Hares: Simon Cook, Andreas Huggel, Alex Chin, Martin Huu, Roselle Wong, Jonas Noecker
Venue: Kg Jeram Kedah near Ulu Beranang
The past 2 weeks was spent debating whether to go for the scenic or long for this bash. The ride description combined with my lack of riding the past 1 month did not really make me think I could finish the ride in good time (read - come out before the committee starts to pack up). Plus I know the area well so I know how the trail is going to be. What sealed the deal was waking up Sunday morning and sneezing non-stop, guess I’m coming down with a cold and being the softie I am put that down as an excuse to do the scenic.
At the starting point there was quite a turn up as the car park was soon full, making the bash start a bit delayed due to people still trying to get parking. Briefing comes next, with the usual details being given out.
Then the next part felt rather odd, when On-On was called to start the bash no one moved! Its the traffic again, some people were still driving in to the starting point, so there was a bit of congestion.
Not far from the start was the split for long and short, and after that was an unmarked right turn where I saw the Phoon couple getting ready. I only know it was the right way because a lady riding close to me told me so, she must have been a hare or associated with the hares. I was informed by Evanna that some people have actually missed this turn. I stopped there for a while to chat (hei, might as well take it slow and easy as it was the scenic) and also to direct people into the right trail.
Lots of people passed me by the time I laid some paper to mark the turn, and the story about this junction doesn’t end here. The trail was quite nice, no major hills at all passing by scenic villages, rubber and palm plantations, fish ponds and some orchards. Spent the time chatting and also trying to find paper, it was a bit scarce I guessed since it rained the night before. Soon I was back in front of the pack, and in no time reached the halfway point based on my odometer. Remember the junction before? This is where I met some poor souls (which will not be named for privacy reasons) which missed the turn and ended up doing the scenic route in reverse! Nothing much to do but continue the ride, since its already halfway.
We went through some familiar trails from PCC Presidential ride, soon we were on tarmac closing in to home. Didn’t encounter a single check though, could have sworn the briefing mentioned 2 checks on scenic. This is where I reached the junction before, and then I realized the hares didn’t put paper on this junction to prevent riders from doing another loop of scenic.
I also saw Olivier here trying to get directions from the locals. It seems that some poor fellow dislocated his shoulder earlier on the ride, and Olivier has been trying to reach him. The info given was on a tarmac road beginning of the scenic ride, but there no tarmac from this junction up till some distance. Since he can’t drive in, I volunteered to ride in the trail a bit to confirm, and true enough there was no tarmac and no injured rider.
So off he go again trying to find the poor guy, while I relayed the paper I put at the junction at the start of the ride to prevent others doing a second round and continued the last few hundred meters back to the starting point to finish the ride. The story did not end though. After checking out I was asked by the supreme king Stanley if I could drive out to look for the injured guy. It seems one guy who stayed with the victim decided to ride back and get his car to rescue the poor fellow, but his car was blocked by other cars.
So off I go on another rescue mission with him. One funny thought I got while doing this was that I was excited that I got to use my 1st aid bandaging skills on an actual injured person! Odd, but true. Only got halfway, when we met with Olivier.
He managed to find the victim in the end, it seems they were off paper. Tried to short cut here and there thinking it will get them rescued faster, where they ended up near the scenic trail coming back. Not knowing this fact, they told the rescuer they were on a tarmac road at the start of the scenic. So you can understand why it took so long to clear the confusion.
People, we can’t stress this enough - ALWAYS STAY ON PAPER! Especially an an emergency situation like this, even if you have a GPS. If you go off paper the hares can’t find you, and won’t be able to facilitate a rescue.
Olivier had to drive around quite a bit before finding him. Got the poor fellow back to the staring point, and off he goes to the hospital.
Overall a very nice bash, but personally I thought the scenic was a bit mellow as compared to the description. Nonetheless, it was an enjoyable ride in an area well loved by all.