| Lyna Mohamad |
LONG Lama lies in the middle of the great Baram River, Sarawak’s second longest river. Although people there live a plain and simple life, the place suits to be a motorbike tourist spot, and currently the only transportation to get to the town there is by using the ferry for motorists or passenger boats.
Uniquely addressed as Pekan Darussalam due to its peacefulness (Darussalam means ‘Abode of Peace’), the Long Lama Bridge project is expected to be completed and open to motorists by the first quarter of this year.
Learning of the town’s uniqueness, a group of Brunei bikers together with their fellow riders from Miri made a joint courtesy ride to Long Lama earlier this month.
Filled with strong riding spirit, 33 bikers including three female bikers from Brunei and Miri joined for the courtesy visit to Long Lama, Baram in neighbouring Sarawak, making it the biggest group ever so far to visit the place.
The Brunei convoy, led by Bersatu Bikers Club President Sambra bin Haji Sulaiman, roared ahead on their two-hour journey from Bandar Seri Begawan to Miri, stopping for a brief pit stop at the Miri Bypass Shell Station.
Upon arriving there, the Brunei convoy was joined by the Miri bikers with the Brunei-Miri convoy now led by Tukimin, the convoy leader for the Miri bikers.
The convoy then continued their ride to Long Lama, using the ferry to cross over.
The courtesy visit served to strengthen brotherhood between bikers from both countries, as well as provide further exposure and convoy riding experience for them, especially those new to the activity.
The visit’s highlight was the Darussalam Mosque in Long Lama, the only mosque in town.
There, the convoy was warmly welcomed by the mosque’s Imam Daiez Ustaz Mazlan and the mosque’s committee members who were honoured and happy to have such a big number of bikers making their way to visit the mosque.
“We too feel honoured and touched with the welcoming reception by the mosque’s committee members. Our objectives to strengthen ties between the two countries and engage in charitable activities are met through this visit,” said Brunei convoy advisor Mohd Noor.
As a gesture of appreciation and in the spirit of brotherhood, the mosque’s committee members invited the convoy for lunch and a get-together session, where the convoy learnt more about the mosque and Long Lama in general.
The convoy had their fair servings of Cendol Sarawak while at the mosque, thanks to Puan Muza who is a member of the bikers club and a successful Cendol maker.
After spending some time at the Darussalam Mosque, the convoy were all set to begin their more than two-hour ride back to Miri before the sun sets in.
Before leaving, the Bersatu Bikers Club President together with the Maxi Scooter Club President Muhd Ruzain Rizman presented cash donation to the mosque, with the amount collected among the convoy members earlier on.
The recitation of a prayer or Doa by Imam Daiez Ustaz Mazlan was held before the convoy leave to bless their return journey home. Feeling blessed, the convoy then hit the road heading to the Baram ferry to transport them back on their ride to Miri.
Khadijah Ismail, no stranger in the local motorbike scene and active in joining or organising charity, adventure and leisure rides, said that everyone was happy with the courtesy ride and thanked organiser Haji Mohd Noor for ensuring the ride to Long Lama went smooth sailing and well-organised.
“Hopefully there will be more charity rides of such organised in our neighbouring countries Sabah and Sarawak,” she said.
Khadijah added that being an active rider, convoy activity is a must-do activity for riders, especially those who have joined motorcycle clubs, regardless of small or big bikes. This is because riding a motorcycle on a long journey once in a while is fun, especially if one have activities to do at destinations (during the ride).
She said, “Seeing the scenery in the surrounding area along the way can calm your mind. Not only that, you also have the opportunity to exchange ideas and strengthen brotherhood among the riders.
“One significant thing in convoy rides is to gain exposure and practise good discipline as both a convoy member and biker.”
The most important points in a convoy ride include time management along with always being aware of the information and guidelines set by the organiser such as rest stops, oil refills, rides and meals, she added.