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Category Archives: Cycling in Malaysia

Repsol Fellowship Ride 2019

Banner courtesy of Repsol Oil & Gas Malaysia
Banner courtesy of kln.gov.my

Repsol Oil & Gas Malaysia organised a Fellowship Ride in conjunction with the Malaysia Day celebration. The objective of the ride and the associated activities was to bring together Malaysians of all ages and from all walks of life in the spirit of unity.

Two weeks before the ride was to take place Malaysia was blanketed by a persistent haze coming from multiple fires in Indonesia.

Map courtesy of earth.nullschool.net

The haze got so bad in the days before the ride that several outdoor events planned for the weekend in Kuala Lumpur were cancelled.

The health and safety of participants was of course a concern for Repsol Malaysia. After careful consideration Repsol announced that the event would continue in one of three ways, depending upon the Air Pollution Index along the route at 7.00am on the day of the ride. The options were:

  1. If the Air Pollution Index (API) for Seremban and the areas along the ride route was below 100 the 125km long ride would go ahead.
  2. If the API was between 101 and 130 the ride distance would be halved.
  3. If the API was above 131 the ride would be cancelled but the associated events: the various contests, the lucky dip and the lucky draw would proceed.

This ride would start and end at the Kompleks Belia dan Sukan Paroi (Paroi Youth and Sports Complex) in Seremban, Negeri Sembilan. Seremban is about 70km from Kuala Lumpur. My KL friends and I had to decide whether it was worth driving to Paroi and back on Saturday to collect our ride packs and then again to Paroi early on Sunday morning for a ride that might not happen.

We all kept the faith. Some of us booked accommodation in Seremban for the night before the ride. Ride pack pickup was a breeze, thanks to this cheerful crew from Cyclomotion Sdn. Bhd, who managed the ride. They stayed smiling while attending to a steady stream of participants throughout the day and into the night.

Photograph courtesy of Zaharruddin Abd Majid

The packs contained a ride number, a jersey, a keychain and a disposable particulate respirator mask. Which was a nice touch considering the prevailing air quality.

The haze had lifted a bit on Sunday morning. About a dozen of us joined over one thousand other cyclists at the start line, all waiting to hear what the organizers had decided about the length of the ride.

Photograph courtesy of Desmond C
Photograph courtesy of Heng Hong

The decision was to shorten the ride to 80km. The API reading issued by the Department of the Environment at 7.00am for Seremban was below 100. However, the original route would have taken us toward Port Dickson and further south to the border with Melaka. The reading for Port Dickson was already 159.

The ride was flagged off by the Negeri Sembilan State Assembly Speaker YB Dato’ Zulkefly Mohamad bin Omar. He was accompanied by the Youth and Sports Development Action Committee Chairman YB Tuan Haji Mohamad Taufek bin Abdul Ghani and Repsol Malaysia Business Unit Director Jorge Milathianakis.

Photograph courtesy of Engku Iskandar Photoworks
Photograph courtesy of Repsol Malaysia

The revised route would take us southward only as far as Siliau and Rantau before returning to Paroi.

Map courtesy of Ride With GPS

It was a prescient decision to shorten the ride. As you can see from the readings below the API for Port Dickson and cities in Melaka got worse and worse as the morning progressed. The API for Seremban nudged up at a slower rate but still was above 100 at 11.00am. The shortened route got us back to Paroi at 11.15am so we were done riding before the haze got bad.

Chart courtesy of apims.doe.gov.my

In keeping with the fellowship nature of this ride, the pace was controlled by a lead vehicle that averaged between 30kph and 35kph. Those of use who started right at the rear of the group found ourselves a long way behind the pace vehicle by the time we had covered the hilly 5km to Senawang. Which meant riding at an average speed of 33kph for the next 35km to catch up.

Photograph courtesy of Aidit Nurfan

One benefit of keeping all the participants together was that the police could close the roads completely for the relatively short time it took for all of us to ride through. Having the entire road to ourselves was a unique experience. The marshalling of the route by the Polis Diraja Malaysia (Royal Malaysia Police) and Cyclomotion volunteers was excellent.

Photograph courtesy of Engku Iskandar Photoworks
Photograph courtesy of Engku Iskandar Photoworks
Photograph courtesy of Engku Iskandar Photoworks
Photograph courtesy of Engku Iskandar Photoworks

There was a twenty-minute stop for water and bananas after 40km. Once again the high-quality management of this event by Cyclomotion was evident. There was plenty of drinking water available. Some of it was iced. And enough bananas to go around too.

Photograph courtesy of Desmond C

While we were riding there were activities at the Youth and Sports Complex to keep the waiting families and friends busy. There was a batik painting competition for children. This was one of the prize-winning efforts from the batik-painting competition.

Photograph courtesy of Wong ShekLin

The adults could try to win prizes for a high score on the Moto GP simulators. This was the first time a motorbike simulation challenge has ever been offered at a cycling event.

Photograph courtesy of Mohamad Taufek Abd Ghani

The ride back to Paroi after the water stop was slower for my group because we were closer to the pace vehicle. We were able to practice riding within a large group, being constantly aware of the cyclists all around and alert to sudden decreases in speed. Controlled pace rides are not for those who want to ride as fast as they can.

Photograph courtesy of Engku Iskandar Photoworks

In order to help riders stay properly hydrated in the haze, Cyclomotion added a second water stop at the 60km point. Two water stops would not normally be required for a 80km plus ride but Cyclomotion responded admirably to the unusual conditions on the day.

Photograph courtesy of Engku Iskandar Photoworks
Photograph courtesy of Engku Iskandar Photoworks

Riders started rolling under the finishing arch at about 11.15am. Medals were handed out and cold drinks and food were collected. Individuals who were very hungry could choose snacks and meals from the five food trucks parked around the finishing area.

The lucky dip winning numbers had been drawn while we were out on the course. Fifty people came away from the finish area happy at having won one of the lucky dip prizes. Most of the rest of us headed into the hall to wait for the lucky draw for the big prizes.

Photograph courtesy of Desmond C

This lucky draw was worth waiting for. The list of prizes was impressive.

11th. Official Negeri Sembilan team football jersey, courtesy of the State Secretary
10th 40 inch LED television
9th MotoGP Marc Marquez tribute tickets
8th MotoGP Marc Marquez tribute tickets
7th MotoGP Marc Marquez tribute tickets
6th Rudy Project sunglasses
5th GoPro Hero 7 Black camera
4th Shimano Ultegra R8020 groupset
3rd KTM Road Bicycle
2nd Giant Propel SLR Bicycle
1st Repsol Honda RS150R Motorcycle

Not only did the Negeri Sembilan State Secretary Dato Dr Razali Ab. Malik donate one of the lucky draw prizes, he also completed the ride and kindly presented prizes to the lucky winners.

Suffice it to say that ten people left the hall very happy, but none of those ten people was my friends or me.

Image result for disappointed emoji

This was a very enjoyable event. Despite the haze, the teams from Repsol Malaysia and Cyclomotion did an outstanding job of organizing and managing this Fellowship Ride. I hope this becomes an annual event. I would sign up for the 2020 edition today.

Photograph courtesy of Repsol Malaysia

Product Review: Aftershokz Aeropex Headphones

In 2017 I wrote a review of the grandparent of the Aftershokz Aeropex headphones, the Aftershokz Trekz Titanium. In that review I commented on the durability of the Trekz Titaniums, noting that sweat and rain had not had an adverse effect.

Two years of regular use have proved me wrong. In that time I have made two warranty claims because transducers came loose. I suspect because of corrosion caused by the ingress of sweat into the transducer casings. To their credit, Aftershokz replaced both units via Distexpress Malaysia, which is their local distributor.

The successor to the Trekz Titanium is the Trekz Air which was introduced in 2018. The Trekz Air is 20% lighter than the Trekz Titanium. However, it has the same IP55 rating as its older sibling so I didn’t trade in my Trekz Titanium.

Aftershokz has just released its latest iteration of bone-conduction headphones. The Aeropex.

Photograph courtesy of aftershokz.com

The Aeropex is IP67 rated which means it can be immersed in on metre of water for thirty minutes. That specification alone was enough for me to buy a pair.

The Aeropex (pictured lower left) is 30% smaller overall and 15% lighter than the Trekz Air (pictured upper right). Which makes it significantly smaller and lighter than the Trekz Titanium (pictured upper left).

At lower left is the Trekz Trainerz designed for swimmers. It is IP68 rated and uses 4GB of internal storage rather than Bluetooth connectivity to play music.

Photograph courtesy of engadget.com

I have used my Aeropex headphones for a month now. They weigh 26g and have a smaller neckband than the Titanium. Which makes the Aeropex very comfortable and fit better under my cycling helmet. Sound quality is more dynamic with enhanced bass. Sound leakage is decreased and the transducers vibrate less against the skin.

Another difference between the Aeropex and the Titanium is the use of a magnetic charging port rather than a micro USB port. The magnetic charging port features a moisture detector which alerts you if there is sweat or other liquid on the port. Charging the headphones while the port is wet can damage the circuitry.

Photograph courtesy of engadget.com

Included accessories are a rubber case with a magnetic clasp and two charging cables.

Photograph courtesy of aftershokz.com

I bought the Cosmic Black version. The Aeropex comes in three other colours.

Photograph courtesy of bone-conduction.com

At current prices, the Aeropex costs twice as much as the now discounted Titanium. Is the Aeropex worth the money? Definitely. The Aeropex boasts improved comfort, sound quality and an IP67 waterproof rating. An important plus is that Aftershokz is the only bone conduction headphones brand offering a two-year warranty.

I gave the Trekz Titanium headphones a five-star rating. The Aeropex deserves six stars.

A Scenic Ride to Morib

Restoran Al-Arefin Bistro in the Sanctuary Mall, Bandar Rimbayu, is fast becoming a popular meeting spot for cyclists riding to Jenjarom, Jugra, Morib and beyond. There is lots of free parking in front of the restaurant. It opens very early in the morning. Service is quick. And it has clean restrooms.

Nine of us set off from there for a scenic ride to Morib.

Photographs courtesy of Liew Kiam Woon (top left) and Johan Sopiee

“Scenic” as in avoiding main roads as far as possible in favour of a more roundabout route through kampungs and countryside.

Map courtesy of Ride with GPS

The secondary roads have far less traffic on them and there is often more to see. One off-the-beaten-track section just north of Morib runs right along the seashore, with waves at high tide lapping against the edge of the road.

Photographs courtesy of Johan Sopiee

We hit our usual nasi lemak stall at Morib beach.

Photograph courtesy of Johan Sopiee

We retraced our path back to the Sanctuary Mall. The only flat tire of the ride occurred during our return trip.

Photograph courtesy of Leonard Yee

Note that the rider who had the puncture is not in this photograph!

The only downside to the morning was that it got very hot. It was 35ºC / 95ºF at 11.00am and it got a few degrees hotter before we got back to Restoran Al-Arefin Bistro.

But with views like this who can complain?

Merdeka 2019

A ride on Hari Merdeka (Independence Day) looks like becoming an annual R@SKL tradition. Like our annual trip to Penang.

A dozen of us left Pegasus Cycles with Malaysian flags waving in the morning air.

Photograph courtesy of Leonard Yee

Our route was roughly the same as it had been one year ago.

Map courtesy of Ride with GPS

Up and down the hills of Bukit Tunku to the Tugu Negara (National Monument). We regrouped at the entrance to the Taman Tugu which is a newly-created 66-acre urban forest park.

It is four hundred metres from Taman Tugu to the sculpture that commemorates those who died in Malaysia’s struggle for freedom, principally during the Japanese occupation during World War II and the Malayan Emergency, which lasted from 1948 until 1960. 

Photograph courtesy of Daniel Lim

All the posing worked up an appetite.

Photograph courtesy of Daniel Lim

So thoughts turned to where to stop for something to eat. The debate was inconclusive so we decided to ride to the Menara Kuala Lumpur (KL Tower) and revisit the what-to-eat question there.

The consensus was mamak food which is a kind of south Indian cuisine. The closest mamak restaurant is a mile away from the KL Tower and across the road from the PETRONAS Twin Towers. Naturally – more photos.

We had our fill of mamak food and drink amidst lots of laughter at NZ Curry House and then rode back to Pegasus Cycles. A very pleasant morning with excellent company.

Happy 62nd Merdeka Day Malaysia

Photograph courtesy of Zeus

Teluk Intan with the R@SKLs

Some adventures take months of planning. Others come together in a matter of days. This latest bike-packing ride to Teluk Intan (the fourth or fifth for some of us) was an example of the latter.

The idea was mooted on 24th July and by the next day, we had seven riders signed up. A draft itinerary had been drawn up, hotel rooms had been reserved and the udang galah (giant freshwater prawn) dinner had been ordered.

Over the next week, a few riders had to drop out and some more joined in so we ended up as a group of ten. We also added two others who would drive to Teluk Intan. My Biker Chick Zulfa, always ready for an udang galah meal, was one.

Having drivers was why a bikepacking trip for ten became a bikepacking trip for three. Seven of us, myself included, opted for transporting our stuff in a car rather than on our bikes.

The railway tracks between Kepong and Kuala Lumpur has recently reopened after the conclusion of the double-tracking work, so Choo Chian could board the Komuter train to Tanjung Malim at KL station. He was the first of us on the train at 6.34am.

Photograph courtesy of Heng Choo Chian

Zaryl and Dan were the next to board the train at Segambut station at 6.50am. Lay, Mark and I set off on our bikes from Taman Bukit Emas at about 5.20am. We met up with Amy, Bin Soo, Kenix and Zeus in Kota Damansara at about 5.35am and we rode at a leisurely pace to Kuang station.

We had no mishaps along the 30km ride so we got to Kuang station with plenty of time to spare.

Photograph courtesy of Khoo Bin Soo

We bought tickets for our bikes (RM2 each) and had a drink at the coffee shop across the road from the station while waiting for the train.

We took up half of the last carriage on the train. There was room to spare because we had the entire carriage to ourselves for the entire trip.

Photograph courtesy of Zeus

The first order of business upon arriving in Tanjung Malim was breakfast. Our usual breakfast spot, Kedai Ocu Amy, was closed so we stopped at the next roadside restaurant that had lots of people in it. Which was a very good choice. The roti canai was excellent. And the price was right. Enough roti and nasi lemak for ten, plus more than a dozen drinks for RM38 (USD9.15).

Photograph courtesy of Kenix Chiang

Fed and watered, we got on the road at about 10.15am.

Photograph courtesy of Heng Choo Chian

The first 45km was along Federal Route 1 to Sungkai through Slim River and Trolak. Route 1 is believed to be Malaysia’s earliest public roadway. Construction began in 1880 under the orders of the Sultan of Kedah at that time. It was the backbone of the road system in the western states of Peninsular Malaysia before being supplanted by the North–South Expressway in 1994.

The rest of the way was on quieter roads, the majority being on Jalan Teluk Intan – Bidor.

Photograph courtesy of Heng Choo Chian

It is always a boost when you see your destination name on a road sign.

Photograph courtesy of Heng Choo Chian

60km from Tanjung Malim (with 80km or so already ridden by those who cycled to Kuang) the group split into two groups. Zaryl, Bin Soo and Dan forged ahead while the rest of us looked for a place to stop for a stretch and a drink.

Photograph courtesy of Zeus

The temperature is always a concern on longer rides in Malaysia. This day was overcast, which was a blessing. Nevertheless, it was warming up. When we left the sundry shop it was 31ºC / 88ºF.

Getting to the McDonald’s in Teluk Intan was our next goal. While a McDonald’s might not be everyone’s mid-ride choice of restaurant, it does have one key attraction. Air-conditioning.

As it turned out half of the population of Teluk Intan was enjoying the AC in their local McD’s. So we had to sit outside. Thank goodness for the fan. And chocolate sundaes!

Photograph courtesy of Kenix Chiang

The lead three had stopped at the same McDonald’s but didn’t eat there. “Who rides to Teluk Intan to eat at McDonald’s?” was their sentiment 😳. They opted for fruit rojak and fresh coconut water at a stall close to our hotel.

Photograph courtesy of Zaryl Tan

It was just a few more kilometres from the McDonald’s to the Yew Boutique Hotel. Our go-to hotel whenever we ride to Teluk Intan. Reasonably priced with nice rooms, a secure place to leave our bicycles, and a comfortable lobby where we can relax and chat. A bonus is that it is fifty metres from Liew Kee Chee, the purveyors of Teluk Intan’s famous chee cheong fun.

A shower and a nap, followed by a mid-afternoon snack of that chee cheong fun, char koay teow, washed down with Tiger and Asahi beer at the New Glutton Square next door to the hotel, did wonders to rejuvenate everyone.

Photograph courtesy of Zaryl Tan

We walked from the New Glutton Square to Restoran d’Tepian Sungai to enjoy the main reason for cycling to Teluk Intan. The udang galah.

As its name suggests, the restaurant sits on a bank of the Perak River.

Photograph courtesy of Mark Lim

As always the udang galah masak lemak cili api and udang galah goreng berempah were the stars of the show.

Photograph courtesy of Kenix Chiang

I had also ordered sweet and sour red snapper for Jeff, who is allergic to prawns. Sadly he had to pull out of this ride. We enjoyed the fish anyway. This dish will be part of our standard d’Tepian Sungai dinner order from now on.

Photograph courtesy of Kenix Chiang

This was the first visit to Teluk Intan for Amy, Jolene, Zaryl, Zeus and Dan. So, of course, we walked the one hundred metres from the restaurant to Teluk Intan’s landmark Leaning Tower.

Constructed in 1885 as a water tower, it started leaning to the southwest due to the weight of the water in the tank and the soft ground upon which the tower was built. Unsurprisingly the tower is no longer used for water storage.

Photograph courtesy of Mark Lim

We chatted and laughed back in the hotel lobby for a while before hitting the hay. Breakfast was scheduled for 6.00am.

Breakfast was at 6.00am. Earlier for some who were at the Kedai Kopi Jalan Pasar across the road from the hotel before the place was ready for customers.

We were checked out of the hotel and on our bikes at 6.40am. We made a short stop after five hundred metres to buy water at a 7-Eleven. Then it was toward the sun and Sungkai.

Photograph courtesy of Mark Lim
Photograph courtesy of Heng Choo Chian

We stopped at the Petron station in Changkat Jong to use the restroom.

Photograph courtesy of Mark Lim

We didn’t make another proper stop, i.e. not counting traffic lights and a brief halt to regroup after a particularly sharp climb in Trolak until 47km later at the Petronas station in Slim River.

Despite the intention to take it a bit slower than we had the day before (there had been rumblings amongst the troops about riding back to Tanjung Malim in a support car), we moved along at a decent pace. We averaged 28kph between Changkat Jong and Slim River.

So we had plenty of time to cover the remaining 21km from Slim River to the Tanjung Malim station. We were targetting the 10.59 train. We had one hundred minutes.

Which gave us enough time to stop for a quick drink at the same roadside restaurant where we had that excellent roti breakfast before we needed to be at the station.

Photograph courtesy of Zeus

We decided to have lunch at Patty & Pie in Aman Suria. Everyone except Choo Chian either lives or parked in the area. We said our goodbyes to Choo Chian and got off the train. at the Sungai Buloh station.

It is 14km from Sungai Buloh station to Patty & Pie. After 7km Amy, Bin Soo, Kenix and Zeus split off toward where Bin Soo lives.

Photograph courtesy of Zeus

Zaryl, Dan, Lay, Mark and I rode the rest of the way to Patty & Pie. Amy, Bin Soo and Kenix drove there after getting their vehicles. Jolene and Zulfa joined us too, after driving from Teluk Intan. Which was very convenient because Zaryl and Dan could get their bag from Zulfa, and load their bikes into Amy’s truck.

You couldn’t miss that we were at this restaurant.

Photograph courtesy of Kenix Chiang

Patty & Pie has had some mixed reviews recently as the owners have been busy opening a sister restaurant in Mont Kiara. We hit one glitch with Mark’s order, which was rectified, and everything else was very good. I still recommend this place for their salt beef, burgers and pizzas.

Photograph courtesy of Mark Lim

An excellent way to end a laughter-filled and fun weekend. We are already thinking of our next touring destination.

The R@SKLs at the CIMB Cycle 2019

Graphic courtesy of CIMB Cycle 2019

The third annual edition of the CIMB Cycle was held on 21st April. This year there were two options: an 80km Challenge ride and a 160km Endurance ride. In a rush of enthusiasm about fifty R@SKLs registered for the event. Twenty of whom opted for the 160km Endurance ride.

As the 21st drew closer some had second thought and switched to the 80km Challenge ride. We all owe thanks to Heng Keng and his PA Nida for their CIMB insider help to get us registered, manage the changes and collect the ride packs on our behalf.

I was one of the R@SKLs who switched to the 80km ride. My excuse was that I was in the midst of moving house and couldn’t afford the time riding 160km would require. Was I ever glad I made that decision.

3,700 amateur riders and pro cyclists (there were prizes for the winners) from 26 countries were at the start line. Including the pink-clad R@SKLs.

Photograph courtesy of Danial Lim

The Endurance and Challenge rides were flagged of by the Minister of Youth and Sports Syed Saddiq, accompanied by Tengku Dato’ Sri Zafrul Aziz, Group CEO of CIMB Group (on the left) and Azizulhasni Awang, Malaysia’s “Pocket Rocketman” and CIMB brand ambassador (on the right). Azizul was the gold medallist in the keirin event at the 2017 UCI Track Cycling World Championships.

Photograph courtesy of Putrajaya IPD

The events started on time, with the Endurance riders the first to roll past the Ministry of Finance building in Putrajaya and out onto the route.

Photograph courtesy of KBSMalaysia

Putrajaya has a number of man-made lakes and therefore a number of bridges. This is the Endurance ride départ fictif crossing the Seri Gemilang bridge.

Photograph courtesy of Engku Iskandar Photoworks

Half a dozen or so brave souls from the R@SKLs took on the Endurance route.

Map courtesy of CIMB Cycle 2019

This was the Challenge route.

Map courtesy of CIMB Cycle 2019

The Challenge riders hit their first water stop after about 40km / 25mi.

Photograph courtesy of Grace C

The Challenge ride so far had been fun. Despite my falling. A guy got caught in too hard a gear on a steep climb and veered across the road into me. I banged an elbow and wrist and scraped a knee. I’m just glad I stayed out of the open drain along the side of the road.

The first water stop for the Endurance riders was at 50km / 31mi.

Photograph courtesy of Martin Lee

It was still relatively cool at that time. It wouldn’t stay cool for very much longer.

The Endurance guys made a food and drink stop at some point.

Photograph courtesy of Jake Sow

We Challenge riders made do with our second water stop at 55km / 34mi.

Photograph courtesy of Leonard Yee

It had been humid from the start and it was now getting hot. I was well into my second bottle of water and glad I only had 25km / 15.5mi to go rather than 105km / 65mi.

The Endurance riders were starting to feel the heat midway through their distance.

They were rolling into their second water stop as we were finishing our ride. Our ride was a tad over 80km / 50mi. Those last few kilometres at 33ºC / 91.4ºF were slightly uphill and into a hot headwind. I was glad to see the finish line.

It was so hot that a finish line shower was in order for some.

Photograph courtesy of Khoo Bin Soo

Heng Keng kindly got us into the vicinity of the VIP tent (it pays to have friends on the inside) where he supplied us with nasi lemak, kuih, water and lattes. And arranged a photograph with Malaysia’s only rainbow jersey winner.

Photograph courtesy of Lee Heng Keng

It was about 11.00am when we all got to the VIP tent. Just a few minutes later the first three finishers of the Endurance ride flashed across the finish line. Their average speed for 160km or so was a smidgen over 42kph / 26mph. Amazing.

Our Endurance ride guys were still on the course and suffering in the heat.

Photograph Ric Foo

I was still sweating forty five minutes after the ride. So I was very happy to not still be out on the Endurance ride course. The rising temperature and the hilly route brought many Endurance participants to a halt well before the finish.

Voon Kiat and Martin persevered and completed the Endurance ride. As did Mokhtar Nadzri but I don’t have a photograph of him.

Photograph courtesy of Lai Voon Kiat
Photograph courtesy of Martin Lee

The Challenge riders were happy with the event. The route was reasonably challenging but not excessively so. The roads were exceptionally well marshalled. The water stops were well managed. And we got to the finish before it got too hot.

The R@SKLs who did the Endurance ride had a much tougher time. A tip of the hat to them for giving it a go.

Graphic courtesy of CIMB Cycle 2019

Genting Sempah Feedzone

Photograph courtesy of Genting Sempah UNDERBRIDGE-Gsub

Up until 2017, there was nothing at the summit of the Genting Sempah climb. Anyone wanting to buy a drink or a snack had to continue down the other side of the mountain to the Genting Sempah R&R (and face the average 7% gradient 1km climb back up to the flyover) or turn around and go back down to the roadside restaurants 16km / 10mi away.

That changed after Encik Mohd Najib Hashim, helped by his family, started selling cold drinks out of the boot of his car which he parked under the flyover. His signature drink is kurma madu, which he makes himself from dates and honey. Most refreshing.

Over the last two years that enterprise has blossomed to include bananas and fresh cut fruit, cookies, Snickers bars and the like.

Photograph courtesy of Omrin Kamarudin

Mohd Najib also sets out plastic chairs and stools so cyclists and runners can rest their legs.

To top it off he also brings a pump and a set of tools. He has created a full-service feed zone.

Mohd Najib has become an advocate and campaigner to make Jalan Gombak safer and more attractive for cyclists and runners. This includes resurfacing the road and cleaning up the illegal rubbish dumps on the roadside.

He is now collecting signatures for a petition to the state government.

Photograph courtesy of Mohd Yusri Kamaludin

I don’t know very much about Mohd Najib. I’ll have to be nosy and ask him to tell me a bit about himself the next time I ride to Genting Sempah.

I have discovered that he is a photographer, specializing in wedding, landscape and macro photography. He is good.

Photograph courtesy of Mohd Najib Hashim
Photograph courtesy of Mohd Najib Hashim
Photograph courtesy of Mohd Najib Hashim

Thank you Encik Mohd Najib Hashim. I am sure I speak for all cyclists and runners when I say that your presence under the Genting Sempah flyover is very much appreciated.

Photograph courtesy of Omrin Kamarudin

Save a bottle of kurma madu for me.