2013, 26/27 january
when friends gather, all hell breaks loose
once upon a time, 35 friends/families/colleagues and 16 bicycles met at tanah merah ferry terminal. they wanted to take the earliest ferry out to bintan, to go to a kelong.
after a 2 hour ferry ride through pretty calm seas, they finally reached bintan. but they had to clear the immigration first. and because they were chatting so excitedly and making so much noise, the immigration officers told them to ‘keep quiet!’. nobody had ever been asked by any immigration to ‘keep quiet’. so, they were properly chastised.
eventually, they cleared immigration. the families/colleagues boarded vans for a relaxed ride to the kelong. the friends lined up their bicycles outside the immigration, all ready for a challenging ride.
but before they could get started, one of the bicycle’s chain broke. luckily, there was a support van. the support van whisked the stricken bicycle to a shop to get it fixed. the rest rode their bicycles there.
because the bicycle took a while to be fixed and the friends were feeling hungry, they bought and ate durians while waiting.
after the bicycle was fixed, the real cycling began. the temporary fix from the durians didnt last long. so, the friends were mighty glad to have a break, after climbing four very very steep slopes.
after a brief break, they were on the road again!
the weather was hot hot hot. and they were hungry hungry hungry. but they pressed on. just after passing a huge chinese temple, they stopped for some bananas. the bananas helped to stave off hunger pangs.
having cycled for 31km or so, they reached a coffeeshop just before a metal frame bridge. this would be their last resting stop before they hit the final stretch to the kelong. here, they topped up on sugary drinks, beers, otah, coffee and other stuff.
after another 7km of cycling on relatively flat road, they finally reached their destination. ocean bay kelong.