Grandfather at halfway mark of cycling trip

SEREMBAN - Nearly three weeks had passed since he started out from Kota Baru but there is no stopping the father of six from fulfilling his wish to do solo bike touring around Peninsular Malaysia.

Wan Hashim Wan Mahmood, 68, who has 18 grandchildren, left Jalan Telipot in Kota Baru on Jan 26 and had travelled 1,188km across the states of Terengganu, Pahang, Johor, Singapore, Malacca and Negri Sembilan.

Already halfway through his 2,000km journey, Wan Hashim is now en route to Putrajaya, Kuala Lumpur, Perak, Penang, Kedah, and finally Padang Besar in Perlis where he will board the train from Songkhla in Thailand to get to Sungai Golok before returning to Malaysia via the border in Rantau Panjang, Pasir Mas, in Kelantan to complete his journey.

Wan Hashim was confident of completing the solo cycling within a month.

He said the greatest challenge in the trip was dealing with safety issue as most of the roads taken did not have a dedicated lane for cyclists or motorcyclists.

"I have to watch out for heavy vehicles when travelling along the narrow roads. Thankfully I have yet to encounter any mishap or major difficulty except once when my tyre went flat in Kampung Raja, Kuala Terengganu," said Wan Hashim when met at his stopover point at the Seremban Prison yesterday.

Also present to bid him farewell for his trip to Putrajaya was the Prison Department deputy superintendent Mohd Kolek Mohamad Noor from the Seremban Prison.

Commenting on his daily preparation, Wan Hashim said he would visit all police stations along his planned route to get the latest update and news of the location he would travel that day.

Wan Hashim preferred to use the trunk road instead of the highway.

"I prefer it as the public and local community along the way are always eager to provide assistance such as giving tips on the roads ahead or give some contribution.

"Some authorities such as the Prison Department and cycling association or clubs in several states also provided me with accommodation along with food and drinks.

Wan Hashim cycled an average of nine hours daily from 8am till 5pm and covered 20 to 30 km per hour depending on the road condition and terrain.