Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Ride: Simpang Pulai - Kg Raja

Breathtaking mountains...

The valley below...you can see the road going up from miles away.

Some serious erosion..

After having done Tapah-Brinchang, I hunger for another ride, but this time Sg Pulai (near Ipoh), to Kg Raja. I've heard this route is safer than the one from Tapah, but with the recent bus crash with 27 fatalities, I have doubts to how safe it was.

I departed quite late from KL (8am), which was caused by lousy sleeping the night before. Drove all the way to Sg Pulai, and started the ride around 10:45am. Yea, it was late morning, and my head was still in a state of drowsiness. Partly from lack of sleep, partly from driving 2 hours on the road.

As I unpacked the bike, to my horror, I forgotten the bike pump. Now the rule to riding is always self sufficiency. You've got to make sure you have everything spares just in case. And I don't really like the feeling of riding far crippled by the lack of tools. But I took a gamble anyway, hoping for the best.

As the ride started from the main crossroads into the blasted quarry hills and beyond, it was soon obvious there won't be much shades covering. And it was getting hot.

After 8km, I passed the corner where the bus had crashed. Debris is still visible on the left side of the road, and black patches were around there as well. The divided has been repaired. As I move on, I find it hard to imagine so many perished at the same spot.

As the elevation gains, the view changed as well. What struck me was the tall mountains towering just beside the road. It was almost vertical up, and I can't help to slow down just to appreciate.

But I was getting hungrier on the way, and tired as well. It's mostly climbs and frankly too much of it, is draining my energy. By 40km, I stopped to rest and have some snacks, which wasn't really enough. Luckily a lone food shop provided some coffee, and fried bananas, which I desperately needed.

And it was getting cold as well, almost to the point of drizzling but not raining. As it was the monsoon season, the easternly winds were blowing hard and dumping rain as I headed downwards towards Kg raja.

Finally reaching Kg Raja, which looks like a small town, and less exciting than Brinchang. Had lunch there as well. It was in my earlier plan to cycle to Brinchang, but time wasn't enough, so it's back to Sg Pulai again.

After the initial climb up to the top from Kg raja, the downhill is perhaps the most exciting part of the ride. Since traffic is sparse, you could have the whole road by yourself.

I didn't really took note of the time reaching back, but it's probably 4 something. Anyway, I was thankful I had no punctures, or else I've got to try to hitch a ride back.

This route is really recommended for its' scenic mountain view and valleys. The next ride is going to cover one big loop from Sg pulai-kg Raja-Brinchang-Tapah and back.


Ajo said...

berapa km dari simpang pulai - kg raja ?

yipwt said...

I think 60km. So pergi balik is 120km :)

Kentz said...

wow yip, as usual u r damn good and fit...

John said...

Wish to try this ride up from simpang pulai probably solo. Where did you park the car and start the ride up?
I reckon there are no places along this route where I can top up my drinks. Right?

yipwt said...

Once you exit from the highway, pass the toll, you'll see a T junction. Turn right until you see the traffics. Turning right again, will lead towards cameron highlands.

You can park near the shops near the traffics on your left :)

Nope, there's no refill for the first 40km until you see a small hut. So refill as much as possible before the ride.

John said...

Yip, Thanks for the info on parking and hydration advise.

Are the shops near the traffic lites, the bricks and mortar type with proper parking lots or are they the wooden type (like Hulu Langat Batu 18) where parking is mostly at the grass road shoulders.

Thanks again.

yipwt said...

Yes, it's brick & mortar shops...with real parking space...

John said...

Yip, thanks again for the info and quick responses :)