Friday, June 29, 2012

Batang Kali Backpacking Ride - Part 1

The forum's activity..
Since 'Malaysian Foldies' has gone live on Facebook, there were some encouraging responses.
This is an offshoot from the Forums and so far, we have more than 200 members. 
The active ones have never missed a single ride organized for the domain.
Which goes to the case of a recent bikepacking ride from KL Sentral to Batang Kali in Selangor.

Purpose
From the uninitiated, there has been a lot of complaints about KTMB's Komuter service.
Yes, its a fact that bicycles are not allowed onboard.
But things are changing.
With a folding bike which is properly bagged, you can now commute and travel around the Klang Valley and to towns as far as the Singapore and Thai border with your bike.
Hence, the exercise is to promote travel with a bicycle and for newcomers to experience bikepacking.
I've done this numerous time and when it comes to organizing a ride as such, there are logistics involve.
So, I planned the meeting place in KL Sentral and from there, we travel to Batang Kali and ride towards Hulu Yam Baru.

Destination: Sungai Sendat
I've been to the Sungai Sendat waterfalls near Hulu Yam Baru.
This is a picturesque tourist spot which is packed during weekends.
And its also a straight-forward 12km ride from Batang Kali train station.
The return fare from KL Sentral to Batang Kali is RM9.80.
I was lucky that CK Toh, one of our regular folding bike kaki had offered to car pool to KL Sentral where we met six other riders.
On this trip, I cycled with Andrew Ng and his wife including old-timer Sin Tai Lim and television personaly Chris Ng for the first time.
The regulars were Roger Teoh, Radzi and Toh.

Blending in: the foldies and commuters enroute to Rawang
We started the journey from KL Sentral to Rawang before switching onto a train to Batang Kali.
Lucky for us, the timing was impeccable.
We arrived in time to wait for another 30minutes before the connecting train to Tg Malim arrived.
It takes about one and a-half hours for the commuting journey and we reached Batang Kali at 10am in the morning.
After setting up the bikes, we rode towards Hulu Yam Baru.
To my surprise, the rural road had lanes which is wide enough for bikes to cycle.
Traffic was a breeze as we cycled towards our destination.
At Hulu Yam, we made a stop for tea and packed our lunch.

At the Batang Kali train station

Near the Genting Highland alternative route
I had my Jetstream EX's Ashima PCB brakes fixed and this was the first time the bike was taken on a train.
So far, no issues on boarding the train and traveling to Batang Kali.
While we were at KL Sentral, the group did attract some attention from the onlookers.
The foldies and their bikes became an ice-breaker.
From Hulu Yam, it was a breezy 6km ride to Sungai Sendat.
There were several climbs along the way, which was not bad as most of us had no issues riding the hilly road.
And to my joy, the picnic area around the falls was not crowded.
We found a hut to settle down and parked our bikes.

No sweat: climbing the slope to Sg Sendat

Arrival at destination
 After the short ride, I worked out an appetite and had my packed lunch.
The rest of the guys went on to survey the falls.
And for some strange reason, the weather started to play up.
It rained and we took shelter on the hut before calling it a day..
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