Pineapple Colon anyone?
The itch to ride sometimes needs to be scratched! Even for just a weekend and this is what we did recently. The plan was to head to Kota Tinggi, then head north towards Kluang and then maybe Mersing. But we were just happy to play it by ear, and see what happens.
3 of us, George, KC and I met up at Kranji MRT on Thursday 730am and made our way to Kota Tinggi - an easy 45km or so from the Causeway. This would be George's first overseas ride after his head injury in Oct and it would be ideal for him to gain back his confidence and fitness. George has rode around Peninsula Malaysia before!
Crossing through the Causeway took 10 minutes and we found ourselves cycling in the thick of JB traffic. Getting out of the busy city was not as painful as expected thanks to wider roads but crossing the many overhead bridges/passes took a bit of caution as cars were flying by quickly.
Our first stop was at Tebrau City where George usually stops for breakfast. His fav BKT shop unfortunately was not open due to CNY and we settled for Mamak. There, an elderly man from Taiwan came excitedly to us and started chatting, sharing his own touring stories. I took the opportunity there too to replace a leaking front tube of my BF Pocket.
Passing by Ulu Tiram, George stopped at his friend's Jetski shop which was not opened. The traffic had by now significantly thinned and we had wide shoulders making the ride most enjoyable. We started encountering rolling hills but this kept things interesting as we had to work a bit harder.
However after the MHS Loop, all other hills are rather flat. We pulled left into the minor road (Hway 3 out of Ah 18) that lead to Kota Tinggi at just after 11am. Was very glad that George could make it all the way safely and we marked this with a nice pic.
Crossing the famous Kota Tinggi Bridge evoked memories of my first ride here on my Honda Cub C70 some 38 years ago. It is good that the bridge and surroundings now have new developments that resemble some old fort, giving it some historical significance of the old Johor Empire.
Many Chinese eateries were still closed for CNY and a quick chat with a local Senior Citizen pointed us to Public Restaurant some 200m before the bridge.
We enjoyed lunch there immensely as this was clearly one that was good enough to hold wedding dinners with the much appreciated aircon and tastefully decorated interior. We ordered just 3 dishes - Sweet and Sour Pork which was the best I have taken for a long time, Kiam Chye Soup with Tofu and crunchy Bean Sprouts with Salted Fish. That with drinks were a reasonable S$21 for the 3 of us.
Looking for a hotel, we had aimed for Rest Inn but came across Mayrest Hotel. Interesting that the word "Rest" seems to be the key focus among hotels here and that was what we were after. Mayrest Hotel is the tallest one in KT with 12 storeys and at about RM$100 per night, we happily checked in there. They were bike friendly and rooms spacious and clean with great views!
The number one attraction of KT is her waterfalls and I remembered when our posse of 5-6 motorcycles arrived there some 30 plus years ago at an unearthly 6am only to be greeted by a policeman with a shotgun!
Things have changed now and it cost 15rm to go in. For that, there are some facilities like cafes and changing rooms but the waterfalls still look beautiful and nice, though there are still too much litter around. We found a shady spot and had fun!
The Grab Taxi charged us RM20 one way and it was worth every dollar as cycling 17km in the blazing 2pm sun was not exactly bliss. At 3pm, the same taxi came to get us 10 mins late back to Mayrest where Bro George then rode it all the way to JB for a reasonable RM45.
KC and I had afternoon tea at Cheese U where we had the thickest Tuna Sandwich ever! The powerful aircon really was so appreciated. We did an evening ride around the beautiful river side and took some gorgeous sunset photos.
We had a simple dinner at KC's fav eatery of 2 noodles dishes and then to the riverside for some juicy and crispy satays that were most amazing! Of course, we had the very necessary Teh Tarik for the perfect finish to a lovely meal.
It was indeed a wonderful day of easy riding but the most difficult question before us was - where is our next destination? Although going to Kluang was the original intent, the lure of a relatively new resort in Sedili that I just came across on the net won us over. Cycling along the balmy coast beats the heat of riding along the busy inland Hway 91 through oil palm plantations and a quick exit out via ferry was most appealing.
We slept feeling very smug with our last minute change of plan.