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Mountain Biking in Kuala Lumpur – Bukit Kiara

Recently, I had a work-related trip to Kuala Lumpur, and arranged for a day of sight-seeing – and emailed to a bunch of websites & forums asking about Mountain Biking while I was there.

I simply Google’d for “Mountain Biking” and “Kuala Lumpur” – and found a few blogs/sites (eg. MTBR) – and emailed to the folk at KLMBH and then Melody at the KL MTB Carnival – who put me in touch with Stanley Ng.  

He suggested his favourite spot called Bukit Kiara – or to Putrajaya Challenge Park.

After a bunch of emails back and forth, It eventuated that there were no real “bike hire” places – or trailheads – but that Stan was able to borrow a bike for me – just bring shoes+pedals – he even borrowed a helmet for me – nice !   

And – he’d pick me up at the hotel and take me out to Bukit Kiara – awesome.

MTB’ing in a foreign country, with a total stranger !?   I guess it’s true that “a stranger is just a friend you haven’t met”.

About 4pm was the agreed time, I was waiting the lobby, and saw a car with a MTB on the back, and figured it was Stan – so we said hello and I jumped in.   The weather was pretty muggy & hot – and had been raining for close to two hours – very humid !

I’m glad I wasn’t driving in KL – the traffic was chaos – peak-hour out of town – and it was SUNDAY – not even a week day – LOL !

image

We parked the car, and setup the bikes – attached my pedals – and prepared to set off.   I quickly discovered that the brakes were the opposite to what I was used to – this could be interesting !    And slightly different feel to my own bike – took about 10 mins to get acquainted.

Scott Spark for the ride

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Stan getting his bike ready to ride

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As we started out, the rain began as a drizzle – actually a little relief from the heat – it was nice & cool.    We rode up some tricky singletrack, through the rainforest, along the ridge of an embankment.  

Getting used to the bike, and wet trails, and tight sections was a bit of a challenge at first – I bashed my shoulder into a tree, and had a few rear-wheel spin-outs – and a bit of stop-start.

Stan explained that the trails are reducing in area, mainly due to some over-development of the area – we rode past some big (BIG) fencing – they reminded me of the fences in Jurassic Park – to keep out a T-Rex.  

The local mountain bike crew met with council & the construction company, and the fencing stopped – but, they simply left the materials along the forest roads – a bit of a mess.

In the wet, I was expecting the trails to be slippery & muddy – but it was more clay/clag – had more “grip” than I expected, but still unfamiliar to me – and so it was slow going.

The Singletrack was looped around and crossed a few forest roads, and we rode up a bitumen road for one section – originating at the Equestrian Centre.  

Some great trail names, including Wasteland, and Snakes & Ladders.

Just after crossing a forest road (wide open trail in THIS part)

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Singletrack smilin’

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It was great to have some local knowledge – of the trails, and the area – and Stan pointed out some of the rubber trees – with bags collecting the latex.   “Don’t touch ‘em – if you break the bag, and get it on you – it stinks !”

We kept riding – some tricky up-hill sections, and hike-a-bike parts – very tropical foliage – and was still raining – we were getting soaked – they don’t call it a “rainforest” for nothing…

I joked to Stan that the trails remind me of some scenes from the Colombian jungles in scenes from “Romancing The Stone” – that scene when we first meet Jack Colton (the Michael Douglas character) – LOL !

Getting hard to see

With the constant rain, my glasses were soaking wet – I needed wiper blades – and it was dark in among the trees – with an overcast (clouded) sky.  

We stopped a few times – but I was soooo soaked, I couldn’t dry off my glasses.   I only took a few photos – as I wasn’t sure how my rain the iPhone could handle before it conked out.

We rode from the upper-right (picture below), and across this bridge

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Heading back up the trail, after the bridge

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Action shot, along the river trail

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The climbs were getting harder & harder with the mud, and a had a few slips & falls, and had to hike-a-bike up some sections that were just too steep.  

We saw a few wild monkeys (!) – they were rummaging through the bins – one had a baby monkey on it’s back – amazing to see them in the wild – I think they were fairly used to see people.

We did one awesome section of trail with a flowing downhill segment, and then a shortish climb back up to the 4-way road crossing – we ended up doing the same loop again – and then headed up to ‘twin peaks’.   

There was a bit of a view out over the valley – but it was raining, and cloudy – it would have been a great view over Kuala Lumpur, on a nice clear day.

By now, the trails had rivers of water running down, and we were entirely soaking wet – so we started to head back down to the car.  

Also, it was nearly 7pm – and starting to get dark, so it was getting even more difficult to see the trails – last bit of Singletrack called TNT + Dirty Deeds.   We came out onto the bitumen road for the last section, rode and down through the Equestrian Centre.

Here’s the map of the trails we covered – thanks Stan for being an awesome tour guide !

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Post ride dinner + beers

After we got back to the car, we decided to ride on the suburban streets – to a local outdoor eatery – where I had to rely on Stan to help with ordering (local language).  

I asked for a Thai Green Curry – but the chef told me (via translation) that it was fairly spicy (!) – so I opted for a Pad Thai noodle dish – and we ordered some beers too.

We had the courtyard to ourselves – it was raining still – but we were totally soaking wet – so didn’t bother us.   Stan said that they often head to the same place after rides – and so he knew the local staff.

Over noodles & some Tiger beers, we chatted about Australia & Malaysia, and the various cultural, religious, social & economical differences – and personal family situations with up-coming Christmas & Chinese New Year.  

It turns out Stan went to university in Melbourne, and lived there for five years – so we knew some similar areas & suburbs.

He & his wife are hoping to come to Melbourne again – hopefully for a work placement (residency visa) – and so I’ll have to take him out to Lysterfield for some trails.

After we’d finished a few beers – the rain had stopped (doh !) – and we rode slowly back to the car – and loaded up the bikes.    I had to sit on some newspaper as I was still sopping wet – and didn’t want to get mud on the leather seats (nice car, Stan !)

It was a fairly easy drive back to the hotel – and I said goodbye to my new biking buddy about 9.30.   

Wow – what a great afternoon + evening – some great trails, and a unique wilderness – and good local knowledge.   And, lots of chatting over noodles & beer.

Thanks Stan – hope to see you in Melbourne sometime !

Smile

The last time I had an overseas trip, I went MTB’ing in the SNOW (Seattle) – so I can now add “Malaysian rainforest” – awesome !

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6 Responses

  1. […] Biking at Mt. Buller – and an afternoon with buddies in Albury (Nail Can Hill) – and even Malaysia […]

  2. Guys, looking for an organisation that can also provide 20bikes and accessories for a day biking at Bukit Kiara, please tolong.

  3. Hi Chris,

    We’ve just posted your story on TRAKS website, the NGO that does maintain Bukit Kiara trails and whose members – including Stan did build these trails ! Hope to see you around sometime.

    Cheers,

    The TraksWeb – http://www.traks.org.my

    • traksweb – hi guys, i am coming to KL for one day saturday 20th december and was wondering if you could out me in touch with some local riders so i could try and experience some of the great local spots near KL, have heard many a great thing

      regards tim

  4. hey mate, i am in sydney and I bike heaps, read your blog about riding in KL. i have spent hours trying to find bike hire but to no avail. would love to have contact details for Stanley Ng.

    my name is tim funnell, 0428424227 or find me on facebook

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