Thursday, September 22, 2011

World Car Free Day ride

Cycling on the Federal Highway Bike Lane 
Prior arrangements were made yesterday on the World Car Free Day ride.
My route was planned as a loop from USJ26 to Section 16 in Petaling Jaya.
This was for an article written by my colleague Andrew Sia who wanted to highlight about people who cycle to work.
Well, I don't do that at all, but felt obliged to take my Dahon Jetstream out for a spin as well as get back in shape for future rides.




The route
Michelle and I had cycled to KL City Centre before on the Federal Highway motorbike lane.
From our home, we took the LDP and crossed over to USJ 19.
Today, I took the back roads by riding up the flyover on the LDP and making a sharp left towards USJ 20.
From there, I cycled towards USJ 1 near the Summit and made a turn towards USJ 3.
This route has less slopes as its pretty flat. 
Saves time instead of climbing the long slopes in USJ 12 and 13 towards USJ 4.
From the edge of Persiaran Tujuan (This is a busy road with a reputation for some nasty accidents) I made my way to SS 19 and rolled down towards the Federal Highway motorcycle lane.
The night before, I received a call from my buddy Low Boon Tat, who is also a staff photographer to arrange the photoshoot.
Since it rained a bit, I was about 15-minutes late.
Boon Tat was waiting at the motorcycle exit lane near the Samsung Service Centre.
He climbed over the pedestrian bridge to get a clean shot of me cycling on the bike lane.
After the photoshoot was concluded, we made our way to an Indian restaurant in Jalan 223 for breakfast.
The food at Krishna Curry house was horrendous. I had a burnt roti telur for breakfast, which I finished only a portion.
We talked about the Star cycling team and the OCBC Cycling Malaysia ride next month and how to make the most out of the sponsorship.


Arrival at Section 16
After leaving Jalan 223, I made my way to Section 14, then towards Jalan Abu Bakar in Section 16. The ride was smooth as I begin my gradual climb towards the traffic light leading to Section 17. 
The ride wasn't so bad as I had imagined. It was a lot worse if you cycle from Section 16 towards Jalan Universiti.
As I was approaching Phileo Damansara, I spotted Andrew who was riding his month-old Dahon Mu P8.
He told me he had plenty of issues with the bike. A loose telescopic handlebar was one of the main problems.
Andrew was having his picture taken by photographer Shamsul and another intern.
I rode off towards Menara Star and parked my bike at the driveway. 
While waiting for my colleague and fellow foldie, a few staff from the office walked past.
One of them asked: "Eh bradder, ini basikal free ke?" (Is this a free bike?). 
I don't know what compelled him to say that. Maybe its his freeloading spree that initiated the question.
I told the guy: "Dalam dunia, mana ada barang free bang!" (The is no such thing as 'free').
Moments later, my friend arrived. He parked his bike and asked for a photo session. 
I was reluctant to oblige because so many shots were taken.
From experience, only one would make it to the main page. Or none.
I guess Andrew has plans for a feature article on cycling to work.
On that topic I suggested Ng Sek San, Ng Chor Guan and a dude in Phileo 2 who cycles to work.


A cheap plug for Chevrolet
The general reaction
Most people did not believe that I have cycled for 28km from my house in Subang Jaya to Menara Star.
"Hah? You cycled to the office? How come?," asked a co-worker.
"Today is Car Free Day mah.....," I responded.
At the office, I caught up with my colleagues, downloaded some shots of the ride from Boon Tat.
Then, I rode off to Damansara Kim for lunch with Andrew. We continued to talk about cycling at a fish head noodles shop.
Among the topics were the Jungle Railway ride organised by Pauline Lee.
I can't make it for this one as I've exhausted my leave for this month.
But I did told Andrew about working with bikepacking guru TT Siang about cycling in Northern Thailand.


A new trick
Since the Garmin EDGE800 GPS on my handlebar was meant for touring, I learned that if you switched off the unit, you paused it. All the information is recorded. A hard reset means you wipe out all the data.
But when you switch it on again, you get the stored information. I lost at least 5 - 8km of distance by leaving the set on without 're-starting' the trip timer.
This is a useful lesson learned. Which means that I can track my long-distance ride in a continuous loop.


The journey home
After a hearty meal, it was time to part ways. 
Andrew was headed home in Bandar Utama. He would continue to carry on with his work.
From Damansara Kim, I rode towards the LDP.
I cycled towards SS3 and Sungai Way where I made my way across the Motorola bridge and joined back the Federal Highway motorcycle lane.
This is a shorter and safer route towards SS13 in Subang Jaya.
At SS13, its a long ride towards Summit USJ. Home run is in sight.
I made my way towards Persiaran Kewajipan and continued towards the LDP.
By 2.30pm, I was home. Mission accomplished. That's no car for a whole day! 
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