Thursday, February 12, 2015

Kuala Lumpur : Chinese New Year 2015 Happy Cycling Ride

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                          AhPek Biker - Riding Adventures                       
Happy Cycling 2015 Chinese New Year Ride
Kuala Lumpur : 11th February 2015 
Large Group Event: Kelab Golf Titiwangsa>Walls of AKLEH>KLCC>Hokkaido>Kelab Golf Titiwangsa
Distance: 15.70 km.
Time : 6:05pm - 8:00 pm (from start to dinner at Hokkaido Restaurant).
Time Taken : 1 hr. 55 mins. (Including stops for photos, regrouping)

Route Recommendations :
1. At certain stretches like Jalan Ampang, Jalan Sultan Ismail & Jalan Raja Laut, traffic gets heavy, do ride with care.
2. One of our buddies had a fall at Jalan Raja Laut. Usually near bus stops there are sections of the road covered with paver brick. After sometime, grooves could form where the tarmac join the pavers; our buddy's tire got caught in the groove causing the rider to lose balance and fall. Do watch out for these grooves.
3. The Walls of AKLEH (WoA - a name given by one of our buddies) are the large monsoon storm drains of the Klang River that runs part way below the AKLEH Highway. This is an interesting place to ride in, but ride in larger groups as sometimes there are vagrants around. Also noe that there could be debris, broken glass to be avoided while cycling.
4. Cycling is not allowed at the KLCC Park; however there is a nice lawn spot just before the park where nice photos of the Petronas Towers can be taken. 
5. Hokkaido Restaurant at Jalan Lumut, off Jalan Ipoh, serve pretty decent food and is large enough to cater for large groups.

Our cycling group, the Happy Cycling consist of people from all walks of life - young ones, old ones, foldies, road bikers, cyclists who commute to work, cyclists who like to take on tough slopes; and cyclists who ride for fun and some exercise. Irrespective of what they ride and where they ride the common bond for us is that we are just HAPPY to be able to get on a bike and cycle around. In a way, we are like a family.

So it is apt that when it comes to Chinese New Year, we celebrate the traditional way of having a "family reunion" dinner of sorts to close off a good cycling year. We had been doing this for the past two years; in 2013 we started with one dinner table, in 2014 it was two tables. And this year it was four tables. Our family is growing.
Who knows, in future we may need to rent a hall to hold our dinners!


Ride Route : Kelab Golf Titiwangsa>Walls of AKLEH>KLCC>Hokkaido>Kelab Golf Titiwangsa
It's a short ride just to warm us up for dinner, the interesting part is the Walls of AKLEH.

Being avid cyclists, we usually do a short stint of riding around Kuala Lumpur which ends at our dinner spot. Like the previous years, we started off from the Kelab Golf Titiwangsa. Those who could not join us for the ride went to meet us at the Hokkaido Restaurant, the place where we hold our dinner. Another group led by Johnny, rode down from My Bicycle Shop in Bandar Utama to join us for dinner.

This year we made it more interesting for our friends, we took them to a small opening at Jalan Dato Keramat. This opening is just large enough to fit a bicycle, but it is of important significance for us.

This hole allows us to get into the monsoon storm drains of the Klang River. In a chain and hand by hand we got our bicycles through the hole.
They are other means of getting inside here, i.e. through maintenance access ramps, but this entry point makes it more memorable as over here the wide sloping walls below of the storm drain, and the long pre-cast beams and slabs of the AKLEH Highway above forms a surrealistic scene. One of our buddies call this place the Walls of AKLEH (WoA) on account of the wide expense of the sheer walls.

Look at this photo, surreal isn't it?
A few points to note if cycling here:
- For safety, cycle in larger groups as the are sometimes vagrants hanging around here.
- This is a monsoon drain, so during heavy rain, don't cycle here as unexpected water deluge from upstream could happen.
- There are sand, debris, broken glass, etc on the floor, cycle carefully to avoid punctures.
We cycled a stretch of about 1.5 kilometres along the wide floor slabs of the drain, most times we were riding underneath AKLEH and could here the rumbling of traffic as they moved over the pre-cast slabs that holds up part of the road. Some cycling commuters use this stretch to avoid the busy roads above.

After 1.5 kilometre, we rode up a ramp and pushed our bikes across a pedestrian bridge near the Dato' Keramat Station; the huge precast girders of the AKLEH Highway can be seen above us.
Riding through residential roads, we exited to the busy Jalan Ampang somewhere near the Sucasa Apartments.

A short stop at KLCC for photo ops. Instead of the usual place at the Jalan Ampang/Jalan P. Ramli junciton where tourist take photos of the Petronas Towers, this time we went to the a lawny place at the rear entrance of Suria KLCC near the KLCC Park. It would have been interesting to cycling in the park, but from a previous experience we know that no cycling is allowed there (... see Merdeka 2012 Ride blog).
And then it's onwards towards our DINNER!

Some memorable photos from the dinner:

The food we had:
The most important dish for Chinese New Year, the Loh Sang.
We stirred this dish, tossing the ingredients as high as possible to shouts of "Huat Ah! Huat Ah!" which means prosper in Hokkien. It okay if some of the ingredients spill out while we are tossing, as it signifies wealth to abundance until spilling over.

Braised Tofu With Mushrooms.

Curry Grouper Fish.

Butter-fried Prawns.

Simple stir-fried Green Chinese Lettuce.

Sambal Chilli-fried Mixed Vegetables with Bottle Beans & Stinky Petai Beans.

Koro Chicken Cutlets served in pineapple halves.

It had been a good cycling year and here's looking forward for more to come.

May the coming year be a healthy & prosperous good year for all of you.

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