I began to outline yesterday in part 1 that I was less than thrilled with the mini mission into Malaysia to ride Genting Highlands… I’ve had a chance to reflect on it some more and its time to stand back as I get into a FULL bagging of the place in part 2.
If the Malaysian tourism board want to keep rolling with the tagline “Malaysia, truly Asia”, then they need to think about the disservice they are doing to their Cousies in the rest of the region… They’re basically calling out their neighbours are super shit.
One of my favourite sayings when I had a ‘real’ job was “Lets not polish a turd”, which is to say, (obviously) if something is shit, then lets just call it out and move on. As such, I won’t try and put any lipstick on this pig! I guess that after all the goodness of the trips that preceded this one that at some stage I had to have a weird one and Malaysia was more than happy to oblige!
Throughout the night we were randomly woken by the most massive BOOM explosion sound, like a Transformer (not Optimus Prime) exploding… Except there was no rhyme or reason for it, just totally random 3 times but incredible loud. Eventually we ventured down for the worlds shittest buffet breakfast. 4 minutes later and we decided to bail and head to Starfucks for what resembled a muffin and coffee that may have been pissed in. Along the way I paid homage to the model of the ‘resort’ (AKA Freak show). The model was perhaps the best thing going here:
I had burnt a few matches riding the day before, so was ho hum about a day 2 ride, but weather looked ok and so it was time to kit ON and head out. I finally found some smooth sections and also took the “Theme world resort block 2” KOM in the process:
So, on to the same shit descent (video to come tomorrow) and at least Genting had semi got its act together today for a decent photo on the way down:
Oddly today the security guards on the way down at all the ‘Check points’ (built in a Faux castle theme to boot) decided that they didn’t want us to be riding our bikes on the hill… Strange given they watched us ride down and up yesterday. We reassured them that even though we didn’t have disc brakes that it was perfectly safe (relatively speaking) for us to be riding our bikes down and up the hill… Realising that they only kick backs we had on us were GU Gels they let us get on with it.
Due to timing and enthusiasm levels (to be fair, the Goat was more motivated than I was, the prospect of being probed by Italians generates the need to train) we did a straight down and up on day 2, except we went down the side we didn’t do the day before.
Did this generate anything more exciting from a ride report perspective? Er… No, not really… I didn’t run the GO get fucked Pro camera either, so no snazzy riding photos. Again the best part of the climb is the top after the BIG round about and to be fair to it, its pretty challenging. Coming up from the other side yielded the following numbers (it wasn’t the full climb, from the main bottom guardhouse):
- Climb length – 17.4km’s
- Average gradient – 5.7%
- Elevation gain – 1,117m
- Time – 1.12.58
- Average Heart Rate – 157 BPM
I struggled to get my HR up, find the motivation to smash it or be that fluid to be honest… It was my body whatsapping me to say “We need a rest week dick” and I suspect I will oblige it this week! Oddly I was faster on the top section (about 8.8km’s in length) than yesterday, strange given I was sucking on a lemon today.
So to the trip home… Shouldn’t be too bad right? Only took 4.5 hours or so to get up here… Should be sweet as. Well, I hadn’t counted on the fact that Sunday is the day when Malaysians like to head out on to their highways to burn their heavily subsidised fuel and crash their cars into each other and the guard rails. Yes, tail gating and driving like you want to die is a national sport. First issue was I didn’t trust the GPS (the one on the phone, not the goat), which resulted in a little bit of back tracking, but then we were sweet… Until we spent 45 minutes crawling in this mess:
We got to witness all sorts of fuckwittery in this traffic jam… Culminating in coming across the goons that had stacked into each other to cause the whole mess. From that point on it became what I would consider to be one of the most challenging drives I’ve ever done.
Whether it was buses doing 150kph, Porsche’s weaving in and out at 180kph around you, Vans pulling out in front of you resulting in emergency braking or the torrential rain that meant you couldn’t see the road even at 60kph all combined to make it quite stressful shall we say. Clearly no one has ever heard of the ‘2 second rule‘ here, or the concept of slowing down in a torrential rain storm… We lost count of how many cars we saw rammed into the barriers or each other. The winner was a very new Merc SLK totally written off waiting for a tow truck to collect its remains, nice one… Liberally use of the C bomb was applied on the return journey.
So, by the time we approached Tuas I was gagging to get out of Malaysia and to get some food (another poor calculation, very few places to eat on the way home). So we were dismayed to find this at the second link border crossing:
Being organised it NOT a national sport in Malaysia and given they have a care factor of zero, this was a free for all… yes, we appear to be in lanes, but really we’re not and the next 1.5 hours was spent creeping along to cover the 1km to the customs check point. If you want a display of how people like to fuck each other over and have no manners, then come here on a Sunday. What to do when trapped in a shit fest like this that’s not moving? Bust out the Dirty Laptop and watch MTB Videos of Queenstown… I can recommend the movie ‘Not Bad‘, guaranteed to make you want to go Mountain Biking ASAP:
well, around 8 hours or so after we left I arrived home at Dirty Nomad HQ… This is definitely a case of “Beware what you wish for”, yes, last week I was moaning about Singapore and wanting to get out to go somewhere different, but that didn’t work out so well.
The best parts? Petrol is really cheap in Malaysia, so that probably gets the award. The last 8km’s of the Genting climb a worthy runner up. It was a good training hit out for the Goat, so he is happy and was a good road trip companion (maybe don’t let him book a hotel is my advice). My only disclaimer? Check first that you’re not going up there on Malaysia National Day holiday weekend… A terrific oversight on my behalf and most likely a major contributor to how feral it was.
So, overall I feel compelled to issue my first Dirty Nomad travel advisory – Don’t go to Malaysia, especially in your car. Yes, there are nice beaches and resorts on the coast, so definitely go there… But I wouldn’t recommend Genting Highlands to be honest. The riding around there seemed limited and whilst the hill is ok, you’ll soon get sick of the descent. If you had an Alps trip planned and were desperate for some prep, then maybe its ok, but keep expectations in check and go with a group. Definitely don’t stay at the weirdness that is the summit!