Mountain Biking through Setia Alam trails
Unexpectedly got muddy and dirty on a Saturday morning, but it was a tremendously beautiful opportunity to get to know the Mountain Bike trails in my neighbourhood, Setia Alam. How well do you know yours?
Setia Alam developers boasts of living amongst nature, but in truth they have bulldozed every single hill down to a barren, rocky, piece of clay land. Except for one small hill which we hope will be spared from the jaws of civillization. In this small piece of hope, over the years, nature loving trail builders have marked their way, building mountain bike and running friendly trails which run from Alam Budiman and Puncak Alam side of Shah Alam towards Setia Alam.
The #238 edition of KL Mountain Bike Hash (KLMBH) also brought hundreds of mountain bike enthusiasts riding through trails of Setia Alam, which meandered through single tracks, rocky gardens and adrenaline-pumping (or screaming whichever your threshold level) downhills which challenged the toughest of riders.
I had only intended to take some photos of the 15 riders strong group at the trail head to include in this write-up, so I was the least prepared with only a small bottle of water and barely a gulp of breakfast. My mountain bike is only ‘housing estate’ worthy on the barest minimum of gears and only v-brakes which doesn’t stop your descent on any steepish slopes. However, Alicia said she’s leading the group on the ‘easy route’ today so I figured, even if I had to ‘walk/push’ my bike for the short 6km distance, can’t be that bad, right?
At the trail head, we already had to push our bikes up a steep slope at ‘Entrance C’ which I couldn’t manage without the help of some helpful guys. However, it did get better and I managed to ride my bike for some distance, more like getting re-acquainted after a long absence away from each other. The trails was flattish for awhile when I was still enjoying the cool and crisp morning air beneath the secondary forest canopy. It was muddy and slippery in places due to the monsoon rains the night before which had also brought down some trees as we discovered later into the ride.
Just as I was having fun, we came up to a slope which I tried riding and got up ‘Flores’ only one third of the way. So the MTB acronym has started with it’s ‘Mari Tolak Basikal’ mantra, we still pushed our bikes in merriment as it also provided some time to get to know each other. After a short stint, we got to a section which resembled a rocky plain of destruction, a reenactment of Godzilla seemed inevitable.
The highlight of the day would be to reach the Peak Garden, where you can see as far as KL and PJ, even Bukit Kiara some say on a clear day. Despite the rain, the haze seems to have kept a stubborn lid which prevented any joy of spotting the elusive horizons.
However, the uphill stretch to the Peak Garden would challenge even the King of the Mountains, therefore a mere mortal like me was struggling to push my bike up. Was grateful to all the kind and helpful guys whom gave me a hand along the way, pays to be a damsel in distress sometimes. Apparently there is another route to the Peak Garden from a different direction, but that shall be saved for another day, albeit maybe on foot only.
We met a couple of other riders at Peak Garden, enjoyed the fruits of our labour for awhile before we descended through the ‘Masterpiece’ trail leading into ‘The Wall’ which has been lost to the clutches of development, and ironically, it was on this wide-open rocky trail that one of our fellow guest riders Jerry from Taiwan whom was on a foldable mountain bike, fell when his front wheel came off his bike! Note to self: Tighten the quick release of your front wheel before you start riding!
After Jerry had regained his composure, we continued through a trail called ‘MOU’ which was narrow, sharp switchbacks and more single track descents. Numerous fallen trees from the rains brought out great teamwork spirit from the stronger guy riders whom waited to help out the other riders.
Despite being a beginner in the midst of all the unexpected challenges today, it was fun mountain biking again, and I should learn up more skills towards improving myself. Be forewarned, this Setia Alam mountain bike trail is not for beginners, only unsuspecting ones (like me) if you’re game enough. We had a record-breaking number of 4 girls on the ride today with the likes of adrenaline junky chicas Cleo Loong, Christine Peh and led by Alicia Teoh.
For advanced riders whom are looking for a longer ride, the Setia Alam trail connects to Alam Budiman and onto to more trails like C4 and Greenhill in the Puncak Alam area too.
If only it were adamantly ‘compulsory’ to have forest trails in all neighbourhoods for a challenging bike ride, a run to free your mind or simply day dream in an ‘enchanted forest’, the world would be a healthier and and happier place.