Monday, December 30, 2013

Rawang - Batu Arang Ride: Part 1

The other side of Rawang.. 

I caught wind of a ride organised by Cikgu SC Chan, a teacher in Rawang, Selangor who took up cycling seriously.
The route was from Rawang - Kundang - Kuang - Batu Arang - Rawang.
To the uninitiated, this is roughly about 56km looping around Rawang's heavy industrial areas and towards Kundang lake, Kuang and Batu Arang.
The plan was to meet up at SMK Seri Garing near the Lafarge Cement plant and ride out from there.
I told Michelle that it was time for us to join up with the foldie community as we have been totally isolated from their activities.
From his reputation, Cikgu Chin is a meticulous person who plans his ride and takes really good care of the people who cycles with him.
I know about this through friends who rode with him in Serendah.

Teacher in da house: Cikgu Chin setting up his bike
Wild country

We drove to SMK Seri Garing and found that there crowd was already setting up their bikes.
Among them, were familiar faces.
Facebook celebrity Andrew Ng and his wife Hui Min was already there with a relative who was cycling for the first time.
Cikgu Chin and his cycling buddy Cikgu Lee was seen there setting up their bikes with one of their pupils.
Slowly, one-by-one, the cyclists arrived at the school.
We were allowed to park in the compound and the cycling event was acknowledged by the school's headmaster.
We gathered for a group photo before riding out to the Lafarge cement factory where the trail begins..

Taking a snapshot with the cyclists
The headmaster posing for a shot

We were surprised to learn that Rawang is actually a small valley surrounded by hills.
There were some stretches along the route where the gradient was around 5 - 7%.
Slowly, but surely we rode up to a plateau and re-grouped.
At this point, it was clear that the more experienced cyclists were ahead of the pack.
Those with strength and stamina were not even panting after the climb.
We waited for the last guy to reach the rendezvous point and moved on.

Cycling along the cement factory
Clearing the hill

Rolling down towards Kundang
Expecting the unexpected..

Just a quarter way round the bend, I experienced a flat tire.
My front wheel was dragging as a result of a slow-release.
Upon closer inspection, I found a piece of wire embedded on the tire's wall.
It was small enough to patch and it took me about 15-minutes to recover the bike before moving on to climb a series of slopes before we rolled towards Kundang.

Helmet malfunction: my friend rode a distance before he noticed the helmet was worn the other way round.. 

Taking snapshots at Kundang Lake
Much to do about nothing in Kundang..

Kundang is a small town located not too far from Rawang.
It can also be accessed via Sungai Buloh.
After taking the scenic route from the Lafarge cement factory, we reached a busy intersection and moved towards the lake area in Kundang.
Most of us commented on the filthy public park which was a put off.
Empty cans and drinking bottles were littered everywhere.
We took some snapshots and moved on to a stall located about 500 meters from the lake and had late breakfast there.
Cikgu Chin was considerate enough to eat in a Malay stall as he was mindful about the Muslim cyclists in our midst..

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