How a folding bike turned a tricky trip from Terengganu to KL into a fun ride

Roads along the East Coast are well-lit, but cyclists should be wary of sand and debris along the way.

It’s not every day that you find yourself navigating a multi-modal journey involving a car, a bicycle, a bus, and a train in a single trip.

Yet, this was the unique adventure I embarked upon when I drove my wife to Paka in Terengganu, left her car there, and then returned to Subang Jaya by public transport.

Accompanying me on the return journey to Kuala Lumpur was my trusty Dahon Curve SL, a compact 16-inch folding bike that has been my companion on many bicycle journeys across the country.

This high-performance bike, equipped with a Shimano Capreo nine-speed drivetrain explicitly designed for smaller bikes, is a marvel of engineering.

Weighing just 9kg, it’s a breeze to fold up and carry in its unique cover, making it the perfect travel companion.

With my daypack on my back and the innovative Dahon Pango folding helmet on my head, I was ready to tackle the journey ahead.

Stopping at Paka town for a picture with the bicycle.Stopping at Paka town for a picture with the bicycle.

Our trip began with a drive to Paka, where we spent a pleasant night.

The plan for my journey back was simple: cycle to Kertih, catch a bus to Kuala Lumpur and take the train home to Subang Jaya.

I said goodbye to my wife and set out before dawn, the quiet streets of Paka leading me towards Kertih.

The roads, well-lit and much improved from two decades ago, offered a safe path for my early morning ride.

Despite the potential hazards of road debris, the journey was smooth, taking me through Terengganu’s petrochemical heartland.

Along the way, I observed the daily hustle and bustle of workers and roadside stalls bustling with activity, a stark contrast to the tranquil start of my journey.

A folding bicycle in its carry-on cover, ready to be loaded into a cargo hold.A folding bicycle in its carry-on cover, ready to be loaded into a cargo hold.

After covering a reasonable distance, I paused for a much-needed breakfast break near a chemical plant.

Opting for a local delicacy, nasi minyak with ayam goreng, I enjoyed the most economical meal I’ve had in years, all for just RM5.50.

After the hearty meal, I continued, passing by the Ma Daerah Sea Turtle Sanctuary and making a detour to Pantai Kuala Kertih for some sightseeing.

Unfortunately, the beach was not the pristine paradise one might expect in Terengganu, but it was a reminder of the diverse landscapes and conditions one can encounter on such travels.

Eventually, I arrived at the modest bus station in Kertih, where my unique mode of transportation drew curious glances and questions, particularly from a ticketing clerk fascinated by the compact design of my folding bike.

Our conversation revealed a shared interest in travellers’ journeys, particularly those who pass through on their way to the Thai border.

The beach in Kuala Kertih, Terengganu. The beach in Kuala Kertih, Terengganu.

Packing up my bike, I boarded the bus, settling in for the journey back to the Klang Valley.

The trip took about six hours and was a time for reflection on the day’s experiences.

Arriving at Terminal Bersepadu Bandar Tasik Selatan in the late afternoon, I prepared for the final leg of my journey: an LRT ride to Putra Heights.

This adventure, from the early morning bike ride in Paka to the bustling bus and train rides back to Subang Jaya, was a testament to the versatility and convenience of having a folding bike.

It wasn’t just a mode of transport; it was a solution that turned a potentially complicated travel day into an enjoyable outdoor adventure.

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StarExtra , Outdoors , cycling


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