Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Selangor: Cycling In Klang - The Rustic Route

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Selangor:  Cycling In Klang - The Rustic Route
Around Klang Town: Sunday, 28th March 2021
Cycling Distance: 17.84 km.     Level: Easy
Time : 10:30am to 1:15pm
Time Taken : 2 hrs. 45 mins. (inclusive of stops for lunch, visits to street art, parks & rest, regrouping, and lots of photo opps).
Extended Cycling Distance: 41.72km (Starting from SS 15Subang Jaya & via Taipan, Subang Hi-Tech, Sec. 19 Shah Alam, Kg. Padang Jawa to Berkeley Gdns.
Extended Route Time : 7:45am to 1:15pm
Extended Route Time Taken : 5-1/2 hrs. (inclusive of stops for lunch, visits to street art, parks & rest, regrouping, and lots of photo opps).

Route Recommendations :
1. The route is relatively flat and with very gentle climbs at some area, the only serious climb is at the Kg. Pandan Railway Bridge. We rode from Subang Jaya via Sec. 19 Shah Alam & Kg. Padang Jawa to Berkeley Gdns, it's from there that we started our exploring the rustic route guided by a local friend. This blog is about the rustic ride around Klang.
2. During the tropical dry season, weather can get rather hot from late morning to mid-afternoon, so do cover up or use sun-block lotions.
3. Places of Interest:
    Enroute were several places of interests, some of which we visited and others we did not for lack of time (Note: click on GPS coordinates for directional map to respective places):
    - Old colonial shop-houses with exposed red brickwork & nice antique windows near Klang Play! Coshtel (GPS: 3.04201, 101.45120).
    - The "Revive Klang Mural" (GPS: 3.04521, 101.44623) below the Kota Bridge.
4. Food
- Desserts: Cendol at Cendol Maju (GPS: 3.03707, 101.44279).
Early cycling days, group photo a Port Klang during World Car Free Day 2012
Klang is one of our regular cycling destination, in fact one of my earliest rides was one from Brickfields to Port Klang & Pulau Ketam to celebrate World Car Free Day. I was then a green-horn and didn't even know that there was such a day as World Car Free Day! Hah!
Later, during pre-Covid we used to have regular group rides to this royal town on every third Sunday on the month. Those who lived in Kuala Lumpur would start from Dataran Merdeka, and if they cycle back it would be a round trip of almost a 100km. Those who lived around the vicinity of Petaling Jaya or Subang Jaya would meet at SS 15; either cycling there or driving and parking near the SS15 7-11 outlet. The Subang Jaya-Klang round trip would be around 30-40 km.; but more often then not we would take our time and enjoy the town before riding the KTM Commuter train back to Subang Jaya for an easy 20km half day's ride.
Having rode there many time, it's rather surprising that I had not blogged about cycling to and around Klang. There are several routes, one that visit many of the Klang Heritage Trail sites, or one that goes on a trail of good food in Klang; but we will come to these other two routes another time. For this blog, it will be a ride through the rustic, rural side of this growing city, with our buddy CG Gan, the Klang Cycling Queen, to show us her kampung.

This Klang rural loop route starts from Berkeley Gdns, goes through several rustic kampungs, a small part of the old town, a couple of bridges and a park before ending at the Klang Train Station. It is fairly flat and the only climbs were onto flyover and railway bridges.
Extended Cycling Distance: 41.72km (Starting from SS 15, Subang Jaya)
Zoom out to see extended route from Subang Jaya.

We would be cycling to Berkeley Gardens to meet up with Big Sister Gan, our Klang cycling ambassadress. But today, instead of using the 15km route motor-cycling lanes along the Federal Highway, Rivern took us on an extended 41.72km (ie. +26km) route that cuts through Subang Jaya, SSec. 19 Shah Alam and Kg. Padang Jawa. Uncertain of how long this extended route would be, I had to constantly update Gan so that she would not had to wait for us long. Fortunately, she does not stay far from Berkeley Gardens.

After reaching Klang Town from Subang Jaya, we met up with Gan at Berkeley Gardens; but instead of having our usual breakfast/brunch at one of the coffee-shops there we took a short ride over to the neighboring Taman Eng Ann. There we had the never-to-be-missed Klang favourite - Bak Kut Teh at one of my favorite shops, Kee Heong. We ordered two type, the regular soupy Bak Kut Teh AND also the dry Bak Kut Teh, both were served in clay pots. The dry Bak Kut Teh has these past few years becoming in-vogue, it's cooked with thick dark soy sauce (which give it that soy sweetness), and also cuts of dried chilli that added a zing of hair-raising spiciness!
Hah! After sweating it out from the 25-km ride from Subang Jaya, we are now sweating it out from the spiciness of the dish!

Tummy sated, Gan led us to cross under the Federal Highway at the Berkerley Round-a-bout. Heading south, we soon crossed the Klang River at the Connaught Bridge. Yup, we're in Klang and we will meet the Klang River several times. Ahead was a red building with a tall red-white chimney flue on one side; this is the Connaught Power StationOpened in 1953 by the High Commissioner for the Federation of Malaya, Sir Gerald Templer, it's one of the oldest power station in the country.

Today's weather is beautiful, and the electrical towers stood out clearly against the blue cloudy skies. These towers were so tall that they over-shadowed the clump of coconut trees growing below.

A combo photo above shows statue of an Arowana fish atop a column next to a railway bridge, and the Bukit Badak Commuter train station further down the road. It's odd though, seeing the 
Arowana statue there. The fish is native to South America and not Tropical Asia.

I was wearing a "My Cyclist Friends" jersey which had a crocodile as a logo. And here's a couple of play-acting photos; one growling like a croc (do crocodiles growl?) and another "showing reverence" and asking for 4-D lottery numbers.
Despite the "warning sign that this area is a habitat for crocodiles" we did not see any.

After that the road narrowed into a lane running through very green secondary jungle.

And then a kampung area called Kampung Pandan with wooden houses and colorful batik sarongs hung up to dry.

Gan snap-shooting some bright bougainvillea flowers and at the far end Sin was waiting for us to continue on the next stage of the route .....

.... riding up the double ramp of the Kampung Pandan Railway Bridge that will take us over the railway tracks.

A peep through the guard-rail grating shows the double-tracking of the railway below with the kampung houses of Kampung Pandan on both sides.

After the bridge, a short weaving through a narrow Jalan Kampung Pandan and we're "suddenly" at Jalan Kota Raja that leads to the old heritage area of Klang.

A quick stop at the side lane next to Klang Play! Coshtel, the exposed red brickwork contrasting with the pastel blue window just make for a great photo.

More photos showing the arched five-foot way in front, which is typical arches over the five-foot way of the colonial houses.
AND my bike, Goofy jostling for a photo with the window.

We continued on a route along back-lanes and side alleys skimming next to food stalls .....

..... and we are into the Klang heritage core. A first stop at Klang Crow Mural.

Below which were posters showing the growth of Klang including one with a write up on the heritage rejuvenation of Klang.

Just slightly ahead is the Klang Art Street with murals that takes one on a safari of the animal kingdom including elephants, orangutans, birds, lizards, etc.

Whoa!!! There are even dinosaurs around, including this ferocious Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Some of the murals are inter-active; including this colorful parrot angel wings at a corner .....
..... and of course a not so friendly crocodile to match my jersey!
This is a place not to be missed when in Klang, and we did spend a fair bit of time here.

We are into the Klang Heritage Zone, riding by the Klang Kota Fire Station and ahead is the Indian Muslim Mosque Tengku Kelana. Both of these are on the Klang Heritage Walk list at no. 10 and no. 8.

Ahead, a short climb up the ramp of the Tenkgu Kelana Bridge; below can be seen the railway tracks; and much further away a peep of the Klang Royal Town Mosque, with it's distinct golden dome.

Gan still have a secret to share. Surprise, surprise!
Somewhere along the bridge was a small break that exits to a spiral bridge that led down to pathways along the Klang River.

And Presto! We were cycling along nice, shady pathways with the railway track on one side and the Klang River on the other. Ahead is the Kota Bridge with another scheduled stop.

Below the Kota Bridge is the large mural called "Revive Klang River"; it shows a history of the growth of Klang town.
It's quite a large mural and does not fit wholly into the photo above, click here for an interactive Google street view.

Somewhere along here, a great riverside view of the Klang Royal Town Mosque.
That white "Cleanup" barge, is part of the efforts of the "Revive Klang River" team.

Ahead, another secret - a quick right turn had us riding on pathways and boardwalks of the Taman Pengkalan Batu. This very green park is not that well known, so there're not that many people here 😅.

What is a ride in Klang without a visit to Cendol Maju for some refreshing cendol.
We took a long detour there, where I downed two whole bowls of this icy dessert-drink with it's creamy santan enhanced with sweet Gula Melaka. We also ordered some pasembur to snack on.
Next to this cendol stall is the Klang Kuan Yin Temple, one of the largest temple in the country dedicated to the goddess Guanyin.

With that we rode over to the Klang Train Station to end our ride, and take a KTM Komuter train back to Subang Jaya.

Many thanks to Big Sister Gan (seen above on the left) for taking us on a nice rustic route around Klang Town, and showing us a secret or two 😃.

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