A bicycle is a very handy and common mode of transportation in small towns and villages here in Malaysia. On my visit to Muar a few years ago, I was pleasantly surprised to see so many bicycles in this town some 45km south of Malacca. I was told there were even more in those days but automobiles now outnumber bicycles making the streets very congested in this little town.
Kuala Lumpur, unlike cities in developed countries, is not designed for bicycles but recently, under the Visit KL initiative, KL City Hall has introduced the 'Kuala Lumpur by Cycle' programme. This will allow the tourist an eco-frendly way to explore the city on a bicycle within a designated cycle zone.
To start off, 20 bicycles are available for rental. The tourist has a choice of visiting two zones - the Heritage Zone and the Park Zone.
The Heritage Zone encompasses attractions including the Sultan Abdul Samad building, the National Textile Museum, the Victorian Fountain, Royal Selangor Club, Cathedral of St Mary and the City Theatre, better known as Panggung Bandaraya.
The Park Zone takes tourists through the Tun Abdul Razak Heritage Park, with stops covering Perdana Botanical Gardens, KL Bird Park, KL Butterfly Park, Deer Park, KL Hibiscus and Orchid Gardens, National Planetarium, Tun Abdul Razak Memorial, Islamic Arts Museum and the National Mosque.
Currently, there are two packages that tourists can opt for; the Free and Easy Cycle, (a self-guided bicycle tour) and the Guided Cycle Tour, the first-of-its-kind in the country, where riders are provided with a set of headphones that will allow them to hear a running commentary given by a tour guide.
During the launch, Kuala Lumpur Mayor, Datuk Seri Ahmad Phesal Talib, flagged off a group of tourists who opted for the Guided Cycle Tour.
Riders will be provided with a safety helmet and safety vest as well as a route map for reference.
Rental fees are priced at RM30 for the first four hours and RM5 for every subsequent hour (for the Free and Easy Cycle) and RM45 for the Guided Cycle Tour.
Bicycles can be collected at the Kuala Lumpur By Cycle centre located at the KL City Gallery, Jalan Raja and a refundable deposit of RM250 is payable when you collect your bicycle.
Source: The Star..Tourists can now explore KL on rented bicycles