Sunday, June 21, 2009

Bicycle Touring in the 1970s

In the good old days the word "bicycle touring" has not been coined yet. The bicycle was used to get us from point to point almost for free as we had very little money those days. My first bicycle was a hand me down from my mother in 1972. This was a reward for achieving a good result in a public examination..the LCE (Lower certificate of Education) in 1971. The brand was FUDGE and it was a solid steel bike. It had dual hub brakes and it had a set of 3 speed hub gears that was operated by a small shift level with the markings of H Heavy, M Medium and L Light.I was very active in scouting and when I was an assistant scout master in 1974 and 1975 I organised many cycling/camping trips. In this photo you can see me and my bike. I am the guy in scout uniform. Notice that the house behind is a wooden house and that house was in Klang Road where one of our scout stays. Today this scout from the Tang family is a multi millionaire who has made his money in the construction industry.

We used to cycle in a straight line convoy in most of the trips esp those long ones. Cycling 100 miles a day was normal. Sometimes we cycled through the night as it is cooler and to save energy only the cyclist in front and the cyclist at the back will have the bicycle lights on. Quite a few times we had been warned by the Police not to do such bad practise.

Notice the types of bicycles that we had. Either you had a racing bike or you use an "ordinary" bike. Mountain bikes were not invented yet.

Chee Mun was my scoutmaster when I was a Boy Scout in 1969/70

One of the long trips that I made in my school days was a trip from Kuala Lumpur to Pangkor Island and then to Penang island in late 1975. We cycled the whole night following the Kuala Selangor coastal road to Lumut and then by coastal road to Penang. That was about 300 odd MILEs. While in Penang at the Kek Lok Si Temple I was told by a fortune teller that I will be a very luck person soon.
Next dayI saw a newspaper advertisement for the post of Air force Pilot. Not wanting to miss the interview, I came back to KL by Nanyang Siang Pow newspaper delivery van for a sum of $5.00. That includes the transportation of the bicycle as well.

I was indeed very lucky .Three weeks later, on 16 Dec 75, I had my hair cut and my 10 finger prints taken and I started my military training in Port Dickson.


  1. Hi captain wong, I also like to have a bicycle trip like this. I can felt it is really nice. I hope one day I will have it too.

  2. Yes, anyone can do a bicycle trip. It is cheap, healthy and best of all you get to see things that you would never have benn able to see if you are just zooming pass it in a car! stay tuned for more of my story telling. I have lots of it!

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