PJ FUN RIDE 2016
Cycling is a fun and healthy outdoor activity which is enjoyable for people of all ages. Cycling is eco-friendly and pollution-free.
Cycling provides an alternative mode of transport.
Any action taken by the Local Authorities to encourage and promote safe cycling within the community is a welcomed step.
In Kuala Lumpur, we have the hugely popular, KL Car-Free Morning which is organised by DBKL every 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month.
On Penang Island, the State Government have built extensive bicycle lanes which lead from George Town to Queensbay Mall, and they have just initiated Malaysia’s first bike sharing system which is similar to the one in London.
In Petaling Jaya, the Majlis Perbandaran Petaling Jaya (MBPJ) organises a delightful annual community ride, and this year, I took part in that PJ Fun Ride 2016 because it is a great way to show our appreciation to the people who support cyclists! For your reading pleasure, I have jotted down my personal experiences, my photos and videos of this incredible community ride, and it is my privilege to share it with you…
Community Cycling In Petaling Jaya
Over 800 cyclists of all ages with all bike types turned up for this year’s PJ Fun Ride on 28th August 2016. It was great to see the cycling community from all over the Klang Valley come out to support this great initiative by Majlis Perbandaran Petaling Jaya (MBPJ). I met-up with many of my regular cycling buddies there, from Klang, Puchong and Subang Jaya. As my cycling mentor Dave Ern said, “It is important for us to join and support such community rides because the greater public response will encourage the Local Authorities and its leaders to organise more of such cycling events”.
A Testy Route
For those cyclists who were looking for an easy and ‘fun’ ride, they must have received quite a shock because the actual 40km route felt like hard work when all of the many short and steep climbs were factored in. For the regular riders, each climb was an opportunity to test their stamina and strength. For the fun riders, the challenging course was a good way to push their physical boundaries a bit further.
Being a longish distance, we also got to see a fair part of the vast Petaling Jaya District, stretching from the township centre, where we started at the MBPJ Office, right across the LDP Highway from Kelana Jaya to Taman Tun Dr. Ismail, and as far as Kota Damansara.
Follow Lead Truck
We were led all the way by a pickup truck who steered us carefully through the light Sunday morning traffic. There were many police outriders and MBPJ officers present who helped direct traffic as our loosely-knit peloton zoomed past traffic stops and road intersections. We, riders, relish being treated like a VIP on the road because on normal days, cyclists are the lowest class among road users, together with the pitiful pedestrians, and like it or not, motorised vehicles see us, cyclists, as a road nuisance without rights. However, backed by the traffic police, today, we were kings and queens of the roads, and for once, lorries, cars and motorcycles have to make way for us!
Leave Nobody Behind
I counted at least 5 mandatory rest stops along the way with 3 of them providing the riders with much needed bottles of mineral water and boxes of bananas.
Apart from quenching our thirst and recharging our energy bank, these strategic rest stops gave the cyclists a chance to regroup, and to ensure that no riders are left behind. Riding in such a big convoy gives us a powerful sense of unity and belonging to a single large cycling family. At these moments, we were bonded to one another by our common passion for cycling, and it did not matter if you were a high-ranking official or a street janitor – we treated each other with equal respect.
Fantasy And Surrealism
Personally, there is no greater feeling than cycling with other like-minded cyclists on car-free roads, and effortlessly passing-by areas which would normally be insanely jam-packed with road traffic.
One particular surreal moment occurred as we exited the LDP highway and climbed up to Kota Damansara. It was a sight to behold, watching the colourful band of cyclists huffing and puffing up the long steep slope. The next time, I drive by that same spot, I will always envision that same surreal picture in my mind, and it will no doubt take me to my happy place.
Soon after that wicked climb, we regrouped briefly at the top of the hill before coasting down the other side of the hill and passing by The Curve Shopping Mall. It so happened that on that same morning, the BP Orange 5km Run was being held there. Again, it was one of those surreal moments when the road was full of hundreds orange T-shirt-clad runners on one lane, and a colourful convoy of cyclists overtaking them on the other lane. It was an unforgettable sight of the converging of the running and cycling worlds in full technicolor which will be etched in my mind forever. I felt proud to be part of this energetic group of people who would rather spend their Sunday mornings working-out a sweat rather than sleeping in.
The Final Dash
Many riders emptied their tanks by making a last dash to the finish line, where we were given a commemorative medal to hang proudly over our necks. There were many food trucks available at the finishing area to tempt our taste buds. I was very content with the free flow of cold isotonic drinks and iced coffees, and the fatigued but satisfied finishers were sitting around in the park enjoying their complimentary lunch pack of rice, fried fish and spicy sambal which never tasted so good after a grueling ride.
Meantime, the emcee was busy announcing the winners of the lucky draw prizes of fans, electric kettles, and the grand prize of a Fat Bike.
The Perfect Host
I cannot thank our host MBPJ enough for organising the best community ride ever. They provided the scenic route. They provided the safety. They provided plenty of refreshments. They gave us event T-shirts and Finisher medals. Unbelievably, it costs us nothing to join this ride, and the precious memories that we made on the roads of Petaling Jaya will remain with us for a long, long time.
MANY THANKS TO MY KIND SPONSORS Elliptigo Malaysia, N8 Sports Nutrition and AfterShokz Malaysia for their support and making my sporting adventures more enjoyable.
CHECK-OUT THESE LIVE VIDEOS
First Regrouping Point at TTDI
Junior Rider Approaching One Utama
Rest Stop at Kota Damansara Hill with NASH
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About The Author
Gus is the Founder of Running Toons and a HIIT Fitness Coach. As a freelance WRITER, he has contributed numerous insightful articles to The Star newspaper, Running Malaysia magazine, Cycling Malaysia magazine, Cycling Evolution magazine, Swim Bike Run magazine and more. LIKE Happy Runner for RUNNING UPDATES, Gus Rider for CYCLING NEWS, Gus Ghani for SPORTS INFOTAINMENT and FOLLOW gusghani @IG for LIFESTYLE.