The exhilaration of speed using solely human power on a machine, and on a raw trail amidst open nature, can only be achieved by mountain biking. With its innumerable jungle and rural trails all over the country, Malaysia is truly a mountain bikers’ paradise.
Mountain biking has long been a popular sport in Malaysia, with its own legendary trails and stories. It is said that ever since bicycles were introduced into the land, the inland villages who embraced it were the first mountain bikers – having to traverse the challenging trails to and from their remote settlements. Today, the challenge is still there, but it is one of adventure and discovery.
BIKING SITES IN MALAYSIA
Malaysia has both road and off-road biking routes. There are many cycle-friendly road routes around Malaysia, where traffic is less heavy on the rural roads and the views stupendous. Around Kuala Lumpur, these routes are the old Gombak Road, Ulu Yam interior routes and to the south, the Ulu Langat interior via Cheras or Ampang. Beyond Kuala Lumpur there are the rolling hill roads around Seri Menanti and Kuala Pilah in Negeri Sembilan, as well as numerous East Coast routes with Sungai Lembing as an accessible site from Kuantan City.
As for Sabah and Sarawak, most rural road areas are scenic and near untouched, providing ideal routes for adventure biking. But the hardened enthusiasts, it’s the challenging off-road sites that count. In Kuala Lumpur, the ‘urban legend’ route is the Bukit Kiara jungle trail for its accessibility and easy opportunity of meeting friendly fellow aficionados. Around Kuala Lumpur, there are the Batu Dam, Kampung Pusu and the Hulu Gombak Forest Reserve with its water catchments area. Further a field, there is the popular Sungai Dua site near Karak in Pahang.
This is a strenuous 40km trail that reaches into the Lentang Forest Reserve. As in many routes in Malaysia, this trail leads to a nice river or even waterfall located at its end. As with this site, a notable feature of most of these rainforest sites is the numerous stream crossings. Many Recreational Forest Reserves in Malaysia can be off-road cycles sites. Check with the local authorities for conditions.
MOUNTAIN BIKING TIPS
- Find out about the trail and surroundings, be sure that you have enough time to complete the entire route before darkness falls. Do not stray off the path. a compass would be handy, just in case.
- Use good judgment regarding the fitness level required for the trail, and know your physical limits.
- Always let someone know your plans and destination for the day, especially if going alone.
- Bring enough water and pack some light snacks to keep energy level up. Unless biking with a knowledgeable partner, it is not advisable to eat jungle fruit or drink from any water source.
- Be prepared for sudden rain showers by carrying appropriate rain gear.
- Always check your bike before starting out. Pay special attention to tires, which can damage more easily due to the rough terrain.
- If you wish to camp overnight as part of your biking expeditions, read the ‘Camping’ section for camping tips.