The Bikes of Georgetown, Penang


Darryl gave me grief last week for sending him a video of me biking around the area, when it looks like any other area in the states, so Sunday I made it a mission to photograph as many cyclists around Penang as I could.  During the week I rarely leave my fortress, so it’s very easy to get sucked into a feeling of isolation, and the weekends is when I’m reminded that I’m in another country, far away from home.

A few things you’ll notice in the pictures is that I didn’t get a shot of one cyclist in the usual spandex garb.  They’re out there, but generally earlier in the day when it’s not so hot out.  Mid-day, it’s more likely to be folks using bikes as primary transport, or families who rent and are riding around the city.  Another is that few wear helmets while riding through some pretty heavy traffic.  As in the states, I’ve found that it feels safer to ride in heavy traffic at low speeds in the city, than in the boonies with fewer cars traveling faster.  Anyone else feel that way?


A view towards the Gurney area of Penang, with a lot of modern retail and residences.




Folding bikes are very popular here. In the local electronics store you can actually buy folding carbon road bikes.


You also see tourists riding around downtown Georgetown in trishaws.




Renting a bike in Penang is super easy, just check out any local cafe and changes are they have bikes out front.


Street art is big in Georgetown and this is the most famous of all. Kids queue up to have their parents snap a photo.


Sharrows are everywhere, and so far I’ve found drivers to give me plenty of room while biking.


It may be a bit tired and rusted, but newer seat, tires, pedals and cables show that this is daily worker.

Enjoy Your Ride

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4 Responses to “ The Bikes of Georgetown, Penang ”

  1. Flora on June 4, 2015 at 7:12 am

    How about these for the streets and rural bike tracks of Penang… ?

  2. Eric Hutchins on October 2, 2013 at 9:16 pm


  3. Paul Kirby on September 17, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    Folding carbon road bikes?!?! You’ve gotta share photos and info on those. Cool!

  4. Maggi on September 17, 2013 at 8:18 am

    I do a lot of suburban/rural riding and only occasionally ride in the city. The first few times I rode in the city, I was initially terrified– but very quickly found the heavier traffic to be much easier to deal with than I expected. I think the main thing is consistency– the difficulty with suburban/rural roads is that the traffic flow is much less consistent, and you’ll have empty road for miles until suddenly hitting a higher-traffic area where drivers aren’t expecting cyclists. In the city, there are cyclists all over; drivers are more accustomed to seeing them, and they filter into a consistent traffic flow. If you keep your speed and direction consistent, rather than trying to race traffic or weave through it, you become part of the flow and it feels much safer than wondering when a big truck will come barreling around a blind turn in a rural area.


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