beginning to love this place.
Great to be back on the road with my mates and my trusty bike. This time it’s a five day trip around Medan, Lake Toba and surroundings. Today we took an early flight to Kuala Namu, Medan and later bus and ferry to our resort in Samosir Island. The island seems like a nice little place much like a smaller version of Bali but without the Hindu influence. After arriving the resort we went for a quick lunch before unboxing and fixing up our bike. The rest of the day we sat around chit chatting and eating and drinking. This is what cycle touring is about. Tomorrow we will push off for a short 40KM ride.
It is supposed to be cold in January but it is not. At least not for folks in the Northern Hemisphere. Well is it wet? Yes sometimes. Does it rain? Yes but more like a drizzle actually by Malaysian standard of rain. Fortunately except for one almost blizzard like day the rest of the month was mild. That means great outdoors and great hikes. My weeks goes like this in January. Monday and Wednesday morning hikes. Friday morning Coffee Morning with English speaking community. The rest of days attending Networking events with the leadership coaching and learning community in Basel, Zurich, Bern and Geneva. Ok I do some shopping and cooking for the family as well. Thats keeping me busy these days. Thankfully still managed to have some cycling done zipping here and there around Basel city.
January brought me places like Zurich, Geneva, Colmar, Bern and Andlau ( Thank you Kevin).
Dear friends, sorry for the silence. I am on the road ( out of Malaysia) but this time not cycling. Well to be accurate not cycle touring. I have been with my family in Basel, Switzerland since end November 2017. The only cycling I am doing is city commuting which is wonderful too. Basel is a great city for cycling. Organised and very bike friendly. It’s bicycle track flows well and works so it is convenient, safe and a joy to commute via a bicycle.
December went by in a flash and January too. Basel winter was surprisingly mild this year. So far I have only seen 2 to 3 days of snow. Temperatures hover mostly above 0C and somedays can be as high as 15C.
Most of my days are spent doing some house chores like shopping, a bit of coaching related project work, attending social meetings and networking and also lots of hiking in the forest nearby.
Nothing incredibly adventurous but I am enjoying it. Here are a collection of photos to share my experience so far. Enjoy.
Batu Pahat remains one of my favourite small town. It’s charming with its old buildings and small shops, great food and friendly locals. The nutty band of “superheroes” lead by SuperCylcingMan had a wonderful time and we thank you Batu Pahat. Thank you also to Ho Liao Canteen for hosting us and providing us with a wonderful mini town tour and sharing it’s interesting history. We shall be back to visit again.