Most of the trails that I have been to in Penang are either cemented single trails or pave road. But, what I am going to introduce today are mainly roads that suitable for road bikes or MTB. What?!! MTB on a road? Yes, I have once asked by a friend of mine from Kuala Lumpur why people in Penang ride MTB on the road. Well, I guessed for 2 reasons. #1: We are cheapo to get 2 bikes, so we use 1 bike to serve dual purposes – Road and Off Road :). #2: Penang is a very small island. The whole perimeter covers 85km only, so for a road bike to cover this distance is a very short ride.
Pearl Hill Path
This is the road I have trained a lot and my regular exercise path. There are not many roads or trails you can cycle in northern region of Penang. The peak of this hill is 181m from sea level but the path that starts at 35m. Total distance of this path is ~2.2km with a gradient of 5°-10°only. So, normally I would do a few rounds of going up and down just to train my stamina and lose weight at the same time. There are old and young people who do hike up or cycle up the hill in the morning and evening period. At the top of the hill, there is a small hut for people to enjoy cup of tea in the morning or catching up with your old friends.
How to get there? It is actually opposite of Copthorne Hotel and then follows the pictures below.
You hardly see any cars here but quite a number of cyclists or hiker.
This is at the top of the hill.
Batu Feringghi Path
Ahh… this is a breath taking way especially if you ride in an early morning. This is the road that you ride along the beach which you can see the beautiful skyline in the morning and cool breeze. It is something like you drives along the Highway 1 in California but of course it is not as beautiful as Highway 1. This road will lead you to the Batu Ferringhi Beach where all the 5-6 stars hotels located. The newest in the group is the Hard Rock Hotel and Lone Pine Hotel. During evening this place comes to alive with lots of street vendors.
I would recommend this road for tourist or cyclists (road bikes or MTB). This is not an extreme difficult path but you do require having some stamina to pedal for ~11km from Straits Quay Mall to Batu Feringghi. Along the way, there are some small hilly roads that are not any higher than 35m height. To be safe, ride in a small group for at least cars will notice you.
For those of you who have lots of energy still, you can continue pedal to Teluk Bahang Dam (the biggest water reservoir in Penang Island) then to the peak of Teluk Bahang. The peak is only 214m and the place is named “800m”. The name “800m” is actually the distance from the peak to one the fruits farm in Teluk Bahang. When you reach here, you have already cycled 22.5km. Most of the people would turn back and go home.
To get there:- continue pedaling from Batu Ferringhi until you see this roundabout and turn left (9 o’clock).
But… if you choose to continue forward, you will get a different view of Penang. You will have a nice and cozy downhill ride to Sungai Pinang which is additional 5.5km. You will come to a very small town with just 2-3 rolls of houses. I would say a very peaceful and quiet neighborhood. Here you can refuel with some noodles or energy drinks (100 Plus, Revive, coffee or whatever).
So, in total distance, you will cycle for 56km and “two 214m hills”. Have fun with you ride!