Date: 30th June 2013
Time: 09:20 for briefing, 09:30 sharp for On On!!
Venue: Gravel Road off Taman Matang Jaya
GPS Coordinates: N3 15 04.6 E101 34 15.6 / 3.251278, 101.571000
Hares: Ying How, Eric Teo, Mike Kwan, Kevin Vincent Phang, Albert Chua and Mark Lim
The Long is approximately 24km and the Scenic is 14km.
The Bash is set around the Orang Asli village of Kuang. The idyllic setting of a village nestled in the Bukit Lagong Reserve stands in stark contrast to large quarries in the area. The Bash will start along the main gravel road used by the quarry operators and will consist of a mixture of rubber, palm and forest trails. The hares have also built a 300m long single track in a pristine section of forest that will bring the riders on the Long to a pristine swimming area fed by a river that originates deep within Bukit Lagong. The trail is a bit twisty in sections but take the time to inhale and look around and you will notice the beautiful environment that is the forest.
A short break or even a swim in the impossibly cool and refreshing waters is possible but don’t hang too long or risk being cut-off from Long. The Long is an undulating ride made up of a series of hills. There is nothing too steep nor high and of course, all trails are rideable for the fit and strong. The Scenic is less hilly and should be within reach for most riders.
1. Drive along the NSE towards EXIT 114 - Hospital Sg Buloh. and exit Toll. Zero trip your meter here
2. Immediately exiting the Toll, you will see Hospital Sg Buloh in front of you. Drive 500m to a T junction. Turn right
3. Km 1.3 – Traffic light junction and pedestrian bridge overhead. Turn right into Jalan Besar which takes you into Kg Melayu Sg Buloh. Lots of stalls, shops selling Thai food, a wet market, nursery, provision shops and shops selling pottery on both sides of the road
4. Km 2.9 – De Chiengmai restaurant where KLMBH held a dinner a few years back
5. Km 3.0 – Junction, continue straight
6. Km 3.3 – OYL factory. You enter the industrial area of Sg Buloh
7. Km 3.5 - Hong Leong Yamaha factory on your left
8. Km 3.8 – Traffic Lights. Factory with curved green roof. Continue straight
9. Km 4.3 – You arrive at Matang Pagar
10. Km 5.5 – Turn right into Jalan Impian when you see the “Stesen Keretapi Kuang” sign board
11.Km 5.8 – Hoarding on your left. Go under the tunnel below the NSE. You will see a sign “Selamat Datang Ke Taman Matang Jaya”. Immediately after the tunnel, turn right into Jalan Matang Jaya 5. You will see 3 storey shops here
12. Km 6.3 – Tian Hwang Plaza on your left. Take the first left and you will see power lines on your left and a tall hedge on your right. This is will lead you to a gravel road. The hash site is located 500m from the junction
On On !
Not having ridden the Bash in a very long time, about 4 years, I was a little apprehensive. Will my knee hold up? Am I fit enough to get round? Will I get lost? Will I remember how to use the gears? Pushing all the questions aside I overcame the first hurdle and got myself to the bash site (starting point? Does it even have a proper name?) without scraping my bike off the roof rack at the tolls.
Somehow at registration I ended up signing up as a member – how did that happen? Clearly the Bash has become more hard-sell since my last outing. So, RM70 the poorer I went back to the car and set about assembling the bike. I was pleased to find that I had remembered to bring the front wheel – always a concern. Another concern was that it seemed to be terribly hot. After exchanging a few ‘it’s terribly hot’ conversations with familiar faces and stocking up on Hammer Gels, I retreated to the shade by my car to await the briefing. Unlike registration, the KLMBH briefing hasn’t changed at all. An exhausted-looking hare does his best to explain what we are to face while 50 plus people gather round, carry on with their personal conversations and largely ignore him. Note to self – next time leave bike aside somewhere and squeeze through the crowd on foot to be within in earshot of the hare. I managed to glean that on the short ride I would be following square paper, there were no checks (Fab, I have never quite understood the point of them. Someone has already figured out the route so why do we have to pretend to have lost the way and put in all that extra distance looking for it?) and, from the waving of red and white hazard tape, there were some kind of hazards.
On On! And then everyone else moved off. Not wanting to be one of the hazards I waited and followed at the back where I met Ying How and Ai Ling. I generously offered to ride with them and provide assistance if HYH found himself struggling at any point. We had a nice easy start along tarmac roads passing partially inhabited terraces of houses and others only partially built. The golf course was in better shape and looked to be more popular than the housing. I was just beginning to think that this bashing lark was not quite as tough as I remembered when there was a hill. What gear am I in? What do I press to make it easier? Things were suddenly getting terribly technical when thankfully we met someone with a flat who wanted help - a marvellous excuse to stop. Ai Ling and I supervised while HYH helped the damsel in distress, then with much frantic gear changing and some alarming crunching noises coming from the chain I made it up the hill.
And then it all became a bit of a blur – not from the speed of any of my descents, you understand, but from the oil palm and more oil palm nature of the terrain. Variety was provided at one point by a section of rubber, but for the most part we followed trails wending their way through rows and rows of oil palm. I know it is not very PC to like oil palm but to ride through I think it is great. The tracks are wide enough that I can trundle along slowly on one side and there is plenty of room for speedier souls to pass. There is also plenty of shade, it is really green and you meet the occasional cow. The downside is of course that it all looks the same and the cows crap in the middle of the trail. Today’s oil palm was no exception. The tracks were ride-able even for me and the hills were not too demoralizing. There was one I had to walk up, but as I have been out of action for a while I am going to allow myself that. The obligatory group of alarmed cattle had such a cute calf with them that I had to forgive them their lousy toilet habits.
Scattered at intervals along the route we negotiated the hazards – a large ditch to carry our bikes across and some stream crossings involving a bit of a scramble. After nearly 2 hours of riding we emerged from the shade to the openness of the strange ghost town area where, at a guard house in the middle of nowhere, I stopped to take advantage of the “KLMBH Fruit and Drinks Sale”. Some children here sold me chilled melon and a can of 100Plus which saw us through the last couple of shadeless kilometres.
So, I discovered my knee did hold up, I am fit enough to get round and I did not get lost. I could do better when it comes to using the gears, but then that is what the next bash is for.
Venue: Lembah Beringin
Date: Sunday, 2 June 2013
Hares: Nik Mohd Zaim, Lembah Beringin boys and Beringin Bikerz Club
Alright, let’s jump right to the point. Verdict on the bash? F***ing awesome. Yes, I said it, I think this was a really well done ride, and even more so since it was done by newbies. This gang has never set a ride before, and they went out and created something in Lembah Beringin that needs to be ridden again and again. If this was Britain’s Got Talent show, you clearly would have made it to the next round!
To be honest, I went here today thinking that I needed to manage my expectations; know that paper would be scarce, paper would be confusing, checks would be too easy, the ride wouldn’t be that scenic, and everything else negative that I could think of which typically comes when we have virgin Hares. You have now debunked that perception. Well done guys and thank you.
A little more details than just this!
Ages ago I used to run in Lembah Beringin and we parked nearby the Sekolah before it was even built. This was in the late 90s just after the Asian Economic Crisis. It was meant to be a place for people to live to escape the city, yet still close enough to commute to KL on a daily basis. Unfortunately, the economic crisis impacted the developers and people in general, and the area became full of abandoned properties. Those abandoned properties still dot the landscape as could be seen by the link homes directly across from the school, but the area seems to be having a bit of a revival.
I hit the nail on the head with one or two predictions for the day, but was squashed with a couple of others. One prediction was that it would take 30 minutes to reach LB… Well, thanks to the new wheels, I made it there in 28 minutes from Desa Sri Hartamas J. I think Rob could have made in about 20 minutes or less in his suped up Audi. When I arrived at 8 am he, Alan and Jerry already had the canopies set up, but with only Alan’s Honda CRV sitting there. Eh? No yellow Banshee car?! No Audi?! Seems they had a group hug experience and all shared a ride to the bash site!
The other piece that was accurate was that there were rolling hills, but what I forgot was that the southwest quadrant of the area was a wee bit more than just rolling. Sorry guys for those who I told “oh, it’s all just rolling hills”!!! I did say that if I was wrong it was Rob’s fault and not mine, so I stand vindicated of any wrongness spouting from my mouth!
And slowly more and more people trickled in. I’m surprised that there weren’t hordes of KLMBHers in attendance, though. What was the count at the end of the day? 150? Was there a recount on the election results from GE13 going on someplace? Another protest gathering? Or were people worried about my other erroneous prediction; newbies setting a ride?! Again, squash that for future reference … all of us J!
Interesting to note how many families came today; fathers and sons, husbands and wives, or the entire family. Superb! Of course I had to practice subliminal advertising with Conrad’s son, Harry. He was riding what has to be one of the smallest bikes I’ve ever seen ridden on a bash. Told him that as he grew bigger and needed an upgrade, to make sure that he asked for “Shimano XTR components and a composite frame.” Harry furiously scribbled notes and firmly lodged it in his mind, much to the chagrin of Conrad!
Then there was Shiney with his son, Noah. Now here is a poor state of affairs if I’ve ever seen it. Can you imagine having to ride with Shiney all the time, let alone listen to him? My gosh. I wonder if he launches into his non-stop wisecracks with his son like he does with us?! Actually, I think he probably was … since somewhere along the ride, towards the end, we came across them climbing a hill in reverse. Shiney claims he was taking a piss when Noah kept riding, but that’s bollocks. We know he was talking so much, didn’t pay attention to paper, and the next thing they knew they were going in the wrong direction! Well done, dad!!!
And shame on you, husbands, for not paying attention to your wives! I think one lass a) won’t be riding for a while and b) won’t be talking to her hubby for the next few days. The night before, he said “come and join me for an easy ride with the KLMBH, honey. It’ll be nice to do a little us time on the trails.” I wonder if she was thinking about that when she endo’d on one of the descents! Now, I didn’t see this happen, but I hope she doesn’t have any scrapes and bruises on her face. Imagine having to sit next to her at dinner while being scolded for bringing her along and … trying to keep a straight face as you looked at the bandages! Okay, probably not totally accurate, but my over-active mind just has this image stuck up there J.
Then there is Mike Phoon. His wife, Evanna, has really been scorching the trails in Kiara becoming almost as fit as Mike is, and probably better at technical climbing than he is. However, when Mike and I got back to the Bash site today, he waited and waited and waited and waited. Pondering where said wifey was! While on the trail still, said wifey managed to post on FaceBook how hot of a day it was and how Mike Kwan was needed to repair a sidewall tear in her lovely, sort of new, 29er wheel! So, Mr. Phoon, a) why haven’t you taught her how to repair a tire problem and b) why weren’t you there to help her?!!! Case-in-point, Patrick Potvin even rode with his girlfriend, Aida, and helped her repair about five flats along the way! Now there’s a real man … staying with the better half! Ooops. Okay, so Liz also had her own gear problems today, saved by Loon J. As the scribe, I won’t elaborate on that!
Let me jump around some more and go to the start of the ride! This began at almost 9:30 am following a superb briefing by Nik, our illustrious lead hare. Told us that long was on shredded paper, short on square paper and that the two intersected each other about three times. He also gave just the right amount of knowledge on what to expect, had tape in his pocket to show us what he did for the cautious areas, etc. Brilliantly stated. On-On.
My company for the entire ride was the super fit Oskar (with a “k” from Sweden) who is a gentleman … much better than our other fellow FROPs who tried to abandon us later on! As we set off, I remember how at an earlier Bash he was a little stunned at the heat of KL having arrived in October 2012 from the colder climates of Northern Europe! Well, he now seems well acclimatized having literally soared up the hills that I told people didn’t exist, leaving me in the dust more oft than not! The surroundings were full of sunny, blue skies, spindly Acacia Mangium trees, double-track plantation roads and did I mention hills? I mean hills with real climbs? Climbs that were brutal in the open terrain on a hot and sunny day?! Oh, but it was only rolling hills, right?!
The first check was 5.5-km from the start of the ride and this was pretty much a piss to break. No imprints in the grass going forward, so after a lesson in American Indian pathfinding to Oskar, we turned around and went in the forward direction onto paper. And another lesson here for the fellow FROPs that joined us later (e.g. Roberto, Mike Phoon and a few others): we waited at the start of the paper until we were certain that a) the paper was closed and b) our fellow FROPs were there to continue the pleasant ride together!!!
On-On. More damn hills in the sun!!! Did I say there were hills? And man did we climb this time around … at around the 8-km point we started to go vertical. I was able to ride the first steep climb up loose gravel, and just kept grinding away on my lovely 2-10 gear train. Oskar, in front of me, rounded a bend and disappeared. When I rounded the bend I thought “oh shit” … because the road was still climbing … and up near the top was our Acclimatized Swede still on his saddle. I tilted my bike to the side, planted right foot, unclipped, and started walking. Looking at my heart rate monitor at this point, it was at 187 bpm. What’s that formula for max heart rate?!!! 220 – age? Shit. I died back there since I was over my max according to normal medical science!
Climbing back into my saddle just after that section, we continued to ascend to the peak where, at 185-meters elevation, we encountered a panoramic view of the entire area; 365 degrees of majestic scenery as far as the eye could see. Great view … oh … and Check #2. Sh**. This meant only one direction to go to check … somewhere down!!! Yours truly went forward and was a kind soul letting my fellow FROPs rest. What a gentleman I am, see Mike and Roberto, take note!!! Fellow FROPs help out fellow FROPs! We look after our own J. After going down for 200 meters, I found zippo, nada, zero, rien de tout … and turned around to push my bike back up to the bl**dy check. Didn’t I say to someone that newbie hares don’t know how to set good checks? That they would all be a piece of cake? Nik, hats off to you!
Back up and over the hill. Off goes Megat to the back-right trail, and yours truly said “stuff it” to checking anymore. Someone, Tom (?) went to the left where he soon paper. The problem was that we didn’t know if it was him or Megat calling, and despite repeatedly asking if it was Megat who found paper, he didn’t say “yes or no”! So I bombed down, found the start of paper, caught up with Tom, and we both waited until people joined us. After being assured by Lloyd that the paper was being closed, we all, together, took off. Mike and Roberto, take note at how friendly we all are to one another J!
When we finished that excellent descent, we eventually hit a tarmac road that was quite pleasant; shaded, flat, two orang asli’s bathing in their skivvies in a stream that we passed, little orang asli huts dotting the side of the road, and into palm we came. Right about here, in a nicely shaded area on vivid green grass, we encountered a sign for drinks and food with a Perodua Kancil parked in the shade and an umbrella at the back. I think it said something like “KLMBH Sale: food/ drinks” … and it wasn’t free. Darn. Screw this … keep going! I think this was one of the co-hares or a friend of a friend helping out to make money off of the suffering we were facing! Did anyone stop to take advantage of this roadside treat at 13.3-km into the ride?!
Now, here’s where my bubble burst. I was completely let down by my fellow FROPs when we encountered Check #3! This was at 14.2-km in to the ride, and the check was nestled in the trees on a terrace in stunningly beautiful palm estate. Vivid green colors all over the place; green palm trees, green grass, green moss covered estate road, green sky … sorry … I mean blue skies and … rolling hills … these were the rolling hills I remembered … and the area was real shitty. I mean, there was cow shit everywhere! And cows! I guess that if their dumpings are here, the likelihood of the cows being somewhere nearby increases with time!
Okay, so Roberto goes forward, I go forward, Roberto goes back to the check, I do too, but I continue downwards and check where we came in. I turn around, go back to the check, and my fellow FROPs are gone … all in the span of 2 minutes. WTF?!?!?! I hear On-On being called above me, so I short cut in front of Ian by climbing the terraces to get to the road above, and soon find paper. Chew was closing it like a good lad (thanks Chew). About 200-meters of gentle climbing, I come upon the good natured, fellow FROP, a true gentleman … Oskar … waiting for me! What a nice guy. I ask him, where are the others? He said “about two minutes in front”. WTF?????
I told him, “we’ll catch them on the downhills … Mike doesn’t go fast on those sections, especially if there’s loose gravel! ” Well, we climbed all the way to the top of this hill, skirted onto a palm terrace, and began a series of absolutely smashing downhill sections, both on terraces as well as double track road. Soon, we made a sharp right off the double track onto more single track. This section was great! Tight single track, all rideable, and we were able to blast by the slower rides; some of whom were now Short riders … we had rejoined the Short ride somewhere back there!
After rudely blasting by a few riders on this narrow trail, we eventually came upon a stream crossing, and lo-n-behold, there was Mike and Roberto. Hello there!!! Who are you guys? We don’t recognize you? Are you friends of ours? No, can’t be. Maybe in a previous life … and we spewed, and spluttered by them, ignoring Conrad and Harry trying to cool off in peace in the river. Think we flung Harry aside as we cursed and swore at our former friends, clawing our way up on the other side of the embankment! On-On back onto more fast and flowy single track trail!
This section of shaded trail eventually took us into the back of Lembah Beringin on the road that connects Lembah Beringin to Kerling. Here, we exited, turned left onto the road, turned right at the guard shack/ boom gate, then went back into trails that weaved on abandoned land that was ultimately meant for housing back in the 90s. Coming back onto the road a short distance later, we then cruised up to our cars and the Bash Canopies.
Total distance was 26.6-km, 658-meters of ascending on those rolling hills, and a total of 2 hours to complete.
Now, the scribe report doesn’t end here. On behalf of the KLMBH we need to do a bit of preaching.
Anyone who doesn’t carry at least 2-liters of water, preferably 3-liters, on a KLMBH ride is a daft idiot.
Regardless of whether you’re riding the long or short. Rule-of-thumb is that our body needs to consume 1-liter of water per hour during strenuous exercise. If you expect to be out there longer than 2-hours, carry three liters of water.
The next time that someone fails to do this, and you face problems, we are leaving them out there on your own.
Also note that hot days, which surprisingly exists in KL, tends to sap people’s energy more and cause electrolyte imbalance. This equates to exhaustion and a potential for cramping. Hydration salts, electrolytic replacement supplements, and energy bars/ gels are essential. Bring them next time, or crawl back on your own.
Signing off for the night.