Wednesday, August 28, 2013

KKB - Gap

It's all or nothing...

We've had our 24" folding bikes for more than two months and our goal is to cycle it in Penang on Sept 08.
The route is roughly about 82km with two critical hill courses.
I've cycled up the Genting Peras in Hulu Langat, Selangor on two training gigs and am pretty happy with the timing improvements.

A route less traveled

Michelle and I have been up the Sungai Chilling Fish Sanctuary with our Jetstreams.
Its a straight-forward 10km climb from Kuala Kubu Baru town.
The ride to Gap, which is the base of Fraser's Hill is roughly about 30km one-way.
I didn't reveal this to Michelle and our riding buddies were Kevin Tan, Vincent (Kevin's buddy) and our regular cycling kaki Mohd Radzi Md Noor.

Keen enthusiasm: Michelle and her Tern Link P9
Gear crunching and thigh busting climbs

Unlike Genting Peras, Genting Sempah and Raub, the KKB-Gap route is rather long with moderate inclines.
The average gradient is about 3% and the steepest slopes are measured at 5.8%.
We slowly made our way to the Selangor Dam after breakfast in KKB and was ahead of Kevin and Vincent who ride their carbon road bikes.
Along the way, we met a couple who was setting up their folding bike and a road bike.
Seems that the Dam visitors centre's staff was not happy on cyclists parking at their designated parking lot.
They were told to park elsewhere.
We rode past the Sungai Chilling Fish Sanctuary and began to climb the gradual slope towards a lay by area. 
There are literally no flat roads here but long slopes, so, I was averaging at 60-75rpm on the pedal.

Kevin and Vincent

The climb begins
It seems that Saturday is a good day to cycle up to the Gap as there are very few cyclists and vehicles plying the route.
Along the way, we met a lady on her mountain bike who was working her way up to Fraser's Hill. 
She was riding ahead of her group who were way back on the trail.
Half way through the course, we saw a signboard to indicate a historical site where a high-ranking British colonial official was shot dead in Oct 1951.
The historic figure was no other than Sir Henry Gurney.
Slowly, but surely, we inched our way towards the last few kilometres of the course and worked our way to the Gap.

Long climbs on the road to the Gap

The Gap at last!
It wasn't as tough as it seemed...

We took more than three hours to reach the Gap from KKB and averaged at 10km/h.
Kevin and Vincent were the first on the scene and I recalled him prompting me to go all the way up to Fraser's Hill, which is another 8km from the base.
He was too tired to do so, and we took a break at one of the stalls at the Gap.
There, we met a fellow cyclist on his touring bike.
I indulged on a conversation with the guy who told me that he regularly cycles from Sg Chilling to Fraser's Hill.
There were also a bunch of bikers on their BMW dual-purpose motorcycles.
One came up to us and related his experience on touring in Europe. He said he rode some 6,000km across the continent and said that cyclists are well-respected there.
After our fill, we began to roll downhill towards KKB.

The way down

About 15-minutes into the ride, we came across the lone lady cyclist.
I think she was not that enthusiastic about being greeted as she was working her way uphill.
Later, we saw her friends who were moving slowly with their heavily-laden bikes.
They were packing panniers and Michelle said these folks might spend a night up in Fraser's Hill.
After an hour of rolling downhill, we finally reached KKB and had lunch there before parting ways.
I told Kevin that I am saving the ride up to Fraser's Hill for our next outing.
Seeing as it is, this route may be our regular cycling course as the hill are not as steep as we had expected...

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