Photo: Bryan Bong
BIG was the order of the day: big numbers, big memory loss, big car, big idiot, big hills, big calves, and a farmer with a big cock, a really big cock, but more on that later.
The day started with an SMS from Stan, aka Screamer, aka Afgani-Stan-the-Man, aka Supreme King, giving a heads up on a Police road block coming off the Silk highway. The omens were indeed good!
Given that this was a Broga bash and the ride profile sent out by the hares gave me alarm when I remembered at 3am in Havana on Changkat Bukit Bintang that I had a ride in a little over 6hrs, I was pleasantly surprised to see the large turnout of cars at the football pitch in the middle of nowhere, the first BIG of the day, 215 riders, must be a record for a Broga bash. Very well organised parking by the hares I have to say, although I would have appreciated a bit of jockey parking that early in the morning. Note to self for the next bash…
Simon gave the briefing, specifically mentioning a lot of river crossings and bridges, one of which was on its last legs. Surely everyone heard that? Didn’t they? Stupidly I volunteered to be the scribe for the long, which I knew was a mistake, a BIG mistake, given I can never really remember a ride – BIG memory loss – danke Andreas for the ride reminder.
So the ON ON was called and we started off along the way we drove in and there was an immediate check, or was it?? What was that slow down?? Turns out it was a BIG car, a Volvo (or a Vulva as Girth, our recently departed friend, likes to call it) blocking the road. A hilarious turn of events followed with the car going backwards and forwards trying to get out of the way, almost culminating in the car going down the bank (methinks 215 impatient riders got to the poor fella driving) – thanks Andreas for averting that. Turns out the car was being driven by an outwards bounds group, and perhaps one to be avoided should offroad driving be one of their offerings.
The Short riders headed off right at the Kampung and then it was onwards for the Long riders. Up over the rocky track followed by a lot of nice single track with a few stream crossings (all rideable – thank you hares!), followed by a little two plank bridge, which was assumed to be the dodgy one that the lead hare, Simon, mentioned. The FRBs of course walked over the bridge as they clearly listened to the briefing. Further back in the pack, it turns out someone either had not listened or was just an idiot, or a kiwi (same-same, as they say in these parts). Take a bow, Mr Paul Voss, for being the only one stupid brave enough to attempt to ride it, and being the only one to fall off and cut himself up nicely (shaved your chin sir, ouch!). We salute you Sir, ya BIG idiot, but only for again proving Darwin knew what he was talking about.
Came to the first check in a little opening, with trails leading up a little hill and off to the left. Dave Spence and Dangerous headed up the little hill, and Dave called the ON ON, finding paper up and to the right. Andreas shook his head and said not that way (another thanks Andreas), and almost straight after that the ON ON was called on the trail off to the left. Nice one Kenny Kwan, or at least I think it was Kenny. Kenny?
More nice single track and over a few more streams, followed by a short eroded downhill and over the very very dodgy bridge. Paul walked this, enough grey matter left to learn it seems. Evolution in nature, sweet.
Into some palm plantation trails and down to a 4-way junction, finding the 2nd check. I headed off right and after 300m found nothing, so headed back. On the way I heard the ON ON, broken by Flangelina, aka Greg Phillips, good work Sir. Down the grassy trail leading into another short downhill singletrack, with Andreas leading; ‘WTF, Andreas is a hare, he can’t lead’, I said to Flangealina, so I took off up to the front. The trail led into a palm plantation and suddenly we were off paper – too fast lah, not paying attention? I turned around (get back on paper as the wise man said), and found it again, leading off to a very sweet flowing 200m of singletrack leading back to the palm double track. Missed by some who didn’t turn back, unlucky!
The trail led to an open section under some pylons, through some lemon grass fields then downhill into an orchard and onto tarmac. Off the tarmac through some barbed wire broken fence and over a collapsed bridge (Simon, did you not say it was 100% rideable, tut, tut!). Through an orchard and came out to tarmac and the 3rd check. Dave and Kenny went left and right on the tarmac after which I spotted a trail leading up a short steep hill – that’s where I’d have the trail if I were the hare I thought. Sure enough, that’s where I broke the check. Dave Spence followed and from there on it was Dave and I out front, two FRB’s together.
Right onto some singletrack through rubber, onto more tarmac and onto a trail leading into an Orang Asli Kampung, and the farmer with the BIG cock, the REALLY BIG cock. As I rode past I remarked it was the biggest cock I’d ever seen. It stood as high as my waist and it was no wonder all the hens were smiling. That’s what you were all thinking about right? Aiyo!
Dave and I came to the 4th check in an open palm section with trails leading off all over the place. This was about the 13k mark so I knew the big hill must be starting soon, hmmm. Dave went off ahead to check and I went up to the right, onwards and upwards. A turn to the left leading up a concrete hill and I was sure I was on the right track. Yippee! I quickly called the ON ON, waited for Spency and we started cranking up the BIG hill, the first of two on this bash. Dave slightly ahead and for some reason going at a very slow cadence, chomping the crank with his enormously BIG calves causing sonic booms at each pedal stroke. ’Why the churning Dave?’ I gasped in the hot air. ‘No Granny mate, pant’ came the reply ‘chainsuck, pant’, ‘no maintenance lar, pant’. Dave, you are a legend.
On we went to the top of the hill and the 5th check. Dave broke it quickly leading off to the right on a long downhill double track. Out onto a dirt road and onto the tarmac again before turning into a Chinese Cemetery. Some single track up into rubber with a couple of lovely switchbacks on the way back down. Memory getting sketchy here but I recall some loose gravel and then onto the main road, past a mosque and into a Kampung. I’m not sure what happened for a few km’s here but I do know it involved riding! Then we went into a Japanese Mr Miagi stylee serene bamboo scene which almost had me riding in slow motion. ‘Wax on – wax off’ I muttered as I rode through, perhaps more than once. Dehydration clearly kicking in at this point.
Then we had the ‘BIG wall of concrete climb’ through the Kampung (Flangelina said it hit a 40deg gradient on the GPS – congrats to all who rode it!), and for the first time came across some Short riders, I mean riders doing the Short, for fear of being considered un-PC. I remember that little wall from last year’s bash, having done it twice while checking. Dave cranked up in the middle ring, felling the wooden Kampung houses with his sonic boom calves in the process. Right at the top into palm plantation and then downhill on double track, followed by a fairly flat section before the 2ndBIG climb. Passing more Short riders on the way. Someone (who shall remain nameless) remarked that it was good planning from the hares that the Short and the Long came together well before the end, giving the Short riders ‘a chance to see their heroes in action’ – lol! After the first BIG climb and the BIG concrete wall, this didn’t seem all that bad. Dave and I crested together and found three Short riders waiting at the 6th (and last) check, clearly awaiting some higher power to find paper. That would be Dave, who carried straight on. Final scores on the doors for the Checks: Kenny x 1, Flangelina x 1, Dave x 2 and yours truly x 2, selfish or what!?
Onwards on the trail passing some Short riders who had clearly broken the check but forgotten to lay paper, tut, tut, although we’ll forgive you this once J. Dave and I were held up in the small traffic but both passed in more open sections. My passing verged on the ridiculous, calling out ‘passing on your left’ to the rider in front and then catching the front wheel and crashing into a tree – ‘not passing on the left!’ perhaps? Thanks guys for giving way :-). The last of the trail involved some nice rooty technical downhill sections, and a few short uphills, with Dave slightly out in front, just out of sight in the twisty trail. A final fast downhill to exit the trail out onto the bridge and home. 1st rider back apparently – where was Dave?? The Sonic Boom was lost it turns out, and rolled in about 10min later…
Nice ride guys, well organised from start to finish. Thanks!
Length: 31km; Time: 2:22:59; Calories Burnt: 1850 kcal; Ascent: 722m; Max Elevation: 261m; Average Temp:29 deg C