Cy­cling with heart

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Living -

AF­TER em­bark­ing on a cy­cling ex­pe­di­tion from Malaysia’s Na­tional Mosque more than a year ago, cou­ple Ah­mad Mohd Isa and No­radi­lah Mohd Sapie ar­rived in Jed­dah, Saudi Ara­bia, on the week­end.

They are now on their way to Mecca to cel­e­brate Hari Raya Aidil­fitri at the Grand Mosque there and per­form their um­rah, thus end­ing their Kem­bara Mem­buru Hikmah (KMH) ex­pe­di­tion which be­gan on April 8 last year.

Ah­mad says the high­light of the whole ex­pe­di­tion will be per­form­ing um­rah (a mini pil­grim­age) to­gether with their re­spec­tive par­ents, Mohd Isa Maarof, 52, Nuri­dah Mohd Isa, 50, Mohd Shafie Ab­dul Hanan, 70, and Saa­diah Sham­sudin, 63, as well as the KMH crew.

“Our par­ents are sched­uled to ar­rive in Makkah on June 22. God will­ing they will be ac­com­pa­nied by the KMH fam­ily that has stood by us from the be­gin­ning to the end,” he says when con­tacted via What­sApp ear­lier this week.

Ah­mad, 29, says he and his wife have trav­elled 12,000km, cov­er­ing routes in Malaysia, Thai­land, Myan­mar, In­dia, Nepal, Pak­istan, China, Kyr­gyzs­tan, Kaza­khstan, Uzbek­istan, Afghanistan, Iran, and the United Arab Emi­rates.

“Due to the dif­fer­ent ge­o­graph­i­cal features of each coun­try, at times we had to cy­cle through nar­row pas­sages and rocky, muddy, hilly, rough and wind­ing ter­rain while stay­ing cau­tious on the road, es­pe­cially in crowded cities.

“In cer­tain areas where we were not al­lowed to ride our bi­cy­cles for safety rea­sons, we had to travel ei­ther by bus, truck or car,” he says.

No­radi­lah, 30, re­calls the chal­lenges she faced when she be­came ill dur­ing their ride to­wards the Deo­sai plateau in Pak­istan. At that point, they lost com­mu­ni­ca­tion with the out­side world for a week as there was no In­ter­net sig­nal.

“It was at one of the moun­tains there that I experienced vom­it­ing, dizzi­ness and di­ar­rhoea for sev­eral days.

“The nights were much longer stretch­ing for 14 hours while tem­per­a­tures were 17°C.

“With the help of vil­lagers, I was rushed to a nearby hos­pi­tal and ad­mit­ted into the in­ten­sive care unit (ICU) for three days as I was se­verely de­hy­drated,” she says.

Apart from car­ry­ing out a hu­man­i­tar­ian mis­sion in ev­ery coun­try they ex­plored, the cou­ple also took note of the coun­tries’ his­tory, cul­ture, and Mus­lim com­mu­ni­ties.

The cou­ple was ac­com­pa­nied on the ex­pe­di­tion by Mohd Nur Ai­man Mohd Zaid, 28, and Amirul Ariff Abd Wa­hab, 29, who acted as the doc­u­men­tary crew.

To keep track of the cou­ple''s ad­ven­tures, visit the KMH Face­book page at face­book.com/ kem­baramem­bu­ruhikmah. – Ber­nama

Ah­mad and No­radi­lah in a promo video for their epic ex­pe­di­tion from Malaysia to Mecca by bi­cy­cle. — Pho­tos used with per­mis­son from: face­book.com/kem­baramem­bu­ruhikmah

The cou­ple mark­ing the mo­ment they crossed Pak­istan’s bor­der.

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