Rain has returned to Kuala Lumpur with a vengeance. The Tuesday KESAS ride was called off because of it. We managed to squeeze a make-up ride between downpours on Wednesday night. We did get caught in a sprinkle, but escaped getting soaked. The Thursday night KESAS ride was cancelled. The inaugural VUBC Setia Alam evening ride on Friday night was washed out.
My bottles were in the fridge. My bike light was charged. My tires were up to pressure. My cycling kit was ready. Since Thursday. I was suffering withdrawal symptoms. That is the only explanation for the number of cookies I have eaten over the past few days.
I was looking forward to a ride this morning. None of my buddies could ride today, so I could choose the route. It has been a while since I have pedaled up to Genting Sempah, so at 6am I pointed the car north toward Gombak.
The roads were damp from the previous night’s rain. I didn’t know it when I left home, but the roads were about to get a lot wetter. Here is this morning’s weather map for peninsular Malaysia. Dark blue = heavy rain.
10km / 6mi into my drive the skies opened. It was immediately clear that if I did the Genting Sempah ride it would be in a deluge. I don’t mind getting caught in the rain, but I am averse to starting a ride in the wet. “Hard-core” must not be in my genetic makeup.
What were my options? I could give the Batu 18 to Genting Perez route a try. But that was also to the north of Kuala Lumpur. And probably just as wet.
I could go home, eat more cookies and go back to bed.
Or I could head south-west toward Bukit Jelutong and see if it was dry there. I may not be a hard-core cyclist, but I do like my bike rides. A lot. So I did a u-turn and headed back the way I came along the DUKE Highway and then on the North Klang Valley Expressway towards Shah Alam.
After 50km / 31mi of driving I was at D’Bayu in Bukit Jelutong. The skies looked threatening but it wasn’t raining. So I took a chance and rolled out of the car park and down the hill toward the Guthrie Corridor Expressway.
Tomorrow’s ride will be along the same expressway. So for some variety I turned left at the first intersection onto Jalan Batu Arang. Jalan Batu Arang is nicknamed Dragon’s Back. The ride profile tells you why.
It isn’t Genting Sempah, but it does have more climbing than the Guthrie expressway. Especially if you do an out-and-back ride.
Driving all the way to Bukit Jelutong turned out to be a good call. I was able to scratch my cycling itch. It drizzled a little bit as I got onto the first climb on Jalan Batu Arang. The clouds quickly blew over though, and I rode in sunshine after that.
I was the only cyclist on the road. Perhaps everyone else had more sense than to be on a bicycle at 7am. A big plus about being out that early was I didn’t have much traffic for company, at least on the outward leg. Once the hills were out of the way I got to the Jalan Meru Tambahan intersection, where on previous rides we have turned right. This time I kept going. The road changes its name to Persiaran Puncak Alam 6, and comes to an end in Bandar Puncak Alam. Exactly 25km / 15.5mi from the start.
I hit my top speeds for the day on the way to Puncak Alam. Which meant I had some long uphill slopes on the way back to Bukit Jelutong. I certainly got to do some climbing this morning. In relatively cool conditions too. I was back at my car at 8.40am. Well before the day really heated up.
Drive 50 km / 31mi one way to ride 52.7km / 32.7mi. Sounds reasonable to me!
We got caught in a proper storm on the Guthrie Corridor Expressway this morning. The monsoons must be here.