By Leigh “Leaky” Foreman
I was very much looking forward to this ride for months, and with my impending move out of Malaysia, I was having to juggle my travel schedule just to make it home the night before. This was to be my final ride in Malaysia (for now) and what better a way than to have a Night Bash..! Behind the Sepang F1 Race Track was the marshalling are for a wonderful Night Bash around the undulating terrain that is the Sepang. With a larger than expected turnout of 200+ riders, it was a sign that this Night event should appear on the Bash calendar again.
Stanley took the official duty as Speaker to address the crowd of eager and hungry riders ready to hit the trail under the ensuing cover of darkness. Once the ride brief was over educating us all in the usual travails of a bashers life such as the requirements of lights for a night ride, the number of checks to be encountered, the distance and what shredded paper looked like… and then On On was called.… Olivier led the pack down some flowing single trail through behind the main marshalling area. The trail entered into some palm plantation to give us a taste of what was to come. It was a short lived flowing single trail before we entered onto some rode for our first small climb up a bitumen rode and then a left turn into the entrance of a palm plantation estate. Some gravel road riding was ahead that was made interesting only by the nicely packed speed humps every 50m where one could get a nice bit of air. A few kilometres along the road we were darting left down into the Palm Estate trails and along some palm trails before hitting our first of many small climbs. Even though the climbs were not high, they certainly bunched up the riders.
After a nice climb we were greeted to some downhill riding down a nice ridge line and we were soon dropping down a sweet piece of palm trail. An abrupt left hander took us down the trail to Check # 1. As the riders branched out we were soon exploring for the 1st Check. The 1st Check took us around a hill and back to the main ride. Yours truly broke the 1st check after crossing over the main trail and looping on ourselves as other riders were still coming up the main trail. From here the ride took us on a sharp right up some steep terraces, our 1st hike a bike section. Once at the top we had some thrilling downhill through ankle deep grass and over drainage ridge lines following cattle trails. At the base of the hill it was a sharp left hand turn into the thickets of the palm plantation. Upon entering our presence caused a stampede of cattle out towards the riders behind coming down the terraces. The ride took us uphill and then down a nice piece of plantation trail with loose gravelly corners. At the base of the valley we were greeted with a nice right hander up a 100m climb. At the top we turned left down and proceeded up a ridge line trail. This would take us to Check #2.
Strappy was out in one direction, another down south and Cajun and I off back tracking looking for paper. Soon On on was called and we were all off down a gravel road. For the next few kilometres we were all riding in a dust cloud from all the riders. The dust was creating a thick fog in front of us and we were grateful there were no large pot holes along the road. This was certainly a fast section of trail as the ride pace was quick. Soon we were back under the canopy of palms with a short climb up to check# 3. This check certainly threw a few of us, me including as I found paper but for the chicken run. We could hear the bellow calls from Olivier that we not on paper. It was at this stage my lights caught the eyes of an Asian Palm Civet Cat in a palm tree (funnily enough) and I was more interested in this creature I had never seen in Malaysia yet. A few riders took to the paper trail that we had found (later finding out it was the chicken run out) and the rest of us back-tracked to the main pack as no one was following us.
As we regrouped at check #3, strappy had found paper up the hill. The pack was on the move again heading up a steep trail. This soon spread the riders out and then before your knew it you we were on top of a open ridge under the landing path for KLIA. Soon we would be flying down a trail dodging low hanging palm fronds for a thrilling decent yet again, with just enough time to calculate every shadow in the trail. We soon descended to the perimeter fence line of the immigration centre and the bailout point for the chicken run back. The left hand turn yielded the continuation of the long ride onto some tarmac for a quick burst to the end and then back off rode and into the palm yet again. Uphill we rode past the laughter of Stanley asking ‘what took you so long’. After Stanley’s Australian accent faded from ear, we were sweeping down a great meandering trail with wide smiles coming around from palm trees and not knowing what to expect on the other side at speed. The trail was then parallel to the main road to the LCCT and we knew we were on our way back. An easy ascend up a palm trail before the last short steep section up to a bitumen road, and then a quick road descent to cross the finish line back at the tents.
It was a fast hash with perfect trails for night riding. All Hashers made it back in the end, with no reported spills, and all riders from all accounts had lights rather than candles on their helmets. Fantastic ride and big thanks goes out to the hares for organising a wonderful ride, and thanks to Lloyd for serving up some sustenance from the BBQ at the end. Wonderful comradery ensued well into the night after the ride… On On..!
Leigh “Leaky” Foreman