KUCHING: Bikers participating in the Borneo Adventure Rally 2019 will be able to witness the state’s beauty as well as its rapid development, said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.
Dubbed “Borneo Ride 19” by the organisers, bikers from Germany, Belgium, Taiwan, and West Malaysia will travel 2,862km from Kuching to Sibu and Miri, then onwards to Brunei and Mararap before heading to Sabah with Keningau and Tawau first followed by Sandakan and circling back to Kinabalu Park and Kudat in the north and finally to Kota Kinabalu to end the tour.
Abang Johari was speaking to the bikers gathered at the Square Tower at Kuching Waterfront yesterday morning before flagging them off on their tour.
The riders are expected to discover Sarawak in the first half of their tour, experiencing the diverse cultures, varieties of food, and the abundant nature as well as the rapid building of the Pan-Borneo Highway and the Coastal Highway.
“Bikers must be attentive, disciplined, and quick-thinking as their split second decisions can save lives,” said Abang Johari whilst sharing some of his stories about his exploits on a motorcycle from his childhood days until most recently in Lawas, where he was forced to learn the mechanics of an electric scooter without proper instructions on the fundamentals of the bike from organisers.
“I was shocked because for the first time in my life the brakes were not at my feet and I soon discovered it was a lever on the left handle so I had to quickly get my bearings right.
“Somehow, I adapted to the new settings and pulled through to finish the tour,” said Abang Johari, who is an avid fan of big bikes himself.
Responding to a question on how he obtained his motorcycle licence, the Chief Minister had everyone in stitches laughing to a story of him and some of his antics as a teenager that led to him taking up his first motorcycle licence.
Upon consulting with authorities and close aids, New Sarawak Tribune can confirm that the Chief Minister owns a Class B (full) motorcycle licence and a Three Wheel Special Licence, which he uses to operate his personal three-wheel bike.
Pin Sing Travel & Tours Sdn Bhd, a local tour operator, is the appointed ground handlers and logistics partner for the rally and the bike tour is led by BMW GS Trophy marshal and rider, Faizal Sukree, who is also a certified BMW Motorrad International tour guide and instructor.
Married couple Herbert and Geb Unger from Germany, SPV owner and tour sponsor Thierry De Schaetzen from Belgium, and solo female rider An-Erh Chen from Taiwan are all first timers to Borneo and all of them have only done 600km tours before. This is the first time they are going to experience the 10-day ride.
Thierry, who has an eye-patch covering his left eye which he lost in an incident 11 years ago, said this tour will be the toughest one he has embarked on since getting back on his bike a year and a half ago.
An-Erh was also excited for the long journey and was confident that with guidance from Sukree, they will complete the trip without much hassle.