My three boys sometimes follow me cycling during the weekends. When we do cycle as a family, my main concern is to find a suitable route that is safe, fun with facilities ie public toilets, stalls selling refreshment, etc. for the boys. Although the housing area that we are staying is a great place to cycle with gentle slopes, lake and lots of greeneries but they got tired of cycling in the same surroundings.
In the last one year we have tried several cycling areas that are accessible within a short drive from Shah Alam to cycle with the kids. Below are seven of the areas that we have frequented, in random order.
First we decided to try the public parks so we went to Taman Tasik Perdana and Taman Tasik Titiwangsa. Both parks are nice and safe for kids however we found that there are too many joggers which resulted in a lot of stop and go situations. In our opinion, Taman Tasik Titiwangsa is a much better park to cycle compared to Taman Tasik Perdana for kids. Cars are basically off-limit once you entered the park grounds. There are public toilets and a lot of stalls to buy refreshment afterwards. You can cycle along the whole lake or go inside the jogging path that cut across the park. Mostly the terrain is flat. In Taman Tasik Perdana you can have some climbing done but the road is sharing with cars and motorcycles, so you got to keep an eye on the kids.
We then tried cycling in the administrative capital, Putrajaya on Saturday or Sunday mornings. There are several different routes that we normally go to in Putrajaya. All routes are car-free and safe for the kids. There is the route around the Putrajaya Lake opposite from the “pink mosque”. You can park at the public car park there and go straight on to cycle around the lake (where they have the boat cruise terminal). This route is interesting and refreshing in the morning as your senses are filled with the smell of the tropical trees all along the route. Within the lake there are small islands where all kind of birds make their nests. It is nice to stop along the route to look at the flora and fauna there. This route also is a favorite among photographers. After cycling you can have breakfast at the mamak restaurant near the Souq overlooking the lake and one of the Sultan’s castle.
Another good spot to cycle with kids is Taman Botani. This route supposed to be closed to vehicles but occasionally there will be service vehicles passing by so be careful. If you don’t have your own bikes with you, bike rental is available but I’ve never tried and don’t know what the rates are like. This cycling route will have a combination of flats, gentle slope, medium climbs, fast descent, quite fun even for adults. I highly recommend this route to cycle with kids. The only downside is you need to have your drinks/refreshements ready as the only restaurant (Putrajaya Seafood Restaurant, I think it is called) there only opens at 12 noon and the soft drinks vending machine is located at the far end of the parking area. Make sure you have a lot of coins with you.
Another nice place in Putrajaya is near the Putrajaya Maritime Center, where you can cycle along the lake for quite a distance in a very safe, car-free environment. There is also a short strip of beach (complete with coconut trees) for the children to stop, take their shoes off and play in the sand! This place is quite close to the Putrajaya Pullman hotel and the public pool in Putrajaya.
Still within the vicinity of Putrajaya, actually Dengkil, to be exact, you can bring your kids to the Paya Indah Wetland. Drive from Putrajaya towards Dengkil and once you reach Dengkil town you will see signboards leading to the place. The entrance is free and there is ample parking. There is also bike-rental available and there are restaurants available for food and refreshements afterwards. Here, you can let the kids go wild as the roads are quite wide but be careful as there are still cars within the park. Among the attractions are hippos, crocodile and you should climb up the tall wooden observation tower to get the “helicopter view” of the green canopy and the surrounding. Better to go in the morning as it can get quite hot as the sun moves closer to midday due to the lack of shades when you cycle.
Moving away from Putrajaya, and if you want to cycle among paddy fields, you can go to the small town of Sekinchan. The banks along the paddy fields go on and on for miles. You can check out my earlier post on Cycling Among Paddy Fields in Sekinchan for the review there. Interesting food stalls to eat afterwards are plenty. My favorite is the soto place (Soto Warisan) in Pasir Penambang on the way back from Sekinchan towards Tanjung Karang.
There you go cyclists, moms and dads, some suggestions where your kids can share you love of cycling in a safe and fun environment. A good change of pace and real-world activities compared to the normal weekend routine where the kids just spend hours staring at the laptops or ipads playing online games with their online pals.
Enjoy your quality time with the kids in the outdoors!
Note: this month the city of Shah Alam launched the first 2km of the 10km New Shah Alam Cycling Path which would be great for kids and parents alike. Bravo.