Photo by Bryan Bong
By Sarina ‘Superina’ Sham
My bike didn’t look right. It wasn’t in my trusty SUV, as it always was, and safely confined within boot area. It was on top of another sedan instead. Outside. Exposed to the elements. On the highway. And driven by the Bash Piss, Lloyd.
My Bash was off to a heck of a start then, at 0640am. An hour and a half later of ‘Move like Jagger’, the bike made it. I barely made it.
During Scott’s very informative (“#1… this is a bike”) pre-ride briefing, I apparently volunteered to scribe. To volunteer, in this instance, was defined by Chua pointing at me. I suppose he remembered me ‘volunteering’ him at Sepang.
Not so phews.
I have been known in the past to describe long rides in as much detail as ‘tiring’, ‘many climbs’ and ‘hot’. So if you’re looking to get memory cues to your gorgeous experience, it’s probably fair that I warn you to click elsewhere.
Anyhow, I chose the Short Ride due to the (in)famous Epic Bash in 2011 on these grounds. Besides, I knew Stan needed an excuse for his slo-mo–ness; apparently he was accompanying me and taking care of me. Hah! Right!! Suuure… (Thanks Stan, for real).
The start of the ride was slow and jammed up on the teeniest of inclines. Being tiny helps here as I squeezed slowly up the steady climb pass the crowd. As traffic eased, the flow was smoother as we rode pass what seems like natural growth.
As the path opened up to gravelly terrain, there was a bit of confusion up ahead with riders missing a break off the intersection. Stan The Man cleared that up for me quickly by simply leading the way.
A long, long climb ensued and really tested my lungs. This must be the toughest point of the day.
Only that it wasn’t.
Ironically, the downhill to follow was to be the real bitch. A steep and long descent with two major switchbacks really freaked me out. It was less about riding, and more about holding on for dear life. I could feel the tires losing grip gradually as the scenery blurred. That’s when the booming voice of god bellowed “Front brakes! More front brakes!!”. I did as I was divinely ordered, and lo behold I was in control again. Turns out it wasn’t a holy intervention after all – coach Stan saved me with his timely advice.
At the end of the rather thrilling downhill, the smell of brake pads lingered as many took a break to shake off sore arms and generally catch their breath.
The rest of the ride was mostly easy-going, single trails passing overgrown Lalang and rubber plantation. Most notable, was meeting the local dog mafia. They were all very vocal, animated, restless and intimidating. But the scariest of all, was surely the moment we came across the leader of the gang – a feisty 1 feet tall pup who was so violently yanking its leash to get at us, it looked it was going to self decapitate.
It turned out to be a scenic finish as we passed Kampung houses, fishing pools, open fields and more rubber trees to find the ‘home’ sign after about 60 minutes.
Well, OK, I didn’t actually find the ‘home’ sign. When we found the road leading back to the car, let’s just say the sign found me.
(Yes Stan was quite amused when he messed with me and directions as I was, well, obliviously stepping on the ‘home’ sign).
All in all it was a short and sweet ride. Shout out to the Hares, Lloyd, Stan & Chua…especially Chua.
If you made it this far on the report, you’d would realize the glaring omission of checkpoints, log stats and other serious ride details. This is because I am too awesome to be quantified or measured in any unit known to mankind. Either that, or I need to get me some Garmins, Suuntos and a Hash-scribing Guide for Dummies.