Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Kuala Lumpur : Chinese Year End 2015 Happy Cycling Reunion Ride

You are at - Jotaro's Blog / AhPek Biker / Kuala Lumpur / Chinese Year End 2015 Happy Cycling Reunion Ride
                          AhPek Biker - Riding Adventures                       
Chinese Year End 2015 Reunion Ride
Kuala Lumpur : 3rd February 2016 
Distance: 33.35 km.     |     Level: Easy
Time : 5:55pm - 11:40 pm
Time Taken : 5 hrs. 35 mins. (including stops for ice-cream, dinner, drinks and regrouping).

Route Recommendations :
1. The route is relatively flat except for some stretches at Taman Desa.
2. Traffic at Old Klang Road can be busy even at night, do ride with care there.
3. The Kuala Lumpur SW Cycling Lanes are a pleasure do cycle along. The only thing is try to avoid cycling at the stretch between the Old Kuala Lumpur Train Station and Brickfields at night; it gets a bit dodgy there as vagrants hang around below the Jalan Damansara overpass.
4. The Santan (coconut cream) Ice-cream at Kampung Baru sold from a tricycle stall is pretty good. It has options to include pulut rice or being served as a bun sandwich.
5. Restaurant Pu Yuan off Old Klang Road serves very good traditional Hokkien dishes; including their signature dish, the Fried Tapioca Noodles . 
6. Dataran Merdaka has very good picturesque and scenic photo opportunities.


PRELUDE
The weeks before Chinese New Year each year is a busy time for all; it's time to collect and pay debts so that they don't carry over to the next year. It's also a time for many companies to give a dinner to their staff and business clients, a way of thanking them for their support and a good job done.
Our cycling group, the hApPy Cycling Group has since 2013 held a ride, the sort of ride to close of the year. In a way it's our way of appreciating the many rides we had together. In another way it's a last ride for the year where we wish each other a happy coming year and part ways to our respective home-towns to be with our families.
Usually we have a short ride about ten to twenty kilometres and end with a tossing yee sang dinner. This year it was going to be different, this year's ride was a slightly longer one and with no tossing but lot's of cheers..... and did I mention ice-cream too?



THE RIDE


Medium-size Group EventKelab Golf Titiwangsa>Kampung Baru>Dataran Merdaka>KL SW Dedicated Cycling Highway>Old Klang Road>Taman Desa>Brickfields>Kelab Golf Titiwangsa.
From the Kelab Golf Titiwangsa, we headed to Dataran Merdaka via Kampung Baru and then onwards to our planned reunion dinner place - a Thai Steamboat place in Old Klang Road. The Thai eats did not panned out, fortunately Tailim (our group chief and of the hApPy HaPpY blogs) had a Plan B which turned out to be even better!

A couple of friends brought along some bottle of drinks for our later toasting; Kong with his Brompton C-bag was appointed the quiet transporter.


Starting from the golf course, we headed down Kampung Baru. Although set right in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, this place has retained a rural feel and was pleasant to cycle along. It's a better alternative than cycling along the busy Jalan Tengku Abdul Rahman.


Kampung Baru holds one secret - this Pak Haji who sells very tasty Santan (coconut milk) ice-cream.


And here we are, happily enjoying a simple meal of ice-cream. The old Pak Haji may not realise it, his ice-cream does spread smiles all over.


Chris, ever the food lover, just could not have enough and went for seconds. A BIG seconds it was... four scoops into a bun sandwich!
(... read more at Santan Ice-cream blog)


While we were having a grand time at the kampong, a few of our friends who were waiting for us at Dataran Merdaka were getting bored.... and were up to some antics like lying on the field to take photos of the sky.... yup, they were really getting bored.
But they were glad to see us coming, especially as we had brought along some packed ice-cream for them too.


Though our country's currency had lately been deflated, our cycling certainly cheers us up. Even having to carry our bikes across bridges did not dampen our spirit.


We went cycling along the Kuala Lumpur's cycling lane and ended up at Old Klang Road, at a Thai steam-boat place just at the start of the road.
But then, the place did not allow us to park our bicycles inside (eventhough we showed them how compactly they can be folded). Instead they asked us to park outside; no way were we going to leave our beloved bikes unattended. So we decided to take our business elsewhere, well it's their loss not ours.


The unfortunate Thai affair was a blessing in disguise as Tailim took us to another place which was even more interesting and had even better food. It was further down busy Old Klang Road, at a quiet lane that seems to hold a few squatters houses with not eatery in sight!


The restaurant was called Pu Yuan and it was housed in one of those nondescript squatter houses, with no signboard heralding its existence. Even then, many in the know patronise this Pu Yuan as it serves excellent Hokkein dishes, including this harder to find Tapioca Noodles. Stir fried with pounded dried shrimps and garnished with spring onions and deep-fried shallots, it was indeed an excellent dish worth cycling here for.


Also good was this grass carp served with a chillied bean paste sauce...


... and this grass carp with ground ginger.
(.... read more of Hokkien food at Pu Yuan blog)


And with the food, a few round of toasts with loud "Yam Sengs". Those who could not drink liquor joined in with soft drinks.


But we were not quite done with our celebration, we rode up to Taman Desa and at the Faber Tower area sat down for another round of festivities at a Japanese barbecue place...


And of course another round of loud toasting; this time with Japanese Sapporo beer.


Happy and satisfied with our celebrations we rode back to the golf club. Wish each other a Happy Chinese Lunar New Year and saying our goodbyes as each of us will be heading back to our home-towns to celebrate with our families.
To all my readers, I wish you all:

GONG XI FA CAI!

May the Year of the Monkey bring you good health, prosperity and most of all many riding adventures!



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Banana Leaf Rice @ Yap Kee Klang
Even with a limited menu, this place is packed to the brim. Find out why. - Klang, Selangor Malaysia.









You are at - Jotaro's Blog / AhPek Biker / Kuala Lumpur / Chinese Year End 2015 Happy Cycling Reunion Ride
If you like this, view my other blogs at Jotaro's Blog
(comments most welcomed below. if you like this pls share via facebook or twitter)

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Selangor : Kota Kemuning To Jugra Beggar's Chicken Ride

You are at - Jotaro's Blog / AhPek Biker / Selangor / Kota Kemuning To Jugra Beggar's Chicken Ride
                                                       AhPek Biker - Riding Adventures                                                    
Selangor: Kota Kemuning To Jugra Beggar's Chicken Ride
Kota Kemuning to Jugra : 24th January 2016
Small Group Ride - Kota Kemuning>Jenjarom>Kg. Kebun Batu 7>Banting>Jugra & back.
Cycling Distance - 94.74 km.     Level: Hard
Time : 7:10am to 5:35pm
Time Taken :  10hrs 25mins (inclusive of stops for breakfast, lunch, refreshment, rest; time at Jugra Hill and photo opps).

Route Recommendations :
1. Other than the stretch between Jenjarom and Banting and  most of the route is along rural roads which are fairly light in traffic except at Jalan Kebun
2. Jalan Sultan Abdul Samad (after Banting) has a stretch with wide emergency lanes that are very suitable for cycling.
4. The one kilometre climb up to Bukit Jugra is quite steep. The park just before the climb is a nice place to rest with shady huts; do watch out for the monkeys though.
5. Food-wise the following are good stops:
    - the herbal noodles at a stall in the Ban Seiw Keng Temple compound in Jenjarom. They also serve broth.
    - on the other side of the temple compound is a stall that sells nasi lemak. I have not tired it so can't tell whether it's good but a long queue there should be an indication.
    - Jugra Beggar's Chicken at Jalan Bukit Jugra.
6. Fruit stalls at the junction of Jalan Sukepi and Jalan Merbah (see flower icon on map) sell good pineapples, bananas and yam, etc. It's a good place to stop for fresh coconut water too.


PRELUDE

Jugra is one of those cycling destinations that I have missed going to somehow or other.
It was during the "Gangnam Style Ride" organised by Andrew (back 2012 when the Gangnam-style dancing was the craze) that many of my buddies went to the place. During that ride we did some Gangnam-style dancing to pump up our spirits. The ride was suppose to be from UEP Subang Jaya to Jenjarom.

The dancing must have been effective as many of my buddies went beyond Jenjarom and onwards to Jugra. Some even took a longer route back through Carey Island and Teluk Panglima Garang (... see the Gangnam Ride blog for details).

Me on the other hand had to turn back at the end of Kota Kemuning as I had an afternoon party to attend. As I rode back alone, I was involved in an accident at the KESAS Highway ramp up to Subang Jaya. My face was quite bloody but fortunately for me the rest of me was ok.
I won't post a photo of my bloodied face here and scare you all. Instead above is a photo of me and a Miss Malaysia runner-up at the Veemeer Charity Ride held the following day.
Yes, even after that biking accident I was able to attend another event the next day. I can't tell for sure whether the draw of the beauties was the incentive to get me up and riding so soon; OR perhaps the previous day's Gangnam-style dancing dip pep me up.
Ooops..... I detract here. Okay, the point is I missed Jugra then, -  and also, due to work constrain, at a few other times when my buddies went there again.

Andrew, the ever considerate friend, knew that my legs were itching for Jugra; so on fine Sunday morning he got a few of us to go there..... scratch, scratch, scratch.... the itch is being scratched!

JUGRA HERE WE COME!


THE RIDE



Cycling Route Kota Kemuning>Jenjarom>Kg. Kebun Batu 7>Banting>Jugra & back.
Starting from the newer residential area of Kota Kemuning, we headed to the rural roads of Kg. Kebun Batu 7 and then onwards to Jenjarom where we made a breakfast stop. We then continued on to Jugra via Banting.


On that early Sunday morning we met at McDonald's Kota Kemuning. It's a good place to start as there are ample car-parking on the roads nearby.
7:10am - We rode off from modern residential area of Kota Kemuning, passed by the rural houses of Kg. Kebun Batu 7 and were soon on Jalan Kebun. The sun was just peeking out from the horizon, tinting the light blue sky with an light orange tinge.

Soon we turned into the quieter branch roads.
Wow! the clouds are so beautiful; this is a rare sight during this time of the year. Normally it would have been a wet, rainy season of the North-east Monsoon; one with moody dark skies.

Due to the El Nino Effect, we are facing some hot - very hot - season now. Yes, the skies were a wonderful sight, but we would be expecting it to get very hot later on. In fact my friends were already with arm sleeves in preparation for that.


Joining us for the ride was Uncle Bil, a sprightly man in his late sixties. Don't be fooled by his age though, he is a very strong rider. And he looks cool here too, doesn't he?
Bil is also one of the pioneer user of the Brompton bicycle.


As we approached Jenjarom, we saw many cyclists riding on the opposite side of Jalan Kampong Jenjarom. There were waves after waves, easily a couple of hundred cyclist. They were from the Tea Mountain Cycling Team, riding on an event starting from the FGS Dong Zen Temple and were heading towards the Bukit Cheeding lowland tea plantation.
We could imagine that it would have been an interesting ride to the tea plantation for them as we ourselves had rode there almost three years ago and had enjoyed the cooler temperature coupled with the greenery of the place (... see Teatillating Tea Plantation Ride blog).



8:30am - We are into Jenjarom; first place we headed for was the Ban Siew Keng Temple for eats. Eating at a temple? Going vegetarian aren't we?


We made our food orders and while waiting we noticed that the temple building has just been complete. Might as well pop in for a visit.


Two stone lions with fierce glaring eyes guard each side of the stairway leading up to the main temple pavilion. Interestingly, each of them had a lion cub with them; it's the first time I am seeing this, i.e. a lion with a cub, I wonder what's the significance?
Also note that on the temple roof are statues of fishes spouting water, this is only common to temples in fishing villages/towns.


At the centre of the stairway were dragons carved onto panels running upwards. Lions and dragons! This temple is surely well guarded.


Inside, at the main altar area, dragons curl round each column, guarding all who come to worship here.


Our food came, and no we were not going vegetarian. See, the temple has a very large compound. One one side is a stall that sells pork herbal mee, broth, etc., on the other side is a stall selling Nasi Lemak.
My friends had the herbal beehoon and mee, while I had a pork broth. As we did not try it, I am not sure whether the Nasi Lemak was good but judging from the long queue there, I think it should be.

While we were eating, we noticed this motor-cycle with a large oval umbrella. Hmmmmm, could be useful for bicycles, but I guess not; a strong gust of wind would make it hard to manoeuvre.


10:30am - We had rode up and down the bridge spanning over Sungai Langat and were now in Banting town. Even though it was just late morning, the sun was glaring hotly down on us; the temperature was like that of a mid-afternoon. By then we had covered up even more with arms sleeves and face masks.


Passed Banting, riding along a very wide emergency lane along Jalan Sultan Abdul Samad. As Bil puts it, "This is our own Malaysian cycling autobahn", a remark made in reference to the German Cycling Autobahn.


This stretch seems to be an area zoned for institutions. We passed by the Institut Kemahiran Belia, the Institut Latihan Perindustrian Kuala Langat, the Sekolah Kebangsaan Tamil Jugra (one of the largest Tamil school in Malaysia), and even an airforce base (see above photo).


The four-lane wide lulled us, making us forget that we were in a rural area until some goats came rushing out, wanting to cross the road. They scooted back when they saw us approaching.
Just ahead is the Sungai Raba Junction where we turned right to continue our journey to Jugra. From then on the wide "highway" ended and we were on narrower rural roads.

Okay, I am going to take a short pause here to show a couple of related photos.
This here is Min in our support van; she was suppose to join us riding but was feeling a bit under the weather. So she drove to provide us support in case the heat got to us.


We were not the only one with a support vehicle, this young chaps were more innovative - they had a support motorcycle.


At Permatang Pasir we mad a left into Jalan Bukit Jugra; as we rode along this slightly winding rode, Bukit Jugra (Jugra Hill) came into view. Two white towers stood tall above the "JUGRA" word which sat on a steep green turfed slope devoid of any trees.
It is from this turfed slope that paragliding flights are launched by OXBOLD, an extreme sports recreation company.


The climb up to Bukit Jugra is only slightly more than a kilometre, but it is a steep climb. Before the climb, we took a rest at the bottom of the hill. There is a shady park here with some pavilions for seating, just a nice spot to cool down, chit-chat while preparing for the climb.


Monkeys too enjoy this park; they are lively fellows but do be careful of your belongings as they have long hands (and feet too) and itchy fingers.


Although the road up was shady, it was not an easy climb. Siew Yung can be seen stopping for a break while Uncle Bil went on pedalling slowly but continuously up hill. Looks like Bil, even at his age, is the strongest of us all.


We were not the only one "enjoying the slope"; these speed carts came careening down the slope fast and furious. As they took the corners, they purposely skidded. Do watch out for them especially at the two hair-pin corners.


VICTORY!
Up at the top there was a panoramic view of the river below and beyond that Carey Island.
It's a beautiful scene worth the struggle to overcome the heat and the slopes to come here.


On the other side was a big sign spelling out "JUGRA" and behind it the weather station.
As can be seen the slope here is rather steep, I did have a difficult time balancing while takjng this photo.


Back down, we had our lunch the Jugra Beggar's Chicken restaurant. The heat and distance sure worked out our appetites, we finished the chicken down to the bones!
(... read more about Jugra Beggar's Chicken)


2:10pm - We started our ride back, the rain clouds above looked quite promising and in our hearts we were hoping for a light shower to cool us down. Better being wet than hot under the piercing sun.


But our hopes were dashed, the rain clouds melted away and the sun continued shining strongly. Even the locals covered up or hid under their umbrellas as best as they could.


The heat got to us and at the Shell petrol station in Banting, we made a detour into for a shady rest... AND ice-creams!


One last stop at the fruit stalls at Jalan Sukepi for some fresh coconut water and to get some fruits - pineapples, bananas, etc. all of which we conveniently put into the support car.

(For more photos of the ride, Click Here)




You may also like :




Banana Leaf Rice @ Yap Kee Klang
Even with a limited menu, this place is packed to the brim. Find out why. - Klang, Selangor Malaysia.













You are at - Jotaro's Blog / AhPek Biker / Selangor / Kota Kemuning To Jugra Beggar's Chicken Ride
If you like this, view my other blogs at Jotaro's Blog
(comments most welcomed below. if you like this pls share via facebook or twitter)