Travel: Penang Street Arts

This is my 2nd blog after I have stopped for many months. I would like thank all of you who are still following. Hope to get back onto my 2 feet and get some posting rolling.

If you a fan of street arts and have been following the arts around the country, then you will need to come to Penang for these 2 magnificent pieces. They are located in Balik Pulau with the GPS coordinate 5.351705, 100.235621 or you can refer to the map below with the red dot. It is pretty easy to find as it is painted the whole piece of the wall.

Since you are here, get a bowl of asam laksa and a fresh nutmeg juice. The famous laksa is just beside the street arts and a big car park. Or, may be some durians since this is the season for durians.

These are my blogs about other street arts.

KL Street Arts
Penang Street Arts
Penang Street Arts 2

Trail: Balik Pulau Leisure Ride

Bored of cycling in Georgetown or the dedicated bicycle lane? Wanna get away from the city center? Well, why not come to Balik Pulau to enjoy the nature and tranquility. It is a good thing that Penang is a small island as you can head west or south of Penang Island from Georgetown with only 1 hour drive.

There are many kampong (village) trails in Balik Pulau and I have just explore 1 but it is not going to be my last one. I will definitely go back there again when I find time. The one we went was at Jalan Kuala Sungai Pinang off Jalan Sungai Rusa. There are plenty of space to park your car and I parked it outside of a school.

Map1 Map IMG_2070

We started off our bike ride at Thean Hor Keong Temple and move inwards. I wouldn’t classified this as a trail at all, as a truck can drive by also. So, a better term will be a fire road. I would said 70% of this road is off road and 30% tarred. There were no cars at all when we rode there and with just a few motorbikes and cows. The roads are quite shady and we didn’t feel hot even we rode at around 10-11 in the morning. Since not many motorized vehicle pass by, this place is quiet and peaceful with a great view. You pretty much see greens and stream running down along the path.

Shaddy ride

IMG_2040 IMG_2060 IMG_2050 IMG_2058 IMG_2042

Greens

IMG_2039 IMG_2046 IMG_2045

Since the road is quite short, we continue our journey to Pantai Acheh to get a bit of distance. From here it was all tarred road and on a main road. Though not many cars around but they can be quite fast, so be a look out if you have small children riding with you. Also, there are 2 small hills that they need to climb but not difficult.

At the end of the journey, don’t forget heading to Balik Pulau town for a bowl of delicious Asam Laksa and a freshing nutmeg juice. At the same time do enjoy the latest piece of Penang street art.

IMG_2073

There are bicycle rental and tours you can join in Balik Pulau such as Explore Balik Pulau or Audi Homestay. Or you can bring your own bike and follow my path. My next exploration will be riding around the paddy fields and fishing villages. I am sure it is going to be another relaxing ride.

Ride: P2W Ride

For very 1st time, I have another person going to write in my blog. We used to ride together until he joined as an air steward and it was a pleasure for me to ride with him again last weekend. After the ride, I saw him posted this in his Facebook and I find it very interesting and a good write up. So, I borrow his article and post it here. Of course, with his permission. So, let me present you Hafiz Feroz…

10437436_10201983797028166_5364664689223114017_n

Never have I ever felt this lethargic before. Came back for cycling with P2W team to Pulau Betong and back using Batu Ferringhi hilly and winding road. Was so exited for this morning ride as it has been awhile since I last cycled with a large group. Leading the group whole way from Island Plaza till Teluk Bahang. Once reach the dam, I was planning to turn back and head home as I started to feel fatigue on both legs from those hilly climbs. My team mates motivate me and push me so that I’ll follow them all the way to Pulau Betong and back. Feeling heavy hearted, I did follow them with my half fatigue legs.

There’s about 8km straight road before reaching Pulau Betong and most Penangites will know this part as the only place in Penang island where you can push as fast as you want without worrying any traffic lights ahead. The moment we entered that road, the team start to place themselves in one straight line which is commonly known as “drafting”. At that time I was in the second group which consist of 6 to 8 riders and most are them are tri-bike cyclists. The first group is 1km ahead of us and most of them are road bikers. As my team started to cruise along the straight village road, I look down on my speedometer and we were cruising around 41 to 43km per hour and that’s quite fast considering that I haven’t touch my bike for nearly 6 months. I know deep inside myself that I’m gonna bonk halfway but I try to maintain with my group until we reach Pulau Betong and back.

There is this coffee shop at the foot of Balik Pulau hill which is commonly known as Aik Joo cafe among cyclists in Penang. We stop there to refuel, not refuel our bike but refuel ourselves with “milo peng”, “swee kam peng” and 100 plus. At that time I was silent most of the time, tried to calm myself down from the agonizing pain on my legs. Tried to rest my legs as much as I can before cycling back up to the Balik Pulau Hill peak, which is also known as 800. This was the long last climb before we reach Batu Feringghi. So we started cycle up the hill and I was the last guy at the back of the group. The only thing that motivated me slowly to pedal up was just my trance songs in my iPhone. Head banging and singing to the songs kinda help me to forget the pain on my legs.

It was a never ending climb for me until I reach 800. At that time, the whole group was waiting for me to reach the top before we decent together. That was the only best part because I can just relax my legs and let gravity take over my speed. It was a smooth and relax ride till we reach Hard Rock Hotel. I started to notice a few riders in my group cranked up their gear and pushed the pace. I was left with two choices at that time, either draft with them or cycle alone and suffer from the headwind. It was a tough decision as I can’t feel both my legs then and I can’t even stand and sprint with my bike because at the moment I tried to stand and cycle, I can feel both of my quads cramped. At that point, just left 5km more till we reach our resting point. Well, it was consider as a resting point for me and a finished point for others. So I just hang on with the group, trying my best to draft with them. It was the most painful moment that I have ever had in my cycling life. Both legs screaming for me to stop.

Hung on as much as I can till we reached our resting point. This is one of the usual coffee shop that we used to hangout before. Usually I will have my light breakfast here before cycling back another 10km to my house. I guess this was the first time I didn’t eat anything at that shop, only drinking two glasses of “swee kam peng”. Too tired until I don’t have the appetite to eat.

After finish refueled ourselves, we slowly headed back home. Once I reached home, opened the door and my legs gave up and I stumbled onto the carpet. Stumbled really hard. My dad gotta picked me up and laid me down properly as I can’t even stand at that time. I was laying flat for almost 30 mins till I try to stand back on my own legs. I can’t really walk properly at that time and all I can do was slowly walk to my room and laid down on my bed. My upper body was perfectly fine but my lower body was totally numbed. Laid down on my bed and slept for nearly two hours. Didn’t even manage to shower.

It was a bitter sweet moment for me as I finally get to cycle with my team mates and to see them improved so much from the past 6 months was incredible. Time to rest my legs and fly back to KL. Will be back on 14th with the hope that my legs will fully recover to cycle back with them.

Trails: Malihom Off Road Ride

Sungai Ara, Penang has endless bike trails. I have been riding here for more than 2 years and every now and then I still stumble upon new trails. The excitement is never ended. Last weekend we start off from SP Setia -> Coconut -> Bird House (Money Home) -> short off road -> Malihom – Balik Pulau -> Telekom Tower thru Rapid Bus Station -> Tun Sardon -> Quarry -> Cherrie Blossom.

Sg Ara IMG_4340

The total trails were about 30km with about 1-2km off roads. The rest are pave cemented roads. From SP Setia to Balik Pulau was an easy ride with wide cemented roads and ranges from 5 to 15 degree gradient climb. Getting up to the Telekom Tower was pretty tough as the gradient is about 10-20 degree. It was single cemented track but covered with moss. So, the tires were just spinning. The view from the Telekom Tower.

IMG_4371 IMG_4376 IMG_4373

Once you reach Malihom, just take a moment to sit and enjoy the cool breeze. Also, enjoy the beautiful view of Penang from 349m off sea level. These are some of the pics taken there:-

IMG_4342 IMG_4347 IMG_4355 IMG_4357 IMG_4359 IMG_4364 IMG_4366

A lot of these trails are private property and mostly are fruits orchard. On 1 or 2 of the orchards have lots of dogs. Like Bird House and Telekom Tower. Just beware of the dogs at Bird House as they are cross breed with Pit Bull and they are fierce. I heard that they have bitten some riders before. So, just be very careful or go in groups.

Whoever is interested in riding these trails do drop me an email or message. I can send you my GPX file.