Tuesday, 28 August 2012

My cycle journey from Batu Caves to Dataran Merdeka

And so it begins. My first bicycle ride (out of my comfort zone) out of my housing area to town. To a serious cyclist, this sounds like such a kacang putih ride, but to me its an adventure and an experience. Kenny and I have been talking for weeks about cycling together since I got my bike about a month back. We've been making plans about where to go but I suggested that I should start with something simple just for me to get the hang of it. We got pretty excited especially since we watched Premium Rush the night before with Vons and we couldn't stop talking about cycling around town (like bike messengers).

Our journey started on a gloomy but cooling Sunday morning from my house. Kenny came by with his road bike (a very light carbon fiber one nonetheless). I had to keep stressing to Kenny to please jaga me cause MTB is heavier and slower; plus I'm not really a fast rider. We started moving around 7.30am and headed straight to Batu Caves as a first point. 

Its mandatory to at least get a shot right in front of the Batu Caves steps to officiate our cycling adventure. 
I have been staying around Batu Caves for years but I hardly ventured into the temple area. Both of us riding our bikes in made us seemed like tourist!

After the quick shot, we quickly started our journey and took the inner roads of Sentul through some industrial and housing area. It was a slow and easy ride, going through some of the more serene parts of Sentul. Modern houses blended in with wooden ones amongst the peaceful environment. Since development is at a rapid rate, the former seems more abundantly seen. Kenny headed with me tailing behind. I can see  Kenny is going at a very easy pace, judging from his gears. Where else I'm pedaling more (like a hooligan) trying to catch up. Not complaining though. More leg muscle workout for me.

Before you know it, we reached out somewhere heading towards Bulatan Pahang and headed straight towards Balai Seni Lukis (National Art Gallery) and Istana Budaya.

Kenny at the Balai Seni Lukis; just next to the entrance.

I preferred the more unconventional shot of doing the Gangam Style pose. I seemed not impressed as I seemed half awake.
I was telling Kenny it has been years that I've been to Balai Seni Lukis. I used to frequent this place a lot as an Art student. Life in college has always been a relaxing one. I used to walk around the facility and admiring the artworks for hours! It was a good place to do my research work and they used to serve the best coffee around at the cafeteria. Unfortunately that was closed down some time back. I think I should make another visit again soon to see what exhibition they have installed.

Next up was Istana Budaya where major performance arts are usually held. Since I've never had the chance to actually catch a show (basically because of ticket prices/ timing issues) I decided to do my own silly performance right in front of their doorstep. I dub thy play "AC jumps around Bike". Dumb play name! I amused myself easily.

My dance around my bike threatened the clouds to burst into tears. One round enough! 
Next we head on to nearby Tasik Titiwangsa. It was still pretty gloomy but the weather was fine. My earlier rain dance did not come into fruition but blessed with cooling winds instead. Perfect! It was a joyful sight with runners/ joggers/ roller bladders / aunties and uncles doing tai chi around. Not many cyclist but there were few. We hanged out a bit to take in the scenery.

A time to chill and ponder. Soooo relaxing!

Kenny and his carbon fiber road bike. Put it side by side with mine, I feel like a small fly.
This was supposedly where our journey is supposed to end and head off for breakfast. Kenny just looked at me and said "Enough ka? Wanna go Dataran?". "Are you kidding me? Don't tell me this is the end. Let's go!", I exclaimed with a glee on my face. Since it was still pretty early and the traffic was smooth, we headed down Dataran via Chow Kit.

When I say smooth, it was UNBELIEVABLY smooth. There were hardly any cars around, making our journey easy. It was quite an unusual sight. How come traffic in KL can't be this smooth during weekdays? As we were cycling along, we were talking about the routes we were travelling on. "Hey, this looks bloody familiar. Dammit SCKLM route! Imagined the distance we ran!" I said. We laughed and reminiance our training together with our Dutamas Runners group. Imagine all the hard work we put into this one marathon!

As we slowly approached Dataran, there were some road barriers. Got me wondering what was going on. When we arrived, it was the rehearsals for the upcoming Merdeka celebrations.

School kids instead of the usual civil servants. Cut cost ka?
We watched as school kids rehearse for their performances. It was quite a sight as the kids rehearse but I kinda pity them that the sun is about to come up as well.

Kenny right in front of Bangunan Sultan Abdul Samad. 
We were hanging around freely in front of Bangunan Sultan Abdul Samad. This was where we started for SCKLM (Standard Chartered KL Marathon) and memories were still fresh even after 2 months. Being goofy as I always am, I asked Kenny to take a shot of me with my "patriotic" pose. Just a normal standard salute. Fortunately, there were no Janji Capati banners hanging around. Malaysia flag sudah cukup enough.

I stand salute!

My alang-alang vision of becoming a model. Sai miang!
 After having enough of photo shooting, we headed to St. John's Church for our final stop and to look for coffee. Took us less than 10 minutes but traffic at church was busy. A quick shot and we straight head to Jalan H.S.Lee.
Quick one at St. John's. 
Upon arriving at Syarikat Kopi LOKL, we were met with dissapointment. It's not open! KNS... But it's ok. I soon found out that it's only open during working hours and rumours have it that Cheryl Samad sometimes pop by to serve coffee. Wonder if it's true. It's located within a backpacker's lodge, BACKHOME. BACKHOME is one of my favourite places in KL. I usually stay here the night before SCKLM. They have such wonderful services and beautiful dorms (dorms doesn't even sound fitting. More like a high class lodge). It's no wonder they are rated 3rd in Asia by Backpacker's World. Perhaps one day I'll blog about this.

Syarikat Kopi LOKL signboard right outside.

No Kopi, then drink water lor....
Since there is no coffee and the heat is beginning to soar, we decided just to head back to Jalan Ipoh for Dim Sum. We quickly rode back via Chow Kit again. In our heads, we still had many thoughts from our Premium Rush movie the night before. How awesome it is when your daily job is just to cycle around town just to deliver packages. We berangan-angan for a while, later realizing that it will never happen in KL judging from crazy traffic.
Premium Rush ala KL style.
Please don't try this in real life and it's not even advisable.
Safety first. This was shot leaning against a static bus.
Our journey to Jalan Ipoh was a quick one. Guess we were extremely hungry. We parked our bikes near to our table and quickly ordered. Again the crazy looks from other people! I think they think we are crazy people. Oh well, we live our own life.

Yummy HK Chee Cheong Fun. Fat prawns!
As usual, I would have my HK Chee Cheong Fun. Out came this large plate of Cheong Fun with large prawns soaking in soy sauce and oil. I didn't care much for diet then. I was famished! We finished our food quickly as we made breakfast arrangements with Vons who is doing her LSD at FRIM. Yes, our dimsum were pre-breakfast. How sinful! Anyways, I claim it was "Cheat Day" anyhow.

Our journey back was pretty quick with no stops. We reached home before 12pm and immediately drove to Dutamas to meet up with Vons and surprisingly Capt Khoo decided to join in last minute. We had our usually "blow water" talk and our morning adventures. It was a great day and I can't wait for the next one. Although the whole journey was only about 40km , it was good enough experience for me to prep myself for future cycle rides. I've already been hinted for Frasers, Janda Baik and Genting Sempah. Well, I'm OK as long as someone leads me. Till then, I'll continue training and exploring my neighbourhood.

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