This here is Pearl Hill (Bukit Mutiara) which is nestled in the suburban slopes of Tanjung Bungah. Entirely optional, as it is a bit of a workout with the constant gradual climb, but nothing a seasoned cyclist can’t handle!
We will take a ride along the windy and winding roads of the northern cliffs, and make our way past the towering resorts and beaches that Penang is famous for.
We can also take a bike hike up to the Teluk Bahang Dam (and further beyond into the hills if you’re a seasoned climber).
We’ll pass all the fun places in Penang, such as the Escape Theme Parks as well as the Entopia Butterfly Farm.
And of course there will be fruit and food and drinks!
There are many intriguing and picturesque sights to see.
At the dawn of an overcast yet auspicious morning, the authorities of new and old gathered with cyclists and joggers to celebrate the completion and official opening of the massive new spiral bridge – officially known as the Jambatan Harapan, the Bridge of Hope For those that are unaware, this is a nod to the name of the winning party in the recent election, the Pakatan Harapan.
Much revelry was had at this grand structure that finally allows pedestrians and cyclists a safe way across the busy Penang Lim Chong Eu Expressway – a link between Queensbay Mall and the industrial zone
After going around the spiral bridge, you will find yourself on a wide new bicycle path heading straight towards the largest (and busiest) roundabout in Penang, with Krystal Point on the right.
There is a stream (read: big ravine) that runs along the bike path. However, the refuse from the surrounding plants and factories has turned it into a foul-smelling cesspool of stagnant floaties.
Still needs to be some beautification on both sides of the bike path, but the spiral bridge itself is a grand testament to just how much Penangites like to cycle (and show off)!
Are You Brave Atop Your Bicycle?
The township of Bukit Mertajam has always been a quiet but prosperous hub of activity in the state of Penang. Nestled in the heart of Seberang Prai, at the base of the hill that it gets its name from, this town has brought forth some notable talent into Malaysian culture.
Most notable is Datuk Lee Chong Wei, our national badminton champion with three Olympic medals under his belt (or above it, I suppose). He currently calls the town of Bukit Mertajam his home, with his wife and child.
A handful of top politicians also have their roots in the humble township of Bukit Mertajam, namely Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
Sports is clearly in the blood of the residents of Bukit Mertajam, as there continues to pour forth athletes in a wide range of disciplines, from running to swimming to cycling.
The cyclists of Bukit Mertajam have long been known to be brave and fierce, but there has always been a void in this community of cyclists, a need to unite these two-wheeled warriors.
That all changed on the 27th of May in 2011, when a group of the wisest and strongest riders got together and decided to form the Bukit Mertajam Bicycle Club (BMBC for short).
The original club was championed by the great Ooi Kim Ann. He started the club with 12 committee members, who rallied to his side. Under the supervision of Mr. Ooi and his charismatic deputy Lim Kean Hock, their club ranks grew rapidly from an initial 26 cyclists to multiple times the size.
By 2014, the club had grown to a staggering number of 181 cyclists. And it was in this year that the leadership of the BM Bicycle Club was handed over to the masterful Lim Kean Hock.
Under the new leadership, the club continued to go from strength to strength, establishing itself as a force to be recognised in Bukit Mertajam and the surrounding regions of Penang.
In April of 2014, BM Bicycle Club hosted the club’s first major cycling event in Permatang Pauh that attracted over 1,300 people!
Members of the BMBC are some of the most active in the region – they hold weekly cycling excursions around Bukit Mertajam, and many regularly host and participate and major cycling events across Malaysia.
The BM Bicycle Club always has and continues to promote cycling and tourism in Penang state and across Malaysia. The club has rides every Sunday, and all are welcome to join!
BM Bicycle Club also offers marshalling and support services for bicycle-related events and activities. The club has been organising a charity cycling event every year towards the end of the year in order to promote cycling and give back to the community.
The BM Bicycle Club also partners with numerous bike shops around Penang. For their latest cycling event, they worked together with over 14 bicycle shops across the Butterworth area in Penang to bring in cyclists from all over the region!
In 2016, the BM Bicycle Club hosted one of their biggest charity cycling events to date, in an effort to bring cyclists together and raise funds for local schools.
The event took place on the 13th of November, a cool Sunday morning. Officiated by none other than YB Puan Chong Eng of the Penang State Assembly, the ride took participants on a leisurely 36 kilometre saunter in a serene early morning showcase of Bukit Mertajam.
The roads were clean and early to maneuver; the inclines were steady and manageable; the water stations were abundant and well spaced out. Signage was sufficient and the marshalls were out in full force to ensure everyone was safe.
Riders of all shapes and sizes came along that morning – boys and girls, from the young and the old, from casual to serious, from sleek road bikes to chunky fat bikes (not the people on the bicycle per se). It was great to see so many cyclists come together to enjoy the great outdoors and cycle in unity and in a civilised manner.
In short, the charity cycling event went very well, with over 1,000 cyclists rocking up to take a fun tour around Bukit Mertajam. And after the ride, the Kompleks Sukan MPSP stadium was filled to the brim with cheerful cyclists and vendors, and amazing displays of art and dance!
The event last year saw all sorts of celebrities make an appearance. Even the elusive Pikachu turned up to see cyclists off at the start! And a certain cat without ears joined in the fun too!
And so with another successful event under their belt, the BM Bicycle Club looks to 2017 with hope and new challenges, to take the club and the cyclists of Penang to new heights! As bicycles become more and more commonplace in Penang, and more areas become accessible to cyclists, the club will only stand to grow and take its place as one of the movers and shakers in the world of cycling sports.
The club president has great ambitions for the club, especially in the upcoming events. Expect new and exciting routes, that not many cyclists have had the pleasure of experiencing! And who knows what role the club and cycling will play in the upcoming Asia Pacific Masters Games in 2018?
There is much in store for the cycling community of Penang and surrounding regions. The BMBC has already established itself in nearby areas, such as Ipoh, and is looking to bring together and unite the riders of Malaysia. The club is also very supportive of new riders and cyclist groups, so if you would like to find out what new events are coming up, or more on how to join in the fun, you can go to http://www.bmbicycleclub.com/