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Tag Archives: Kepong

Road and Rail to Tanjung Malim

Once in a while work schedules allow some of us to do weekday morning rides.  Which means that the KTM Komuter train service can be a part of the route plan.

Tanjung Malim Route

The Komuter service to the north terminates at Tanjung Malim.  So we rode to Tanjung Malim and took the train back to the Kepong KTM station.  Ongoing track upgrading work means that Kepong is still the closest we can get to the Kuala Lumpur city centre.

We parked at the Kepong KTM station for RM4.00 / USD1.00 per day.  Annie, Kieren, Mark and I rolled out of the car park at about 6.00am, heading for Federal Route 1 toward Ipoh.

By the time it was light we had completed the climb of the day, 100 metres /  330 feet over 1.3km /  0.8mi from Templer Hills to Taman Amansiara, and were rolling through Rawang toward Serendah.  Serendah was a good place to stop for breakfast.  Nasi lemak, char koay teow, meehoon soup, half-boiled eggs, iced Milo and coffee teed us up for the rest of the ride.

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Photograph courtesy of Annie Lim

We were blessed with overcast skies for the entire ride.

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Photograph courtesy of Mark Lim

And once we were north of Rawang, we had relatively quiet roads.  Most traffic heading north uses the North-South Expressway, which provided a faster alternative to Federal Route 1.

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Photograph courtesy of Mark Lim

We were aiming to catch the 10.15am train from Tanjung Malim.  We had a few delays caused by mechanicals early in the ride.  It was 8.40am when we got to this signboard. We had covered 39km / 24mi.  We still had 34km / to ride to the Tanjung Malim station.

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Photograph courtesy of Mark Lim

We would have to up our pace to make the 10.15am train.  Otherwise, it would be a long wait for the next train, which was not until 11.54am.  We were at the Tanjung Malim station with 10 minutes to spare.

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Photograph courtesy of Mark Lim

If you look closely, you can see the train on the platform behind us.  Unfortunately, it was the platform across the tracks from us.  So we had to do a quick cyclocross-style scramble up a flight of stairs, across a walkway, and down another flight of stairs.

With minutes to spare!

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Photograph courtesy of Mark Lim

Definitely a ride to repeat, especially in weather like this.

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Photograph courtesy of Mark Lim

Road and Rail Back to Kepong

Day 2 Mini Bus

We were a bit slow to get going in the morning.  There was some not-necessarily joking about taking the bus or train all the way back to Kuala Lumpur or getting a ride with someone.

We did make the walk to Hollywood at 7.30am.  Plates of prawn chee cheong fun, char kway teow, and lor bak, washed down with glasses of leng chee kang (lotus seed drink) perked everyone up.

Day 2 Breakfast 2 Danial Marzuki

Photograph courtesy of Danial Marzuki

Day 2 Breakfast Danial Marzuki

Photograph courtesy of Danial Marzuki

At 9.0am we were packed and ready to roll.  Danial’s friend Eric rode with us to Gopeng before turning around and heading back home.

Day 2 Start

Photograph courtesy of Eric

We made a quick stop at the 7-Eleven in the same row of shophouses as the Ampang Cycle House.  Our first proper stop was at a Petron station in Gopeng.  The breakfast drinks had made their way through our bodily systems by then.

The day had started out cooler than it had been the previous day.  Everyone was pleased about that.

Day 2 Road Danial Marzuki

Photograph courtesy of Danial Marzuki

37km / 23mi into our ride we were in Kampar.  A Petron station was a convenient place to stop for ten minutes.

At 12.30pm were in Tapah.  The KFC there was a lot less appealing as a lunch venue than it had been the day before.  After some scouting around, we ended up at . . .

Day 2 Pizza Hut Ozairi Othman

Photograph courtesy of Ozairi Othman

Pizza Hut!  That was an underwhelming experience.  The pizzas were smaller than we had expected, there was no ice for our drinks, and the air conditioning wasn’t working very well.  Nevertheless, between us, we polished off three regular pizzas and four 1.5 litre bottles of Pepsi Cola.

The cool of the early morning had given way to full-on heat.  It was 35° C / 95° F outside.  The plan had been to spend an hour in Pizza Hut.  The ineffective air conditioning while we were eating made that seem unlikely.  By the time we were finished eating the air conditioning had upped its game and we finally began to cool off.  And so we stayed there for seventy minutes.

We then spent fifteen minutes at the Petronas station 200 metres down the road eating ice cream for dessert.

Thirty-five minutes later we were in Bidor.  The iced mango and other fresh fruit at the Sakinah stall, where we had stopped on the way to Ipoh, were calling our names.  That was another fifteen-minute break.

Day 2 Bidor Fruit Stall Ozairi Othman

Photograph courtesy of Ozairi Othman

It was past 2.30pm.  The temperature would stay in the mid to low 30s° C / low 90s° F for the next three hours.  We would be stopping a lot.  So no change from the MO of the day before.

Day 2 It Is Hot Danial Marzuki

Photograph courtesy of Danial Marzuki

One of the benefits of riding on what used to be the main trunk road linking Kuala Lumpur and Ipoh is that you pass through lots of small towns.  Towns which have at least one petrol station with an air-conditioned convenience store where we could stop and rest.

Sungkai was the next of these towns.  We spent twenty minutes in the BHP station there.  We were not in a rush.  The first non-peak train leaves Tanjung Malim at 7.00pm on weekends.  We had about 45km / 28mi to go, and more than four hours to cover that distance.

It is 22km / 14mi from Sungkai to Slim River.  Just a bit too far to do all in one go, given the temperature and the rolling terrain.  There isn’t much between Sungkai and Slim River, so we stopped in some shade beside the road at the junction to Trolak.

We spent forty minutes at the Petronas station in Slim River.  More ice cream and cold drinks.  That was the good news.

Day 2 Cursing

The bad news was that I dropped my mobile phone and broke the screen.

25km / 16mi to Tanjung Malim.  It was 5.30pm when we left Slim River.  The temperature had dropped to 29° C / 84° F.  Enough of the cutting edge had been taken off the heat that we were able to cover those last kilometres to Tanjung Malim in one go.  We stopped at a Petronas station a couple of kilometres from the Komuter station to regroup and get a drink.

Day 2 Last Petronas Halim Zin

Photograph courtesy of Halim Zin

We then rode to the KTM station to get tickets for the 8.00pm train to Kepong.  We planned to have dinner during the hour or so before that train departed.  We got to the KTM station at 6.50pm and were told that we could board the 7.00pm train with our bikes.  The train was already at the station.  We quickly hauled our bikes up and across the overpass to the platform on the other side of the tracks and hopped onto the train.

Day 2 Train Danial Marzuki

Photograph courtesy of Danial Martzuki

Once again we had the entire carriage to ourselves.

It was dark when we pulled into the KTM Kepong station.  There had been talk about getting dinner before riding home, but by the time we wheeled our bikes off the train at 8.30pm the gloss had worn off that idea.  It had been a long and hot weekend, and everyone just wanted to get home.  Which we all accomplished safely.

This was my first ride to Ipoh.  It was a lot of fun (double pinch flats and broken phone screen aside).  I would do it again.  Any town with its own Hollywood-style sign is worth another visit.

 

Day 2 Ipoh Sign

Photograph courtesy of The Malaysian Times