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Tag Archives: Guthrie Corridor Expressway

While We Can

Sunday’s R@SKLs ride was one of our standard routes.  From D’Bayu in Bukit Jelutong to Rawang via the Guthrie Corridor Expressway (GCE) and the Kuala Lumpur – Kuala Selangor Expressway (LATAR).  Breakfast in Rawang, and then back to Bukit Jelutong.

We had a wet start to the ride.

Rawang Bypass Wet Start Eugene Lee

Photograph courtesy of Eugene Lee

By the time we got to Denai Alam, 8km / 5mi away, it was bone dry.  Hooray.

As we approached Rawang on LATAR, we could see the elevated section of the Rawang Bypass in front of us.

Rawang Bypass Elevated Section SkyscraperCity

Photograph courtesy of SkyscraperCity

The Rawang Bypass, when open, will divert traffic travelling on Federal Route 1, between Kuala Lumpur and Serendah, away from Rawang.  This will ease congestion on Jalan Rawang.  It is a much-delayed project, construction having started in early 2009.

Rawang Bypass Banner Nazrey

Photograph courtesy of Nazrey

Friends have posted photographs of their recent rides on the bypass.  The roadway is complete, and just the finishing touches remain before the bypass is finally opened to traffic.  And therefore closed to bicycles.

Over breakfast we debated riding the length of the bypass.  None of us had ridden it before.  We were all up for an adventure.

Getting to the bypass required crossing two lanes of Jalan Rawang.  Fortunately Jalan Rawang is not very busy on Sunday mornings.  The direction we came from meant that we had to ride up the wrong side of the roadway.

The construction crew didn’t bat an eye as we rode under the barrier and onto the bypass.

Rawang Bypass Start Johan Sopiee

Photograph courtesy of Johan Sopiee

The high point of the elevated section of the bypass is 65 meters / 213 feet above the ground.  It has to the clear the exit ramp, which is itself elevated, which connects LATAR to the KL-bound lanes of Jalan Rawang.  and it has to pass over the Kancing forest reserve, minimizing disturbance to the green area below.

So we headed upwards.

Rawang Bypass Mark Lim

Photograph courtesy of Mark Lim

And upwards.  For about 4km / 2.5mi.  The views are very nice, and the gradient is challenging but not excessive.

Rawang Bypass Construction Johan sopiee

Photograph courtesy of Johan Sopiee

We were happy to get to the highest point of the elevated section.

Rawang Bypass Kevin Chin

Photograph courtesy of Kevin Chin

We had the road all to ourselves, so . . .

Rawang Bypass Kings of the Road Lee Heng Keng

Photograph courtesy of Lee Heng Keng

Rawang Bypass Kings of the Road 2 Lee Heng Keng

Photograph courtesy of Lee Heng Keng

It turned out well to be on the wrong side of the road at first, because there were a lot of workmen and equipment on the other side of the road.

Just after the elevated section the road was closed off.  There were workmen paving the lanes in front of us.  Fortunately there was a break in the concrete central divider, so we could cross onto the correct side of the road.

There was another short climb, and then a high-speed descent to the end of the bypass at Sungai Choh.  Everyone made it back to Federal Route 1 without incident, except for one puncture.

Rawang Bypass Kevin Flat Lee Heng Keng

Photograph courtesy of Lee Heng Keng

It was worth being adventurous.  We all enjoyed riding the Rawang Bypass.

I propose that the R@SKLs, in the words of Steely Dan . . .

More Train Adventures

Marco, Mark and I attempted a ride to the KTM Komuter station at Tanjung Malim.  We started from Mark’s house in Taman Mayang Jaya.  We followed our usual route toward Rawang via the Guthrie Corridor Expressway.  Our plan had been to get onto the LATAR Expressway and ride into Rawang from the south east.

But as we circled around the cloverleaf intersection to get onto the LATAR Expressway, we noticed very dark clouds and rain over Rawang in the distance.  So we looped around the cloverleaf again and got onto LATAR going in the opposite direction, toward Kampung Baru Kundang.  The skies were clear in that direction.

Our new plan was to stop at our favourite noodle shop in Kundang, and weather permitting, get to Rawang from the south west.

KKB Noodles Mark

Photograph courtesy of Mark Lim

It was spotting with rain when we had finished our noodles.  We took a chance and rode toward Rawang anyway.  The drizzle soon stopped, but it had already rained quite hard, and the roads were very wet.  Why do I always have a white jersey on when we hit wet roads?

We rode through Rawang and onto Federal Route 1.  Federal Route 1 is the oldest federal road in Malaysia, as is one of the nation’s earliest public roadways ever constructed.  It runs the length of the Malay peninsula, from the causeway into Singapore up to the Thai border in the north.  As we left Rawang toward Serendah the road dried up.  We had pleasant, overcast riding conditions.  The skies were gloomy, but we thought we had dodged the rain.

KKB Rain Coming Mark

Photograph courtesy of Mark Lim

Not so.  The rain caught up with us while we were stopped at the Petron station in Rasa.  We waited at the petrol station for about fifteen minutes in the hope that the rain would stop.  It did not.

KKB Petron Rasa Marco

Photograph courtesy of Marco Lai

So we rode out into the rain.  By then the conditions were miserable.  Federal Route 1 is a busy road.  We were riding through rain and the spray thrown up by passing vehicles.  We decided to stop at the nearest KTM station, which was 8km / 5mi away in Kuala Kubu Bharu.  Tanjung Malim was a further 20km / 12.5mi away.  Too far given the very wet conditions.

We bought a ticket for our bikes, and tickets for ourselves, and sat at the station with a drink in our hands, waiting for the train.

KKB Bikes Ticket Mark

Photograph courtesy of Mark Lim

The towns along the KTM Komuter line to the north of Kuala Lumpur are smaller than the towns to the south of the city.  Which may explain why there are less people on the trains going south from Kuala Kubu Bharu than there are on the trains going north from Seremban.  We shared the carriage with only two or three others all the way to our stop at Sungai Buloh.

KKB Carriage All to Ourselves Mark

Photograph courtesy of Mark Lim

We hopped off the train at Sungai Buloh, which was the closest station to Taman Mayang Jaya.  By then the rain had stopped, and the sun was out.  We had to negotiate some busy roads for the first few kilometers, but once we were in Kota Damansara the traffic was less fraught.

It was lunchtime when we got to Aman Suria, which is the neighbourhood adjoining Taman Mayang Jaya.  Patty & Pie is in Aman Suria.  Their burger lunch special hit the spot.

KKB Patty & Pie Mark

Photograph courtesy of Mark Lim

Another overall enjoyable ride (bike) and ride (train), despite the rain.

Food Hunt Ride I

Admittedly most of my Flipside group rides involve food.  We have a list of restaurants and coffee shops that are on regular rotation.

Last Saturday we tried somewhere new.  Mark (our expert food spotter) had noticed a particularly crowded restaurant during one of our previous rides through Rawang.  We decided that would be our breakfast stop that morning.

It was very misty as we rode along the Guthrie Corridor Expressway towards the Lagong Toll Plaza.

food-hunt-mist-marco

Photograph courtesy of Marco Lai

About 50km / 31mi into the ride we arrived at the red awnings of Restoran Teratak Nogori.

food-hunt-nasi-lemak-leslie

Photograph courtesy of Leslie Thong

Mark had been attracted by the sign advertising steamed nasi lemak.  The nasi lemak was as good as advertised.

food-hunt-nasi-lemak-01-marco

Photograph courtesy of Marco Lai

After we got back onto Jalan Rawang we took a little detour into the housing area bordering Templer Park.  The road is much quieter there, and the views are nice too.

food-hunt-templers-park-marco

Photograph courtesy of Marco Lai

Our route back from Templer Park into Kuala Lumpur took us toward the junction of Jalan Sentul and Jalan Tun Razak.  Right where our Bangsar Cycling Group buddy, Danial, has just revitalised the Born & Bread Cafe.

food-hunt-born-and-bread-cafe

We had to stop there for a coffee and some cake.

The mist of the morning had long burnt off, and it was hot when we left the cafe.

To get back to where we had started our ride, we had to cut through Taman Tun Dr Ismail, popularly known as TTDI.  Which happens to be the location of a good cendol stall.  Given the temperature, a cendol stop was called for.

food-hunt-cendol-01-marco

Photograph courtesy of Marco Lai

An excellent way to set us up for the last 15km / 9mi  of a 100km / 62mi ride.

We Meet Again Mr. Dragon’s Back

It has been more than a year since I last rode the Dragon’s Back.  That roughly 14km / 8.7mi stretch of slopes in Bukit Jelutong.  The easier approach to slay the dragon is to turn onto Persiaran Mokhtar Dahari from the Guthrie Corridor Expressway.  (The late Mokhtar Dahari is Malaysia’s most-revered soccer player).  Turn left at the traffic light onto Jalan Paip, and then turn right 200 metres later onto Jalan Bukit Cerakah.  You are done with the Dragon’s Back when you get to the T-junction.

Dragonback Veloviewer

Graphic courtesy of veloviewer

Leslie suggested the ride.  Evelyn, Marco and I took the bait.

This is the Jalan Bukit Cerakah section of the Dragon’s Back.

Dragonback 4

We all made it over all those humps without incident.

Dragonback 3 Leslie

Photograph courtesy of Leslie

Even so, it could be a while before I tackle the Dragon’s Back again.

 

The highlight for me came at Warung Selera Ria in Kuang, where we stopped for sustenance.  Perhaps I haven’t been paying attention, but this was the first time I noticed this contraption.

Dragonback Eggs Marco

Photograph courtesy of Marco

Order half-boiled eggs, and this is what appears before you.  The hot water drains from the upper receptacle into the container below.  When all the water has drained out of the upper section, your eggs are ready to eat.

Ingenious!

 

Thank You

This is what my Flipside friends and I do.

We inflict pain on ourselves, and each other.  We cover triple digit distances.  We push ourselves faster and for longer than is comfortable.  We climb for fun.  We bake under a blazing sun.

After we get our breath back and cool down a little, we say “Thank you for the great ride,” and make plans to do it all again together at the earliest possible convenience.

None of us has said it, but we surely subscribe to the following.

Cycling Suffering

Yesterday’s 140km / 87mi jaunt from Taman Megah to Ijok and the “Big Box” around Bestari Jaya was the latest in the long chain of rides that, I guess we believe, contributes to better living.

Big Box Route

We started at dawn.  The brightening sky foretold the hot, cloudless conditions to come.

Big Box Looking like a hot day Alvin

Photograph courtesy of Alvin

But not before an unusual treat.  It got very misty as we approached the Paya Jaras interchange on the Guthrie Corridor Highway.  Riders literally emerged out of the fog, feeling cool and sporting frosted eyewear.

Big Box out of the mist Mark

Photograph courtesy of Mark

I’ve never seen it so misty on the GCE.

Big Box in the mist Marco

Photograph courtesy of Marco

We exited at the Paya Jaras interchange and headed toward Kuala Selangor.  Our breakfast  stop was in Ijok.  Nasi lemak, noodles, chicken rice, toast with kaya, half-boiled eggs.  Restoran Ijok served it all.  Along with lots of coffee.

I only noticed the graphic on Leslie’s bandana when looking at the photographs of this ride.  It wa an appropriate image.  I was feeling one-eyed by the time we got back to Taman Megah, about 100km / 62mi after we ate in Ijok.

Big Box one eye Mark

Photograph courtesy of Mark

After breakfast the pace, unsurprisingly, picked up as we covered the right and top side of “the box.”  The roughly square outline around Bestari Jaya.

Kampung Kuantan sits at the top left corner of the box.  Home of the Fireflies Park.  Also home to this shaded bus stop, where we parked ourselves for a rest.

Big Box Shade Kampung Kuantan Marco

Photograph courtesy of Marco

We blasted along the third side of the box, thanks to a very fast pull from Liang.  The run along the bottom of the box wasn’t that much slower.

Big Box in the Box Marco

Photograph courtesy of Marco

After finishing the box we all needed the cold drinks and air conditioning at the PETRONAS station in Ijok.

Big Box Ijok Petronas Alvin

Photograph courtesy of Alvin

We still had 60km / 37mi to ride.  It was getting on to 11am by the time we left Ijok for the second time that morning.  The skies were clear, and the sun was hot and bright.

Big Box Sun

Photograph courtesy of Mark

The heat took its toll.  We made two more drink stops within 25km / 16mi of Ijok.  Once at the sugarcane juice stall in Batu Arang, and once at the PETRONAS station in Kuang.

After Kuang we began to split into smaller groups as some of us reduced the pace to cope with the noon time heat.

We made regular stops to allow the group to reform.  Everytime we stopped, it was in a patch of shade.  With 10km / 6mi to go my face matched the colour of the staircase behind me.

Big Box Shade Alvin

Photograph courtesy of Alvin

The perfect end to the ride was a few bowls of ice cold cendol.  And some rojak.

Big Box cendol Mark

Photograph courtesy of Mark

I had to be elsewhere, so I missed out.

There will be a next time very soon.

To my Flipside friends:

Thank you

P.S.

We have a videographer now.  Thank you Alvin.

Big Box Ride

 

Airports

Photograph courtesy of www.executiveexpress.biz

Photograph courtesy of http://www.executiveexpress.biz

My Flipside friends and I have amended the starting point for rides to the Guthrie Corridor Expressway and on to Kampung Sri Kundang etc.  The ride to the GCE now takes us past Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport.  I remember it fondly as Subang International Airport.  It was Kuala Lumpur’s main airport from 1965 to 1998.

The original Subang Airport terminal building is long gone, which is a shame.

Photograph courtesy of www.delcampe.net

Photograph courtesy of http://www.delcampe.net

It has been replaced by a less attractive, albeit modern, terminal.

Today I decided to ride to the airport that replaced Subang.  The Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), and the newly opened KLIA2, which is a low cost carrier terminal.

The first part of the ride was along the Maju Expressway (MEX).  The first time I rode along the MEX, I thought it would be my last.  There is one particularly tricky section, the Kuchai Lama Interchange, on the ride back to Kuala Lumpur.  The fact that the MEX is just about the only reasonable ride I can start from my doorstep, and it gets me to the KESAS Highway without having to drive there, now outweighs my nervousness about that interchange.

KLIA

Now I am pretty familiar with the entire 26km / 16 mi length of the MEX.  MEX is mostly elevated from the on ramp at Jalan Tun Razak to the Bukit Jalil National Sports Complex exit.  That means parapets and drainage gratings along both sides of the roadway.  Which makes for a fairly narrow shoulder to ride a bicycle on.

Photograph courtesy of malaysiagazette.com

Photograph courtesy of malaysiagazette.com

Once you get past Exit 2004 the parapets and gratings disappear.  More importantly there is much more of a shoulder to ride on.  Or walk on, as the case may be.

Photograph courtesy of missjewelz.com

Photograph courtesy of missjewelz.com

The new bit on this ride came after the Putrajaya Toll Plaza.  Most times I take the u-turn under the expressway and head back home (in red below).  This time I cut across to the right hand exit to get onto the Putrajaya Link (in green below).  This 8.8km / 5.5mi road links the MEX to the North-South Expressway Central Link, also known as the ELITE Expressway.

MEX to KLIA Ride

I was on the ELITE for about 10km / 6mi before exiting onto the KLIA Expressway.  From there it is about 15km / 9mi to the KLIA.  I rode up to and past the Departure Hall of KLIA before looping over the KLIA Expressway to get to the Departure Hall of KLIA 2.

This is the road through the departure level of KLIA.

Photograph courtesy of wiculs.com

Photograph courtesy of wiculs.com

This is KLIA2.

KLIA2

I had planned to stop at KLIA 2 for a coffee and some food.  Only to be told once I got there that bicycles are not allowed into the airport buildings.  I rolled my bike into the Departure Hall anyway, and bought a coffee.  Much to the consternation of airport security, who sent five people to intercept me as I left Starbucks.  They were nice enough about it, but I did have to sit on a bench outside while I drank my latte.

On the ride back along the ELITE I passed a vehicle like this that was parked on the road shoulder.  PLUSRonda is the team that patrols the Expressway and provides assistance to motorists.

Photograph courtesy of wenn-experiences.blogspot.com

Photograph courtesy of wenn-experiences.blogspot.com

A few minutes later I heard a beep behind me.  it was the PLUSRonda guys, with the blue lights on the truck flashing.  They told me that bicycles are not allowed on the ELITE.  I asked them to let me ride the remaining 8km / 5mi to the exit to the Putrajaya Link.  They were dubious out of concern for my safety, given the heavy and fast traffic.  They agreed to let me ride on, and followed behind me, lights still flashing.  I felt compelled to ride faster until I got to the exit.

The furore with security at KLIA2 had distracted me from buying anything to eat.  I also made the mistake of ordering a hot latte rather than an iced one.  Which I didn’t finish because I was hot.  So I shouldn’t have been surprised that I bonked on the Putrajaya link.  I made it up the first of the MEX climbs to the toll plaza, but I had to stop for a breather.  My arms were tingling.  A sure sign of hypoglycaemia.

I had 6km / 4mi between me and the Seri Kembangan R&R.  This is the elevation profile for that section.

Map courtesy of Ride With GPS

Map courtesy of Ride With GPS

So you can understand my relief when I crested that last slope and rolled down to the R&R in the distance on the left.

Photograph courtesy of Nazrey

Photograph courtesy of Nazrey

I felt much better after an ice-cold Sprite and a short rest under a fan.  With blood sugar levels restored, the rest of the ride back into Kuala Lumpur was fine.

Photograph courtesy of panehmiang.com

Photograph courtesy of panehmiang.com

Even that Kuchai Lama Interchange and the elevated parta.

Rapha Festive 500

Festive 500

I have not covered many kilometers in 2014.  Thanks in no small part to my extended time off the bicycle.  Both self-inflicted and health-inflicted.

My total mileage on 12th October 2014 was the lowest it has ever been on that date in the five years I have been cycling.  That was the day of my first ride in almost four months.  I rode as much as I could, and then had another month of no rides from 23rd November.  Rain and weekend travel are to blame.

Total Distance

Graph courtesy of VeloViewer

So the Rapha Festive 500 came at the perfect time to motivate me to add to my total kilometers ridden in 2014.  The challenge is to ride 500 kms between the 24th and 31st of December.

Rapha has partnered with Strava to keep track of riders’ mileage.  No small undertaking, seeing as 46,360 cyclists are currently in the challenge.

Strava is doing a great job of displaying every participant’s current mileage, and rank overall, by country, by age and by weight.  Strava is also providing additional motivation by presenting riders with ‘achievements’ as they meet interim targets.

125250375

I got the final one today.

500

I have ridden every day since Christmas Eve.  I am putting my vacation time to good use.

Heatmap courtesy of Strava

Heatmap courtesy of Strava

514kms over six days.  Mostly over the usual routes:  Genting Sempah (2), KESAS (3) and (6), and the Guthrie Corridor Expressway (4).

There were a couple of forays into new territory, starting with the first Festive 500 ride on Christmas Eve (1).  Keat, Mark, Marco, Fahmi and I started with a ride to a favourite nasi lemak stop in Kampung Cempedak.  But instead of following breakfast with a ride through Kampung Melayu Seri Kundang, we followed a back road toward Rawang.  Here we are, happy to be at the summit of the climb along Jalan Ciku.

Photograph courtesy of Marco

Photograph courtesy of Marco

The ride that took me over the 500kms target was an entirely new one.  I drove my biker chick to the airport, then parked and pulled my bike out of the car.  It was raining quite hard, but that didn’t stop me from riding alongside runway 2, and the new runway 3 serving KLIA 2, watching aircraft come and go in a cloud of spray.

AA

I didn’t want to continue onto the highway serving the airports, so I doubled back along runway 3 and went to Sepang.  I had fun, but would have enjoyed it more if it hadn’t been raining the entire time.

LCCT Map

Weather permitting, I might get to 600kms by New Year’s Eve.  A relatively large total by my current standards, but paltry in comparison with 1,644kms already ridden by the person leading the Festive 500.  He has cycled almost 14,500kms in 2014.  He must be very fit.  And not have a full-time job.