Saturday, August 17

La Naissance de l'Étalon Blanc et le #1ManConvoy

**copy the title to Google Translate, click the 'listen' button & lol as you try to follow!**

The first time I blogged about my bike, I tricked people into thinking that I had a girlfriend both on my blog & in real life. It was funny at first & I had many good laughs. But now that people are starting to refer to my bike with intimate female companion names like wife/girlfriend, i.e. "are you riding your wife to Sibu?" or "I want to see your girlfriend", it's not funny any more.

It makes me feel like a lonely old man with too much money to spend so he buys an expensive toy & make it his companion. Wait, that really DOES sound a lot like me. lol.
It's probably time I got a REAL girlfriend & maybe a wife, no?

Meanwhile, I'm going to risk my life in the noble cause of manoeuvring the bumpy, meandering & deadly asphalt pathways to teach unfortunate & displaced children deep in the remote jungles of Borneo. A romantic notion, no? Girls, line up please!

Anyway, I want to share an atypical journey to Sibu from my home in Kuching so you get an idea of what it's like & why I love it so much.

Full Safety Gear: Helmet, Skull Cap, Scarf, Jacket, Gloves, Shin Pad & Boots. (Worth RM4000+)
All the armour in the world will not be enough to protect you from stupidity. So, be smart when riding, cornering & overtaking.
I like to start early before the sun gets too hot & traffic builds up. Before I leave, I make sure I shower & purge whatever is in my rectum. Nobody wants a space shuttle launch in the middle of nowhere.

Also, I lotion up my face with moisturiser & SPF protection. I'm getting really dark. Does tall, DARK, & handsome still apply? It seems like girly boys are the in thing nowadays.

I usually plan for a 7AM departure but rarely make it because mom always prepares breakfast with love! =D How can I not take my time to appreciate it? Besides, I'm hungry, stingy & hawker food might upset my stomach.

#1 Stop: Optimum Type Pressure. Front - 32dpi. Back - 36dpi
Tyre pressure needs to be filled when the tyres are cold. Tyres heat up as it rubs against the road so the air inside expands. As the tyre heats up & expands, it provides optimum traction.
The last thing I want is difficult handling at high speeds/corners. I want to make sure my bike responds quickly too.

#2 Stop: Full Tank of Fuel
Serian has the last petrol station before the open road. By my estimation, it takes about 1 full tank of fuel to get from Kuching to Sibu (RM20+ RON95). But, I have never taken the risk of not filling up my tank as soon as I reach the last bar of fuel. I wouldn't want to have to push my bike all the way to Sibu. lol.

#3 Stop: Crotch Breather
After riding under the sun for a while, the seat gets really warm. Add the insulation of my body heat, thanks to double layers down there, and I have discovered a natural way to slow cook my eggs!
It's not funny, it can really really hurt!
Therefore, I usually need to stop after an hour of riding. To rehydrate & also let my 2 heads breathe.
On the road, I met with a convoy of bikers. I rode with them for a bit & we stopped together to rest. Bikers are so rare that when you meet another biker on the road, the ice is broken & you instantly become brothers. We shook hands, introduced ourselves & spoke like good friends.

They were headed for a wedding banquet in Engkelili so we travelled together. We parted ways when they reached their junction. I continued my journey alone but I was happy to have found companions for part of the journey.

#4 Stop: Lunch
Jakar is the last stop before Sibu & this restaurant is famous for its Prawn Noodles. They ran out of prawns when I arrived so I had Fish Noodles instead. It's okay. Tastes like soupy FooChow Noodles with fish. I saw others having the prawn noodles & they were similar.
I prefer the Asam Tom Yam Prawn Noodles in Sarikei. There's more kick to it.
There was a large group of bikers already at the restaurant when I arrived. I approached them & we had an instant connection despite differences in race & religion. As we sat there, more bikers arrived &, even though they were strangers, they joined the us & were treated as brothers. They were all headed to Sibu.

They invited me to join them in using the Julau way to Sibu. I was familiar with this route passing through Sarikei. It's a longer journey but the roads are straighter & in better shape. I told them to go ahead first because I wanted to refuel. In the end, I never caught up. lol.

#5 Stop: Full Tank of Fuel
I leave my bike in Sibu when I go to school so I might not be biking for a while. A bike has to be stored with a full tank to prevent the fuel tank from rusting on the inside. I keep my bike at a friend's house & he runs the engine for at least half an hour a week to keep the mechanisms smooth & battery alive.

Destination reached! 6 Hours. 5 Stops
I realise I resemble Snake Eyes (G.I. Joe) with a samurai sword strapped to my back.
Old people will think that I resemble the black Power Rangers.
Biking is a part of my soul & if anybody wants to be a part of my life, they will have to accept this part of me even though their concern & love for me bids them to think otherwise. Please let me decide what I should do & should not do. Please release me to follow my heart & pursue my happiness.

Back to naming my bike. After much deliberation, I've decided to go with the French language. It's a mouthful. It's suave. And, it's naughty. Just the way I like it. Giving my bike a name in English would be too easy. I want you to think. I want a bit of mystery. It adds romance & fascination to an already handsome bike.
From hence fourth, my bike shall be known as le étalon Blanc. And I, the #1ManConvoy.

My dream is for le étalon Blanc & I to ride all over Malaysia!

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