Though I didn't know it at the time, it too, like the Genting Highlands, is inaccessible by bicycle. And again, I was a fair way into the climb before I was made to realise that it was.
But fortunately, this climb had a happy ending. It prompts me to ponder the question: What's the difference between two Malaysian police officers and two French security guards who are working their way through university? When it comes to empathy for ageing Australian cyclists (me), quite a lot it seems.
If you were not aware, a puy is a geological term used in the central region of France, for a volcanic hill. Becoming extinct around late prehistoric times, most are clustered together, while some are scattered as isolated hills. Of these, the Puy de Dome is the highest.
Leaving in sweltering heat and humidity from our accommodation at Royat, an outer suburb of Clermont Ferrand, it was a cool 16 degrees within a matter of 30 minutes and a few hundred vertical metres. As I soon learnt, a once classic climb in the Tour de France, the Puy is no longer used by even the Grand Tour itself. A much easier alternative is the nearby Col de Ceyssat, which even compared to my climb from Gombak to Genting Sempah, is a piece of cake.
The road runs parallel with a single-track train line that winds itself like a Mr. Whippy ice-cream from the base of the Puy all the way to its summit. Though yet to see any sight of security guards, let alone the police, my next hint of being an unwanted guest was from a train driver who was carrying passengers down the mountain. Though shaking her head backwards and forwards as vigorously as her neck muscles would allow, I interpreted her unhealthy action as a response to my stupidity rather than any wilfull intention to break the law.