Thursday, March 12, 2015

Negeri Sembilan : Broga Loop

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                                                   AhPek Biker - Riding Adventures                                           
Negeri Sembilan : Broga Loop
Broga, Negeri Sembilan : 8th March 2015
Medium-sized Group Event : Broga Temple>Broga>Mantin>Lenggeng>Broga Temple
Cycling Distance Covered : 37.0km.
Time : 7:40 am - 11:10 am
Time Taken : approx. 3hrs. 30mins. (including stops for rest & regrouping, breakfast, etc.)


Route Recommendations :
1. Most of the route is on tarred roads passing through rural villages, oil palm & rubber plantations which are in good conditions with not many potholes. Only one stretch near Mantin is on a busy main road. There are hardly any slopes and most of the route is shady except for the stretches along the main roads. If planning to ride in the afternoon, do apply sun-block and bring adequate water.
2. The scenery is a mixed of rustic kampungs and plantations. Dry leaves of certain stretches through the rubber estates create an "autumn" look.
3. Pay a visit to the Broga Temple, although from the car-park it looks small; it unfolds to show more as one climb further up, there's even a giant statue of Sun Wukong, the Monkey King on a hill opposite. This statue is perhaps the largest of the Monkey King in Malaysia.
5. Fairly good food like ice-kacang and Pan Mee can be found at Broga Market.


PRELUDE
View of Broga Temple from where we started our ride.
The Broga Loop was a notable event held about three years ago covering 116km for road & mountain bikes, and 60km for foldies. I missed that event and had never had the opportunity to ride in Broga before; so when Irene organised a ride there I definitely had to join, after all not only had I not cycled at Broga but I also have hardly cycled in Negeri Sembilan. The last time I rode in this state was enroute during a ride to Malacca starting from Sugai Gadut, and that was almost three years ago! It's time to ride in this state again!



THE RIDE
This route is not like the one of the event, so do not be mistaken and follow this route if training for any future Broga Loop public event. It was a casual fun ride through village and plantation roads; a nice ride through quite and shady roads. Although I tagged Mantin & Lenggeng in the loop, we we just skirted these towns and did not go into them.


In the early morning, we gathered at the car-park of the Broga Temple. There are many car-parks here but there are also many devotees coming to visit the temple during the later part of the morning onwards. It will be good to start early, especially on weekends to avoid carp-parking difficulties; the above photo was taken around noon time, so you get what I mean.



(Photo by KK Foong)
Here we parked our cars, unloaded and unfolded our bike, took the cursory group photo. The turn out was surprisingly good seeing that most of us had to take an hour's drive in the early morning to reach here by seven in the morning. Some of us were probably half awake when the above photos was taken *grins*
Sleepy or not sleepy,
LET'S RIDE!


We kicked off with a two kilometre down slope ride on the misty morning towards town, just the right way to warm us up and to wake the sleepy ones up.


A first quick regroup at Broga town to ensure that none miss the junction.


At the N34-Jalan Tarun 1 junction, ride marshal/photographer directs us to turn. This is where our ride gets more interesting as beyond here the roads run through rustic areas and there is hardly any other traffic.


See.... NO TRAFFIC... except us. And the road passes through shady oil palm plantations and secondary jungle, it's a road that is in good condition, with hardly any portholes, just superb for cycling.


8:15am - Irene called the ride to a halt. Oh..oh... looks like she is going to give us a talk.... Eh? All of us had been riding safely, most with helmets... ??
All is ok, she was just pointing to us the significance of this spot, up ahead is...


 .... is the boundary between Negeri Sembilan and Selangor states; here at Kampung Daching Hilir we are crossing over to Selangor. Our ride is turning into a bi-state ride!


We cycled in Selangor on a straight road running parallel and skirting the state boundary. It was a fairly flat road with a couple of mini dragon backs. On our right were rubber trees along the Selangor side, although it had been raining the earlier, the trees looked dry from the past month dry spell. On our left was Negeri Sembilan with tall electrical transmission lines running parallel to the road.


At the far end of this road we made a left turn at a T-junction into Federal Route N30 and were back in Negeri Sembilan; our ride on the Selangor side was only a quick stint of 2.70km.


A short distance ahead, at a small round-about, we made a 3 'o clock turn and were back onto rustic roads again.


Hey! This rustic road is actually a main road with dual carriageways on both sides; but it was a very, very quiet main road. There was hardly any traffic! Dried up trees along the sides made it seems like we were cycling in an autumn countryside but in tropical Malaysia!


Not far away from the road, we could see vegetable plots. Yes, this area is a farming area and as we rode along we passed by farms and orchard. We took the opportunity to enlighten those not agriculturally inclined on the plants...
"Those there are Kai Lan vegetables, and over there are star-fruit trees, durian trees. Those over the other side are lemongrass.... and er.... next to the road are just lallang grass!"


8:55am : We arrive at a little shanty house, our place for breakfast. Unfortunately it was closed; probably the owners were taking an extend Chinese New Year break and have gone holidaying.


Instead we ended up at a coffee shop along a row of new shophouses at the outskirts of Mantin. Most of us had this fairly good Hokkien Prawn Mee.


I had my usual booster - two half-boiled eggs.


After breakfast, we continued and made a left turn into Federal Route N34; a large signboard warned of winding roads ahead and we anticipated sharp bends and steep slopes. Most of us had also applied sun block lotion (including yours truly) in anticipation of a late morning hot sun and hard climbs.


But there was not much necessity for the sun-block as it turned out that the roads did not have sharp bends or steep slopes and in fact it was a fairly shady route...


And further ahead we turned into roads passing through shady orchards and plantations again, and found ourselves cycling through "Autumn" again.


With a couple of twists and turns through narrower roads leading through secondary forest, we found ourselves suddenly back at the start point, the Broga Temple. Those narrow road sled to the back of the temple.
Since we were here, and having not been inside the temple before, while my buddies were packing their bikes into their cars, I decided to pop into to the temple for a quick visit. The visit turned out to be longer one as the small temple hid what was behind, as one climbs up more is unfolded to be behold.


By the time I rejoined my friends at the Broga market, they were already happily digging into the town's renown Pan Mee and ice-kacang.

Many thanks Irene for a ride that took us through rustic villages, shady plantations and falling autumn leaves.


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