The TMS Cycling Challenge: Day Nine

Wednesday 13th November. To Melaka via Port Nickson. We are now finally into our stride. We talk and communicate as one. We can agree the day’s strategy quickly and without friction. However our guide Sang has advised us that we say goodbye to Eddie of driver tomorrow morning as he has to drive back to southern Thailand to pick up a tour on the 16th of Thai teachers and bring them back to Malaysia to visit a boar farm as they are thinking of farming the animals. So we have our third driver and vehicle to take us through the final two days in Malaysia and into Singapore. A driver isn’t simply a steersman of a machine. He is an integral part of the package. He has to understand and speak our language and that doesn’t happen in hours, it can take a few days to settle in especially when it comes to navigation and communication via walkie talkie with Sang on the bikes. So its most unfortunate that we have this third change just when the language is being understood. But life and the challenge has to go on.

The Ford is loaded up with cases and bikes by 0815. We decide to transfer to Seremban which will take about 90mins and then set the boys free. They will have about 110kms of cycling to Melaka via Port Dickson.

I think you know by now that each time we start a cycle section the bikes have to removed from the back of the Ford and assembled. Today the chains needed oiling so appropriate chain oil was bought from a bike garage on the way to the start and so the pit stop took a little longer. The boys were away by just after 1000hrs with some great back roads covered before arriving at Port Nickson for lunch.

Behold, as we arrived at the waterfront we spied a Starbucks! Thats lunch sorted. Cappuccino/iced latte and chicken roll or slice of cheese cake on the first floor verandah overlooking the Strait of Melaka. Bliss. The afternoon follows a similar pattern to the mornings cycling although this time seeing more of the sea as we venture south.

As we approach Melaka we pull the Ford over onto the hard shoulder to wait for the intrepid duo and to our left was a work of art…

A derelict mansion probably built in the late 1800’s and from what we could see about to be redeveloped with other properties to its left into flats or hotels. We would love to know who was its first owner.

We arrived at our destination in Melaka at 1830. A really good day of hard cycling through a fascinating part of Malaysia. Total mileage of 78. The boys did good! It was a hot day with temperatures in the low 30’s and sunshine.

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