Fold-it with Samo
In this issue, we talk about commuting with a folding bicycle onboard the KTM Komuter.
Now, before I begin, there has been a few incidents in the past where bicyclists were thrown out of the KTMB train station by the station master. According to the Rail Transportation Law, full-sized bicycles are not allowed to be boarded.
It is considered as an odd-sized baggage and a sum of RM10 will be charge to transport the bicycle onboard KTMB’s inter-city trains.
Well, I am talking about the diesel-powered trains, not the electric ones that plies between Klang – Seremban, Rawang – Seremban and vice versa. If you have a folding bike which is carried in a bag, then you would have the advantage of utilising the electric train for your travels.
I had a discussion with a fellow cyclist who said that he had some issues with KTMB. From what he said, it was clear that he had gotten into an argument with the station master, citing his rights and knowledge.
For starters, arguing with people in the know gets you nowhere. And for setting a good example among folding bicycle owners, credit is due to multi-modal commuting guru Mr Bil Choy. The Bangsar resident who cycles his Brompton folding bike is actively spreading the good word on responsible bicycle ownership.
Choy encourages cyclists to fold and bag their bicycle when boarding a KTMB Komuter service. If properly done, the stationmaster would not chase you out.
From my experience, nearly 60% of the passengers of the KTMB Komuter service are foreigners. So, if you are xenophobic, be prepared for the ride of your life. As far as routing is concerned, the Komuter services is excellent if you want to explore Klang and Pulau Ketam.
In one of my recent trips to Seremban, I spent RM1.60 to get to the KL Sentral station from Subang Jaya and switched onto a Seremban-bound train at RM6 per trip.
If you don’t mind sharing your coach with a Bangladeshi worker and some Nepali guys, the trip to Seremban is a pleasant experience. It takes about an hour to get there and if you compare this with the SKS bus service, the road link is much more faster and efficient.
Now, on the courtesy side, you must bag your folding bike at all time. This would also ease your entry into the platform to board your train.
WHAT KIND OF FOLDING BIKES?
The smaller, the better.
If you pack a Pacific Cycle ‘Carry Me’ (one of the smallest foldie around), no one would even notice that you are travelling with a small bicycle. The most ideal size is a 16″ wheeled folding bike.
I can vouch for this with the Dahon Curve SL and Curve D3.
Some higher-end foldies would use their Bromptons (now available at a folding bike store near you) which is one of the most compact folding bikes around.
You can also pack your 20″ folding bikes and in my humble opinion, these are the perfect bike for bikepackers (people who hop off train stations with their bikes on exploration rides).
Well, there you have it! All good things said and done, it takes more effort to board a KTMB Komuter train and if you observe the courtesy by setting a good example, other passengers too would respect you in the long run.
Till the next article, ride safe!