Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Kuala Lumpur : Kiara Hills Ride 2012/10/20

You are at - Jotaro's Blog / AhPek Biker / Cycling Malaysia / Kuala Lumpur / Kiara Hills Ride 20th October 2012
                          AhPek Biker - Riding Adventures                       
Kuala Lumpur - Kiara Hills Ride
Royal Selangor Club Bukit Kiara to Segambut & Sri Hartamas : 20th October 2012
Giant piers of the NKVE Duta Link
Medium-sized Group Ride from Royal Selangor Club, Bukit Kiara > Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club > Kiara Hills > Taman Tun Dr. Ismail > Kampong Sg Pencala > Desa Parkcity > Segambut > Desa Sri Hartamas > Royal Selangor Club.
Distance covered : 30 km.
Starting Time : 7:30am
Time Taken : approx. 4 hrs. (including stops)


Sin previously posted photos of his Eats at Million Cafe, Jalan Ipoh. Some biker buddies like Rivern also like the place and I thought why not ride around the Duta area and end the ride eating there.
I suggested this to Rivern and his reply was simple. "Organize a ride there!"
Me? Organize a ride? Hey! I have only taken up biking for two months. I am a newbie!
Since then, the thought of organizing a ride was always at the back of my mind.

Bike Explorers - me, Nash & Sin
Sin, the adventurer, pushed a few of us to recce-ride the Sg Pencala area. Together with Nash, Wee Kiat & me did a few adventuring rides around that area. A couple of times we were joined by Kook Keong & Siew Yung. We found the area captivating, and also that Sg Pencala CAN connect to Desa Parkcity (see Sg Pencala Exploratory Ride). The route was interesting and we wanted to share it with our other biking friends.
So what better way than to organize a ride!

Final Recce Team - Siew Yung, Sin, Nash, Norman & me
So Sin, Nash & me started planning one. We also roped in Kook Keong into the team as he has rode there with us previously, and more importantly he is a conscientious and caring person who will help look out for the bikers in the ride.
Just a few days prior to the ride we did a last recce ride to be sure of the kampong roads at the Segambut area. We also tried out the pavements near the Royal Selangor Club. Yes, we will be riding along pavements, but more on that later.

Kiara Hills Ride Map  (click for Map Link)

About ten days prior to the ride, we posted the event in FaceBook. The initial response was lukewarm, with seven riders registering (AND that was including ourselves). We were hoping for a group of 10-12 participants. Sin, being more familiar with the route will be the ride leader and I will be the sweeper.
But as the ride date got nearer, many more joined in until the registered participants numbered around 23.
Concerned about the safety of a larger ride group, Nash and Kook Keong were going to be the marshalls. Trying to ensure that none got lost, copies of the ride route map together with a blow-up of the Segambut area were to be distributed to the riders.

The Ride
The BIG day arrived!
We met at the Royal Selangor Club Bukit Kiara Annexe. Parking on the service road outside the club and the adjacent Visitors Car Park outside (they do not allow visitors to park inside on the busy weekends), we unloaded our bikes and assembled at the front car-park.

After the taking of the group photo (what better timing than this as all was gathered already), I held a short briefing for the riders.
Firstly, Sin was introduced as the ride leader and me as the sweeper.
The printed ride maps were distributed and we advised them on the route, which are the areas with heavier traffic and also on the difficult climb up Kiara Hills.
Most importantly, they were told that this is not a race and not to worry if they are slow as the marshalls and the sweeper  will be there with them all the way.

Frankly, I felt that the briefing was too brief - I still have my perennial stage fright even after all these years and missed telling them some important points, like safety etc.
But the riders must have sensed my nervousness, listened attentively and asked a few questions.

With that short briefing over, we started off, riding into the Bukit Kiara area via Jalan Bukit Kiara 1. Passing by a large wall mural of Malaysia's past Prime Ministers, the thoughts of "Malaysia Boleh!" came to my mind...
and also "Bikers Boleh!"

Jalan Bukit Kiara 1 took us round the fringe of the Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club. It was a bit of climb....

..... and we reached the far edge of the golf course, happily rolling down the slope.
Whoooosh! That breeze in the face feeling - "Yipee!"
But that was to end soon.

That "freedom in the wind" feeling ended as just at the bottom of the slope, we started the ride up the parallel Changkat Abang Haji Openg to go up to Kiara Hills (Bukit Kiara).
The initial part of the climb was a bit haphazard, cars parked at the side and cars reversing out made the space so tight that riding pass them was even difficult.
The cars should not be allowed to park along this sloping roads, they should be parking at the bottom!
AND these cars belong to the strollers and joggers, I cannot understand their mentality! They are here to exercise and insist on parking as high up the slope as possible. Crazy!

At the top of the car park slope we reached the first guard-house of Kiara Hills.
Cars are not allowed beyond this point, Thank Goodness!
Kiara Hill is a favorite spot for people to come to exercise, and there were many around.
The center of the road is for cyclist, and the two sides for joggers & strollers.

Here, we stopped to take a memorable photo before we started the real climb.
The climb up and around the hill will take us a ride of 6 km., and most of it uphill with rather steep climbs! A couple of riders could not finish the climb, but it's alright as it is their first time.

We started to climb.....

..... and to climb

..... and climb ..... is there no end to this slope?

At top of Kiara Hills
We are at the top, the tired but satisfied faces can be seen in my co-riders.
But that's not the end of Kiara Hills!
There's still riding round the loops at the top.

So off we went again to ride round the loops at the top of Kiara Hills, more steep slopes!

Comradeship after finishing the loops - friends resting together.

After those loops, our tired but self-satisfied friends did a Gangnam dance led by Yong Sin.
That's what I like about these buddies, they are so full of spirit - panting and they still can dance!

Happily we rode down the slopes.
Time for breakfast!
That tough but invigorating climb has certainly built up our appetites.

Our rush to get breakfast was interrupted though. At the foot of the hill we met a lady having some difficulties with her bicycle. So we stopped to help her; nothing like helping a lady in distress and a fellow biker at that.
Haha! Biker knights in shining armor!

Disappointment Outside Yong Len - No Place To Sit
Reaching Yong Len coffee shop in TTDI, we faced some disappointment. (Yong Leng is renown for its Penang Hokkein Mee - see Penang Hokkein Mee @ Yong Len)
The place was packed! And definitely can't fit all twenty-three of us in.
On a fellow biker's suggestion, we split up to eat at various shops and met back again at this spot after half an hour.

Ok. Eats done, time to move on!
Riding through the Haji Openg and Dato Suleiman residential roads to avoid the heavier traffic of the main road, we soon reach the edge of Taman Tun Dr Ismail, i.e. the Pencala Link of the Sprint Highway.
Underneath the shady overpass, we stopped for an impromptu regroup.

Crossing that, we are now in the Kampong Sungei Pencala area.
From a modern township to a rustic kampong in the blink of an eye!
At the Jamek Mosque we made a right turn to head to the peripheral roads at the foothills.

And were soon riding into the shady roads at the foothills of Bukit Kiara. Cooling and exhilarating.

Further along, the riders ahead had stopped for another impromptu regroup. We had several of these, but it was better this way than to have the newbies (and the sweeper) left far behind - it's more fun for everybody to be together too.
We are glad that everyone was patient and cooperative, and also these stops allowed riders to interact and get to know each other better!

At the far end, we hit the barrier separating Sg Pencala & Country Heights Damansara/Desa Parkcity.
A little bit of maneuvering needed here.

And a bit of off-road was required at the point between Country Heights Damansara. Some of us rode through, some of us pushed as the ground was soft & muddy.

Other riders who plan to ride through here, BEWARE - the status at this place seem to change daily. There were boulders placed across now & looks like they could be putting up a fence too.

Shady & nicely landscaped roads of Desa Parkcity.

Group shot at the Waterfront Desa Parkcity.

And guess who we met there? None other than Lai Peng & Kai Nie, two powerful lady rider friends. They were having breakfast there during a ride.

Desa Parkcity is such a nice place to ride around, the environment so green and soothing.

Further along, I saw some riders waiting at the junction of Changkat Intisari.
"Hey! What's wrong?" I asked.
"Nothing, just that those crazy guys wants to climb up this steep slope. We are waiting for them to come down." This was not in the original route.
It was indeed a steep slope, a road sign even advised motorists to go "DEAD SLOW"!

The road led to an even narrower & steeper road leading up to the reservoir. Well, it was Sin's call, he being the leader of the ride can change the route to make the ride more interesting or challenging.
And challenging it was as we huffed & puffed our way up that steep slope!

It was a worthwhile effort. The view from the top was breathtaking!
And exhilarating.....
For Rivern, who likes slopes, the steeper the better it was a case of "Ain't No Mountain High Enough"
Good call, Sin!

..... So exhilarating that Kwan carried up his bike for a pose.
"Careful now, don't take two steps backwards..."

We peered down at the rest of the team who did not take this climb.
Too bad brothers & sisters, you all missed a good amazing view!

Well, time to leave Desa Parkcity. We headed down Jalan Intisari, the road that will connect us to Bandar Menjalara and the Segambut area.
But ahead, beside the Kepong 3 Chinese Primary School, was a metal barrier.

Bicycle Limbo Rock
But no worries there!
Leave it to our comic-rider friend Nash to come up with an ingenious way to cross the barrier - Bicycle Limbo Rock!

This led us to the Segambut Dalam Kampong area. It was close to noon already and the weather was getting hotter.....

..... and the traffic getting heavier.

There was even a bit of traffic jam at one of the narrower roads, which was actually more like a side lane.

Maneuvering through those roads, we somehow reached Desa Sri Hartamas.
The traffic here was even worse, horrendous in fact!

Some took to riding on the pavements.

Aren't we glad to reach our lunch destination Gyuniku, most of our stomachs were already growling after that long ride.

 Where we had good beef noodles.

And delicious looking desserts; and many more (see Gyuniku).

Happy with a delicious & wonderful meal, we rode off heading back to the Royal Selangor Club via the residential roads of Desa Sri Hartamas.

In order to avoid the heavy traffic at the SPRIINT-Duta Link, at the Sri Hartamas Secondary School, we started riding onto the pavements.

One have to be careful riding on these pavements as they do get as narrow as one pavior tile wide, and at certain areas they are very uneven leading to a bumpy ride.
But it was worth it, as it meant avoiding riding on the busy highway.


It was a rewarding experience for us the organizers, to see the participants enjoying the ride, cooperating with each other and MOST of all having fun at the same time!


Abdul Rahim Anuar

Alex Msixr

Chong Yew Ming

Jason Lim & Friend

Jk Khoo

Kenny Wong

Kimmiskie Lim with her new Birdy

Kium Michael

Kwan Fah Mun

Lee Seng Yeap

Munchkins Nm & LYee Chang

Rachel Lim

Rivern Yong

Siang Wee

Toh CK

Yong Sin NG

Sin Tai Lim - Ride Leader

Kookkeong Fong - Ride Marshall

Nash Abraham - Ride Marshall

Jotaro Zen - Ride Sweeper
(the AhPek Biker)

Some of the photos here are by Sin, Kookkeong, Rivern & Siang Wee. Thanks buddies.

You are at - Jotaro's Blog / AhPek Biker / Cycling Malaysia / Kuala Lumpur / Kiara Hills Ride 20th October 2012
If you like this, view my other blogs at Jotaro's Blog
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