Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Jetstream Adventures 04: Chinese New Year Ride - Part 02

The journey home...

We had it all figured out.
The plan was to ride into the city centre, then take the KTM Komuter from the Kuala Lumpur Railway station.
The journey to Jalan Semarak was smooth. From there, we cycled towards Jalan Daud and the Kampung Baru intersection.

Cruising along Jalan Semarak...
Old and new: Kg Baru with the Petronas Twin Towers in the background

Photo opportunity
Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman: the deadliest passage

The one route that I would avoid is Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman.
It stretches from the Jalan Raja Muda Musa junction towards the Jalan Raja intersection.
This is a long stretch that is full of buses, taxis and cars. 
There's hardly any run-off space for bicycles.
Through it's existence, Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman had claimed numerous lives, namely: the unfortunate pedestrians and motorcyclist.
That's why I am not a fan of those "Night Ride in the city" events that runs through this route in Kuala Lumpur.
If you want to ride along this route, you must have nerves of steel and an aggressive stance like those messenger riders in New York City.
We avoided a stretch in Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman and exited near the Jalan Sultan Ismail intersection.
From there, we rode on the pavement and made it as far as Jalan Raja.

Crossing onto Jalan Raja Alang
At Jalan Raja near the Sultan Abdul Samad building
Forward to Kuala Lumpur Railway station..

We halted at the traffic light junction near Jalan Raja and waited patiently for the lights to go green.
Then, it's a short ride to the historical KL Raiway station.
In it's past glory, this station has a hotel and caters to rail travelers from all over the world.
What's left now, is a pale shade from its glorious past.
We took some snapshots at this Colonial-era building and packed out bikes.
A group of KTM ticket inspectors walked past us and were talking about folding bikes being packed.
From here, we covered our Jetstreams and worked our way towards the KTM Komuter platform which is bound for Port Klang..

Photo ops at the KL Railway station

Waiting for our train to Subang Jaya
And as predicted.. 

Thirty years ago, Kuala Lumpur's streets were deserted. Not a single soul on the road as half the city's population are out of town.
Today, it's business as usual as the city's landscape changes with the arrival of new economic migrants from West Asia and the developing countries of Southeast Asia.
More apparent are the Burmese people who settled here as "refugees".
Seriously, I don't know how they ended up as asylum-seekers as most of them ended up being employed. And they brought their families along to set up little Rangoon's in places like Jalan Silang and Jalan Pudu.
The Bangladeshis and Nepalis too are nicely settled-in here.
I told Michelle that the KTM Komuter service is preferred choice of transport for such economic migrants and it turned out that what I said was true.
KTM is revamping its electronic ticketing system to go in tandem with their ETS services to the North and South.
This is something that we will experience in the later part of this year.
As I made a beeline towards the ticketing booth, hoards of Banglas were making their way out of the station in transit either to Rawang or Seremban.
A guy jumped the cue just to be turned away by an abusive KTM staff.
The man had literally abused a couple of Banglas verbally and told them that only group tickets are sold on the electronic gate.
A single-journey ticket from KL Railway station to Subang Jaya costs about RM1.70. 
Michelle was really surprised with the cheap ride. This is also one of the factors why foreign economic migrants love to take the train. In their country, they will even sit on the roof to get from one station to the other.
Stupid politics aside, we Malaysians are ignorant of this and do not appreciate the peace and freedom that the country has to offer.

Some "ladies" in the women-only coach
Setting up for the ride home.. 
We hopped onto a coach which is meant for ladies only.
There were a group of Bangladeshis in the train, oblivious to the fact that the coach was meant from women.
They sat next to Michelle and were looking at our bikes.
I stood next to my wife and after a few stations, a ticket conductor walked past and asked the Banglas to move to the common coach.
I played possom and stood there all the way to Subang Jaya.
The ticket guy realized that we were hauling heavy cargo and was kind enough to ignore us.
Station after station, the foreigners kept coming in and each time they were about to settle down, they were herded away like cattle to the common coach.

Rolling along SS16 in Subang Jaya
On final approach

Home at last! 
On the home-run

We reached Subang Jaya about 4:45 in the afternoon.
There's another 11km stretch to cover from the train station and we covered our usual route towards Jalan Kewajipan.
After clocking-in nearly 40km, we pulled over at the Main Place mall where I made a detour to grab some vegetables to cook dinner.
On the whole, the multimodal commute and ride in PJ and KL was a smooth affair. We avoided some major roads and enjoyed the ride through some interesting parts of the route..
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