This story about cycling routes in Putrajaya, KL and Pulau Indah is written by one of our contributors, Kaylee Kuah. Some parts of the article may have been edited for length and clarity.
2020 has given me a lot to be thankful for. It's been a rough year for most but we as a country have been lucky that the virus is somewhat under control and we can leave our houses again (with precautions). After three months of lockdown in my apartment, what I realised I took most for granted from before was fresh air and sunshine. I would say that I'm a moderately active person. I'd go for the occasional hike and I'd go for spin and HIIT classes. So, as you can imagine MCO was a bit of a different pace. When we were all finally let out again under RMCO I decided to take up a new hobby that would allow me to spend more time outdoors - cycling.
Cycling for me previously was just for commuting when I studied abroad, so I never thought to take it on as a leisure hobby. It all started when I joined my brother and friends on a cycling trip. While travelling by car, it's easy to miss all the wonderful sights, but by cycling, you really can enjoy the view around you ? Whether it’s out in nature with the wind and the trees or even just appreciating our wonderful local architecture. Cycling became a new way for me to explore.
1. Putrajaya - Something for everyone
Putrajaya is one of the most cycling-friendly routes you're going to have in the city. Whether you're a beginner or you've been cycling for years, Putrajaya is the home base for most of KL's cyclists. There are well-marked lanes, a massive number of routes of varying difficulty and plenty of rest stops available.
We started our journey at 7 am, a prerequisite in Malaysia if you're looking to beat the heat and get in some decent cycling time. By the time we got there, there were already several cyclists on the road. You can start your cycling in Putrajaya from anywhere, but the inner lake path is the most beginner-friendly.
Putrajaya is a great place for your first cycle and we even came back at night to do it again. Make sure you're well equipped with good lights and a helmet for your night ride.
P.S. Looking to hike instead? Check out these 9 hiking trails in KL and Selangor for every fitness level!
2. KL City, River of Life - Not for the faint of heart
KL City is commutable by cycling but it does require some expertise and nerves of steel. This one definitely didn't feel like a leisurely outdoor ride and I wouldn't recommend it to beginners. If you do want to try cycling in the city you can wait for the 'KL Car Free Morning' which happens on the first and third Sunday of the month. This has been put on hiatus, however, during the RMCO period.
We started our cycling route from Kampung Baru intending to make it to Midvalley along the River of Life. The River of Life project is one of the previous government's initiatives to clean up the Klang River area that runs throughout the city. It's a great idea and the parts that have been maintained are wonderful, with beautiful nooks of leisure and small recreational park areas.
The parts of the River of Life that has been done are lovely, with a generous bicycle and walking path. However other parts haven't been maintained under the new government and it was a bit of a mess cycling through. The river itself hasn't been cleaned and the pathways have taken damage over time. There was a segment of the path where one of my friends got his wheel stuck and flipped over. So just be wary while cycling here. Theoretically, the River of Life path is supposed to be connected through KL. But some areas were closed when we cycled through and we had to cut through the streets to finish our journey.
P.S. Check out these 8 secret attractions you never knew you could find in Klang Valley!
3. Pulau Indah - A bit of adventure
Who knew you could find such a nice beach area in the city? Upon first driving into Pulau Indah through Klang you're met with a lot of industrial factories. Hardly the scene you'd expect from a coastal road cycle. But on the other side of the island dwells a quieter kampung. Albeit with one or two trucks on the road. It's to this part of the island that we began our cycle with aims to make it to the beach.
The Pulau Indah kampung roads aren't your traditional kampung roads. They're well paved and fairly wide making it ideal for cycling. You will have to share the lane with motorists, but the island residents are used to cyclists with some of the population using it as a means of commuting.
Upon leaving the busier areas we were greeted with beautiful flat open roads set out in nature. We cycled past mangrove forests, fishing piers and idyllic grassy areas where we saw families gathering for picnics. When we got closer to the beach however is when things started to get a bit more technically difficult.
The roads there were made up of rocks and sand. I have a road bike which is generally lighter with narrow tires so as you can imagine getting through those rocks was a bit uncomfortable. If you have a mountain or hybrid bike this shouldn't bother you.
P.S. Love adventure? Then you'd have to try these 12 ultimate bucket list adventures in Malaysia!
Remember to stay safe
If you want to try cycling, always remember to stay safe - wear a helmet, respect road rules, drink plenty of water and wear sunscreen. If you're not comfortable cycling in an area, then don't. Get off your bike or just turn around, it's alright. But the most important thing is for you to be comfortable and have fun!
RMCO has officially put a halt in everyone's travel plans. But we're very lucky that Malaysia still has so much to be explored. These are just a couple of routes that I've run in the last month and there are still so many more trails to discover! If you're looking for a new way to see the city or even want to try out a new hobby, then I'd recommend cycling!
P.S. Have you been travelling around Malaysia? Want to share your tips and stories to help Muslims travel better? Email us at [email protected] or send us a DM on Instagram.