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Tag Archives: Bukit Tangga

CIMB Cycle @ Seri Menanti 2017


Seri Menanti is the royal capital of the state of Negri Sembilan.  It is a tiny town about 100km /  62mi southeast of Kuala Lumpur.  Among its landmarks is the old wooden palace know as Istana Lama, built without the use of a single nail.

CIMB Old Palace thestar com

Photograph courtesy of The Star Online

On Saturday March 26th, Seri Menanti was the venue for a 120km / 74.5mi ride, sponsored by CIMB, which is an international bank headquartered in Malaysia.

I signed up to ride with a group of friends who call themselves R@SKL.


Given how far away Seri Menanti is from Kuala Lumpur, most of us opted to drive down on Friday, and spend the night at the Melang Inn Hotel in Kuala Pilah.  The hotel is about 12km / 7.5mi from Seri Menanti.

Some of the guys are avid golfers.  On Friday afternoon they played a partial round, truncated by rain, at the Staffield Country Resort, which is about halfway between Kuala Lumpur and Seri Menanti.  I met the golfers for dinner at the Regent Restaurant in Seremban.

Then we drove the rest of the way to the hotel.  Golfers and nongolfers alike met up for a drink at the Hailam Kopitiam restaurant next door to the hotel, before one by one, we headed to our beds.

Anyone planning to park at the starting point had to be there before about 6.30am.  So it was an early start for everyone except me.  I rode to the start.  My deadline was the flag off time of 7.30, so I had an extra hour of sleep.

Pink was the jersey colour of choice for the R@SKLs.  I don’t own a pink jersey.  The best I could do was a pink base layer.

We got off the stat line bang on time.  Well done organisers.


The route was a counter-clockwise loop.  From Seri Menanti we rode back past the Melang Inn Hotel in Kuala Pilah before heading roughly north to Kampung Serting Hulu and Kampung Chawas at the northernmost point in the loop.  To that point the terrain was almost pan flat, so the riding was comfortable.

CIMB Route 2

Map courtesy of CIMB Cycle

You will notice from these photographs that the R@SKLs were wearing white arm screens  Those were provided by LGB Group, a Malaysian multinational with subsidiaries in a number of industries.


Photograph courtesy of Cyclery

LGB Group were one of the corporate partners for this event.  In addition to the arm screens, they provided a support vehicle for us.  Always a comforting thing to have on a long ride.


Photograph courtesy of Cyclery

We hit a few small climbs as we meandered westward to Kuala Klawang.  The real climbing action started about 10km / 6mi southwest of Kuala Klawang.  The infamous Bukit Tangga.  4km / 2.5mi with 280m / 919ft of elevation.

Fortunately it was overcast as we dragged ourselves up Bukit Tangga.  By the time we got to the top it was raining.  Which kept us cool as heart rates became elevated.

Luckily the rain was very localised, and the road was completely dry after the initial third of the descent.  We caught our breath after the descent at a Petron station in Taman Panchor Jaya.  Then it was 4km / 2.5mi along a series of busy intersections to the foot of the next climb, up Jalan Kuala Pilah.  This ascent was 6.5km / 4mi and 315m / 1,033ft of elevation.  Not helped at all by a relatively strong headwind.

When we crested that second climb it was past midday.  And hot.  So everyone appreciated the 3km / 1.8mi blast down the other side of the hill.  The next 10km / 6.2mi was slightly downhill, but the headwind prevailed, making it harder work than it should have been.

The ride organisers put a sting in the tail of this ride, as you can see below.  The climbs, from the left, are Bukit Tangga, Jalan Kuala Pilah and Seri Menanti.

CIMB Profile

Graphic courtesy of veloviewer

That last 1km / 0.6mi kick, with a red section at 15%, came with just 5km / 3mi of the ride left.  More than a few riders had to push their bikes up that vicious 90m / 295ft climb.

As is always the case, there was lots of moaning during the climbs, but everyone was in good spirits after the ride.  We older, i.e. slower riders made it safely to the end.  Sadly one younger i.e. faster R@SKL got caught up in a crash, which fortunately damaged his bike more than it damaged him.  But the crash meant the end of his ride.

It had seemed like a good idea to ride to the start in the cool of the early morning.  It didn’t feel like such a good idea when the sun was at its peak at 2pm.  I got a lift back to the hotel.  Definitely preferable to getting broiled while riding.  We all had lunch at the Hailam Kopitiam, amidst much laughter as we shared stories about the ride.  The R@SKLs are a fun group to ride with.

If CIMB organises another ride next year, I’ll be up for collecting one more of these.

CIMB Medal

King of Perez Stage 1

Graphic courtesy of Dave Ern

Graphic courtesy of Dave Ern

The 7th in the series of King of 9 Mountains challenges that Dave Ern has put together was held today.  The 100km / 62 mi route took us from Semenyih in the state of Selangor to Kuala Klawang in the state of Negeri Sembilan.  There was a 60km / 37mi option for those who didn’t relish 1,900m / 6,200ft of climbing.

King of Peres Stage 1 Route

About twenty of us gathered in Semenyih for the 7.30am start.  But first a briefing about the route from Dave Ern.

Photo courtesy of Khairuddin Abdul Aziz

Photo courtesy of Khairuddin Abdul Aziz

The turn-around point for those doing the 60km route was 1km up Bukit Tangga.  After the Bukit Mandom 1 and Bukit Mandom 2 climbs.  Bukit Mandom 1 gets the heart pumping.  It is only 1,000m / 3,300ft long, but it has a 400m / 1,300ft section with a gradient of more than 10%, maxing out at 18%.  Bukit Mandon 2 is a bit over 2km / 1.3mi long but it has gentler gradients that do not exceed 9%.

So everyone was ready for a break by the time we got to the local convenience store on the lower slope of Bukit Tangga.

King of Peres Stage 1 Convenience Store

The home-made soft drinks looked good, but this looked better.  I’m sure it tasted better too.

King of Peres Stage 1 Rehydration

The Bukit Tangga climb is about 5km / 3mi long.  If that was not enough to put people off the full 100km route, the thought of doing the climbs from the opposite direction on the way back to Semenyih did.  Only Adrian and I rode on to Kuala Klawang after this group photograph.

Photo courtesy of Khairuddin Abdul Aziz

Photo courtesy of Khairuddin Abdul Aziz

I got to Kuala Klawang in good shape.  Helped by a 65kph / 41mph run down Bukit Tangga.  Adrian and I camped for a while in the Petronas petrol station at Kuala Klawang, guzzling cold drinks in air-conditioned comfort.

By the time we started riding back the way we came it was 11am.


The hottest time of the day.  I didn’t need to tell me that while the thermometer read 35° C / 94° F,  it felt like 43° C / 109° F.  Adrian set a tempo north of 35kph / 22mph.  By the time we started back up Bukit Tangga I was overheating.  My heart rate had come down fairly quickly after the climbs on the outward leg, when it was cooler.  Not so on the return leg.

King of Peres Stage 1 Charts

I should have put some ice in my bottles at that Petronas station.

I tried to keep my heart rate below 150bpm on the climbs by turning as light a gear as possible and going slowly.  Even so my heart rate hit 170bpm on Bukit Mandom 2.  That is higher than I have ever seen it.

The last 20km was all about heart rate management, taking a drink every five minutes, and keeping cramps at bay.

And looking forward to my post-ride beverage of choice.

Durian Fiesta Chocolate Milk

There is a King of Perez Stage 2 planned.  It will be the same route as we rode today, but with an additional 68km / 42mi and another big out-and-back climb beyond Kuala Klawang to cover.

A step too far methinks.