Cycle to Malaysia – Pekan Nanas and Legoland

Cycle to Malaysia and your playground upsized from 700km2 to 330,000km2. Yes, Malaysia is 400x bigger than Singapore!

The idea of cycling to Malaysia never crossed my mind. Primary reason could be road safety concerns.

Image credit FB “Cycling SG to Malaysia”
Image credit FB “Cycling SG to Malaysia”

I will be sharing my cycling experiences from Pekan Nanas and Legoland in this post. And I can confirm Malaysian drivers (motorbikes, cars and even trucks) are more accommodating towards the vulnerable cyclists!

*Do go to the end for video of my JB eat and see (in 3 hours)

For those interested to explore Malaysia cycling itinerary, pop over to Facebook group ‘Cycling SG to Malaysia’. They are organising free cycling events, with volunteer leaders and sweepers, but event slots are always in hot demand!

Carry bicycle over to motorbike lanes

My virgin trip brought me to the town of pineapples “Pekan Nanas“.

Bicycles can only use Booth 1 for manual passport processing

In case you are wondering, Tuas Causeway is off-limits to bicycles as both ends are expressway and highway.

The 1st assembly spot is at the middle of causeway. You can take EPIC Sunrise photos here!

Cycle to Malaysia

After the photos, team can climb up the bridge towards Malaysian Customs.

Cyclists with slim tyres have to watch out for the drain cover gaps. Do follow the red marking (photo below) to enter the “manual” booths.

Image credit FB “Cycling SG to Malaysia”

Second assembly spot would be after Malaysia custom, somewhere here (GPS 1.466946, 103.768354).

This is where the real Fun starts 🙂

We took the coastal loop towards Danga Bay. And the dark clouds chased us for a good 20 minutes!

I wish Singapore’s Shell 95 price will dip below $3 in the near future 🙁

Breakfast was at Skudai area, near Sutera Mall (popular spot with Singaporeans). We normally drive here for brunch, but two wheels are much cooler.

Not sure whether you are ready for Johor ride? We share a few tips:

1) Road confidence (You must have some road experience in Singapore)

2) Recommend cyclists covered at least 80km before (Johor has more slopes and bridges)

You will notice that Malaysian motorists are more accommodating and patient than Singapore drivers.

Malaysian motorists will wait (or slow down) for cyclists to clear junctions, change lanes or even roundabouts!

Kudos and thank you Malaysians for your patience.

Let us carry on with our Pekan Nanas pineapple adventure 🙂

Only tourists will do the pineapple pose haha (pineapple landmark infront of Public Bank).

Image credit FB “Cycling SG to Malaysia”

As you cycle Westward, Pontian and Kukup (SEAFOOD!) is beckoning. And Tuas Causeway is so much nearer than Woodlands Causeway.

Cycle to Malaysia, today Johor, tomorrow Melaka and Desaru.

Map below indicates estimated km from Bukit Indah. These spots are on my wishlist, example Forest City and Southernmost Tip of Mainland Asia (not Sentosa).

Delicious dim sum lunch at Tasixi 大四喜 and we met Chef Eric too.

Image credit FB “Cycling SG to Malaysia”

I would recommend newbies to ride along Danga Bay coast (ie follow directions to Hospital Aminah, then route 52, J1). Road is wider and there is less traffic.

*The stretch along Jalan Tun Abdul Razak (Route or Highway 1)back to Woodlands custom is sandy, narrow and packed with vehicles (ie Stress!)

Group is ready to roll back to Singapore. Our Pekan Nanas group consists of 30 cyclists, split into two groups.

Lots of fun and novelty for the cyclists, we went through two showers too. Many in the group were newbies at custom, but we brought back fond memories.

Just follow the motorcycle lane.

~~Sharing some photos from my Legoland trip 28May2022 ~~

This was the first time I led a cycling group into Johor. I was quite apprehensive but felt a huge sense of accomplishment too.

You have to ensure that everyone can keep pace and hopefully not bring them go “Holland”.

The actual distance in Malaysia (to & fro) from customs to Legoland is about 60km (This is peanuts for those who have completed RTI in Singapore).

Crossing both Singapore and Malaysia customs on our bikes is worth a toast! A novelty for most of the kakis.

Credit kakis
Credit kakis ( Part of the Crius foldie family)

Imagine the excitement when we spot Legoland Hotel over the horizon. Mission achieved 🙂

I cannot remember when was the last time I brought my kids here. They have since outgrown Lego bricks. Revisiting this epic hotel on two wheels, brings back a sense of dejavu!

Credit kakis

Artistic sculptures at Puteri Harbour (we did not visit Hello Kitty).

Do expect puncture/s among the group. Touch wood, but the probability is too high to ignore! Bring tube for your own tyre size.

Credit kakis

Khass Bicycles seems to be a popular pit stop for shopping. I have no idea about price comparison between Singapore and Malaysia.

Cold dessert at Yong Yong Dessert, which is 100m from Khass Bicycles.

Credit kakis

Always Safety first. We strive to enter and leave Malaysia as a group, looking out for each other. This trip has given me the confidence to explore more of Malaysia.

Should I cycle to Malaysia? where should I start?

For those interested to explore Johor on two wheels, do join Facebook group “Cycling SG to Malaysia” first. Do look out for future events to Desaru, Pontian, Melaka! Link up with friendly and helpful community for peer to peer knowledge sharing.

Like-minded cyclists are only interested to cycle, chill and eat (maybe share “poisons” too).  You might find buddies to embark on the next multi-day cycling adventure.

For newbies, your team will have a leader/captain and a sweeper. Leader will navigate and pull the team along, while sweeper ensures no one is left behind.

SHOUTOUT to sweepers Alan and Kiara for ensuring no one is left behind. Our ride would not be successful and safe without the hardworking sweepers !

*1) Step by step tips to cross Singapore Malaysia custom, refer Richard’s link (Take note no photography and video inside customs area)

*2)YouTube crossing Singapore Malaysia customs (Clips from Rueben and Alan). This will help you visualise the next turns and boost your confidence (I still hate the humps!)

3)Reference my cycling planning itinerary Gsheet here (Many items were first shared from Facebook group)

4) Open my Legoland Gpx (Google Map), and just follow turn by turn to Nusajaya

5) Updated 11 June 2022 – 3 Hours in JB. Eat, see and Experience

Additional tips:
– Always SAFETY first! Take care of each other

– My Sejahtera app (similar to SG’s traceTogether) is no longer needed, but do print out hardcopy vaccination status from https://www.notarise.gov.sg or HealthHub (just in case)

– Bicycles no need to pay toll, and Touch & Go cards are optional

– Not everyone might wish to cycle to start point at Woodlands custom. The nearest carpark could be at Marsiling Blk 22  (S730022)

– After your JB spin, cyclists can take the train from Kranji MRT

*Do follow our cycling adventures here -> https://sengkangbabies.com/tag/cycling

New Zealand cycling trails at Old Coach Road

I will share more about New Zealand cycling trails in this blog post.

As part of my New Zealand Road trip, I had packed multiple hikes and biking trips into my itinerary (read here).

The reason I chose Old Coach Road cycling route was because it was near to Tongariro National Park (35 to 50km drive), and the 2 hour route was within my tight schedule. I had stayed one night at National Park to explore nearby mountains, waterfalls and streams.

My 4k Video, FUN along Old Coach Road (YouTube link)

Relive video below

I was sold when I saw Old Coach Road’s old railway line (Hapuawhenua viaduct). This is actually part of a 200km long Mountains to Sea route!

Those new to cycling trails in NZ just need to explore this link.
https://nzcycletrail.com

Map showing how I drove and pickup my bike at Ohakune

Old Coach Road is only 15km and will take you between 2 to 3 hours.

Recommended itinerary (refer custom Google Map above):
a. Rent and return your bike at Ohakune town (TCB vendor)
b. Vendor will transfer you and bike to Horopito start point
c. You then cycle South towards Ohakune
d. Return bike at Ohakune

NZ TCB review
Image at TCB, it is all Upslope if you start at Ohakune!

For novices, I would recommend this direction for lesser upslopes, and route is easier to navigate(60% of slopes in the first half of route). You will see experts cycling in the opposite direction.

Old Coach Road
Old Coach Road

Shortlisting your bike vendors

-Some vendor has two while others has three time-slots. Check which one fits your itinerary and schedule
-Secondly, some slots might need minimum 2 to go
(Budget wise, most pricing are competitive)

I got my bike from the friendly folks at TCB, and book their Old Coach Road package. Make sure you book early to avoid disappointment.

TCB Ohakune
TCB Ohakune

Before we start, Old Coach Road is one of the easiest biking tracks in New Zealand. It only takes 2 to 3hr, 15km between Horopito and Ohakune.

.. but it is not straightforward for amateurs. It is not a ride in the park!

Let’s Go! My Green ride, “My PRECIOUS” LOTR haha 🙂

 

Cycling Trails NZ
Cycling Trails NZ

Follow the “horse shoe” logo to keep on the right track.

Good advice about locking your bikes. Overall, NZ is very safe, but I would hate to be stuck in the middle of nowhere without my bike.

Near to the start point. The gravel road are hard to ride over, and the wheels keep sliding. The cows will be laughing at “tourists” struggling along the path.

Railway track behind me, this is a real one.

Cross the track and cycle deeper into the forest. I love the zig zag lines inside the forest.  Shady and quiet, it feels like you are the only one in the forest, and you might only meet another cyclist after hours.

Secluded, Peaceful and Beautiful route. FREEDOM!

The first half has two memorable upslopes which I could overcome with low gear, but I chose to push. Excuse me, my calves were still hurting from hiking Tongariro Alpine the day before.

Expect crickets and birds for company. Sometimes, I would be so elated that I needed to sing or shout out loud 🙂

As you cycle along, you will see some information corners. Posters will depict Old Coach Road history and neighborhood. Not easy for early ancestors to overcome the harsh forest camps.

Cycle past old bridges and foundations.

Taonui viaduct is rusty but still magnificent.

I really cherished my solo trips,  venturing out and crafting more memories of my own. Bring myself out of comfort box.

Own time own target. Me time!

History of Hapuawhenua Viaduct.

Pregnant and Placenta, now you know 🙂

I had hiked Tongariro the day earlier and my calves were sore. But adrenaline kept me going, so much more to explore!

New Zealand cycling trails
New Zealand cycling trails
Hapuawhenua Viaduct
Hapuawhenua Viaduct

You can cycle or walk along the bridge, it is a TALL structure.

Sometimes, you feel like you are the only one cycling in the whole forest!
(unlike SG, where you are seldom 15 to 30min away from a junction and human contact).

I cycled through a dark tunnel, because I was curious what was at the other end (it is one way).

Summer is a good time to cycle, as the sun sets later. It is not too cold, light breeze and 15 degrees, I only had a light jacket with me. Do start earlier, I would not want to be caught cycling in the dark in the forest.

If you love exploration and adventures, and cycling in the middle of nowhere. New Zealand cycling trails has something for everyone, from families to multi-day cycling trips.

 

One more advantage of cycling in NZ. Weather is likely cool, no snakes, spiders or bears!

At this junction, I noticed the 2km distance needed 40 minutes. Cobblestone path lies ahead. Go slow as the road is uneven and rocks can be big!

Do enjoy the vast grassy landscape too.

More interesting nuggets. Travel times have reduced over the centuries. Maoris used to trek from North to South island in under 2 weeks!

You will exit to Marshalls Road and back to civilisation. This signpost and upcoming bmx pump track indicates you are near to the end point.

If time permits, you may detour to Ohakune Station just for fun.
You can explore a local train from National Park station to Ohakune for NZD $12.

 

Clear water and blue sky everywhere.

After returning my bike, enjoyed my lunch at Utopia. Friendly service, the lady owner (?) knows all the customers by first name!

Additional tips for cyclists:

– Bike rental would be easily $40 (inclusive a good bike and helmet)
– Ride easy, I had a haversack and rain jacket (waterproof your items)
– Pack First aid kid, whistle, night torch, biscuits for emergencies
– Always let someone know where you are heading to. Wilderness is huge and often has no mobile signal!
– Take the bike route/fitness recommendation with a pinch of salt. Kiwi folks are generally fitter

You might find out more about TCB packages (cycling and ski) from their website or Facebook.

 

In case you are exploring NZ too, do pop by our custom Google Map and Gsheet itinerary . Refer to our Custom Google Map driving route.

Do click on album below for more photos on our Fanpage(link).

NZ hiking photos
NZ hiking photos

 

Other New Zealand posts:

New Zealand North Island road trip
Hike up Pinnacles and staying in a hut
Crossing unreal Tongariro Alpine in Summer (my best hike ever)
– New Zealand cycling trails – Old Coach Road (Freedom!)
Cycling NZ with Cycliq Fly6

If you need more tips for your New Zealand road Trip planning or Self Drive tips, do refer to our Google map itinerary link and drop us a note.