[Updated*] How To Install MalFreeMap + Topo Contour Lines On Garmin GPS 705 / Edge 800/810


There’s two ways of doing it.

Either you go to MFM-Garmin Map (cGPSmapper) Installation Step-by-Step Guide and follow the procedure - which can be a bit tricky for the non IT-savvy, especially if you want to add the topo contour lines, such as described in Free West Malaysia Topo GPS Map: MFM-SRTMWM 090918

Or, since we are very nice here at KLMBH and we just love our members, we did compile the MFM road and topo maps. Just download the all stuff from this link (162.8MB) and follow this simple procedure to install it on a Garmin Edge 800:

1. Insert a SD card of 2GB in the GPS

2. Replicate the Garmin internal file structure on the SD Card as follows:

  • root/Garmin
  • root/Garmin/Activities
  • root/Garmin/Courses
  • root/Garmin/NewFiles
  • root/Garmin/Workouts

3. Drag & drop the “gmapsupp.img” file in ‘root/Garmin’ location

4. Reboot the GPS; in Settings choose “malfreemaps” and uncheck “POI” unless  you do mind about every McDonalds and Petronas POI being displayed, which makes the map very confusing on a small screen

5. You have now the topo map for Malaysia including contours. For free he he.

You may want to use some .gpx files created by others or downloaded from the Net? Just drag & drop them in the folder root/Garmin/NewFiles. They will appear in “Courses” once the device is rebooted.

And stay on paper !!!

[*14 Aug. 2014 update] MFM map update as of 18 Aug. 2014:

  • Singapore - New!
  • Perlis, Kedah & Penang - New!
  • Perak - New!
  • Pahang, Terengganu & Kelantan - New!
  • KL & Selangor - New!
  • Negeri Sembilan - New!
  • Melaka - New!
  • Johor - New!
  • Sabah - New!
  • Sarawak - New!
  • Brunei
  • Thailand

Bukit Kiara: Letter To Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan


The 4K trail in Bukit Kiara, 30th June 2014

Gazette Status of Bukit Kiara and Rectification Works

On 27th January 2014, there was a meeting at the KPKT office in Putrajaya where both TRAKS and KPKT representatives shared their individual organization’s concerns and opinions with regards to Bukit Kiara.

Five months have passed since this meeting and TRAKS is expecting detailed updates with regards to the following issues, which were raised on 27th January 2014:

1. Firstly, what is the status of the proposed Bukit Kiara gazette?

  • KPKT representatives highlighted that one of the bottlenecks for the Bukit Kiara gazette was because Lot 54268, measuring 100.1 acres (Measat) had yet to be reverted back to Federal Government ownership; it was highlighted that an agreement was in the final stages of negotiation and post which, official paperwork would be submitted to the Federal Land Commissioner for rubber-stamping.
  • The Cabinet mooted the proposed gazette in 2007. It goes without saying that the Rakyat’s patience has long since worn out, whilst every other day we see more encroachment and wanton destruction of the surrounding environment.


2. Secondly, KPKT representatives highlighted that the soil which was removed on the left-hand side of the tarmac jogger’s loop and dumped over the right-hand side ridge was a reactive measure to ensure the down slope would not erode unsustainably as surveyors had come to the conclusion that the earth was being displaced. 

  • This reactive measure resulted in burying an original hand-built trail called 4K located at the bottom of the valley.
  • TRAKS were given assurances that the National Landscape Department’s contractors are aware of the soil build-up at the bottom of the valley and that rectification work would be carried out to return the trail to its original state.
  • As of today, no visible rectification work whatsoever has been conducted by any National Landscape Department appointed contractor. The rainy season has stopped – therefore, the question on top of everyone’s mind is whether this has been put on the backburner and if so, why?
  • If rectification work is planned, TRAKS demands to know the following:

a. Who are the contractors?
b. How will it be rectified?
c. When will work commence?

  • In the spirit of transparency, it is strongly suggested that a detailed rectification works plan be uploaded on the official Ministry’s website for public review and consultation.
  • Additionally, the next public briefing held on the 3rd Saturday of each month should clearly elucidate on the rectification plans and this briefing should be held at the 2nd guard house at the top of the hill where there is a higher concentration of Bukit Kiara users.
  • TRAKS has made it abundantly clear that we are 100% against any form of heavy machinery work within the trail network – therefore, all work must be performed by manual labor only.


3. Thirdly, along the jogger’s tarmac loop where National Landscape Department contractors attempted to fix a minor soil erosion issue, all sorts of building material has been left scattered on the right hand side of the road. This includes cement bags, blue tarpaulin and construction beams.

  • How long will this eyesore be kept in its current state? Please make it clear to your appointed contractors that work should be conducted in a professional and civic-minded manner.

p/s. no answer from Abdul Rahman Dalan nor Jabatan Landskap Negara since June 30th 2014.


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TRAKS Annual General Meeting: Join Us & Be Awesome


Join Us & Be Awesome

TRAKS members have been behind the construction and maintenance of 35km+ of MTB and hiking trails in Bukit Kiara and Kota Damansara Community Forest. Look at what they achieved over the years, simply amazing!

Today, TRAKS is fighting to save this network of pristine jungle trails from developers. Despite being gazetted by the government since 2007, Bukit Kiara is under heavy threat:

Liking On Facebook Is Not Enough

We need you.

As members, committee members, volunteers - join us by becoming a member and let us raise our concern together.

Join TRAKS Annual General Meeting

Join the committee, stand up and do your bit.

  • Date: 20 July 2014
  • Time: 01.00pm
  • Venue: Pusat Komuniti Taman Tun Dr. Ismail, Lorong Burhanuddin Helmi 8, Taman Tun Dr. Ismail, 60000 Kuala Lumpur - Google Map: 3.148337,101.622107


Happy Bukit Kiara Trails By Pola Singh - The Star

By pola singh - The Star

Walkers, joggers and cyclists all love the trails on Bukit Kiara, an oasis in the middle of Kuala Lumpur.

If God had granted me one wish in my life, that wish would be to live next to a spacious green lung with challenging jungle trails.

And yes, my dream has sort of come true. I live near Bukit Kiara Park, located strategically in Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Kuala Lumpur.

What is so unique about this place that attracts thousands of walkers, joggers, hikers and cyclists every day? Why do people from as far as Subang, Cheras and Ampang make special trips here?

Is it simply to get a good workout? Ah, it’s much more than that.

Like many other residents in my “Taman Tun” (as I call it), I walk up the hill every other day to enjoy the cool fresh air and have a good workout.

Besides walking on the paved road, I also venture into the many interesting jungle trails, the result of the good work of the Trails Association of Kuala Lumpur and Selangor, which builds and maintains mountain bike trails all around Bukit Kiara.

Jungle In The City

The public can now go on a number of exciting jungle trails while enjoying the beauty of nature without having to travel far out of KL. For me, Bukit Kiara is too good to be true.

The Bukit Kiara Park and its surrounding hills not only provide a great place to exercise, it’s also a place for children to play, families to gather and neighbours to meet. Stressed-out city folk and nature lovers can enjoy a peaceful retreat.

Aside from enjoying a good workout at this green lung, its tranquil and pleasant setting is home to many wild plants, birds, monkeys and other animals.

Whether one is a walker, jogger, cyclist or hiker, one is assured of a challenging workout amidst a clean and safe environment. The 5km Bukit Kiara jogging trail is quite demanding, if not overly tough. The hill trail requires some effort and determination to reach the top (250m above sea level). On the way up, don’t forget to enjoy the greenery.

First timers and the not-so-fit have described the initial, winding 1.5km climb as a “killer stretch”, as it is uphill all the way. Once they reach the mid-section (where there is a crossroads), there is a 2km (anti-clockwise) picturesque circuit with several mini waterfalls surrounded by thick vegetation on both sides of the road – making it an almost perfect setting for a nature walk or jog.

In the mornings, one can hear lots of birds chirping away. This loop will take walkers about 20 minutes to complete and bring them back to the midsection. Then it is the same way back home except that it is downhill all the way.

All in, it takes an about an hour to 90 minutes to complete the tarmac trail. As for the jungle trails, it will depend on how many mini hills one wants to hike up.

At the end of it all, many will admit that they feel refreshed after the fantastic workout – it’s an indescribable sensation that money can’t buy! And this is the single most important reason they keep coming back again and again.

Although I am a 65-year-old retiree, I’ve never felt so good in my life because of my daily jogs on this trail. When I mention that I walk and jog about 1,800km a year, people express disbelief. I jog about 6km six times a week and that works out to 36km per week. Multiply that by 50 weeks and you get 1,800km or six trips from KL to Penang on foot!

Place To Socialise

Besides breathing in fresh air, toning up sagging muscles and developing one’s stamina, many also build up a circle of friends over time. Indeed, there are many groups, including senior citizens, who hook up by WhatsApp (or other forms of social media) and meet regularly to hike up the hill.

The socialising side of this recreational activity is catching on as many prefer to have jogging “kaki” (enthusiasts) to exchange views and notes while exercising.

One meets different types walkers and joggers. There are those who are dead serious on getting the maximum workout by maintaining the fastest possible pace without looking left and right. The majority walk at a steady pace while there are those who amble at a relaxing pace while enjoying the beauty of nature or chit-chatting with their colleagues.

Dating couples also use the jogging trail as an excuse to pak toh (dating in Cantonese). They clamber up at such a leisurely pace that they hardly work up a sweat. It is the company that counts, not the trail!

Then there are those who cannot leave home without their cell phones. The phone is virtually attached to their ears all the time – it’s probably a good time to catch up with stockbrokers, remisiers, office colleagues and friends while on the trail. This is nature walk KL style for busy executives! Although once is in the middle of the jungle, civilisation is just a phone call away…

Who exactly are these walkers and joggers? It’s a motley crowd – there are retirees, housewives, journalists, teachers, senior government servants, students, undergraduates, academicians and even taxi drivers.

But beware, there are impediments to watch out for. Don’t be surprised to see a snake slithering across the trail to get to the other side. Keep your eyes wide open.

Then there are monkeys to contend with. They want to be fed as they now depend on food brought in by good Samaritans. As soon as they see someone with a plastic bag, they will not hesitate to grab the bag, especially if it is red.

The middle section of the paved road is designated for cyclists who can speed downhill; so please keep to the right or left sections of the road (they are marked) when walking. There have been near misses.

For those venturing onto the jungle trails, have ready mosquito repellent. As long as one is mobile, the mosquitoes will not harm you; it is only when you start to stand and stare that they will attack. Those with hairy hands and legs, like me, need to worry less! Many say that I am thick-skinned as I have got used to the mosquito bites.

As for the cyclists, they are indeed a very enterprising lot. They have constructed various barriers on the trail to make the ride more fun, challenging and exciting. Thanks to them, new trails are being developed all the time for people to enjoy.

For the regulars, walking, jogging or cycling has become addictive here and I’m not afraid to admit that I am one of them. My other half calls me a health nut – because my day will not be complete without a decent workout at Bukit Kiara.

She can be sure that I will never ever retire from jogging. There’s so much going on in Bukit Kiara that I don’t want to miss any of it.

The Truth About Trails - Smarten Up, Don’t Dumb Down


by Ed Haythornthwaite

Words by Seb Kemp
Illustration by Jon Gregory

I’m confused, I’m in two minds about singletrack. I have a dirty little secret that I need to confess: I like flow trails. I like buff, groomed, sculpted, pumpy, flowy and, errr… easy ones. But I don’t like it that I like these trails.

The perfectly sculpted lines that have been popping up over the last decade or so have given us so much, but still they attract detractors. The hardcore among our fraternity yell that the experience of mountain biking is being dumbed down by these Fisher–Price simulations of mountain biking. They claim the challenge has been cut out and crushed gravel laid over the top, but I can’t see the problem as clearly as ‘they’ do.

It’s a trail that has been purposely carved into the earth for our delight – what’s wrong with that? Do you remember when mountain bikers were public enemy number one? A plague on the countryside, and a cancerous scourge of skidding idiots who were kept at bay by the stick–wielding geriatrics who rambled about the fields and forests like doddering sentries? I don’t care if mountain biking becomes a mainstream activity but it’s really quite pleasing to see that it has gained enough respect, toleration and acceptance that now we are spoilt for options as to where we can bike. Trail access has opened up where once it was forbidden, new mountain bike specific destinations have had public (and private) finance funnelled into them so we have somewhere to ride our bikes and, best of all, a lot of this development has been managed and governed by mountain bikers so we aren’t just getting palmed off with appropriated approximations of what others think mountain biking is.

Sure, these newer developments are aimed at the lowest common denominator so are often a little less aggressive than some high flying dudes want, but what can we expect, government funded double black diamond killers that only a tiny minority of riders can ride, let alone enjoy? Of course, if someone is going to pump money into something they at least expect that the investment will last past the first rainy season. These new trails are being built using ancient trail building wisdom: smart use of gradient, grade reversals, trails that shed water, good drainage, suitable construction methods, and clever use of materials. Now we have trails that might last one hundred years and remain in that condition for the whole time.

When similar techniques are applied to existing trails that are falling off the hillside riders are similarly angry. Complainers rarely understand why fixes are committed. Often the argument is that fixes are made to make things easier, when really it’s simply to stop the trail dying. More mountain bikers could learn a thing or two by going out and seeing how a trail actually works, how water runs, how riders react to trail situations and how that impacts the trail (elemental rule: keep the water ‘off’ and the riders ‘on’ the trail). Trails change, especially if they are ‘built’ with a rake and a bit of back brake.
I like these manicured, man-made lines because I get to go fast through the forest and I feel superhuman. I’m lucky to live in BC where we have three lifetimes’ worth of heinously challenging trails, so I am thankful for buff, flowing, low grade trails once in a while. It’s great to really pick up the speed and glide through the trail having a blast without so much risk of puncturing or pummelling into the ground. But what if that was it, that every time I rode my bike it was exactly the same? What if all trails were flow country trails? I’d hate it.

The beauty of mountain biking is the variety. Every trail is different – dirt is transformed by weather, season and location, the chaotic patterns of roots can not be replicated, rock and stone varies from place to place, there’s dust and there’s bulldust, trail builders have different visions, some trails were meant for biking, others were meant for donkeys, some trails are steep, some are mellow, but all have their own challenge. I love all trails but if they were all the same then I’m not sure I’d be quite so enamoured with mountain biking. It would be similar to table tennis or data inputting.

But I don’t think we are in danger of that happening. Sure, trail centres and flow trails are popping up everywhere, but these are gateways, drugs and quick fixes that are fun to dabble in once in a while. They aren’t going to be the Final Solution for mountain biking, just an added experience. Just so long as there are enough people willing to cut a line where there previously wasn’t one, open up a trail or resurrect a dying track, then things will be all right. A little civil disobedience goes a long way to keeping it that way. So the next time you hear someone bitterly complaining about trails being dumbed down ask them what they have done to smarten things up.