Monday, July 15, 2013

Kuala Lumpur : Durian Treks

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                          AhPek Biker - Riding Adventures                       
Kuala Lumpur : Durian Treks
Yummy Durians!
Kuala Lumpur & Petaling Jaya : 6th July 2013
Small Group Ride : Titiwangsa Golf Club>Jalan Ipoh>Jinjang>Kepong>Sg Pencala>Taman Tun Dr Ismail>Bandar Utama>SS2>Section 17>University Malaya>Federal Highway>Brickfields>Dataran Merdeka>Titiwangsa Golf Club
Distance covered : approx. 63.06 km.
Time : 7:45 am - 3:30 pm
Time Taken : 7:45 hrs. (including stops for photos, breakfast, durian feast, rests, etc).
Route Recommendations :
1. Try the curry mee @ Ming Sing Coffee Shop, Jalan Ipoh.
2. Do be careful when riding the short stretches at the main roads in Kepong, Jinjang & Jalan Raja Laut, etc. Traffic could be heavy here.
3. This is a great route as it shows how different parts of Kuala Lumpur is connected, through some roads you will find yourselves in busy middle-class residential areas, then into elite housing gardens, rustic kampongs, etc.
4. Watch out for dogs at the Sungai Baru riverside, they are of the chasing type.
5. The durians sold in SS2 must be good, judging from the expressions of my friends while they were eating.
6. Good photo opportunity at the Titiwangsa Golf Club.


We bikers will just find some reason to cycle - conquer some hills, go to waterfalls, visit some interesting tourist spots, find good eats, etc. Always just itching to ride.

Rivern taking a large mouthful of durian. YummY!
This time round we are riding to eat durians  but it was not going to be just a direct ride to eat the durians, it was going to be a big loop around Kuala Lumpur up to Petaling Jaya and back. There is not much fun in just riding out to the nearest stall to eat durians - we have to do more than that; stretch our legs more, explore more, etc. In the end we rode 60+ km.

I am a banana (... see Jotaro's Twisty Tales), the odd Malaysian who does not eat durian; so when Rivern initiated a durians eats ride I was a bit apprehensive, but keen to join my friends to ride. Then Tailim (of the hApPy HaPpY blogs) suggested a super loop route, that got my attention, I have to GO!


Durian Ride Route Map 01  (click for Map Link)
I call it a super loop as Google Maps just could not handle the detailed route that we took, and had automatically split the route map into two pages. The above is page 1, showing the route from the Titiwangsa Golf Club to the start of our return trip via Section 17 -
Small Group Ride : Titiwangsa Golf Club>Jalan Ipoh>Jinjang>Kepong>Sg Pencala>Taman Tun Dr Ismail>Bandar Utama>SS2>Section 17>University Malaya>Federal Highway>Brickfields>Dataran Merdeka>Titiwangsa Golf Club

Durian Ride Route Map 02  (click for Map Link - click on Next to go to this)
Page 2 -
Section 17>University Malaya>Federal Highway>Brickfields>Dataran Merdeka>Titiwangsa Golf Club

L-R : AhPek, Shereen, Rivern, Tailim, Dhruv (Photo by Rivern)
Five of us turned up for this ride, and took a group photo before we started.

Leaving the golf club via the quiet roads of Tasik Titiwangsa, we were soon on to the busy roads - taking the underpass that connects Jalan Pahang to Jalan Pekeliling.

... and from there onto Jalan Ipoh.

About twenty minutes into the ride, we stopped at Ming Sing Coffee Shop at Jalan Ipoh for breakfast; we have to fill up early as we have a long ride ahead.
OR rather my friends wanted to burn of breakfast before we reach the durian place; sort of clear the stomach space for more durians.

Here they serve very good Curry Laksa (curry noodles), served with crunchy boiled bean sprouts and freshly boiled cockles.
During breakfast Tailim asked whether we wanted to take the main roads or the Sungai Baru riverside route; warning us that there were dogs which chased him when he rode there last time.
Being very brave, we opted for the riverside. Dogs don't scare us, do they.....?

The riverside was shady, and almost devoid of motorized traffic - it's so nice to ride here.
We were lucky, there were dogs around but they did not chase us - perhaps Tailim had given them a pep talk earlier. "No chasing cyclists. Cats ok. Cyclists, no!"

Took a group photo here too.

Exiting back to Jalan Ipoh  we are now at the Jalan Kuching interchange. On the other side is the Jinjang/Kepong area.

Across on the other side, with a couple of turns, we were riding on safer residential roads.

Riding below the electrical transmission lines.

And with a few more turns, we are in Segambut, riding pass the Taman Sri Segamut Mosque.

With some more turns, here & there, we are at the street market in Kepong Baru. For those who wants to follow this route, do take care at the Jinjang & Kepong area; one wrong turn and one may find oneself in Holland.

Soon we were up this flyover, it will lead us to Desa Park City.

Desa Park City, one of the key checkpoint of our ride, is close by!

But we only skirted Desa Park City. It would have been nice to cycle in that township. With wide landscaped five-foot ways, it's very green and cyclists friendly,
Seems like my co-riders were eager to eat their durians, so we went straight and hit the dirt road that connects Desa Park City to Kampong Sg Pencala. We discovered this dirt road connection during an earlier recce ride (... see more)

This is one of my favorite photo spots - here huge pillars holds up the Jalan Duta Link to the NKVE, it's giant pillars dwarfing us.

NOTE: The road situation here is temporary and change from time to time. Presently they have red-striped "HAZARD" tap drawn across with large boulders blocking the way. But bicycles can still pass through the gaps between the boulders.

Crossing that point, we are into Kampong Sg Pencala - a sudden transition from a up-market residential area into a rustic kampong. And the difference is not physical only, the temperature dropped too. Really, the air in the kampong is much cooler. It's like crossing over to another dimension.

A photo of us with kampong houses on a hillside.

Passed that kampong, and we are into another nice residential area - Taman Tun Dr Ismail.

And then across into Bandar Utama  stopping here at the traffic light in front of the 1-Utama shopping complex.

We wanted to surprise our friend Johnny of My Bicycle Shop at his shop in the Oasis Complex in Bandar Utama  but we were in for a surprise ourselves instead. Our friend had closed his shop for that day, having to attend to some personal matters. So we went to the corner coffee shop to have some drinks.

Having to cross back to Taman Tun Dr Ismail to continue our journey, we met this group of young boys. They were playing a sort of hand-ball game while wearing roller blades. See the similarities between them and us? Yes. It's the helmets.

At the other end of Taman Tun Dr Ismail  in order to avoid the heavy traffic along the LDP Damansara-Puchong Highway), we used a pedestrian bridge to cross over to Damansara Kim.

Further along, it was up another ramp (leading to the Tropicana City Mall) to avoid the traffic of the SPRINT Highway below.

And then riding down the ramps through two basement car-parks of the Tropicana City Mall.

(Photo by Rivern)
Just like that, we are into SS2; the durians are near!

Who did we meet there but Fenn & Ann. Both had taken the trouble to meet us here, probably waiting for us to arrive from our long cycling trek. Ann had cycled all the way from Kota Kemuning, Shah Alam.
The names of the durians (Jiu Ji, D24, Musang King, Red Prawns, etc.) sounded like Greek to me, a non-durian eater. But my friends were comfortable with the durian speak and ordered exactly what they wanted.

The durians here were huge! Ann was impatient to dig in, can't seem to take her eyes off the large thorny fruit in front of her.

The girls, trying hard to fit in the large fruit into their mouths.

Rivern was thoroughly enjoying himself; like a pro, he took small nips from the edges of the fruit.

This was the first time Dhruv was eating durians, he seems to like the fruit.

Time to head back, but first one last destination - University Malaya.
We rode back to the SS2 Mall, using the ramp there to ride down to cut through to Section 17 and then then Section 16 ...

... and we are at University Malaya!

We rode round the grounds of the university a bit and then decided to tackle Lover's hill - it's a steep climb up to the pinnacle of the university grounds. For some it was a cinch, for a couple of others it was a struggle.

Easy or harrrrddd, we were all glad to reach the top.

We made a short detour to the adjacent University Hospital, where Tailim did a bit of play acting. "Hey... emergency, some one's in the Trauma Ward! Too much durians!"

Stopped by at Brickfields  This being an Indian enclave of Kuala Lumpur, we did some Bollywood dancing here.

Back in KL City, we cut through this nice shaded pathway adjacent to the Dayabumi Complex and running beside the Klang River.

Somewhere here, Shereen developed cramps (well, it has been a long ride). I was quick to help her, from the smile of her face she must have been very satisfied with the AhPek's "service".
Perhaps I should become a part-time masseuse, could earn some money there and buy another new bicycle, Heh! heh!

At Dataran Merdeka, we took another group photo.

Riding via Jalan Raja Laut, then into Jalan Pahang ....

... and we are back at the Titiwangsa Golf Club!
A newly-addicted cyclist, Harry, joined us for a group photo.

It has been a ride that had us circling a good part of Kuala Lumpur and up to Petaling Jaya. One of contrasting areas busy townships & rustic villages; one off cutting through bridges and malls.
Many thanks to Rivern & Tailim.

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