Monday, August 12, 2013

Penang : Conquering Pearl Hill.

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                     AhPek Biker - Riding Adventures                 
Penang : Conquering Pearl Hill
The 6 of us who took on Pearl Hill  L-R : Jimmy, AhPek, Agnes, Aliya and Vincent (Mako was taking this photo)
Tanjong Bungah, Penang : 4th August 2013
Small Group Ride - Tanjong Bungah>Permai Gardens>Pearl Hill & back.
Distance covered : 14.7 km.
Time Start : 9:15 am     Time End : 11:30 am
Duration : 2 hrs 15 mins.

Route Recommendations :
1. Do a bit of warm up cycling around the residential areas with gentler slopes before tackling Pearl Hill.
2. Good photo op can be found at the Lembah Permai area with the hills in the background.
3. Another photo op can be found at the apartments on the way up Pearl Hill.
4. Pearl Hill overs two beautiful panoramic views, one overlooking George Town with the Penang Bridge in the background. The other overlooking the beaches of Tanjong Bungah / Batu Ferringhi with the new towering condominiums.
5. The slopes up Pearl Hill are fairly steep but doable, just cycle up at your own pace.


A couple of days earlier I had arrived in Penang and had gone for a night ride with some interesting new friends along the Jelutong Expressway (... see A Night Ride With New Friends).

Then the previous day, upon a request from the secretary of the local Community Committee, I had the honor to go check out the mock-up cycling lanes (... see Checking Out The Green Cycling Lanes blog).

This morning itself, me & my new found friends had wanted to cycle the hills from Telok Bahang to Sungai Pinang  But on hearing that the Chief Minister of Penang was launching the trial cycling lanes, we abandoned our hilly plans. Instead we went to support a worthwhile cause, one that proposes that cyclists would have a lane to share (... see Launching Of The Green Road Sharing Concept blog).


Conquering Pearl Hill Ride Map  (click for Map Link)
Having forgone our plan to ride the hills of Telok Bahang to Sungai Pinang, the six of us were itching to do some hilly ride, and the closest hill was Pearl Hill  None of us had taken on this apparently tough hill before, so this was our chance.
Pearl Hill is a small distinct hill that stands out from the main clump of hills at the centre of Penang Island. It is aptly named after Penang's nickname "The Pearl Of The Orient".

We started off riding down Jalan Tanjong Bungah, an easy stretch for warming up.

And then headed down Jalan Lembah Permai with it's gentle slopes to start pumping us up. This road was previously known as Vale Of Tempe, a more romantic sounding name.
That's Pearl Hill right in front, it looks rather daunting doesn't it? And we are going to conquer it and ride right to the top!

For more warming up, we headed for the foothills of the Lembah Permai area, turning in at Lintang Permai 1. This a distinct junction, the bright pastel blue building of the Tenby International School marks it out.

Rode pass the Kolej Tunku Abdul Rahman Penang Campus too. The grounds for the campus was donated by the philanthropist Loh Boon Siew. He was an entrepreneur who owned practically all of the land at these foothills. 

More warming up by cycling around the Permai residential area. still gentle slopes here.

And then we crossed over the Jalan Lembah Permai main road to ride at the foot hills of Pearl Hill itself.

Pearl Hill is accessible from two roads; one is Jalan Bunga Pudar on the north side, and the other is Jalan Cheah Phee Cheok on the east side. We will be starting from this east entrance, looks daunting for a scary start doesn't it?
Scary or not - Let's take it!

The ride up the hill is one continuous climb for about 2.2 kilometers, it's not a long ride but a steep one, just cycle at one's pace and soon you will be at the top, which is rather rewarding as can be seen later.
On the way up, there will be a couple of junctions; to reach the top just take a first left...

Some kind soul have sprayed red arrows at the second left, so no worries of taking the wrong turn here.
For those from the Klang Valley who are wondering how this place is like in terms of rideability; just imagine Kiara Hills combined with Gasing Hills.

Halfway up, a group photo, with a peek of the sea, for keepsake. That tiny dot in the sea is Pulau Tikus, a small rocky island.

A photo of my Brompton. Yes, Pearl Hill can be conquered even with my Brompton with it's 50-gear crank which was not specifically built for taking on hills.

Up at the top, a bit of off-road cycling is needed to reach the Chinese Temple.

And we are at the Chinese Temple; it's a rewarding place to be - for some to pray, and ...

... and for others to admire the breath-taking views. On one side, the view of George Town coastline is exhilarating.

On the other side, the view of the coastline of Tanjong Bungah & Batu Ferringhi is equally panoramic.

Going down was a cinch, just coating almost all the way. Even in the late morning, the ride was cooling in the shady road.

And we are back at where we parked our cars - opposite the Flamigo & Rainbow Paradise hotels.
It was a good ride with a challenging climb, fantastic views and more importantly one with warm friends.
I will ride here again.....

You may also like :

Putrajaya : The New Year Eve Interpark Ride

World Car-free Day Ride #2 - Klang to Pulau Ketam

Malacca : Peranakaan Bike - Packers Day 2

You are at - Jotaro's Blog / AhPek Biker / Cycling Malaysia / Penang / Conquering Pearl Hill
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