V suggested a Sunday ride to KLIA. In the hope of getting a photograph like this one:
The next day weather forecast on Saturday was not promising.
By Sunday morning the outlook had improved.
Six of us met at a carpark in Putrajaya for a 7:00am start. Which was delayed a bit.
The sun was already present as we rolled across the Sri Gemilang Bridge toward the Putrajaya International Convention Centre. A sign of what was to come.
Our route took us from Putrajaya to Dengkil and onward to a loop past the Sepang International Circuit and around KLIA 1 and KLIA 2.
The “Mostly Cloudy” forecast was in reality “Partly Cloudy” at best.
It wasn’t long before that changed to “Sunny.”
I was hot by the time we got to what was the Low-Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) in the days before KLIA 2 opened.
The last time I rode to the airport area was in December 2019. Since then, the LCCT has been replaced by the Cainiao Aeropolis Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP) Hub.
The eWTP Hub is huge. It occupies 60 acres (2.6 million square feet) with 1.1 million square feet of warehouse space. The eWTP Hub is a 70:30 joint venture between Malaysia Airports & Cainiao HK (the logistics arm of the Alibaba Group). It is Alibaba Group’s 1st eWTP outside of China.
The eWTP was the only thing to see. We spent about forty minutes within sight of KLIA 1 and KLIA 2. In that time we saw just two aircraft taking off: an AirAsia flight and a cargo aircraft. We didn’t get that shot of us standing underneath a departing aircraft.
Our route ran around the south end of Runway 2 and then parallel to Runway 3. The 5km ride alongside Runway 3 is invariably into the wind.
It was a strong headwind too. We were all hot and in need of some shade by the time we pushed through the wind to the right turn at the north end of Runway 3.
We rode into the shuttle bus pickup area in KLIA 2 for some respite from the sun.
The space behind us used to be a staff canteen for the air crew and other airport employees. Yet another business that has shut down because of the COVID pandemic.
Fortunately for us, the McDonald’s at the PETRONAS station 3km away was open.
Time for some air-conditioning, food, and social media checking.
Contrary to the weather forecast, there were no clouds in the sky. The temperature continued to rise all the way back to Putrajaya. It got up to 36ºC / 97ºF.
I was so fried by the time we got back to the carpark that I forgot all about the egg tarts that Marco had offered us at the start.
That was a rookie mistake. Those tarts look yummy.
It was a fun ride. Apart from the sun. I was radiating heat well into the evening.
My next few rides are likely to be at night. That will make a welcome change, temperature wise.
I remember LCCT – like a bus terminal – before it became KLIA – where you had to hike, not walk, to get to your plane.
That is the one.
I trust you and yours are safe and well, Henry.