ON a misty June 24 morning ahead of the Raya holidays, nine riders from the Free and Furious Bikers’ group in Sibu set out on the quest to reach the much talked about Tip of Borneo within two days.
They are experienced big bikers — some with nine years of cross-country riding under their belts while the most junior among them have been biking with the group for two years.
Led by two skilled expedition managers, Michael Ting and Dr Grammen Low, the group revved along the Bintulu-Miri-Brunei-Limbang-Lawas route with its spectacular landscape before reaching the beautiful western coast of Sabah.
For the bikers, it was a dream ride out in open country. Sibu, being more than 80 miles from the sea, is generally viewed as landlocked. Many of its residents, especially among the younger generation, have dreams to venture out and see the world!
A senior teacher known as Mr Hii told thesundaypost, “It’s no big surprise that a group of motorcycle enthusiasts have come together to form the Free and Furious Bikers of Sibu. Young people are usually adventurous. They like to explore and see things for themselves. For them, nine-to-five jobs can be routine and sometimes, even boring.”
Apart from the two leaders, the bikers were Cheng Hua Ping, Danny Wong and his wife Onna Yii, Ling Tiing Tchin, Robert Kang, Ting Ming Sheng, and Wong Kiung Kui.
Before the outing, they had their bikes thoroughly checked — brakes, lights, oil and fluid levels, tyre pressure and hydraulics — to make sure everything was in order. They also looked into important matters like passports, bike ownership documentation and accommodation arrangements as well as route-planning to avoid travelling on the same road twice while in Sabah.
The group started early on June 24, riding north out of Sibu on a cheerful note.
Onna Yii, the only woman in the expedition, said even though it was raining most of the first day, the group was in high spirits. To her, “eating, laughing and even riding at night is a memorable experience”. She finds big biking “a kind of fulfilment” and she enjoyed herself throughout the ride.
The group detoured to Bintulu for breakfast, then pushed on to Miri. They had a high-tea rojak break in Limbang before riding on to Kota Kinabalu in the dark and rain. In between, they stopped only for short breaks and small meals.
The long 900km ride had apparently worked up an appetite in the riders. Not surprisingly, they found the seafood in the Sabah capital extra tasty.
On June 25, the riders continued their journey in equatorial rain. Undaunted, they pressed on to their final destination, the Tip of Borneo, arriving there in three and half hours from Kota Kinabalu despite the shower.
While many know about this northernmost part of Borneo Island, not many have actually reached it by land or sea. Numerous ships had floundered at this point too. A lighthouse there serves as an ominous reminder that the surrounding seas had been notorious for shipwrecks.
In the past, mystery shrouded this far-lung seaboard of the Land Below the Wind where legends abound. Today, with better roads and publicity, more people have ventured to the Tip, located in the Kudat District. It is at this awesome promontory, also known as Tanjung Simpang Mengayau?or lingering junction, that the South China Sea meets the Sulu Sea flowing from the east.
Like most first-time visitors, the bikers were mesmerised by the stunning sunset. All the aches and pains from the long ride were soon forgotten as the group spared little time snapping pictures of the setting sun, the beautiful Pantai Kalampunian (the long stretch of beach ending at Tanjung Simpang Mengayau), the bronze Globe and the Rocky Outcrop that forms the famous Tip of Borneo.
“We saw the radiant sunset and the beautiful and changing colours of twilight. What an unforgettable sight! As we stood at this northernmost tip of Borneo, we felt lifted in body and soul. We have travelled over 1,190km from Sibu in the heart of Sarawak to enjoy this wonderful moment. I am speechless,” one of the riders said.