Exploring Shah Alam on two wheels

 

 

It had come to our attention that we have never really experienced what it’s like to cycle around Shah Alam. We know that Shah Alam has a three phase bicycle lane project which could potentially give 75.5km of bicycle lanes to cyclists. This was conceptualised as part of Shah Alam’s vision to be a low carbon city by 2030 and so far an estimated 3.9 million ringgit has been spent to on these bicycle lanes.

Currently, it is in its second phase and so far the two phases has stamped down around 30km of blue bicycle lanes on Shah Alam roads and pavements. The second phase was just recently completed and connected Shah Alam’s section 2 to section 14 whilst the first which was completed in 2018 connected section 14, 13 and 7. 

Instead of trying explore all the bicycle lanes which we believe is more for habitants who would like to commute around Shah Alam, we decided to cycle around the capital of Selangor from a view point of a visitor. We thought we would try to do a small 30km loop around Shah Alam whilst at the same time cycling past and through a couple of the most interesting touristy things available there. 

 

We started our day by making our way to Shah Alam’s water park, Wet World Water Park at section 2. Since there is an abundant amount of parking space there it makes sense to just park your vehicle there – and oh, it’s also free. The other reason why we decided to park our vehicle there came from a navigational point of view. If you’ve been to Shah Alam, you would know that there are many signage everywhere which help you get to the waterpark. If you ever got lost for any reason you could always try to get back to your car simply by following those signage.

The ride which started at the water park quickly took us to McDonalds first, as the American fast food joint is placed right in front of the leisure centre just on the other side of the roundabout in between section 2 and 3. Manoeuvring through a roundabout required some vigilance which we highly recommend for you to take your time with. Although most of the other motorist on the road were courteous and aware there is no harm to take extra care when tacking this obstacle. 

 

After one egg mcmuffin and a coffee we got on our bikes and started to make way to section 5, where the iconic Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Mosque is. The journey there from section 3 was a mix of on road bike lanes as well as pavements, and the crossings on the main road included a special one for bicycles. Once we were in front of the iconic mosque the feeling of wonderment kicked in. The thing is we all know the Shah Alam mosque, but when you are that close to it, you start to realise how mega and majestic it is. It is a beautiful sight and we are sure it’s a sight that everyone can appreciate. After a short stop and some instagramming in front of the mosque when then proceeded towards section 8. 

 

It’s pretty much a straight road once you get on the Persiaran Kayangan mini byway which will take you through section 5 and 6. This part of the journey takes you past the new FA Selangor training centre, where the most successful football club in Malaysia train. A little fun fact here, Selangor football club was also the first ever Malaysian team to ever enter a continental tournament through the then called Asian Championship Club Tournament. They are no doubt one of the State’s beacon and still one of the most supported clubs in the country. Once you past this training centre you would find yourself on section 6 and by the end of it you will see a traffic light which is your que to crossover to the other side to make your way to section 8. 

This is the beginning of the road that leads to Shah Alam’s National Botanical Park. It cost RM3 per person and bike to get in. We wanted to explore the bike route inside this park as we heard it’s one of the safest and nicest place to cycle. After we paid to get in we then proceeded to the start of the bike route, it’s a straight left after the entrance. Before reaching the start of it on the right is a place where you can rent bikes. You could always just drive here and rent one if you don’t have a bicycle. Alarmingly the beginning of the bike route was blocked off and had a no entry sign. Perplexed at what we saw we just followed some other cyclists in. If it was barred from cyclists, surely someone would have stopped us by now. The cycling route starts off with one of the finest dedicated bike routes we had ever seen. The tarmac was smooth, the trees shaded us from the sun, the route was twisty and hilly – something that cyclists look for every day. 

 

After about 5 km into the route we started to see the old Skytrex adventure park. To our shock it was shut down and looked like it was hit by a tornado. Everything was in ruins. We then proceeded ahead and saw a few more houses that looked like it was also hit by the same tornado. One house even had a tree on top of it. Although a red flag, we never thought of turning back because the road seem to be in excellent condition and looked like someone had always swept up the leaves to keep it in excellent condition. Since we were on Marin bikes that day our sense of adventure made us press on until we reached an area that looked like it had been a set for the Jurassic Park movie. It was well kept, clean and gorgeous, with grass neatly cut and mini mountains in the background giving the area a heck of a feel. There was an abended cactus park and what looked like where a mini ranch used to be. Although it felt spooky it was kind of blissful as it was really quiet. We cycled as far forward as we could until another barrier made out a really large log was. It said no entry but like we said the Marin bikes gave us a sense of adventure and we squeezed through them. Just immediately in front our adventure deeper into the bike route halted because from here on the road was covered by heavy bush and fallen trees. It did not feel safe and we turned around. We saw what this area could be and it’s a shame that it has become like this. Before we headed out of the botanical park we had a drink at the entrance where you could check out the well-kept paddy field to the right of the main entrance. There are other places you can cycle in the park but we did not have enough time to explore it all.

 

Our next goal was to see the famous Shah Alam Laman Seni at section 7. The area which is full of murial has been one of the most visited places in Shah Alam. Once we were back out on the Persiaran Kayangan main road, it’s also pretty much a straight road towards section 7. We did not cycle on the road as the pavement which were original meant for walking was big enough for bicycles. Apart from the small intersections at certain places, all of our cycling had been on pavements and bike lanes. It really does feel like a cyclists friendly city. When we got to the Laman Seni we were impressed with the art on the walls. But once again, just like the Botanical Park, it just doesn’t feel well kept. It felt like a great idea and after the initial phase, the council forgot about them. Apparently the reason for this is because top management and in Shah Alam’s council has had many different head in many different years. They all brought in their own concept and totally disregarded the previous administrators’ efforts – this is a shame. 

 

Nonetheless, this marked the end of our little tour of Shah Alam. From here it was a 6km route back to the water park through some housing area in section 7 which led us back to our cars. Would we recommend people to cycle around Shah Alam? Yes if you are seeking adventure but no if you’re doing it for performance cycling. The bike lanes and pavements are a god sent but you will need robust bikes like the ones we had from Marin to tackle them. Some exchange between bike lanes and pavements required some hopping and the Marin bikes really did make it that much easier for us. It had been such a fun morning out on the bikes. We felt safe from cars and even enjoyed the flora Shah Alam had on offer. It’s a shame we didn’t have all day, or else we would have explored more and probably see some other interesting sights.