Friday, December 18, 2020

Selangor: Cycling GCE Guthrie Corridor - The Elmina Loop

 You are at - Jotaro's Blog / AhPek Biker / Cycling Malaysia / Selangor / Cycling GCE Guthrie Corridor - The Elmina Loop

                                     AhPek Biker - Riding Adventures                                   
Selangor: Cycling GCE Guthrie Corridor - The Elmina Loop
Elmina Twin Lakes to Saujana Utama: Sunday, 8th November 2020
Cycling Distance: 32.48 km.     Level: Medium
Extended Cycling Distance: 53km (Starts from Bandar Pinggiran Subang)
Time : 8:15am to 3:15pm
Time Taken : 7 hrs. (inclusive of stops for lunch, visits to several parks & the DARC riding club, rest, regrouping, and lots of photo opps).

Route Recommendations :
1. The route is relatively flat and with some mini-dragon backs at Jalan Kenaga, leading to Saujana Utama. Except for the park areas, the route is hardly shady.
2. 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):
    - Twin Lakes (GPS: 3.18857, 101.52321).
    - Elmina 8 Roundabout (GPS: 3.17469, 101.50548).
    - Orange Umbrellas at Sakura Lake Park, Elmina Green 1 (GPS: 3.21217, 101.49859).
    - Elmina Green Roundabout (GPS: 3.20755, 101.49752).
4. Food
- Breakfast: Noodles at Restaurant Wan Keng(GPS: 3.16522, 101.5474at Bandar Pinggiran Subang (Subang 2).
- Afternoon Tea: Coffee at Restoran Zheng Yang (GPS: 3.16479, 101.54909).
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PRELUDE

Riding at the motorcycle lanes along Guthrie Corridor.
The GCE (Guthrie Corridor Expressway) is a favorite amongst cyclist who casually call it cycling the Guthrie Corridor. It's relatively flat and cycling on the motorcycle lanes one can go at a fair speed as it is relatively light in traffic, especially on weekends.
Of late, development has sprouted in the area with Elmina and Denai Alam urban conurbation growing fast. With these developments, comes new roads to ride and new sights to explore.
This Elmina Loop is an interesting one as the developers had taken pains to beautify their new township with elaborate bridges and designer roundabouts.
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THE RIDE

The route starts from the Twin Lakes and is a loop that goes to several parks in the locality plus a couple of colourful bridges, a horse riding club; plus a stretch of dragon backs towards Saujana Utama. It is relatively flat with only some climbs for a short stretch at the dragon backs. 
A good place to start riding is near the Elmina Kilometre Zero signboard at Elmina Twin Lakes; it's tall and in conspicuous red. The are ample parking here and also a the shop-houses nearby.
For those riding along the GCE, enter via the Interchange #3504-Elmina.

The good thing about cycling here is that there are many cycling lanes at the main roads and around the parks of Elmina. At some stretches these are paved in red tarmac. As the roads here are relatively new, most of them are not that well shaded for the time being; but this should change once those road-side trees mature.

Inside the Twin Lakes park, it's quite shady, with the lanes winding on a loop around the park.

At several points, it overlook down into the stream and lake below; with the ample greenery a most welcomed, soothing sight.

At Kilometre Zero, were posted a map showing several recommended routes for cycling, jogging or walking. For each route, the distance and calories burnt is indicated.

Along each route were also tall signboards with a map showing the route, one's location and directions to various points of interests. The above is for Route B.

Not far after leaving the Twin Lakes and heading for the Elmina Valley - Central Park, the main road (Persiaran Atmosfera) crosses over the GCE. Down below can be seen cyclist pushing themselves hard along the straight path.

A short distance away is the iconic Iconic Elmina Orange Bridge, it's bright color and unique design makes it a must for photos - taking one here is like a passport stamp of having been to Elmina!

It's a pedestrian bridge that connects the Elmina Central Park over to future developments (hopefully an extension of the park) on the north-side.

From the iconic bridge, a path leads into the Central Park. It's a fairly new park and the trees have yet to mature to provide shade, but still it's a pleasure to cycle in along the pathways that run partly along a elongated pond.
This tree-lined river valley reminded me of a similar one at Dongnae in Busan, if only there are cherry trees or some other similar flowering trees here.

The pathways are shared with pedestrians, so do cycle with care.

At the North-Eastern corner of the park, on a small hillock is the Elmina Signboard in "Hollywood style". The large conspicuous letters faces the GCE and it's a nice sport for some Happy jump photos.

Nearby is the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple. This one has statues on the outside too, with unique blue temple guards at the entrance doorway.

Another three kilometre south is the Denai Alam township, with a nice rock garden at it's entrance.

It's not as big a township as Elmina, but there are a couple of nice spots here. First is the Denai Alam Park And Garden which lies near a new, yet un-opened, elevated highway next to tall electrical transmission towers.

Another photo at the park signboard.
The nearby Denai Alam commercial center is also a good place for eats.

The other place of interest is the Denai Alam Riding ClubDARC for short and an appropriate websidte called darchorse.com.my.
It's one of the few horse-riding clubs in Malaysia.
Riding Packages are available here at only RM210 for weekdays package and RM240 for weekends, per person for 6 sessions, with training by some of the more experienced people in the industry. Click the following for more details on ride packages/facilities and club membership.

But for the moment were are not here to ride horses but more to appreciate some metallic sculptures on display here. First off, a fierce looking dragon which looked like Draco from DragonHeart .....

Next was a T-Rex!

Interestingly, these sculptures were made from scrapped car parts like gear cogs, suspension springs, etc. The artists had creatively put the together to form the teeth and even the muscle sinews of the creature.
These sculptures were sponsored by Pembinaan Tetap Teguh (PTT for short), one of the Malaysia's leading construction company, specializing in Earthworks and Infrastructure works. There is no indication of the sculptors' names.



And Bumblebee, one of the Autobots from the Transformers, in his signature yellow costume.

Many of the larger roundabouts at Elmina have some artwork or signage to make them more recognisable. This one at Elmina 8 has a stylized "8" sitting on a large mound within the roundabout, with a narrow spiraling pathway leading to the top.

Elmina Rainbow Bridge (photo credit: Mindy Wong)
The other site not to be missed is the Elmina Valley Rainbow Bridge with colorful arches on both sides of the bridge. It's so name as the arches contain all the colors of the rainbow.

More photo opps here!

Heading northwards to Saujana Utama, there's an interesting section of crooked lanes not to far away from the Rainbow Bridge.

And after that a stretch of dragon backs to tax the riding muscles a bit. (3km each way).

At the far end, making a right for a loop around Elmina Green 1; here there is a park with unique orange umbrella sculptures.
For those who want to stop for rest/eats or to top up their water, make a left at Persiaran E1/1 into Saujana Utama, where there are shops and a petrol station too.

Another recognisable sculpture, one of many that makes the many roundabouts here more easily recognisable.

On the way back, the route will pass through the other side of the Rainbow Bridge, giving opportunities for more photos. Their colors are so vivid, it just make photos so vibrant.

Many thanks to Mindy for showing us around this interesting neighborhood.

(For more photos of the ride Click Here)
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