With the Kuala Lumpur mayor promoting cycling in the city, Ewe Paik Leong visits parks popular with cyclists

1. TAMAN SAUJANA HIJAU, JALAN P11, PUTRAJAYA

Ride your bicycle through a hot sweltering English garden on tracks that are lined with conifer and Sumatran pine, a European garden filled with fir and kauri pine and an Oriental garden lush with Japanese cypress and Chinese juniper. Pavilions of English, European and Oriental design and flowers such as marigold, cockscomb and begonia add to the scenic beauty. Sprawled over three hills spanning 40ha, this park guarantees challenging climbs, beautiful vistas and downhill plunges.

2. DESA PARKCITY, PERSIARAN, RESIDEN, KL

Popular with dog-lovers taking their pets for walks, this park features a cycling track that loops around a lake. The sight of man-made pools of water, shady pavilions and water plants lining the perimeter of the lake will soothe your frazzled nerves as you ride along the water’s edge. At night, the joy of cycling is doubled as spotlights play out landscape features. Quench your thirst at The Waterfront, a lakeside mall, packed with cafes and restaurants offering cool refreshments.

3. PERMAISURI LAKE GARDEN, JALAN PERMAISURI 2, KL

Apart from containing a lake rehabilitated from a former mining pool, this 40ha park also boasts of a man-made pond with spurting fountains, reflexology paths, a children’s playground and jogging and bicycle tracks. Why not try to cycle in concentric circles down a massive seven-level flower terrace? Or whizz pass ornamental shrubs and hedges in a topiary garden? Or simply, do a leisurely lap around the lake? You have to bring your own bicycle, though.

4. FOREST RESEARCH INSTITUTE OF MALAYSIA, JALAN KEPONG, KL

FRIM is sprawled over 200ha in the the Bukit Lagong Forest Reserve.

Within its grounds are the Kepong Botanical Garden, Ethno-Botanic Garden, a timber museum, a canopy walk, a canteen, seven arboretum, a picnic area and a waterfall. Bicycles are available for rent but a disadvantage of cycling here is that cars and bicycles share the same roads. Nevertheless, this short-coming is compensated for by a system of rugged trails for mountain bikes which are graded light, medium and hard.

5. PUTRAJAYA BOTANICAL GARDEN, PERSIARAN SULTAN SALLAHUDDIN ADUL AZIZ SHAH, PUTRAJAYA

Which park in Malaysia is world-class? Answer: Putrajaya Botanical Garden. This 90ha park is listed in Clive Nicol’s book Paradise Found which describes the top 40 beautiful parks in the world. If you can huff and puff on your bicycle to cover the different themed areas in the park (Palm Garden, Sun Garden, Heliconia Trail, Floral Garden, Fern Garden and several others), you will have soaked up more colours than in a rainbow. Bicycles are available for rent. As the Malay saying goes, tunggu apa lagi? (what are you waiting for?). Let’s go cycling there this weekend!

6. TAMAN METROPOLITAN BATU, JALAN IPOH, KL

Not to be confused with Taman Metropolitan, this park is tucked inside a housing estate, and features a kidney-shaped lake that has water lily plants on its surface. The thrill of cycling around the lake is to feast your eyes on the red and white blooms. A children’s playground allows for more playful moments, while a skate park provides bursts of adrenalin rush for skate boarders. The only downside here is the lack of hawker stalls but Taman Kok Lian Hawker Centre, five minutes away, is a paradise of cool slurpy delights.

7. TAMAN RIMBA, JALAN TUN MOHD FUAD, TAMAN TUN DR ISMAIL, KL

This is the sole green lung in TTDI, and many of its bicycle tracks are lined with tall betel nut palms. Extreme mountain bikers will enjoy kicking up mud in the rugged tracks on the hill slopes while being admired by hooting macaques and warbling birds. A reflexology path soothes tired soles after all that pedalling and gentle streams create shady picnic spots. A surau completes the picture. Lack of food stalls and no bicycles for rent may dampen your spirit.

8. TAMAN JAYA PARK, JALAN 10/7, PJ

Located just a stone’s throw from the KL-PJ border, the park has an extra twist to its cycling pavement. Not only does the pavement loop around a lake but it also connects to the Taman Jaya LRT station. Spray fountains in the lake add interesting movement to the water’s surface, and shady gazebos double as rest stations for cyclists. The best part of cycling here is the availability of bicycles for rent at a counter outside the Petaling Jaya Museum. There are also food stalls and toilets.

9. TAMAN METROPOLITAN, MRR2, KEPONG, KL

“Fly! Fly! Fly!” yell hordes of kite-flyers, but huff and puff go the jostles of cyclists wrapped in their spandex shorts as they whizz round the curve of a pristine lake. While dad cycles, mum and the kids can, if they so desire, munch snacks at food stalls, ride in a tram, climb a watch tower to admire panoramic views or clamber about in the children’s playgrounds. For a change of pace, why not rent a pair of rollerblades or a caster scooter for the kids? Sprawled over 90ha of undulating land, this park offers unlimited fun on two non-motorised wheels!

10. TAMAN WAWASAN, LEBUH BESTARI, PUTRAJAYA

Fifty hectares of lush greenery, landscaped gardens, courtyards with squirting fountains and extensive flower beds make this park a great spot on which to feast your eyes. Inhale the fresh air while you tackle the tough uphill track. and then you’re heading downhill, passing a pebbled beach and admiring distant views of Perdana Putra and the Wawasan Bridge. Drat! No hawker stalls are allowed here, so bring your own refreshments.