Monday, April 2, 2012

kupang to gerik and pengkalan hulu

photo: foggy scene along the hilly road to gerik

didn't feel like doing another century ride this weekend, so opted to drive over with the bike to kupang town in the nearby baling district and start from there instead, and hence avoiding the ~100km return trip on the long, straight, boring stretch of route 67 between baling and kulim.

the k173/a173 route (a.k.a baling - gerik road) linking kupang in kedah to gerik in perak state has 2-lanes in the direction with long climbs and sometimes both directions in certain sections, but otherwise are single lanes mostly. there wasn't much traffic early in the morning, and the slight foggy condition provided for a cool relaxing ride.

detoured into the junction towards gerik town, and stopped at a random shop for a light breakfast of noodle and coffee before continuing towards pengkalan hulu (a.k.a kroh) on route 76 (baling - kuala kangsar road). had initially planned to stop for lunch at pengkalan hulu town, but wasn't feeling hungry then and decided to just pass thru.

photo: along the descent into klian intan

somehow the town planner in pengkalan hulu decided that it'd be good to put plenty of small, raised reflectors on the sides of the main road to help motorists see the road sides, but have they stopped to think that it is really a hazard to cyclists? i had to ride further out on the road than usual to avoid these roadside reflectors, or risks getting thrown off-balance by those pesky little things. i don't even understand why they're needed at all - it's mostly level grounds beside the main road, not some plunging slopes...

i've done the downhill from pengkalan hulu into baling town before, and i have to say that i really dislike this route. the road condition is pretty rough, and the chatters and shakes induced by the bad road surface at high speed really, really hurt the hands. and towards the end of a long descend, you're presented with a stretch of those painted yellow strips across the road that acts like mini bumps, and no way to avoid these by taking the side of the road, because... yes, those pesky raised reflectors mentioned earlier made themselves comfortable on this short stretch as well...

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

kupang - gerik (k173/a173) - pengkalan hulu (76) - baling (76) - kupang (67)

total distance cycled: 122km

elevation profile (from gps tracking):