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Monthly Archives: January 2014

A Good Reason to Cycle to Taman Tun


There are more and more signs, apart from the growing number of bicycles on the roads, that cycling is increasingly popular in Kuala Lumpur.

There is now a permanent “car-free morning” on the first Sunday of every month.

Kuala Lumpur City Hall is planning to build bicycle lanes in the city.

A community-build bicycle route map project has just produced Working Draft 2.5 of trialed and tested bike routes in the city.

And now we have a bike-friendly cafe.  The Grumpy Cyclist, in Taman Tun Dr. Ismail.


Look for the black awning and white logo at 26 Jalan Datuk Sulaiman.


There is outdoor seating at the front of the cafe.


The first hint that this is a cafe for cyclists. . . .


Confirmation that this is a cafe for cyclists. . . .


The space is warmly lit and welcoming.  The decor is of course cycling-themed, right down to the gear rings cemented into the floor and the bicycle wheel light fixtures.  The staff are friendly and helpful.  The menu tends to the cyclist’s staples of coffee and cake, but it has already expanded to include wraps and pasta.  A dinner menu is planned.


The cycling paraphernalia gives the Grumpy Cyclist a bicycle-oriented feel.  All well and good.  But this place really earns its chops as a cafe for cyclists by providing bike racks, helmet and gear storage, and perhaps most useful, given KL’s heat and humidity, a shower.  The next time I am there I’ll have to check if the shower is stocked with toiletries and towels.

The Grumpy Cyclist welcomes everyone.  You can spot the cyclists though.  They are the ones looking closely at the bikes on display.  The piece de resistance for me is this Colnago Master 55th Anniversary bicycle on the back wall of the cafe.  This example is number 1 of 99 ever made.

Click on the photograph and then zoom in to appreciate this work of art.


I feel the need for a latte fix.  Time to pedal over to Taman Tun.


OCBC Cycle Malaysia 2014

OCBC Cycle Malaysia 2014 Logo

The streets of Kuala Lumpur were taken over by bicycles between the 17th and 19th of January.  The OCBC Cycle Malaysia events were back in town for the third time.

OCBC Cycle Malaysia 2014 02

Photograph courtesy of

This year there were seven events on Saturday, including a tricycle ride for 2 to 5 year olds, kids rides for various age groups, an Ultimate Foldies Challenge, and a Criterium.

Photograph courtesy of

Photograph courtesy of

3,000 of us rode in one of the two events on Sunday.  The 48 km Challenge ride.  Four loops on closed roads in the center of KL.  Click on the photograph below for a larger image.  Zoom in and you’ll see the PETRONAS Twin Towers just outside the loop on the right.

OCBC Cycle Malaysia 2014 Route

The start was scheduled for 6.30am, in front of the iconic Sultan Abdul Samad Building.

OCBC Cycle Malaysia 2014 03

The guest of honor and a participant in the Challenge Ride was the Minister of Youth and Sports, Yang Berhormat Encik Khairy Jamaluddin (number V9028).

Photograph courtesy of Cycling Malaysia magazine

Photograph courtesy of Cycling Malaysia magazine

It was nice to have his support, but I wish he had been on time.  The poor drummers had to work overtime to keep the riders entertained while we all waited.

OCBC Cycle Malaysia 2014 06

Photograph courtesy of Cycling Malaysia magazine

We got underway at a few minutes past 7.00am.  Once the speed demons had squeezed their way through to the front we all settled down to a relaxed spin through the city.  I struck up a conversation with a rider next to me on the second lap.  Alan and I kept each other company for the rest of the ride.

OCBC Cycle Malaysia 2014 04

Photograph courtesy of Cycling Malaysia magazine

While I was waiting after the finish a reader of this blog came up to me and said “hello.”  What a treat that was!  He came all the way from Kuala Terengganu to ride in The Challenge.

Azlan, Shahfiq and I met up here.  I’m not sure how anyone found their friends in crowds like this before we all had mobile phones.

OCBC Cycle Malaysia 2014 02

The rest of the Racun and Flipsiders groups met up on the other side of the finishing area to take a photograph with their medals.

Photograph courtesy of Jason

Photograph courtesy of Jason

Azlan, Shahfiq and I cycled back onto the ride route to get to the Twin Towers area, where they had parked.  As we passed Kedai Makanan Yut Kee on Jalan Dang Wangi we noticed some familiar faces at one of the tables.

OCBC Cycle Malaysia 2014 01

Jason, Cedric, Keat and others were tucking into breakfast.  The three of us stopped and had soft-boiled eggs, toast with kaya and coffee too.  A great end to a fun morning on my bicycle with good friends.

Photograph courtesy of

Photograph courtesy of

Down Under


My eldest son Arif graduated last December with a Masters in Architecture.  Attending his graduation was a high point of 2013.  Naturally my Ritchey Break-Away made the trip with me to Melbourne.

I have read a lot about the social cycling scene in Melbourne.  Much of it on the always-excellent Cycling Tips blog.  So I was keen to experience it.

I managed to ride every day I was in Melbourne.  The first was on the day I arrived.  I assembled the Ritchey and went on a very short ride along Beaconsfield Parade from Albert Park to the St. Kilda Pier.  I rode along the bike paths that are separated from the roads.

Photograph courtesy of

Photograph courtesy of

I rode along the pier up to the St. Kilda Pavilion.  The kiosk sits at the end of the pier, more than 400 meters from the shore.  The kiosk was destroyed in an arson attack in 2003.  Thankfully it was reconstructed to the original 1903 plans, utilising some of the salvaged components, such as the cast iron roof, decorative cresting and weather vane.  The kiosk was reopened in 2006.

Photograph courtesy of

Photograph courtesy of

I went further afield the next day, still sticking to the bike paths that wind beside the beach.  I was just south of the Royal Brighton Yacht Club when I turned around.  I had to get back to Albert Park in time for dinner with my hosts Nico and Jules.

Photograph courtesy of

Photograph courtesy of

It was a particularly windy day, and the kite boarders were out in force.

Photo courtesy of Luster Lai

Photo courtesy of Luster Lai

I soon learned that cyclists out for some fresh air and the view use the bike paths.  If you wear Lycra you use the bike lanes on the roads.  Safety is one consideration.  The bike paths are also used by walkers, joggers, and skate boarders.  So riding at anything more than a gentle pace on a the bike paths would be dangerous.  Another consideration is the difference in surfaces.  The bike paths are made from a variety of materials.  Concrete blocks and slabs, wood planks, and asphalt of varying quality.  The bike lanes offer a smoother and, more to tyne point, faster surface for cyclists.

Photograph courtesy of

Photograph courtesy of

The ride of the week was with Arif.  We covered 50 km or so on the road to Rickett’s Point and back to Arif’s apartment in central Melbourne.  We stopped on the outward leg for a very nice breakfast at the Brown Cow Cafe in Hampton.  Early birds get the bike racks.

Melbourne 04 Eat and be Merry

Arif and I didn’t pick the best day for a longish bike ride.

Melbourne 03

The heat made the ride back to central Melbourne a challenge.  This stop to refill our bottles was at the Foreshore Reserve.  I am not sure if Arif is smiling or grimacing.

Melbourne 02

There were lots of people on the beach, despite it being by far the hottest day of the week.  I can’t imagine that it was any cooler inside these cabañas.

Melbourne 01

My long solo ride was on day four, to Chelsea.  That ride also included a food and coffee stop at the Brown Cow.

Melbourne Route

The views along the east bay are spectacular.  Especially in cooler weather!

Photograph courtesy of

Photograph courtesy of

I had one last ride on day five.  You guessed it.  To the Brown Cow in Hampton for a coffee, and back.  It was a Saturday.  So I had lots of other cyclists for company.

Cycling in Melbourne was a treat.  The infrastructure is generally excellent.  There are lots of places to stop for a drink and a bite.  Including the BP station near St. Kilda Marina, where Arif and I took advantage of the air-conditioning on that 38° C day.

My Ritchey Break-Away is coming with me again the next time I visit Melbourne.