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Tag Archives: Tasik Semenyih

Shall We Climb?

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.

Hulu Langat Comfort Break

Photo courtesy, I think, of Shahfiq Abdul Manap

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.

Hulu Langat Mist 01

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.

Hulu Langat Genting Peres Summit 02

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.

Photo courtesy of Mark Lim

Photo courtesy of Mark Lim

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 . . .

Hulu Langat Nasi Lemak 01

Photo courtesy of Shahfiq Abdul Manap

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.

Photo courtesy of Mark Lim

Photo courtesy of Mark Lim

And of course to take a nap once I got home.

Weather Blues

It has been pouring with rain almost every afternoon and into the evenings for the past two weeks.  The Racun Cycling Gang’s evening rides are not the only things that have been washed out.  Five times the normal daily rainfall contributed to a landslide that washed out a 200 meter section of road alongside Tasik Semenyih.  That puts paid to our weekend rides to the Tekala Recreation area for a while.  The landslide also caused a change in the route for tomorrow’s Broga Reverse 116 ride.  It is now the Broga Reverse 105.

Landslide

Photo courtesy of The Star Online

Precipitation of a different kind forced the cancellation of today’s Not Possibles morning ride.  Enough snow fell on Den Haag yesterday to make the bike paths icy and hazardous.  We were lucky last winter.  There were many below-freezing days and some snow, but not enough to get in the way of our Saturday rides.  Not last winter anyway.  This is on the Rottermeren.

Bike on Ice

It was a bit different in the winter of 2010.  I took this video from the warmth of our kitchen.  You had to be Dutch, or Inuit, to ride on this particular day.

“The Hills Are Alive . . .” *

When I found out that I was moving back to Kuala Lumpur, Farid was one of the first people I contacted about riding.  He and I were colleagues at Hess Corporation.  At the time he rode motorbikes.  I assume he still has his motorbike.  These days he also hits the roads on his red and white Colnago Ace.

This morning was the first opportunity we had to ride together.  Farid rides with the Cyclistis.  A group afflicted with the love of cycling.  Early starts are essential if you want to avoid the midday heat.  I was in the car at 6.45am for the twenty eight kilometers to the meeting point.  Adzuan, Asyraf, Farid, Syihan and I met around the corner from the police station at Pekan Batu 18, a village at the 18th mile on the Hulu Langat road.

Kuala Lumpur sits in a basin and is surrounded by hills.  My compact crankset will get a lot of use here.  Our route took us steadily upward from the start.  We turned onto Jalan Sungai Lui and rode through rolling countryside for the first 10 kms.  The approach to Kampung Gemi marked the first true climb of the day.  60 meters / 200 ft in 1.4 km.

The payoff was the 2.5 km descent to Tasik Semenyih.  This is a man-made lake.   It is one of the reservoirs that provides fresh water to Kuala Lumpur and other towns and cities in the Klang Valley.  The dam holding back the lake is visible in the distance.

We rode through more rolling terrain along the western shore of the lake.  In the Netherlands you have to be alert for ducks, geese and rabbits crossing the bike paths.  Here we have to watch out for a different animal.

In the Netherlands all the water is horizontal; in canals and lakes.  The heavy rain we have had here over the past couple of weeks is feeding lots of these alongside the roads.

At the far end of the lake we hit a 500 meter stretch that dropped at better than 6.5°.  No problem with ‘riding’ my age there.  The problem came just a few minutes later when we turned around to retrace our route.  Going up that 500 meter stretch wasn’t as much fun.

I took a short detour at the 30 km point.  They guys had told me about a steep climb up Jalan Sungai Tekali.  I thought I would take a look at it.  It certainly was steep with a grade of better than 9°.  A taste was all I wanted so I stopped after 500 meters and waited for a car to go past before turning around.  I forgot that I was in a very small gear.  As I turned my bike I pushed down hard on my pedal and my front wheel lifted off the ground.  In a dejà vu moment, considering the topic of my last post, I tumbled to the ground.  In typical roadie fashion I first checked to see if my bike was okay.  It was.  I on the other hand had a bloodied elbow and a bruised hip.

I have learned a few tricks since I started riding here.  One is to add a towel and a bottle of water to my riding kit bag.  Essential for wiping oneself down after a hot and sweaty ride if you want to be presentable post-ride.  Here are my very presentable fellow Cyclistis; Asyraf, Adzuan, Hairi (who started late on his mountain bike and caught up with us at the end of the ride) , Syihan and Farid, after the mandatory teh tarik and roti canai.

 

* Title courtesy of The Sound of Music.