by stan » Sun Feb 27, 2011 9:49 pm
(Posting this scribe report on behalf of Phil Bee.)
Scribe Report - Long Ride 27th Feb 2011
I’ll try as best I can to get down all the details I remember - the hot mid-day sun tends to make all the events blur into one on this long and hot bash in the Kajang - Semenyih area.
The events of the day actually started long before the ride - I heard stories that one unfortunate chap accidentally severed his finger, cut clean through by a brake rotor while preparing his bike. I hope he managed to get seen to in Hospital and is doing OK.
Joe Adnan kicked off the briefing to the crowd who were eager for the ride. All seemed straightforward, long paper for long riders, some checks, with no falsies or circulars. At some point there would be a junction between “intermediate”and “Long”, where if riders were late he would turn them into triangles. Or something like that.
Anyway we sped off up the hill from the briefing, with a glance back at an IMMENSE scene of riders spread out along the tarmac - how many people were on this bash?! Looked like a mini-Jamboree, or even a Presidential of years past.
Co-hare Olivier led out with the front of the pack through the winding roads of a kampung, with the route very clearly marked by arrows on the road. Great job. Over a tiny concrete bridge and we were immediately onto some nice singletrack which led into the palm plantation, and some welcome shade. A few turns later, and a couple of underpasses took us underneath the main highway. By now we were in the main area of the palm plantation and the pace picked up somewhat, with the roller-coaster track leading us up, down, around and on to the first check just off a small road.
I didn’t pick up who broke the first check (or the later ones either), but it didn’t take long. On-On was called straight ahead - through more kampung houses, and into fast trail through rubber. This led onto the road that goes to the Sungai Pening Pening bash start point… the site of many bashes in the past. Familiar ground, where were the hares going to take us today?
Joe Adnan now came screaming past me along the tarmac, in time-trial mode desperately trying to reach the long/intermediate split point before the riders did. His pace wasn’t sustained for long as we turned off the road for another check, in an area of farmland & plantation. Perhaps 5 mins here with the many riders fanning out to check each of the trails. I think Joe pointed us in the correct direction here - down through the undergrowth into some bush & overgrown fields.
Here the hares must have done a ton of work chopping through the undergrowth to link up trails for us. With a procession of people ahead it was walking single-file before levelling off… this was much more like running hash terrain than the usual bike. A couple of rivers to hike through, muddy fields soon spread out the pack, but before long we climbed back up into Palm plantation with Roberto leading the way.
Somewhere along here we hit a short but sweet singletrack, and then turned sharp left and down to the road. A couple of hairy moments for riders trying to time the gaps between cars on the road, but all was ridable. Backroads through a pretty kampung followed and it was here I recognised we were riding an old Presidential route backwards - I recall stopping for emergency 100+ along here.
THe tarmac soon stopped though and a large wooden bridge leading to big dirt trails meant the pace was now picking up… and I think we passed Joe Adnan here somewhere, at the intermediate split. Long all the way! The pace was fast but again not for long as we came across another Check - or we think it was, as some cars had parked right on top of where the paper ended.
Again riders fanned out checking the two main dirt / gravel tracks, and steeply up the hill even, with nothing there. A couple of riders had ventured over the river, they had the right idea just not in the right place…
Olivier was back up with the pack now, and after 10 mins or so he pointed the large crowd in the right direction - through the river, right where there was a woman bathing! So the first few guys there politely waited until she hopefully noticed us and made some space… but by then she had an audiance of 30 riders! So we went through anyway saying maaf as we went. So much for a peaceful morning dip!
Up and up into rubber plantation singletrack… and then a short drop onto the nicest singletrack winding along the river valley, and a couple of “ïnteresting” bridges. I think this is where one of our regular bashers (on a brand-new bike no less!) got the bridge a bit wrong… and decided to save the bike by bailing off the side! It took two guys to pull him back up top.
This trail was all over way too quickly and we were now on the open, fast dirt tracks surrounded by fish farms, goat farms, chickens and so on. The front riders now picked up the pace but before a while were coming back down the trail - no paper, but seemingly no check either. Mike B spotted the paper which led to the check just off the main trail… the FRB’s had their heads down and had blasted straight past it. Back check!
With so many turnings and junctions here the pack reversed itself several times with each wrong turn. More effective than some checks! Eventually the paper turned us toward the other side of the valley and the main road past the Nirvana cemetary. We turned in just North of the cemetary heading homeward, but separated by some pretty steep hills.. so we knew what was yet to come. THe hares had said it would be a tough ride but so far had been mostly flat, and now they were to punish us!
The open trails slowly led us up and to one final check - perhaps the easiest one that I’ve ever seen! I was leading up the climb here and knew that there was only one way to go, so grabbed some paper and went back through the gravel area, and along the main track. On on! My stint on the front was short-lived as we soon came to the climb proper, steeply heading up the hill. Most of the pack was reduced to pushing, but Kim Foo shot up the hill at top pace… training for Kiara Carnival already?! Good effort from Paul Fejer, Roberto and Mike Phoon also riding up. Big views over the valley as we’d picked up some height very quickly, but there was much more climbing to come.
Soon we hit the singletrack and some welcome shade from the sun. It was so hot I didn’t know which I needed more - drinking or breathing? Concrete motorbike trail up the middle of the singletrack was a bit green and slippy in places as several riders found, it was easy to spin out the rear wheel. On up we went, Olivier was waiting on top of the first hill quietly shouting ON ON for encouragement to the top. A slippy rutted downhill into the valley took us past a rubber tapper’s camp, and to the start of the second section of the climb.
There was a bit of a traffic jam here, with a fallen tree slowing progress. Past that and with more encouragement from Olivier (2 minutes to the top! 1 minute to the top!) and eventually we were there. Now for the downhill!
Unfortunately I was at the back of a long line of riders taking it slowly and carefully (fair enough), so Olivier and I took short breaks to get a clear run at the awesome trail. The rocks claimed at least two victims though, with punctures for Kim Foo and Kenny along the route. Down through the farm and onto double track we heard gunshots, again and again. Were the hares shooting the slow riders? A bit harsh perhaps… but no, it was just the shooting range.
Now we were back on gravel / tarmac, and the last blast for a couple of km back to Kajang Perdana. We were also back in the full power of the sun, and cramp was kicking in for at least a few riders here. Anyway a quick blast along the tarmac followed by a mad dash across the highway and we were back at the start point with cold 100+ within reach.
34km or so, and a great ride. Well done to all the hares - Pat, Joe, Olivier, Paul, Steve and Alan. You must have been out there somewhere on the route but I didn’t see you guys - thanks for a great ride.