Scouting hills in Penang

Team rider William Robyn came down to Malaysia from France to do his 6-month internship at a German company named Schott in Penang. On July 30, 2006, William and I went to scout a hill in Penang that we found on Google Earth. This hill is located in Kampung Sungai Ara located near Bukit Jambul. The course measures 1 km in length and is quite interesting, featuring a large right-hand sweeper, one 90-degree left-hand turn, and one nice large right-hand hairpin, all separated by straight-aways. The only bad thing about this course is that there are these so-called speed bumps that are actually cemented concrete drain covers that protrude about a quarter-inch to a half-inch upward from the road surface. There are also plenty of open square holes and circular man-holes in the road with no covers. Some of these open holes are small and unmarked, whereas the larger holes have a wooden post sticking out of them, or a small tree placed in them! Despite these imperfections, the road surface is pretty smooth and there are no potholes or cracks. The road is rideable if you have large diameter wheels to go over those so-called speed bumps, or if you’re riding a gravity bike or a dirtsurfer. Check out the series of pictures taken at various points along the hill course!

Overhead view of the course, start area is at the water tower (white circle)

At the start area

The water tower

This is the name of the road

Looking down the course from the start area

Vacant ground at the start area is perfect for a pit area

First so-called speed bump marks the entrance of the large right-hand sweeper

Looking down from the entrance of the large right-hand sweeper

Close-up view of the so-called speed bump, need large wheels to go over it to prevent axles from bending

Note the exposed man-hole in the middle of the so-called speed bump

Looking down midway thru the large right-hand sweeper

Looking down the course after exiting the large right-hand sweeper

Weeds growing out of the open man-hole

Looking up at the exit of the large right-hand sweeper

Looking up from the side of the construction area next to a TNB electrical post

Looking down at the entrance of the 90-degree left-hand turn from the TNB post

Looking at the downtown residential area from the hill at the outside of the T-junction

Closer view

Looking up midway thru the 90-degree left-hand turn

Looking down midway thru the 90-degree left-hand turn

Looking down from the exit of the 90-degree left-hand turn

Looking up at the exit of the 90-degree left-hand turn

Looking down at the start of the straightaway

Closer view of previous photo

Looking up midway thru the straightaway

Looking down midway thru the straightaway

The straightaway leads to a large right-hand hairpin

Looking up the straight-away from the entrance of the hairpin

Looking down from the inside of the entrance of the hairpin

Looking down from the outside of the entrance of the hairpin

So-called speed bump at the entrance of the hairpin

Stitched photo showing the entire hairpin from entrance to exit

Looking up the entrance of the hairpin

Midway thru the hairpin

Looking down the exit of the hairpin (watch out for those wooden posts sticking out of he man-hole!)

Another view of the entrance of the hairpin

Looking at the hairpin from the inside

This hairpin can be taken wide open

Looking down from the exit of the hairpin

Looking down at the finish area from the exit of the hairpin

Looking up at the exit of the hairpin

Looking up the course from the finish area (this is the last so-called speed bump!)

The finish area leads to houses at the bottom

View of the neighborhood at the finish area

This is Cangkat Sungai Ara

Looking up the course from beyond the finish area

Nice large house at the finish area

Penang has some very nice beautiful mountains for an island state!

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