Wind comes with the territory, so to speak, in the Netherlands. So often the key decision for the Not Possibles is whether to start a ride with the wind or against it. Hills come with the territory in Kuala Lumpur. The choice to be made here is to ride a route with some climbing, or to ride a route with a lot of climbing. The choice on recent weekends has been to climb a lot. 1,319 meters / 4,300 feet the Sunday before Christmas. 1,069 meters / 3,500 feet the Saturday before New Year’s.
So it was nice to climb ‘only’ 684 meters / 2,240 feet last weekend. The Racun Cycling Gang met at Pekan Batu 18 at the usual unearthly hour of 6.45am. Well, some of us were there at 6.45am. This is Malaysia after all. Our peleton of folding bikes, mountain bikes and road bikes started into the mist along Jalan Sungai Lui at about 7.15am.
11km later we got to the T-junction with Jalan Sungai Lalang and Jalan Hulu Langat – Kuala Klawang. Every other time we have turned right toward Tasik Semenyih. There is some climbing along the way to the Sungai Tekala Recreation Park, but nothing like the climbing awaiting those who turn left.
On this day our only option was to turn left. The road to Tasik Semenyih was still closed following a landslide that took a section of the road into the reservoir. Here we are at the T-junction, waiting for the folding bikes to catch up to us. Mark is helpfully pointing out the “Road Closed” sign.
We regrouped, girded our loins, and started the 9km climb to the summit of Genting Peres. I had struggled to the summit from the opposite direction during the Broga 116 ride in November 2012. This time the climb was almost pleasant. It was much cooler, and I didn’t have cramping quadriceps.
A third of the way up the climb we turned a corner to a spectacular view of the mist-shrouded valley below. That view alone made the climb worthwhile.
The summit of Genting Peres is on the border between the states of Selangor and Negri Sembilan. We waited at the border marker for the rest of the foldies to arrive.
As always the payoff for all the climbing, the view notwithstanding, is the “look ma, no brakes” descent. Well, perhaps not quite “no brakes.” It is a twisty road, the surface is a bit sketchy in one or two spots and there are cars and motorbikes to watch out for. Nevertheless I surprised one driver by overtaking at 60kph.
The mist had burned off by the time we got back to the T-juntion. We had blue skies and a crescent moon overhead (I promise the moon is visible in the photo) as we rode back to Pekan Batu 18.
From Pekan Batu 18 some of us rode on to the Sungai Congkak Recreational Forest. The others drove there. We all went there for this . . .
Nasi lemak, curry puffs and teh tarik of course. At the stall beside the river. Note that the unopened packets of nasi lemak were not for me!
All that was left to do after a beautiful ride and yummy food was to roll back down the hill and gently pedal the short distance back to Pekan Batu 18.
And of course to take a nap once I got home.