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A bit like trying to herd cats

Morib Banner jkstakent com

Graphic courtesy of jkstalent.com

The Bangsar Cycling Group organised a Sunday ride from Kota Kemuning to Morib.  I suggested that they use the route that the R@SKLs ride to get to Morib.  It avoids the heavily-trafficked and poorly surfaced Jalan Klang Banting, except for  4.5km / 2.8mi stretch from Jenjarom to Jalan Bandar Lama.

None of the BCGers knew that route.  That is how I ended up leading the BCG ride.

Coincidentally, the R@SKLs were also riding from Kota Kemuning to Morib on Sunday.  They were starting from their usual meeting point, Restoran BR Maju.  The BCG were starting from their usual meeting point, McDonald’s.  So I arranged for both groups to meet at Bandar Rimbayu, so that we could all do the ride together.

Both groups got to Bandar Rimbayu, as planned, at 7.30am.  There were forty two riders in all, including the cameraman for this shot.

Morib 01 J Sopiee

Photograph courtesy of Johan Sopiee

From the left:

Morib 07f J Sopiee

Photograph courtesy of Johan Sopiee

Morib 07e J Sopiee

Photograph courtesy of Johan Sopiee

Morib 07d J Sopiee

Photograph courtesy of Johan Sopiee

Morib 07c J Sopiee

Photograph courtesy of Johan Sopiee

Morib 07b J Sopiee

Photograph courtesy of Johan Sopiee

Morib 07a J Sopiee

Photograph courtesy of Johan Sopiee

I set off at the head of this large group of riders, leading them through Bandar Rimbayu and onto the bridge over the SKVE.

Morib SKVE Bridge Up Shahfiq Khairy

Photograph courtesy of Shafiq Khairy

As we rolled off the bridge I was still at the head of the group, riding at approximately the advertised moving speed of 29kph / 18mph.

Morib SKVE Bridge Down Shahfiq Khairy

Photograph courtesy of Shafiq Khairy

Just as I felt a sense of control over the group, my illusion was shattered.  Riders shot off ahead of me, clearly more interested in testing their legs than sticking to 29kph.  Oh well!

Morib 12 Winston Wong

Photograph courtesy of Winston Wong

To no one’s surprise, the faster riders missed the right turn at Kampung Seri Cheeding.  Mobile phones to the rescue.  A few back-and-forth calls, and Google map consultations, and everyone was reunited 15km / 9mi later at the junction of Jalan Bukit Jugra and Jalan Jeti.   Google maps didn’t warn of this road hazard though.

Morib Cows Wee Hwee Wang

Photograph courtesy of Wee Hwee Wang

As usually happens, there was some talk of climbing Bukit Jugra.  I thought that first getting some food and drink at Morib was the way to go.  And that was what we did.

It was about 10.30am, and getting hot, by the time we left Morib for the homeward leg.

Morib 03 Shafiq Khairy

Photograph courtesy of Shafiq Khairy

The R@SKLs left a bit before the BCGers, and they headed straight back to Kota Kemuning.  Some of the BCGers were determined to climb Bukit Jugra.  Which is why we ended up here.

Morib Jugra Climb Shahfiq Khairy

Photograph courtesy of Shafiq Khairy

Some, probably wisely, elected to wait at the bottom of the hill.  Those who braved the up to 17° gradients were rewarded with views of the Langat River from the lookout point.

Morib Jugra Viewing Shafiq Khairy

Photograph courtesy of Shafiq Khairy

And the added treat of watching a paraglider launch himself off the slope.

Morib Paragliding backpackerzmag com

Photograph courtesy of backpackerzmag.com

We probably spent a bit too long up on the hill.  I had expected that we would be back at Kota Kemuning at about noon.  It was 11.30am by the time we all got going again from the base of Bukit Jugra.  There was 45km / 28mi, and a cendol stall, between us and Kota Kemuning.

Any thoughts of skipping the cendol stall were dispelled by the 34°C / 93°F temperature.  The heat, and the distance, were starting to affect some riders, so a stop for a cold drink and a rest was well worth it.

And then the punctures started.  First at the cendol stall, when a tube spontaneously popped.  Then 5km / 3mi later.  A further 5km and it was my turn.  I rode over a rock. Eight of us clustered in the shade under a tree in someone’s front garden to review the damage to my rear rim.

Morib Flat Shafiq Khairy

Photograph courtesy of Shafiq Khairy

Not good.  Fortunately the rim was still rideable.

We weren’t done yet.  We had only just got moving again when we had puncture number four.  All in the space of 13km / 8mi.

What with one thing or the other, it is no surprise that out of the total ride time of seven hours, we were stopped for three hours.  Which explains why we didn’t get back to the McDonald’s in Kota Kemuning until 2.00pm, when the temperature was pushing 37°C / 99°F.

A salted caramel sundae never tasted so good!

Morib Salted Caramel

We all got split up between Morib and Kota Kemuning.  I haven’t heard any reports of missing cyclists, so I can only assume that everyone got back safely.  Albeit some with minor scrapes, cramps and sore muscles.

I need to practice being a ride leader.  If nothing else, it makes a good excuse!

Morib Banner north florida bicycle club

Graphic courtesy of North Florida Bicycle Club

R@SKLs Do Morib

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Morib Sign tripadvisor co uk

Photograph courtesy of tripadvisor.co.uk

The R@SKLs still had the 1,200 plus meters / 3,900 plus feet of climbing to Fraser’s Hill, from the weekend before, in their legs.  So for this weekend’s ride they opted for the flat run from Kota Kemuning to the beach at Morib.

Sixteen of us gathered at BR Maju Restaurant in Kota Kemuning.  We weren’t the only ones in lycra at BR Maju.  It is a popular spot for cyclists to have breakfast, or just a drink, before heading out on their rides.

Morib Restoran BR Maju

Photograph courtesy of Peter Shea

My previous rides to Morib have been westward on the motorcycle path alongside the KESAS Highway, and then south on Jalan Klang Banting.  The ride along the motorcycle path is nice enough, especially on Sundays when there are few motorcycles on the path with you.

The riding on Jalan Klang Banting, however, is truly unpleasant.  That road has been damaged by the constant heavy vehicle traffic.  Cyclists face more than 10km / 6mi of potholes, ruts, lumps and bumps.

Morib Old Route

This time Meng and CK led us along a much more pleasant route southward from Kota Kemuning to Bandar Rimbayu and the bridge over the South Klang Valley Expressway (SKVE).

From the SKVE crossing to Jenjarom, the riding is along 14km / 9mi of well-surfaced, lightly trafficked kampung roads.  The occasional speed bump is much more preferable to the minefield that is Jalan Klang Banting.

Morib New Route

We did have to ride northwest along Jalan Klang Banting to get from Jenjarom to Jalan Bandar Lama.  Whilst the road surface along that 4.5km / 3mi section was not great, we had avoided the worst ruts and potholes to the north.

The right turn onto Jalan Klang Banting confused some of us.  A left turn onto Jalan Klang Banting, aka Federal Route 5, would take us south and then west through Banting town and onward to Morib.  Surely turning right would add distance to our ride?

Turning right instead of left did add 6km / 4mi to our ride.  The reward for riding extra kilometers was that once we were on Jalan Bandar Lama, we rode over well-surfaced and quiet roads to Morib.  Although the road surface south along Federal Route 5 from Jenjarom to Banting and then Morib does improve, there is always a lot of traffic to deal with.  Thumbs up for the coastal route.

The group had been divided about where to eat and drink in Morib.  Delicious Bread Coffee Shop was on the minds of some.  As the name suggests, their kaya toast is delicious.  But the coffee shop had run out of nasi lemak by the time we got there, so we opted for the food stalls along the beach instead.

Morib Delicious Bread

I had not noticed, but our group had shrunk by one.  Leonard’s bicycle had started making worrying noises as we left Kota Kemuning, so he headed back to his car.  And drove to Morib.  I’m not sure which he wanted to see more, us or the nasi lemak!

Morib Waiting for Food Simon

Photograph courtesy of Simon Soohu

This is what everyone had been waiting for.

Morib Food Mark

Photograph courtesy of Mark Lim

We found a helpful tourist to take a group picture of us at the beach.

Morib Group 2 Ong Peng Hong

Photograph courtesy of Ong Peng Hong

I suspect that most tourists are disappointed when they see Morib beach.  It is not one of Malaysia’s better beaches.

Morib Beach 1 Simon Soohu

Photograph courtesy of Simon Soohu

We retraced our route back to Kota Kemuning.  We rode along the coast for 7km / 4mi, and then along the Sungai Langat for 3.5km / 2mi.  Just as the road veers away from the river, there is the option to turn left to Bukit Jugra, and a climb of 180 meters / 590 feet over 1.6km / 1mi.

We turned right.

Morib Route

As is often the case, it had warmed up considerably by 11am.  Luckily we were spared the full brunt of the sun.  There were rain clouds over the sea, and it was overcast on the coast.  It had rained the night before.  The rising temperature had made it more and more humid, so everyone was dripping with sweat.  We didn’t help ourselves by pushing a 30kph / 18.5mph pace.

Once we had crossed the climb of the day – the bridge over the Sungai Langat – we were ready for a drink and a rest.

Morib Sungai Langat Bridge Google Maps

Photograph courtesy of Google Maps

1.5km / 1mi from the river is Ross Cendol & ABC Santan Sawit.  The stall is not much to look at from the back.

Morib Cendol Johan

But it has tables and chairs shaded from the sun by umbrellas.

Morib Cendol 2 Simon Soohu

Photograph courtesy of Simon Soohu

Morib Cendol Simon Soohu

Photograph courtesy of Simon Soohu

And of course, ice-cold and sweet cendol.

Morib Cendol 3 Simon Soohu

Photograph courtesy of Simon Soohu

It was about 30km / 18.5mi from Ross Cendol back to BR Maju Restaurant.  By the time we left the cendol stall, those rain clouds over the sea had moved inland ahead of us.  The wind picked up, especially as we neared the bridge over the SKVE.  Fortunately, we didn’t get rained on.  We got a bit splashed and splattered anyway.  The roads between Bandar Rimbayu and BR Maju Restaurant were very wet.

Apart from Leonard’s mechanical, that was the only blemish on the ride.  Nice roads, good weather, and excellent company.  What more can a group of cyclists ask for?