Friday, April 19, 2013

KL/Selangor : Songkran Double Loop Trail - Loop 1

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KL/Selangor : Songkran Double Loop Trail - Loop 1
Kuala Lumpur to Petaling Jaya to Ulu Ampang : 14th April 2013
Medium Group Ride - 
Distance covered : approx. 75.00 km.
Time : 7:40 am - 4:35 pm
Time Taken : approx. 8 hrs. (including stops for breakfast, lunch, photo shoots, Thai water wars, etc.)
Loop 1 Route Recommendations :
1.The graffiti walls along the Klang River storm drains are beautiful, ride there if weather permits and the storm drains are not flooded!
2. When cycling along the motorcycle lanes, do try to keep as much left as possible as motorcycles do come zooming pass very fast.
3. Gasing Hill is steep and a good challenge, but now worries it is only a short stretch.
4. The Thai Chetawan Temple is worth a visit, irrespective whether it is during Songkran or not.


PRE-RIDE

This event, that Tailim posted on FaceBook, looked very interesting. A double loop ride that will cover part of Kuala LumpurPetaling Jaya and the Ulu Ampang area. Further more, the ride falls on the Thai new year festival of Songkran.
Most of us got wet during the ride but not from sweating it out... read on to find out!


Tailim will be leading the first loop from Kuala Lumpur to Petaling Jaya and back. While co-host Jerping will be covering the second loop that will lead us from Kuala Lumpur to Ulu Ampang  This is Jerping's territory and he rides here quite often, so we should not get lost or so we thought.


We would also be joined by a couple of foreigners:
- Leo who have cycled all the way from the United Kingdom. He's being hosted by a local co-biker under the warmshowers.org scheme, &
- Druv, a Indian national presently residing in Kuala Lumpur.


THE RIDE

Loop 1 Ride Route Map : Kuala Lumpur>Brickfields>Gasing Hills>Thai Chetawan Temple>Kuala Lumpur (click for Map Link)
LOOP 1

The first loop will take us from Royal Selangor Club to Brickfields for breakfast, then we will continue along the Federal Highway biking lanes to Gasing Hill, the Thai Chetawan Temple and then return back to the Royal Selangor Club.


We all gathered at the Royal Selangor Club  there were twenty-four of us. Most of us were glad to see each other - it's been a while since many of us have rode together.


We cycled to the front and took a group photo at the Dataran Merdeka  with the Sultan Abdul Samad Building in the background. This stylized photo done up by Jerping made us look like pioneers of Malaysia's Independence back more than fifty years ago.


Crossing over Jalan Raja, we were suddenly led down a ramp that led us down to the Klang River.
Hey! Are we cycling or going for a swim?


No, we will be riding along the concrete banks of the Klang River monsoon storm water drain. It is an unique place to ride. The ride leaders have taken us down here to avoid the main road heavy traffic.


It's a safe place to ride, definitely free of traffic. The only disadvantage is that at intermittent location there are V-drains running across. A bit of bike carrying will do.


Not only does this place have not traffic, it is also unique as both walls of the storm drain are painted with beautiful graffiti murals. This is known as the Klang River Graffiti.


Even the floors are painted with graffiti. Riding here makes one feel like being in a Tron movie.


Our nice, slow and picturesque ride along this stretch ended after about 1.5 km. We rode a ramp up to Brickfields, having at the same time avoided the heavy traffic of the roads above.


We were cycling along Jalan Brickfields when suddenly it began to rain, luckily there was a nearby road overpass for us to take shelter underneath.


Well, might as well make good use of the time while waiting out the rain - texting to friends.


Luckily it was only a passing shower, and soon we were weaving through the traffic at Brickfields.


Soon we reached our first destination, an important one - Breakfast! - at the coffee-shop below the Peking Hotel in Brickfields  there was space at the side driveway for us to squeeze-park our bikes.


Sitting down we were happily chatting between ourselves.


Pakwee giving us his trademarks smirk. It has been a while since he rode with us, and we are glad for his cheerful company.


Many of us made our orders from Peter's Pork Noodle stall; it has come highly recommended in the Samosaurus Chronicles.


Many had the Kuew Teow Pork Noodles with a raw egg added in.


I had the Misua noodles with extra deep fried lard thrown in. Needless to say, both the Keow Teow and Misua were very good. 


Invigorated, we headed out for the Ang Seng area that will lead us to the Federal Highway biking lanes to Petaling Jaya.


9:10 am - Along the Ang Seng area, on a lane below the elevated railway tracks. this lane is not shown on Google Maps.


And we are into the Federal Highway biking lanes, still cycling below the railway tracks.


Below the elevated University LRT Station; it's blue columns highlighting a lonely Dhruv cycling there.


8:25 am - We are in Petaling Jaya! Cycling up the Federal Highway ramp up to Jalan Gasing.


In order to avoid the heavy traffic along Jalan Gasing  we took to the residential roads of Section 5. It was a good thing too, as we passed by this entrance to the hiking trial that leads up to the top of the Gasing Hill.


Reaching Jalan 5/64 we started cycling up the steep slope that will lead us to the top. Some who felt it was too tough, stopped and waited for us at this junction.


The road became much steeper, and some had to come down and push their bicycles part of the way. While, other strong riders like Sweet, cycled up and down a few times.


Pushing or pedaling slowly, sixteen of us made it to the top. We took a group photo to celebrate our achievement.


Coming down from Gasing Hills, we had to cycle along a short stretch of busy Jalan Gasing to head to our next destination - the Thai Temple.


10:20 am - Arriving at the Thai Chetawan Temple in Petaling Jaya.


Reaching the temple, we were in for a surprise. It's still the Songkran Festival. Big guns were rolling out - we are in for a wet battle!


But Tailim was ready for them, armed like Rambo with two water guns. It's Wet War time!


Double-barreled or not, he got all wet too! It was all in the spirit of Songkran  it's a blessing to get wet.


Being unarmed, I got mobbed by young children all attacking me at the same time. It was a fun memorable time for all.


As we left the temple, some of us had our face powdered; it is another blessing. So eventhough we did look weird to passer-bys, we maintained our blessings until we got home - it would keep our ride safe.


Our Wet n' Wild adventure over, we started our journey back, cycling down the ramp to the Federal Highway biking lane.


11:00 am - Back along Jalan Brickfields, cycling along the roads decorated with Indian flower motifs.


Dayabumi Complex is in sight; we are almost at the end of the first loop of our journey.


Just pass Dayabumi, we turned left to cycle next to the Klang River, riding this time not along its storm drain banks but up above along the shady walkways.


Wong, our sweeper, along Jalan Tun Perak; all smiles as we are finishing Loop 1.


11:20 am - We are back at the Royal Selangor Club  resting here for a while before continuing the second loop of our trial.


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4 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Dhruv,

      धन्यवाद

      My sincere thanks.
      You liking this blog is very encouraging.
      Will get down on Loop 2 soon.

      Just got back from a bike-packing overnight tour to Sekinchan.

      Regards.

      Delete
  2. Replies
    1. Dear NR.

      Thanks very much for liking my blog, it will spur me on to write more and write better.

      Regards
      The AhPek Biker

      Delete