akmal's bike park

akmal's bike park

Thursday 31 December 2015

27.12.2015: Impromptu Touring to Hutan Lipur Ulu Bendul with Yad

This is the second impromptu touring with Yad this year. The first was in April (read it here).

Yad was supposed to come by my house to fetch some bicycle items. I threw to hime a proposition as well: how about a ride up Bukit Putus via the old road and then soak in the river at Ulu Bendul?

Seems like a plan and he agreed. As he was without his bicycle in Senawang, I offered my souped up XTC for his usage. We went out a bit later than the planned 8.00 am as I had to change the XTC clipless pedals to platforms and get my bike ready as well.

riding into the sun
the road was ours
It was Yad's first ride up Bukit Putus, and my third so far. I love the route as it is not busy with traffic nowadays, has a mild gradient up and the route is lined with greenery which also providing the shade; cool and breezy along the way. The only thing that poses a problem to cyclists is the known presence of a group of dogs nearby Starfresh Agro Park. Never go up there alone. 2 is good, 3 is even better.

It is unimaginable that such a busy road during my childhood is now a deserted recreational route. It was since the new wider multi carriage highway being commissioned that the choice of route has shifted. The old road (Route 361) would actually eventually take you to a higher elevation compared to the new highway (Jalan Kuala Pilah, Route 51). At which, is the usual starting point for hiking up Gunung Angsi.

at the gantry - standard feature of
Hutan Lipur across Negeri Sembilan
Past the highest point, we went down 2 km towards Kuala Pilah and went to Taman Rekreasi Ulu Bendul. We went straight to the gantry and on tarmac we cycled up to the campsite. There was a barrier on a bridge over the river, but we went on the side with our bikes and cycled further a bit offroad.
Yad in Taman Rekreasi Ulu Bendul

We spotted a nice area with somewhat deep section of the river and some space for our bikes. It is a bit secluded so we didn't have to worry much about security. The water was cold as expected, with plenty of shade from the big trees around. It was quiet and no other people around. I think we spent some thirty minutes soaking in the water and chatted catching up with things.

down to the water
It was about 10.30 am when we got out of the water and dried ourselves out. I brought along in my PakRak a change of clothes together with the mobile changing room - the ever versatile kain pelikat. My bum has to be dry as the Troll is with leather saddle; can't get it wet.

We took an alternative route offroad out of Ulu Bendul to the main road, which bypasses the picnic area. We road a short distance uphill before stopping at the roadside to replenish my water bottle with natural water from the mountain. After continuing about 1 km uphill to the highest point on the old road, we started our descend back to Seremban. Reached home at about 11.30 am.

From Strava, the total distance from the house to Ulu Bendul was about 15 km with some 300 m elevation climb. Average speed was 25.5 km/h with max speed of 63.4 km/h (!). Well, must be something wrong with the GPS. Definitely.

Troll in the nature
dual track out to the main road
climbing up towards the old road
free water
enjoying gravity
It was nice actually to be able to do such nature rides once in a while. And it is a big bonus that such things are accessible. Simple luxury that money can't buy.

For the next one, Jeram Toi via Bukit Tangga is quite interesting. InsyaAllah.

Enjoy your rides!

Tuesday 1 December 2015


There's Nothing Wrong With Your Bike

Really. I agree with Aaron.

There's simply no cure for upgraditis, but you can definitely do more to upgrade yourself. Soup up your leg muscles and better your heart rate.

Do some circuit training, weight training and cardio workouts. The next time you tackle that familiar hill, take note of your heart rate and your timing. Can you clean it up with ease and have spare energy to keep going (for the next one!)? Once you have upgraded yourself, sprinting a short uphill or taking up the endurance challenge of a long hill climb will be your breakfast. In fact, you'll want them for dessert as well.

Read on:

Friday 13 November 2015

Dingle Speed

*I know that on the (English QWERTY) keyboard, the letter S is just next to D. No typo in the title for this blog entry.

dingle cog on a track frame

I just found out about DS yesterday. A simple concept, minimalist and practical. It is dual-speed single speed.
Yes, if you're thinking about bailing out while riding the minimalist single speed, this may be for you.

I'm keeping this entry simple, so you have to hop on to the links below as they are pretty much comprehensive.

Explanation (a good one):

More explanation, rationale and uses (or excuses):

Parts (from Surly):

Photo credit:

Monday 17 August 2015

09.08.2015: Putrajaya Inter Park Ride #29

the crowd at Taman Perdana Putra
One of the places that I would like to cycle before this is Putrajaya. Touted as a cyclists friendly township, I had high expectation about the place. Moreover, there are many parks around the area which I would like to explore with my family (later on). I joined a bash with KLMBH last year in Putrajaya, but that ride is different from PIPR. PIPR is specifically bringing the riders around the parks available in Putrajaya, introducing them what's available in the vicinity. Also, Pak Adib Noh had always posted many, many beautiful photos on his fb wall on the subject of the parks in Putrajaya.

And so I participated in PIPR for the first time on their 29th edition. RM25 fee before the closing date gets you an event t-shirt and a medal (if you finish the ride), a meal with drinks, a chance to win prizes in a lucky draw and a lucky dip.

have handpump to lend, make new friends
from Seremban: Akmal, Hafiz and Firdaus
I drove from Seremban at 7:00 and reached the place of event a bit less than an hour later, ample time to get my goodie bag and get my bike ready before the event starts. I didn't expect the crowd to be big, so I was surprised that the turnout for the event is very encouraging. As this is an event designed for all walks of life, it is nice to see the mixture of participants and their bikes alike. Personally, this is a leisurely ride and a 'fun ride' event. This, was reiterated by the organiser in their pre-ride briefing. The point being, this is not a race. My kind of ride, of course.

the crowd raring to go
The ride eventually started at a few minutes before 9:00 am. Positioned at about two-third of the whole crowd from the starting line, I had to wait about a minute before rolling the tires. The event started at Taman Perdana Putra (Presint 1, the big oval roundabout at the heart of Putrajaya). Going down towards Lebuh Perdana Barat, we worked out about a quarter of the roundabout. The traffic is regulated, closed and therefore restricted momentarily only to cyclists. This in part is good as there are small children in the pack as well; the traffic safety thus is something less to be concerned about.

a view of Putrajaya landmarks from Lebuh Perdana Barat
the ride is for all ages, big and small
at Presint 11
at Taman Saujana Hijau, Presint 11
The destination is Taman Saujana Hijau at Presint 11 some 8 km away, through Jalan P11a and encircling a little bit around the bottom of the park via Jalan P11. Once we reached there, we took some time to recuperate and recharge, and took photos of course. Bottled water and bananas were handed out at the checkpoint set up at the park. Taman Saujana Hijau is a nice park atop a hill, with beautiful landscape and nice walk/jogging path cordoned with wooden fence. Being there is like being in a European garden.

the view at Taman Saujana Hijau, Presint 11
the ride marshal still in Hari Raya spirit, dressed in traditional Baju Melayu
the various parks at the area
I had small chats with a few fellow cyclists while resting over there. One was from Sentul. He told me that he cycled all the way from Sentul with his son and a few others earlier that morning to get to Putrajaya. Another is a touring cyclist (with his Surly Cross Check), who introduced himself as Abang Din.

segregated bike path marred by bumps resulted from tree roots
After 10 minutes or so, we moved on rolling down towards Persiaran Putra, going along a good distance of Jalan P11and a Jalan P11b, and headed to Persiaran Persekutuan. We went along the segregated bike path along Persiaran Putra. I like and applaud the implementation of the segregated bike path. Added to it are trees lining up the path creating a natural canopy for a cool ride. However, unfortunately the trees' roots crawled under the bike path towards the road, creating multiple mini bumps all along the way. This must be the reason why cyclists shy away from using the path. There was an accident in front of me whereby a young cyclist fell and scraped his skin.
a view of the Wetlands from Persiaran Utara, with the bridge on Persiaran Persekutuan
We regrouped on the bridge at Persiaran Utara and took photos, particularly of the swans and the bridge of Persiaran Persekutuan (Taman Wetland, Presint 13). Not long after that, we continued our ride and shifted to Persiaran Persekutuan at the interchange and headed back towards the starting place at Presint 1.

I lost count of the number of hills that we went up and down. For me, on that particular day I was fit enough not to suffer any cramps, and alhamdulillah was able to climb each one of them without much difficulty. Hence, I enjoyed tremendously the whole ride. I also loved the housing township that we rode along. Nice houses, clean area and neat roads with many places are with trees providing shades.

Overall, I like the idea of the ride. It does many things in one go. It promotes healthy recreation, it tests one's fitness, it introduces the parks around Putrajaya and also familiarises the area around it. Splendid.
queueing for post-ride meal and checking the lucky dip
the finisher medal
I finished my ride, arriving at the end/start gantry at about 10:15 am and covered some 18 km in distance. I received my medal, got in the queue for the meal provided and while doing so, checked my number whether it is entitled to a prize in the lucky dip. Well, I got none, and moved on to find a spot to have my meal.

I had something else to do later in the afternoon, so I didn't wait around for long and forfeited the lucky draw. So I went down to where I parked my car and went back straight to Seremban.

Good experience, and I loved it.

Monday 27 July 2015

25.07.2015: Bukit Putus

It was raining last night hence a scheduled charity ride with Perpatih was duly cancelled. I had an impromptu morning ride out to Bukit Putus. Partly because the weather is nice and partly because it has been quite some time since my last ride. Perhaps the other reason is I want to keep the exercise streak that I had over the week.

choose your route here
A couple of months ago I took the family for an outing at Ulu Bendul and deliberately drove up there through the old road. It is quite deserted and the lush greeneries either side of the route make the place cool and shady. Naturally I had the thought of cycling along the route.

I have cycled up to Bukit Putus before, with the gang from Perpatih during a night ride. However, it was on the new expressway, with a few hills along in between.

Otais from Senawang: Pres Jamari and Zack
En route from home, I stopped at a Petronas station to get me a bottle of isotonic drink. Bro Zack was sitting out there waiting for Pres Jamari, also heading to Bukit Putus on road bikes. I spilled out my intention to Zack and he advised me about the dogs at Bukit Putus old road. It is quite dangerous to go solo. I decided to enjoy the old road in reverse, and pedaled solo to the new expressway.

Just when I was near the junction to the old road, they caught up on me and signalled to turn right into the old road. Yeay! So we went up via the old road together.
taking a fiver for hydration
Unlike the expressway, the old road is with a mild gradient steadily going up; no flat sections. I had no problems with my heart rate nor legs, alhamdulillah. The fruit of labour from my recent runnings (and burpees, of course!).

the view from the new expressway, on the way back towards Senawang/Seremban
I enjoyed tremendously this morning's ride. One thing I noticed, though, I was quite cautious during the descends and couldn't enjoy them fully. Thanks otai-otai Jamari and Zack for the company.

We parted our ways when we reached Panchor, at the bus stop. They climbed the steep hill towards Lavender Heights while I cycled towards home but continued to Seremban Jaya to my parents' house.

the flat rear
After (a late) breakfast, I went home and concluded the morning's ride. As I reached home and took a photo of the cyclometer, my rear tire gave a loud bang and suddenly the rear gone flat. I don't know what happened, but alhamdulillah, it happened at home. Nope, I didn't replace the tube yet. Hehe.

total distance about 40km
Photos are in here.
Ride map and data of the Bukit Putus leg are here.

Sunday 19 July 2015

Touring: Labis to Seremban - Day 3 (Part 2: Pantai Puteri to Seremban)

22.05.2015, Friday.
The ride home.

It was quite hilly to get from Pantai Puteri to Sungai Udang. I remembered from my journeys by car that it was not that far, but perhaps due to the rolling hills it took us quite some time to get there. I enjoyed very much the sight of traditional houses dotted along the main road. Much more, the ability to just stop whenever we wanted to and take a look up close of the house's general build and typical of Melaka's traditional houses - their artful main stairs.
Melaka traditional house

We went ahead to Masjid Tanah, again quite hilly at some parts. I must say that I enjoyed riding through the road nearby one picnic area very close to an army camp. There are big trees lining up the road giving shade from its canopy. Cool, shaded section.

at Masjid Tanah
easily the biggest Chapal ever
From Masjid Tanah, we went along towards Lubok China. By this time we were looking for a masjid or a surau for solat, and something to eat for lunch. Latfy saw a big Nasi Ayam sign by the roadside. I detected the word Cendol on the bunting. It's an eatery stall set up in front of a kampung house. We stopped over and parked our bikes in the house compound. The place was quite busy durint that time circa 3.00 pm, and unfortunately for us they ran out of Nasi Ayam. We had to settle for Mi Rebus instead. And cendol of course.
Latfy enjoying his cendol
I have to say that the cendol is among the best that I've ever had. The al dente green cendol with its texture (the pakcik makes them himself) and  rich coconut milk mixed with perfect amount of gula melaka make an unforgettable bowl of beverage. Granted that I was hungry and thirsty, but this one is quite special by its own right.
durians on tree by the roadside
After our simple meal, we went ahead to a masjid not far from there as guided by the locals at the eatery. I've been to that particular masjid a couple of times before this, and quite comfortable with it. Nice, clean and cool. We took our time, and went off on our way towards Negeri Sembilan at a bit more than half past four.

We reached Sungai Linggi which is the border of Negeri Sembilan and Melaka only 15 minutes after we started off from the masjid. We carried on to Linggi, reached there some half an hour later and stopped for some cold drinks. By 6.00 pm we have entered the Seremban border (still quite far from the town!).

at the states border, Sungai Linggi
brief stop at Linggi
(technically) Seremban, baby!
Not long after that we reached our next marked destination which is the small town of Rantau. It was getting dark, and we headed home via the Mambau roundabout and entered Ampangan. It was drizzling as we reached Ampangan and stopped for dinner. Rushed home for Maghrib as it was nearing Isya', and  the journey ended just like that. Latfy had to get back to Ampang that night, so he loaded his bike into his car and said goodbye with his usual wide grin.
taking a (sweet smelling) breather at Rantau
nice road heading towards Ampangan
I was grinning too, and felt elated inside. 250+ km on a bike over 3 days with a good friend. It lasted me several weeks, that happy feeling.

big boys flashing teeth
I did something that I have always wanted to do and experience. The amount of money spent was quite minimal, I'd say, but importantly the experience simply cannot be bought.

Until the next adventure...

Hope you enjoyed the details of our short touring as much as I had ridden and written.
Thanks for stopping by.


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