Trail: Gombak to Bentong

To get to Bentong from Gombak, one have to go thru Genting Sempah. This was an old trunk road to Bentong before the 2 lanes Karak Highway was built. The highest elevation here is 654m but actual climb is only 535m from HOA (Hospital Orang Asli). It is spread out to 14.4km distance, so it wasn’t so bad at all.

Gombak - GS

This is not entirely a new route for me and I have blogged about Gombak to Genting Sempah before. This is actually a very nice route as both side of the road is covered with rainforest trees. It is not hot and the road is nicely paved. It is also not a hard climb as the average gradient is about 2-3 degree only. A perfect 1-2 hours ride on your busy weekend. There are 1-2 areas that you might want to get the momentum going to push up the sloop or off saddle pedaling. Other than that, it is an easy ride.

IMG_4014 IMG_4015

What’s new for this ride was Genting Sempah to Bentong. This was like interstate riding as we were riding from Selangor to Pahang state and back. Bentong is located in Pahang and it is a border town. From Genting Sempah to Bentong town is another 33km but it is all downhill and flat road. Going back Genting Sempah was not so bad as the average climb was only 1.5 degree gradient and climb for 20km. Though it was hot when we rode back but there were trees cover here and there. Therefore, it was not as bad as Titi ride. The only setback here was the road condition. There were holes and cracks here and there. So, you will have to constantly watch out for the uneven grounds and holes. This can be tiring too as it has too much vibration. The last 500-800m was the hardest to climb. It has around 5-8 degree gradient. If your largest cog is at least 28T then you will be able to pull thru. Or, just stand and pedal.

Bentong - GS

Turning right here is to Janda Baik route but there is no turning require going towards Bentong. Well, at least not until you reach Bentong town.

IMG_4021

You will cruise downhill and along the river. It reminds me of driving in Colorado except that the water in Colorado is clean and clear.

IMG_4030 IMG_4059

Also, you will be passing by a waterfall and a hot spring.

IMG_4068 IMG_4063 IMG_4064

The iconic sign of Bentong. I saw this post in every cyclists Facebook.

IMG_4040

Coming back may be hot but there are trees cover here and there.

IMG_4056 IMG_4061 IMG_4074

This is the start of the last tortures climb. It may seem easy from here but there are 1-2 stretches that may require hard pedaling.

IMG_4076

While you are at Bentong town, don’t forget to get a refreshing Ice Kacang from Kow Po café just next to Hong Leong Bank. A can of 100 Plus and a small bowl of Ice Kacang with ice cream cost me $6.

IMG_4043 IMG_4049

Enjoy your ride.

Advertisements

Is Competition Good or Bad?

IMG_2631

Lately, I have 2 groups of cyclist friends keep talking about fighting each other timing or during rides they would like to test power. Sometimes even a stranger ride along the road will do that also. It can be quite annoying especially if I am not up for any competition. Some were definitely born to be competitors but definitely not me. I ride for health and fun. Of course we all need to be fit enough to ride along with our gang. If not, they will wait for you for too long and eventually they will not include you in the next ride.

I even have friends keep pushing me to join competition and all they care is standing at podium. I know my standard and riding once or twice a week won’t help me to get up on a podium. So, there is no point to compete. But, if they rephrase the wording to join a jamboree is to gain experience, enjoying the crowd or let the adrenaline fill in your blood when everyone is racing, then I may consider. To get on a podium is definitely not my cup of tea.

I feel that a bit of competition is good, so you will know where your standards are. Also, this will give you a gauge to join or not to join a certain group ride. What’s your say?

Trail: KL Car Free Day

IMG_4127 IMG_4132

This is mainly for recreational or fun ride, so it is very suitable for family outings. Part of the KL city center is closed for 2 hours (7-9am) from traffic for people to enjoy the outdoor outing. They used to hold it once a month and always on the 1st Sunday of the month. Now, it is twice a month and on the 1st and 3rd Sunday. You can get additional info here: http://www.klcarfreemorning.com/index.asp. The loop covers about 7km long so you can do about 2-3 loops of leisure ride.

IMG_4158

Don’t want to ride? Well, you can join a bunch of joggers or you can walk also. Basically it is opened to all people except for motorized vehicle. But I saw a bunch of noisy motorized scooters. I guessed it is allowed.

IMG_4145 IMG_4154 IMG_4142

As said, this is fun ride for families. Therefore, you can’t ride your bike fast here as there are people jogging in the middle of the lane, slow cyclists or some will just stop in the middle of the road without giving any warnings. You will need to be alerted at all times or ride at the most outer lane.

IMG_4133 IMG_4155 IMG_4150

The route covers the iconic Petronas Twin Tower (KLCC) and Menara KL (KL Tower). Lots of people (including me) stopped for photos. So, do watch out for those people. If you do stop, please stop at the side of the road.

IMG_4139 IMG_4149

Do remember to stop for pictures at the Merdeka Square.

IMG_4166 IMG_4163                                                            IMG_4182

Hungry? Food trucks are ready to serve you.

IMG_4159

If you are staying around the area and don’t feel like driving out, then this is a place to bring your children to ride. I would consider quite safe if your speed is slow. Or, if you are a tourist and wanted to join the crowd, the OCBC bank has donated some bikes that you can borrow it for free. Just don’t expect they are giving you Trek, Speicalized or Cannondale bikes. They are rideable but some are in bad condition. So, be there early to choose your bike and have fun.

Trail: Nanshan aka Namsua (南山)

This is another killer hill in Penang but don’t be despair. The trail is wide enough for you to do a zig zag and it is cemented track. Yes… it is cemented. 😦 Nanshan (南山) or literally translate to English is South Hill and Penangnites called it Namsua (in Hokkien). This hill is located in Paya Terubong which is in between Sg Ara and Air Itam Dam (AID). In fact, it is connected to Hilton stop but today I will not blog about it as I have yet to explore there.

Namsua

This trail is a very good training ground for those who are staying around or want to do a quick 30-45 mins intense hill climbing training. It was like me trained at Pearl Hill. It is definitely not for enthusiastic mountain bikers as it has zero technicality and the trail is nicely paved. Not to mention it is wide too. The only difficulty is endless climb. Average gradient is ~8 degree climb but some part is around 14-25 degree. It is a category 3 climb in Strava. So, it is not as bad as in Hye Keat or TSLK.

IMG_2947 IMG_2948

To get there:- Turn into Jalan Oriental 6 from the main road – Jalan Paya Terubong.

Starting Point IMG_2933

There are always bond to have a good view when you ride in Penang. Whether you are riding along the coast or up on a hill. At the middle of the hill you will see the Paya Terubong suburb.

IMG_2940

Continue on with the journey…

IMG_2944 IMG_2950

Normally, people will stop once they reached a Chinese temple but that is not at the top of the hill yet. If you opt to continue after the Chinese temple, you will see a wider view of Penang. After the temple, it is easy riding with gradual climb and part pf the trail is cemented and non paved road.

IMG_2952 IMG_2957

If you wish to continue, the trail will lead you to a fruit farm. Highest elevation at this place is 432m.

IMG_2956 IMG_2959

Review: Supacaz Grip for MTB

IMG_4005

This is the 3rd grip that I have used for my MTB. The 1st was the Specialized SIP Locking Grips that comes with my bike which I have used it for more than 2 years. Then I got another grip from online store in China which it lasted for 1-2 months only. Then, my friend introduced me to Supacaz grip which I felt in love with it until now. Supacaz was founded by a group of cyclists in California. I would said they have a very good engineering.

The rubber compound is soft and sticky to hold with or without your gloves. My hands can be all sweaty and yet I can still get a good grip on my handlebar. Previously when I used the Specialized grip, my hands tend to numb especially long ride and slipped off when it was wet. With Supazaz I hardly have that problem anymore. I have a full control of my bike all the time.

They have very striking colors because most of them are neon colors. Of course, they have black too if you prefer the conventional way. I had the neon green not because I like it but they are clearing stocks. For MYR4x, I can get a pair of comfortable grips. The retail price in US is USD25.

IMG_3340

Do apologize for the dirty grips but that shows I have used long enough to blog this. 😛 (hahaha)

IMG_4006

I will definitely use this again next time. Also, I will try their roadbike bar tape too. There are 2 shops that carry this brand in Penang and they are Pro Cyclist (PC) 04-827 7811 & BMC 04-656 5001. I got mine from PC.