Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Challenging Putrajaya Wetlands Trail Ride Route

Putrajaya Wetlands is a 200 hectares area with a vegetated horizontal surface flow multi-cell wetland system, with different water levels in each of its 23 cells.
Map of the Putrajaya Wetlands.
It has one of the more challenging gravel bike trails in Putrajaya. It is suitable for an intermediate rider due to its challenges, not suitable for a new rider. You need a mountain bike with front suspension and knobbly tyres. Helmet and gloves must be worn while riding on this trail. The place to park your cars, and to begin your bike ride is at;

Pusat Rekreasi Air,
Putrajaya Wetlands
Exit Persiaran Utara
Presint 1
62000 Putrajaya
Wilayah Persekutuan Putrajaya,
Malaysia (GPS N2.952017° E101.699010°)

Those coming from the north via SKVE may have to circle around the PERSIARAN SULTAN SALAHUDDIN ABDUL AZIZ SHAH to get to the recreation centre as illustrated below.
How to get to the starting point.
Be careful here, you don't want to miss the turn.
This is the bike route of Putrajaya Wetlands.
My two kids on their MTBs, front suspension, complete with helmet and gloves. Don't forget your water bottles!
One of the many scenic bridges with the ducks in the lake.
A closer view of the ducks.
I really can't remember why I took this photo.
Look at the right side, that black object is a small weir for treating the water. 
A broad-crested weir, separating the many cells of the lake.
That marshy area is not for walking, it is part of the cells for water treatment.
Again another cell with a different type of reeds to help treat the water.
At the right angle, the water reflects the image of the plants.
At this cell, you have tall trees by the lakeside. One of the more beautiful view, yet unseen by others.
No water plants here. Maybe because this is where Sungai Bisa joins the lake. 
No water plants here. Maybe because this is where Sungai Bisa joins the wetlands.
Where Sungai Bisa really join the wetlands. The trail is flooded and not rideable. Time to turn back.
Map showing where we turned back due to flooded bike trail.
For those young at heart, you can emulate Che Mohd Adib cycling through the flooded section.
After backtracking some distance, we found a safe broad-crested weir to cross the lake.
These trees were on the other side of the lake.
My two exhausted kids. Must be glad to be near the finishing line. This is one of the safer crossing that you could ride through if you don't want to ride to the end of the "left horn of lake". The route would be much shorter though.
Take note that at the south end of the trail, you have to get on the road & cycle across the bridge before reaching the starting point.
Expect to spend up to two hours cycling this totally flat 15 km trail. Make sure that your bike is suitable for off-trail riding and bring enough water. You may want to bring some energy bars with you.
Summary of the ride.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Hunting for GoPro/Virb mounts? Don't go to Low Yat Plaza!

Last week on Tuesday, I became the proud owner of a second hand Garmin Virb Elite. I was advised by the previous owner to go for GoPro mounts for mounting on my bike. He told me to specifically to look for K-Edge bike mount and showed me a sample.
Original K-Edge Go Big bike mount, about RM150.
Virb as my car dashcam.
In the meantime, I was using the Virb as my car dashboard camera. With a 64GB class 10 microSD card inside it, it could record 15 hours of my driving. I set it to record whenever the car is moving.

To fulfil my "mounting" needs, I went to Low Yat Yat Plaza. Initially I went to the Garmin outlets at 1-TC002 & 1-TC003. They do have the bike large tube mount for road bike but they wanted RM250 for it. 
Road bike mount.
They also have the auto dash suction mount and they wanted RM300++ for it. The prices were too high! So I opted to go for the GoPro mounts instead and started searching for outlets selling such mounts.
Auto windscreen mount.
First I went to an outlet at UG-013 to check out the GoPro accessories there. They have a large collection on display there. The first item I saw was this weird device which the nice Malay salesman claim was for mounting GoPro on a road bike. He was selling it for RM93.
GoPro-Handlebar-Seatpost-Mount, about RM85 online..
But he claimed that it won't work on the Virb due to the Virb's single mount. GoPro has a double mount. So the 3 rings on the mount will only work with the GoPro double mount. I was still blur about the Virb's GoPro adapter then. The nice Malay salesman advised me to buy the proper Virb's mount instead.  
The triple rings of the mount.
On my way out, I stopped by at UG-42. This outlet was selling the same GoPro-Handlebar-Seatpost-Mount at RM160!!!!I was shocked! But he does have the imitation K-Edge mount though. Initially he wanted RM80 for it but he agreed to RM60 for it. Looking at the itsy bitsy device, I believe it should be much cheaper. Way cheaper!   
The imitation K-Edge bike mount.
The triple rings of the imitation K-Edge mount.
Turns out my Virb came with a single GoPro adapter, which I could use to mount my Virb on any GoPro mounts. 
Virb's GoPro adapter.
But when I asked the official Garmin supplier in Malaysia, AECO, about the adapter, the guy behind the counter insisted that there is no such thing!
How the GoPro adapter is attached to the imitation K-Edge mount.
The Virb atop my bike handlebar using the imitation K-Edge mount and GoPro adapter.
When I visited AECO office in Cheras, I found out that the mounts are much cheaper over there compared to the outlets at Low Yat Plaza.
RM140 at AECO compared to RM250 at LYP. Currently no stock available at AECO.

At AECO, the dive case was only RM220 (RM290 at LYP) and cradle only RM100 at AECO (RM190 at LYP). 
Virb in the dive case and attached wrist mount.
Wrist mount going for RM140 at AECO.
Me trying out the wrist mount and ended up looking like Buzz Lightyear.
Virb's shoulder harness going for RM220 at AECO.
Also available at AECO.
Also available at AECO.
Also available at AECO.
As for GoPro mounts, yesterday I discovered that the prices were very much cheaper at the Harvey Norman outlet in Nu Sentral. Cheaper than the online prices!
GoPro mounts galore at Harvey Norman.
The GoPro-Handlebar-Seatpost-Mount were going for only RM63 at HN, compared to the RM160 & RM93 at LYP (RM85 at Amazon). The GoPro shoulder harness/body mount was only RM159 and the GoPro windscreen mount going for only RM73.

If you have the Virb and were thinking of buying GoPro mounts and then buying the Virb's GoPro adaptor to cut cost, forget it. The Virb's GoPro adapter comes in a kit that will set you back for RM110 each. So it is better to buy Virb's own mounting, much cheaper that way.

Conclusion

Avoid Low Yat Plaza if you are hunting for GoPro/Virb's mountings. Instead drop by AECO in Cheras for Virb's accessories and drop by Harvey Norman's for GoPro's accessories.

Disclaimer - the above posting is based on my own personal experience, therefore your own experience may differ.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Tale of the Pristine Putrajaya Lake.

The landscape of Putrajaya is dominated by the picturesque Putrajaya Lake. Putrajaya Lake is a 400 hectares water body encircling the Core Island of Putrajaya.
The landscape of Putrajaya is dominated by its picturesque lake.
  The presence of the lake helps to moderate the temperature and humidity, making it much more pleasant to the surrounding population. When the hot air mass moves across long expanses of cooler lake water, it cools the lower layer of air, thereby cooling the weather when it hits the leeward shores.

 The lake is also is the site of various outdoor activities such as boating and kayaking. The jogging and cycling paths around the lake provides another avenue for healthy activities. For the annual Putrajaya Ironman 70.3, usually held in April, the lake is where the swimming leg of the event is held.
Swimming leg of Putrajaya Ironman 70.3 held in Putrajaya Lake.
Yet the water of Putrajaya Lake were sourced from two polluted river systems,  Sungai Chua and Sungai Bisa.
Flooded section where Sungai Bisa enters the Wetlands.
These two river systems were polluted with domestic sewage discharge, livestock excreta, agricultural runoff and waste water from factories. So how does such one comes up with a lake filled with water with a quality index of Class IIb, suitable for recreational use from such a highly polluted source?
Che Mohd Adib cycling through the section where Sungai Bisa enters the Wetlands.
The flooded section where Sungai Bisa enters the Wetlands.
 The answer lies within the 200 hectares of Putrajaya Wetlands, a vegetated horizontal surface flow multi-cell wetland system, with different water levels in each of its 23 cells.
The 23 cells of Putrajaya Wetlands.

Each cells is separated from one another by a weir.

One of the many broad-crested weirs separating the cells at Putrajaya Wetlands.
One of the sharp-crested weirs in Putrajaya Wetlands.
 The water of Sungai Chua and Sungai Bisa are filtered by these cells at Putrajaya Wetlands.

What is so special about these cells that they are able to filter these polluted water?

Each cell consists of the following layout;
Layout of each cells.
Water will enter through the inlet area. The forebay allows sedimentation, thus reducing the sediment load of the water. The reed beds has waterplants which will enhance organic flocculation and filtration of pollutants via microbial biofilms. The open pond area after the reed bed allows UV (sunlight) penetration into the water for disinfection. The process will continue through the various cells.

The waterplants differ between the cells by its classification. The cells will be classified according to the following criteria and it is determined by its location within the wetlands, to provide the optimum filtration and water treatment. The classification is as follows;
  • Shallow marsh
  • Marsh
  • Deep Marsh
  • Pond
  • Deep Pond
  • Fringing Swamp
  • Swamp Forest
Graphical explanation of the classification of the cells.
The Putrajaya Lake lies at the southern part of the wetland. About 60% of the lake water were filtered through the wetland and the remaining 40% came from bordering promenade and through runoffs from the drainage system in the catchment area. The water depth of the lake is in the range of 3 to 14 metres with an average depth of 6.6 metres.

The level of the Putrajaya Lake is regulated by the Labyrinth Weir at Taman Seri Empangan, near the Putrajaya International Convention Centre (PICC).

Labyrinth Weir, also known as the Forbidden Bridge (picture courtesy of Adib Noh).
The excess water from the Labyrinth Weir, enter a spillway which led to a stream. The stream joins into Sungai Langat, which led to Selat Melaka.
The spillway leading to a stream.
Thus a lot of effort and resources had been invested to ensure that Putrajaya is known as a waterfront city and its lake water is safe for recreational water activities. So the next time you swim or take part in any water activities at Putrajaya Lake, take heed of the effort that has gone into ensuring the water quality of Putrajaya Lake.
The water from the lake is so clear in contrast to the murky Sungai Langat.

Caveat (warning);
Tale = "a fictitious narrative or story, especially one that is imaginatively recounted."
Pristine = "in its original condition; unspoiled."
Bisa river system really refers to the valley located west to Bukit Bisa (IOI Resort). There is a series of interconnected lakes towards north east near to a lake at UNIPERTAMA Golf Club, UPM Serdang. The lake has a small stream which connects to a another lake within UPM. Sungai Bisa connects to the northeast section of Putrajaya Wetlands via a stream that runs underneath a bridge at SKVE as illustrated at the beginning of the article.
Chua river system apparently flows from Kajang to Putrajaya but I can't identify it's location within Putrajaya.