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Monthly Archives: March 2018

If your children want to visit Legoland Malaysia, take your bike

Puteri Harbour is a marina development that spans 2.8km2 (687 acres) in the new regional city of Iskandar Puteri.  The harbour opens into the Johor Strait, which separates peninsular Malaysia from the island of Singapore.

Iskandar Puteri Location

Iskandar Puteri used to be known as Nusajaya.  To add to the potential confusion, Kota Iskandar is the name of the administrative centre for the state government of Johor, which within Iskandar Puteri.

I spent a few days at Puteri Harbour.  I wasn’t there to visit Legoland Malaysia, though it is the main attraction in Iskandar Puteri.

I was there to keep Biker Chick company in the evenings.  On the first day, while she was at work, I went exploring on my bicycle.

The Hotel Jen Puteri Harbour looks out onto the marina.

Iskandar Puteri Marina

This was my favourite among the boats and yachts moored there.

Iskandar Puteri Ycht

The grounds of the marina are decorated with, among other things, a series of bamboo sculptures.

Iskandar Puteri Sculpture

There is also the beginnings of a bike-share scheme.  This was the only station I saw.  More may appear as the residential and office buildings in the area are completed and opened.

Iskandar Puteri Bike Share

Medini City, to the west of Puteri Harbour, recently announced a 22km / 14mi cycling path from north to south of the development.


Many of the buildings around Puteri Harbour and Medini are still either being constructed or being fitted out.  I saw a large lorry delivering air-conditioning units to one apartment block.  Other towers still have cranes alongside them.

Iskandar Puteri Panorama

Because of the ongoing building work, many of the roads in the area are closed to traffic.

Iskandar Puteri Blocked Road

The roads themselves are finished and are in excellent condition.  Perfect for a bike ride.  The entire area where I rode was almost devoid of traffic.  I avoided Lebuh Kota Iskandar, which is a major road.  Even that road had very few vehicles on it each time I rode across it.

It is probably busier on weekends and holidays.  Legoland Malaysia does not disclose attendance figures.  It did exceed its target of 1 million visitors by the end of its first year of operation in 2013.  The number of visitors must have increased since then.

Iskandar Puteri Route

The main attraction in Iskandar Puteri.

Iskandar Puteri Legoland

Lots of apartment blocks with sea views are going up.

If you don’t want to moor your boat at the marina, you can buy a property with its own pier.

Iskandar Puteri Emerald Cove

Kota Iskandar rubs shoulders with Puteri Harbour.

Iskandar Puteri Kota Iskandar Sign

This is the front of the State Secretariat building.

Iskandar Puteri State Secretariat Building

The Kota Iskandar State Mosque is not far from the State Secretariat.

Iskandar Puteri State Mosque

The Iskandar Botanical Gardens is worth a visit.  And not just for wedding album photographs.

Iskandar Puteri Botanic Gardens 1Iskandar Puteri Botanic Gardens 3

There are several PublikArt spaces in Medini.  This sculpture of three manatees is titled I Too Am Iskandar Puteri.

Iskandar Puteri Manatees

There is a lot to see as you cycle along.  Next time you take your children to Legoland Malaysia, bring your bicycle as well.




Not Your Usual Sunday Ride

Went Wrong

The R@SKLs have executed this plan many times:

  1. Leave Nam Wah (Batu 18) at 7.15am
  2. Ride up Peres
  3. Continue to Kongkoi, or
  4. Ride back down the hill and go to Tekala Forest Reserve

Today things went wrong from the start.

  1. Leave Nam Wah (Batu 18) at 7.15am
    There was a trail run which started at the Institut Kemahiran Belia Negara, Dusun Tua (National Youth Skills Institute).  Dusun Tua is 4km / 2.5mi from Batu 18.  Lots of trail run participants, many of who I presume were unfamiliar with where the Institute is, clogged up the road.
    So most of the group were late getting to Nam Wah.
  2. Ride up Peres
    There were swarms of bees all the way from Batu 18 to the summit of Peres.  Lupe, Alfred, Simon, and Woo were stung.  In some cases more than once.
    Kelin had intestinal troubles, so he had to turn back to find relief.
    Simon waited for Kelin at the T-junction while the rest of us started climbing up Peres.  It was a good thing that Simon waited.  Unbeknown to us, and I think to Simon too, he started developing an anaphylactic reaction to the bee sting.  This is a serious allergic reaction which can be fatal.
    To cut a long story short, Kelin managed to get Simon to Dr. Zam’s clinic just in time for a steroid shot.A few kilometers from Batu 18, Lupe lost the cap to one of her water bottles.  I lost one of my cleat covers at one of the stops along the way.

    Here we are at the summit.  You can’t see the bees, but they were buzzing around us.

    CLC 2018 Ride #6 6b

    Photograph courtesy of Alfred Chan

    CLC 2018 Ride #6 6

    Photograph courtesy of Manuel Cernusco

  3. Continue to Kongkoi, or
    By this time we had heard about Simon’s allergic reaction.  Which must have concerned the others who had been stung.
    While the sun wasn’t out in full, it was a hot morning.  The bees and the potential for a very hot ride back from Kongkoi made the decision to turn around and ride back down the hill an easy one to make.
  4. Ride back down the hill and go to Tekala Forest Reserve
    When we got back to the T-junction, I expected the group to ride on to the Tekala Forest Reserve.  Wrong!  Perhaps the bee stings had spoiled the mood.
    Just Lupe, Manuel, Ridzuwan and I did the 22km / 14mi out and back to the Forest Reserve carpark.

The good news is that on the ride back to Batu 18, Lupe found her bottle top.  And I found my cleat cover at the bike rack outside Nam Wah.

The four of us had a good breakfast at Nam Wah.  The other R@SKLs had long left the scene.

I don’t know if they got caught in a traffic jam getting back to town.  We certainly did.  It took me 35 minutes to drive the 8km / 5mi from Batu 18 to the traffic light at Batu 14.  All the trail runners were exiting the Youth Skills Institute.  And there were a couple of weddings along the way.  Cars parked on the roadside added to the delay.

Ridzuwan had a lunchtime wedding to go to.  Luckily the wedding ran until 3.30pm, so he was able to get there in time.

I do know that Simon made a full recovery – apart from some itchy rashes.  We are all going to carry some prednisolone tablets on our rides from now on.

Alls Well

トモエスガのお別れライド *

* The Farewell Ride for Tomoe Suga

Tomoe 14

Photograph courtesy of CK Lim

The R@SKLs have been delighted, and privileged, to have had Tomoe ride with us.  Her ready smile and infectious enthusiasm brightened every ride she did with us.

Tomoe is a very accomplished cyclist.  Basking in her reflected glory is the closest most of us got to being a podium finisher!

Tomoe 1 Tomoe

Photograph courtesy of Tomoe Suga

It is a measure of the friendships Tomoe has developed during her time in Kuala Lumpur that 47 cyclists participated in the farewell ride the R@SKLs organised for her.

We started from Restoran BR Maju in Kota Kemuning.  As usual, Alfred was early.  Very early!

Tomoe BR Maju Alfred Chan

Photograph courtesy of Alfred Chan

By 7.10am we were on the road toward Bukit Jugra.

Tomoe 6 Pai

Photograph courtesy of Pai Hsing Chou

This was the largest group ride many of us had ever been on.

It turned out to be a day of a few firsts.  The ride from the base of Bukit Jugra to the lighthouse is just 1km / 0.6mi long, but the road rises 111 meters / 364 feet in that distance.  That is an average gradient of 10%.

For some, this was their first ride up to the lighthouse and the Jugra sign.

Tomoe Jugra Top Pai

Photograph courtesy of Pai Tsing Chou

For first-timer and regular alike, getting up that hill is an achievement.

Danial won the prize for Most Daring Cameraman.

Tomoe Jugra 1 CK Lim

Photograph courtesy of CK Lim

Some thought better of sweating and grunting up the climb.

From Bukit Jugra we rode the 13km / 8mi to the beachfront at Morib for breakfast.

And some posing with the Straits of Melaka behind us.

About 45 minutes later we were back on the road, retracing our route.

Japan may be the Land of the Rising Sun, but Malaysia has its share of sun as well.

Tomoe Rising Sun

The temperature was 19°C / 66°F when we started the ride in Kota Kemuning.  When we left Morib it was 34°C / 93°F.  By the time we got to our regular cendol stop 23km / 14mi later, it was 37°C / 99°F.  We needed that ice-cold cendol.

The proprietor of Cendol & ABC Santa Sawit Mak Lang was taken aback when I ordered 60 bowls of cendol.  He didn’t think that he heard me right.  It took a few repetitions of the order, helped by the sight of more and more overheated cyclists streaming into the stall’s seating area, to convince him that I was serious.

Tomoe Cendol Martin Lee

Photograph courtesy of Martin Lee

The return ride from Morib had turned into a hot one.  That meant a touch of sunburn, and some cramps, within the group.  But that didn’t stop everyone from completing the ride.  For some it was their first metric century ride.  Another milestone achieved!

Fortunately there were no falls or crashes.  The worst mechanical issues were one dropped chain, and one slow leak.  An excellent result for a group of 48 riders.

The R@SKLs wish Tomoe much success and happiness back in Japan.  And of course, many enjoyable kilometers on her bicycle.

Tomoe Happy Biking

Jepun Boleh!