Does KL Car Free Morning Live Up To Its Objectives?

KL Car Free Morning (KLCFM) has been around for more than 1 year. Media report this event as a BIG success … Just how do you define success?

Go Green, reduce carbon emissions, encourage usage of bicycles, yada, yada. I am all in for this ‘sales pitch’ .. well, any opportunity for me to ride a bicycle is a win in my book.

But … having the event every first and third Sunday of the month, for a miserable 2 hours (from 7am-9am) defeats the whole objective, no?

Who on earth wake up so early on Sunday, driving to town? And for these people that never had a reason, there is now. Thanks, but no thanks to the Go-Green-Reduce-Carbon-Emissions-Lets-Cycle event … Hmm .. how smart.

As we had to be early (before operating hours of LRT) to ensure we snag ourselves free bicyles, we had no choice but to drive, and that means emitting carbon into the environment, no?

Anyway, I participated in the 11th (or was it 12th?) Edition of the KLFCM event with the Ngs family … Bee’s family. Lazybone-me was dragging my feet; only decided on the same morning ..  woke up at 5am for the event .. but hey, the cycling bait did it.

Cycling in Muang Sing, Laos, 2009
Cycling in Muang Sing, Laos, 2009

Yeah .. I heart cycling, and try to cycle whenever I travel.

Where we parked
Where we parked

Having participated in the event before, Bee was able to give me precise parking instruction. Waze location was Galeri Kuala Lumpur, look for I❤️KL sign, she told me. True enough, there were few (free) parking bays for participants.

6am at Dataran Merdeka!
6am at Dataran Merdeka!
6am, really 😅
6am, really 😅

At 6am on a Sunday, I was in front of Dataran Merdeka with the Ngs … early bird catches the worm, and early human get the bicycle ..

OCBC Bank at Menara OCBC, Jalan Tun Perak
OCBC Bank at Menara OCBC, Jalan Tun Perak

From Galeri Kuala Lumpur, we walked towards OCBC Bank (OCBC Cycle booth) at Menara OCBC, Jalan Tun Perak to get our hands on free (100?) bike rental, available on first-come-first-serve basis. Stated on FB from 6.30am onwards, but they were giving out the bikes already when we arrived around 6.15-6.20am. The bank is located adjacent to Masjid Jamek LRT station.

Renting bicycles are as simple as ABC, perfect for those still groggy after waking up bright early in the morning.

Simple registration
Simple registration
Registration counter
Registration counter

1. Fill in the form: basic personal details

2. Provide your passport (for non-Malaysians), My Kad/driving licence for Malaysians. Staff will take photo (NOT photocopy as stated on their signage) of your ID

Assigned bicycle corresponds with the number on lanyard
Assigned bicycle corresponds with the number on lanyard (F=female, M=male, T=tourist)

3. Staff will give you a lanyard (tag), which comes with an assigned bicycle. I.e. you DO NOT get to choose your bicycle. If you want a new bike, you need to get back to the counter for the changes to be made

4. Upon completing your journey, you need to return the lanyard (tag) and bicycle at the the same location, by 9.15am

Adult-size bicycles
Adult & children-size bicycles
Tandem bicyles
Tandem bicyles

Kudos to OCBC for the bicycle options: female, male, children, and even tandem bikes.

OCBC staff were not exactly chirpy-friendly, but they were efficient … Understandbly-so for graveyard shift, so it’s tolerable. Thanks folks.

We then cycled / pushed our bikes to Dataran DBKL, to the flag-off point. Use the toilet here, if you wish. Whist waiting, we were entertained with loud broadcast of Malay songs.

Pancaragam KL
Pancaragam DBKL marching band

Pancaragam DBKL marching band performed just before the event kick-start.

Flag-off point, Dataran DBKL
Flag-off point, Dataran DBKL
Yeah baby! The road is all ours!
Yeah baby! The road is all ours!
Cycle away to your heart content
Cycle away to your heart’s content
.. or rollerblade
.. or rollerblading
.. or handcycling
.. or handcycling
.. or just taking photos
.. or just taking photos
Important landmark: KL Tower (photo credit: Jane Ng)
Important landmark: KL Tower (photo credit: Jane Ng)
Another important landmark: Petronas Twin Tower!
Another important landmark: Petronas Twin Tower!
image
The route (Source: KLCFM website)

It was an easy-peasy 7km ride, from Dataran DBKL to KLCC. It took us 50 mins with slow-mo rides, including many photo-breaks. We returned our bikes around 8am, and found that many have returned theirs as well. So, will suggest either arrive early, or around 8am for the free bicycles.

All in all, it was enjoyable, but I thought that there are areas for improvement:

1. Some people suggested a whole day road closure, which might be a bit too far stretched. How about reverting back to the old time period from 7-11am, or in the late afternoon from 4-7pm.

2. A dedicated lane for runners and slow cyclists, and a lane for cyclists/fast cyclists. 

Pumping tyre
Many cyclists were seen inflating bike tyres
Pump tyres yourself, k? (Photo credit: Jane Ng)
Pump tyre yourself, k? (Photo credit: Jane Ng)
Becareful with incoming cars
Be careful with incoming cars

3. For OCBC:

  • Make sure that bicycles’ tyre pressures are inflated properly, before handover. Even though bicycle pump was provided, we were told to pump the tyre ourselves. This resulted in ‘congestion’ at bicycle collection area, which was frowned upon by their staff.
  • Please provide clear instructions for bicycle collection area to be cleared, and also provide a separate area for seat adjustment, etc.
  • Also, smartphone pictures pose privacy and security risks; ID photos taken with smartphone needs to be re-looked at.
Thank you Bee! (Photo credit: Jane Ng)
Thank you Bee! (Photo credit: Jane Ng)

Again, thanks Bee and her wonderful family (Papa Bee, Mama Bee, Tzeh Tzeh Bee) for having me!

Writer

Travel opens up a whole new world, which is cliche but true. I am a strong advocate for independent and solo travel. I was born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia but now live in Bangkok, Thailand, resulted from a chance encounter in 2009 with my why-are-you-Thai bf. I am now split between two countries. One country for my bf, another for the family, for the occasional weekend together.

8 thoughts on “Does KL Car Free Morning Live Up To Its Objectives?

  • June 6, 2016 at 10:28 pm
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    The first time when I registered at the ocbc counter, they did have a mini photocopy machine. I was surprised that they used phone instead this round. Faulty machine maybe?

    Agree with you that they should consider extending until 10am. But then again, they are doing it twice a month so 2 hours pun ok lah!

    Btw, it’s the 12th edition last sunday. Thats what you told me at the flag off point. Haha.

    • June 6, 2016 at 10:30 pm
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      Twice a month, means twice pollution ahh ..

      Yeah, that’s what I thought so … but on their FB, they indicate the following Sunday event as the 12th edition. So that means the one we attended was 11th? *confused*

  • June 6, 2016 at 10:56 pm
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    11 or 12 doesn’t matter lah. Will try to go at least once a month. Our turn to bring the young ones to do activities that they like. I think my dad will walk next round to prevent “down Under” Pain. Haha.

    • June 6, 2016 at 10:58 pm
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      hmmmm … maybe double layer down there oooh

  • June 6, 2016 at 10:58 pm
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    Also, I take public transport to work. I have reduced a lot of pollution in a way.

    • June 6, 2016 at 10:59 pm
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      That is indeed very true

  • June 8, 2016 at 11:29 am
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    by the way, those senget photos can be unsenget-kan or not? hahaha…

    • June 8, 2016 at 2:43 pm
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      *paiseh*
      Looks like this is an IOS issue, it will show incorrectly in some browsers. I will need to rotate all photos using external photo editing program, i.e. can’t upload to blog directly from my Apple devices! Will have to do this moving forward!

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