Monday, October 24, 2016

Selangor: Jenjarom-Jugra-Morib Loop - Santai To The Pantai

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Selangor: Jenjarom-Jugra-Morib Loop - Santai To The Pantai
Jenjarom to Morib : 22nd October 2016
Cycling Distance - 61.14.35 km.     Level: Medium (the climb up to Jugra Hill is hard).
Time : 7:45am to 3:30pm
Time Taken :  7hrs 45 mins (inclusive of stops at Jugra Hill, beaches & regrouping, rests, breakfast, lunch, coffee and lots of photo opps).

Route Recommendations :
1. Ride Conditions
    - The main road from Jenjarom to Banting have heavy traffic with many trucks passing by too. Other than that the rural & coastal roads are pleasant to ride on.
    - The road up to Jugra Hill is shady but gets steeper & steeper nearer the top. If not up to cycling, just dismount and push up. The climb is worth it as the view from the top is spectacular.
    - Most of the route do not have much shade, so do cover up or apply sun-block lotion.
2. Points of Interest:
    - Jugra Hill (Bukit Jugra) for a very good view of the Straits of Malacca (GPS: 2.83578, 101.41759).
    - Muzium Insitu Jugra Kuala Langat (Insitu Museum Jugra). After archaeological digging of an old police station from colonial days, which was a restored and converted to a museum (GPS: 2.83577, 101.41279).
    - Colourful fishing boats at Kampong Kelanang Fishermen's Jetty (GPS: 2.81214, 101.41779) & at unnamed river estuary nearby (GPS: 2.7602, 101.43943).
    - Tongkah Beach with it's petrified trees (GPS: 2.78343, 101.417).
    - the quiet track through mangrove swamps from Pantai Kelanang to Jalan Tongkah (GPS: 2.78876, 101.41186 to ).
3. Food
    - Breakfast was good Hainanese coffee & nasi lemak at Kedai Kopi Tai Lai in Jugra town (GPS: 2.83714, 101.43033)
    - Lunch was at the food court at Morib Beach (GPS: 2.74881, 101.44319).
    - Coffee break at Steamed Chicken Restaurant in Banting. Although we did not have their steamed chicken, it must be good judging from the number of patrons there (GPS: 2.81178, 101.50024).


JUGRA..... the name, easy to remember, sound mysterious which indeed it does as it is a place steeped with history and also comes with a challenging hill to climb for cyclists. I had rode to the place previously and found it to be a simple yet beautiful place. That ride was with a small group of friends. Now, Freda had organised a ride with a much larger group and my fancy was tickled to join them, not because of the place only but also to meet up with some old friends whom I had not cycled with in a while and also to make new friends. Also it is a Santai ride; "santai" is Malay for relaxed; so all the better as we will be no hurry and there will be lot's of opportunity to get to know people and places.
And I am glad that I did, as I did indeed meet up with a group of jolly people, happy just to ride. The ride was suppose to be a short 40km loop from Jenjarom to Jugra and back; but in the end we ended up doing more; we rode all the way to Morib Beach (Pantai Morib) on an interesting route that took us pass a petrified beach, mangrove swamps, colourful boats etc. Read on about our relaxing ride to the beach, our Santai to the Pantai ride!


Cycle route - Jenjarom>Banting>Jugra>Morib>Banting>Jenjarom.
The route starts with a ride along the busy Jalan Klang-Banting then onto more quiet rural roads to Jugra. There is an interesting coastal stretch from Jugra to Morib. The return route is along main roads.

We started off from the Tesco Extra outlet in Jenjarom. This was a good place to start for a larger group of cyclists as the were ample car-parking in the early morning before the hypermarket opened. Looking at our faces here, all happy and eager to ride, even knowing that we would be facing a tough climb later on.

7:45am - The twenty-three of us rolled off and was soon passing by the Ar-Rahman Mosque, a keypoint of the ride as this is where we take the right fork towards Banting town. Even in the early morning, traffic here was heavy and travelling fast, and we had to cross over with some care.

Slightly ahead, some warming up pedalling over the bridge over Langat River. Cikgu Chin seems to be panting; he's just play acting as he's a strong rider and this slope up the bridge was not really difficult for him. By the way, at the centre of the bridge are some good views of the river.

Riding through main street Banting town with it's rows of shop-houses. Most of these shop-houses have been redeveloped to newer brick ones, but at the far end are still a few rows of the original timber ones which are decades old.

Caught this cute shop front featuring Upin & Ipin. These two are twin brothers from a popular Malaysian comic series. One seem to wave us on, while the others have an awed look of "Aiks! These guys must be crazy to cycle up to Jugra!".

Further along, Jalan Sultan Abdul Samad is lovely to cycle on, it has a stretch of very wide emergency lanes that seemed to be built just for us.

Out of the blues, coming from the opposite side a group of cyclists waved at us and one of them shouted "Hi! AhPek!". It's CK Lee, a friend who is local to Banting, he made a U-turn to come join us, letting the rest of his group continue home. We were glad to see him and he would lend a helping hand to lead us through some of the stretches ahead.

9:00am - Arriving at Jugra village, despite the large group which required us to stop several times (especially after traffic lights) to re-group; we are making good pace. This place with it's quaint wooden house seemed to be a place that time left behind. Life is slow-paced here and except for more cars, things don't seem to have changed much.

Our first destination was one of those houses, an old coffee shop called Kedai Kopi Tai Lai. They serve pretty good local Hainanese coffee here, coffee which are very much cheaper than those from the modern cafes.

They sell nice packeted nasi lemak here too, packed just in fresh green banana leaves. Here mine, and in the background a little girl lies sleeping in a spring rocker which is really old school. Many of us must have slept in these type of rocker when we were tots ourselves.

That meal was just right to fill our tummies slightly before we take on the climb up to Jugra Hill. It's not a long climb but it gets steeper and steeper nearer the top. Many tried their utmost best, but at the last stretches it was just too steep for most. No embarrassment here, most (including yours truly) just TnT - that's our local term meaning Turun and Tolak, in English it would be DnP, not Dragon and Phoenix but Dismount and Push!

A few did manage to ride all the way up. Ride or push, whichever the case is, it is worthwhile to go up there. The view here   is spectacular, one of a wide meandering Langat river as it approached the sea, to the right is Carey Island. Too bad, today was hazy; on a fine sunny day, it's possible to even see Sumatra. There's is a big signboard with huge letters spelling out JUGRA (ala Hollywood Sign style) to take photos of our achievement, see top most photo.

Despite the slight haze, the scenery did stir some romantic sentiments for our friends here. How lovely!

Happy with that scenic view; we went whooshing down the steep slope but frequently applying our brakes at the sharp bends and also in order not to go too dangerously fast.
At the bottom, a short detour to the right took us to Muzium Insitu Jugra. This place was an old district police station from colonial days that was discovered during archaeological excavation in the 2001. Constructed in The upper floor of this double-storey police station housed the district court and at the lower floor was a prison. The 
Jugra was the former capital of Selangor state during the reign of Sultan Abdul Samad in the late 18th Century. It's location next to a river mouth with a commanding hill made it just the right strategic place.
Above photo shows Freda (the ride organiser) and Robert (the ride leader).

The building has now been restored and converted into a museum. Within it's compound were a couple of GMT 15 CWT armoured personnel carrier. These old vehicles were used my the colonial police during the Emergency Period of Malaysia when the country was facing the threat of a communist take over.

Inside the museum, were large posters that traced the history of the sultans of Selangor. There's even a family tree that shows the genealogy of the royal family. This one above is of HRH Sultan Abdul Samad. This Santai ride is great; we enjoy our cycling and at the same time learn some history of our country.

As we finished with the museum, our ride leader Robert popped a question - "Shall we ride on to Morib? It's just about 15 km. away." Our cycling legs were still itchy, so all agreed without hesitation. And aren't we glad that we did, as the route there was very interesting indeed.
En-route, we rode pass these concrete cylindrical structures; it's a hotel of sorts, something similar to the Japanese tube hotels. The cylindrical structures which follow the design of colonial days ammunition storage (there are photos of these at the museum) are "bedrooms".

Oops! We almost ran over this rock crab, a small one just about five inches across. This brave fellow just stood looking menacingly, holding his position on the road.

Our ride along the coastal route from Jugra to Morib starts with a right turn at Jalan Jeti where we were greeted by calm oil palms with their reflections on a canal.

In front, just after the Kampung Kelanang Jetty, it wasn't so calm. Tractors doing construction work of putting up erosion barriers had damaged the road making it impossible to cycle on.... Okay.... just TnT then. It didn't matter, the experience of being here was good enough. Thumbs up!

We pushed or carried our bikes over a hundred metres of this bad stretch. In front the road was cycle-able, although slightly damaged. Let's hope when construction work is finished, they will repair the road.

In front was Tongkah Beach, a short but wide sandy stretch with petrified mangrove trees looking a bit like an alien landscape. This brought back memories of our ride at Tanjung Sepat which have long stretches of similar petrified trees (... see Tanjung Sepat ride blog).

Colourful trawler boats and sampans berthed at river estuary.
At a couple of locations (one at the Kampung Kelanang Jetty and another further down at a river estuary) were colourful boats.

The last stretch along this coastal route took us through a track lined with reed grass; made us look like we were cycling overseas.
Above photo shows Allen and Arif, both doing sweeper duty for the ride.

12:30pm - At the Morib Beach esplanade, a sculpture of seagulls greeted us...

... and at the nearby food-court, weird looking deep-fried squid were very tempting.

Lunch time at one of the stalls, most ordered fried noodles and fried rice with fresh coconuts to go with them.

The return route took us through Banting town again passing by this distinct and easily recognisable pedestrian/motor-bike/bicycle crossing.
The ride organisers had considered an alternate route of Jenjarom to Jugra (see purple line on map); but this route would have to pass through the busy round-a-bout at Jalan Klang Banting/Jalan Bandar Lama. Selfish and reckless trucks seldom give way at this place and the organisers had put the safety of participants as a priority.

One last regroup for drinks at the Steamed Chicken Restaurant in Banting.

A happy bunch of smiling, satisfied cyclists at one of the last junctions. Yeah! We did it, Jenjarom to Jugra and more!

(For more photos of the ride, click here)

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