Riding around Perlis happens to be one of our favourites. We've been doing this since 2002 and this year is the 3rd time for us. We really did want to go last year but for a variety of reasons it never got off the ground. In fact, this year's Jelajah saw multiple postponements and I thought we weren't going to make it again (okay, I raise my hand ... that was my fault).
We rented a holiday bungalow to spend Saturday night but only 4 people took up the offer! The rest of the outstation riders (Kulim, Bukit Mertajam, Butterworth, Penang, etc.) preferred to travel to Perlis on Sunday morning itself. That involved getting up at the ungodly hour of 3:00am. Err ... no thanks! I thought a leisurely drive to Kangar in the afternoon, followed by a delicious seafood dinner at Kuala Perlis, capped with an early night's rest was preferable.
Nice and smooth roads around Alor Setar.
The bungalow proved comfortable, if not a little hot during the night. It was either hot or you opened the doors and windows and spent the night with lots and lots of mosquitoes. We'll take the heat.
We were modest with our expectations regarding the turnout but the support overwhelmed us - we counted 54 riders! Certainly, the only time this was exceeded was the Pantai Merdeka ride the previous month (56). It was very satisfying and credit for the 2005 Jelajah Perlis goes to our organiser, the Original Perlis Dude (Gafino), wife Yati, abang Jamal and Asri who pulled off this amazing feat.
Waiting for the start. More riders were to join at the back. Pic © OPD.
After a short briefing by the OPD, we pushed off. The ride was done in beautiful sunny weather. The route, as you can see from the graph, was near pancake flat. The peloton splintered after a while when the fast riders decided to take off. We used the support car(s) in an attempt to pace and slow them down but the cars were ignored most of the time. Anyway, more discipline was seen in the main peloton which rode a steady 30km/h and we regrouped at the two designated stop points (km35 and 80).
We had pencilled Wang Kelian as the highlight of the ride but decided to scrap it as the climb was being resurfaced. Ah ha, no matter, there's something to look forward to next year! Anyhow, there was always the coastal road near Kuala Perlis to look forward to.
At this point it was 1:00pm and we were nearing Kangar. The view was fabulous and as usual a breakaway formed. After a long chase prior to this we were more than a little disinterested in joining, and chose instead to enjoy the unique experience of riding so near the sea (any nearer and you'd be wet). Anyhow, the break would have to stop at major junctions since they didn't know which way to go ....
Thanks again to the OPD for a great 2005 Jelajah Perlis!
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