Thursday, March 01, 2007

Road Track Review - Hill Climbs

Someone ask me, which particular short ride do you find the most interesting? I find that each ride has different sets of challenge, much like life. However, maybe I should document my rides tracks and explain what interest me about some of the hill climb ride. This article concentrate on the hill and mountain climbs.

Genting Sempah

We usually start from the Hospital Orang Asli in Gombak and the climb to the top is about 15.8km . What i find interesting is that this road has very little traffic especially on Sunday and the climb gives u ample warm up before it gets steeper in the last 5 km. I will normally pace myself at average 16-18km/hr average before reaching the last 5 km. The last 5 km is reasonably challenging as some of the hills is about 18 degrees gradient. The better challenge is to go down to MacDonalds at Genting Sempah and climb back that 1.2 km track up. This track is doable even for beginners and is good training. It shud be done within a time frame of 60 -65 minutes. Coming back from Genting Sempah is a nice exhilarating downhill which u can reach speeds of 60-65km/hr subject to guts.

Janda Baik

Extending the hill climb from Genting Sempah further would be to go to Janda Baik. The rolling hills there can be fascinating and challenging, especially when u have just climbed Genting Sempah. After going downhill a bit for about 5km, u will reach the junction to Janda Baik. The rolling hills there kinda reminds me of indoor rpm training. Some of the hill climb can be reasonably steep albeit only for short distances.

Frasers Hill

Parking your car at Kuala Kubu Baru, this hill climb is challenging not becoz that it is steep, but becoz of the distance. U have 30+ kilo of gentle climb, and after sitting on a bike for 2 hours climbing this hill, your mind will be wondering when is this going to end. Then u reach GAP and making matters worse, u have another 9 km of steep, granny wheel type climb. Even with my small chain ring, i have difficulties in sustaining this gradient having to heave 85kilos of FAT up this hill. Sometimes weather can work against you, it can be quite chilly when u reach GAP. I find this most challenging so far. It takes a toll on your mind though.

Genting Peres

Genting Peres is a good training ground for hill climb. This is located in Ulu Langat area near Semenyih. If u approach from the Tekala Rest Area, u have a 2.5km steep climb which more of a mental exercises then anything else. U then have about 12 km of downhill which u can reach upto speed of 70km because the road is wide. However, you can also do the climb in reverse from Pekan Batu 14 to the Tekala Rest area which can be quite interesting.

Puncak Alam

Coming from Sungai Buloh, you can take the challenge of attacking Puncak Alam 7 hill climbs. The objective is to head towards Shah Alam's Guthrie Corridor. It is important to pace yourself as you can run out of breath attacking this hill. Though they are 7 hills, only 3 are of any significant and the stretch can be dominating. This hill climb is interesting because of its dominating view and scenary. This hill climb is suitable for people who have some hours of ride behind them but is doable even for beginners.

Other Notable Hills

There are other interesting hill climbs such as the hill climb on the way to Taiping on the old Federal Route 1 at Bukit Berapit. Another memorable hill climb is in Penang near the Dam in Balik Pulau. This is part of the Penang Round Island Race which ends at Jalan Tun Saadon. My two other outstanding hill climbs is Cameron Highland and Genting which I hope to do when my legs gets stronger and I loose another 15 kg.

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