The TMS Cycling Challenge: Day Six

Sunday 10th November. To Taiping. We decided to have breakfast next door to the hotel. French bread with peanut butter, coffee and tea. We were entertained by a marathon being run across the road so went went out and cheered them on. A great reaction for our enthusiasm from the participants, and there were many.

We met up with the driver and Sang at 0800 hrs, loaded the Ford and set off for the day’s cycling. Back over the bridge to the mainland and towards Penang we came across a large and growing commercial district with Boston Scientific Malaysia HQ being part of it which excited John as his DBS equipment is built by BS.

We headed again for the coast roads but first the boys cycled through lovely countryside and villages quietly going about their business. Cars don’t speed, none makes a noise, everyone is respectful and eye contact is a given followed by a smile. People want to engage in conversation, not look away. They are interested, they like to interact. It is so refreshing.

The cycling pace reflected its surroundings. There was no rush, just a steady 12 to 15 mph as the boys cycled through the rich farmlands abundant with rice fields surrounding them. The late morning became lunchtime and we stopped as is our want at a cafe on a crossroads of a hamlet in the middle of nowhere serving a great range of meat, fish, vegetables and rice for the boys to choose. A case of help yourself and pay £2 for the privilege.

The cycling continued after lunch, again as in previous days working toward the coast and following the sea shore for several miles. John appears in fine form, he has found his mojo and is starting to lead the pace as he builds strength and confidence. The writer finds it astonishing how John has dealt with the accident and its aftermath. He must have been in considerable pain and discomfort yet seems to be able to ride though this major setback. And yet to him it is probably just another test of his resilience and determination to rise above the discomfort as he is having to do on a daily basis living with Parkinson’s disease.

Fish drying in the afternoon sun

We stop at Tanjong Piandang to admire the view at the end of a jetty and John chats up some of the ladies, as is his want …

We arrive in Taiping in time for a shower and smarten up and go out for some food. John wants some western grub and we end up at a fast food establishment trying to be a Macdonalds but failing spectacularly to the point of being inedible. We leave and walk through the town to the old Square Clock where John finds a new mode of transport for the next six TMS days.

In the distance we can see a Big M sign which attracts John like a magnet and 10 minutes later we were having a MacMuffin and coffee. Bliss,ish.

A great day of cycling, John fully recharged and eager to do a full days cycle. Brilliant news.

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