by Chua Pei Chong
NOTE: I did not write this, am just posting on behalf of Chua (Pei Chong), lest you might think that I am little thick skinned and very biased. So here goes your ride report for the Short Ride for the night bash at Sepang! Thanks once again Chua! :)
When KLMBH announced that the June bash will be a night ride, I got excited as I have never been into the trails at night. As such, I was happy to drive 140km for a mere short ride of 11km in the double tracks. I would have loved to do the long ride (24-25km) but unfortunately, I had a constraint of time.
The turnout was exceptionally great and from my estimation, about 150 -200 riders must have turned up that night. Just as Stan “Supreme King” Ng concluded his briefing, a majority of the riders entered the trail for the Long Ride, led by Olivier Falcoz.
Only a handful of us stayed back for the Short Ride briefing, approximately 20 riders. Most of the riders who did the Short Ride were kids and their dads, newbies and some who had to complete the ride early and help out Lloyd Laughlin with the star-lit-night BBQ.
The start of the ride was on tarmac and it was still bright and no ride lights were used yet. It was basically the highest climb of the ride with an elevation of 76m. Just as we reached the top of the hill, we continued the ride through some undulating and rolling trail. The descending part of the trail was friendly, which were handled pretty well by some of the kids. A few took it with pride and even stopped to look back at some adult newbies behind them. As we completed a distance of 5.1km, we were greeted with a view and scenery of the well-lit KLIA runway and terminals. Some of us stopped for photo shoots. As the ride continued, it was getting dark and most of the riders switched on their high lumens trail lights and entered the oil palm plantation. Throughout the ride, we encountered 2 Checks and with the experience led by Alex and Jason (who had done multiple Bash rides), they managed to find the paper trails and continued to lead the pack. When total darkness fell in the trails, the feeling of having the ride light shining through the palm oil trees was a nice experience to behold. I wish we had not rode so fast and enjoy the coolness of the night and perhaps, brought with us a Thermos filled with hot coffee to sip. However, just as someone uttered the sentence “… jangan pandang belakang….”, we could see some high cadence started to kick in and even Nino Schurter would have been left behind!
It was a well-planned route for the Short Ride. We came out from the trails and descended the tarmac and headed back to our cars. As we arrived and signed off, Lloyd had prepared some well barbecued sausage in the trays for us to savior. Very good ride, KLMBH, and we look forward towards the next night ride!
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
After the post Prelude To KLMBH #213 @ Sepang, 30th June 2012, SATURDAY (PLEASE READ!) and Mountain Biking At Night - Handy Tips For KLMBH #213, that you’ve all read for sure, here are the directions to Saturday Night Bash!
Date: SATURDAY 30th June, 2012, yes, Sa-tur-day evening ! It’s a NIGHT Bash, dude…
Hares: Winston Loo, Stanley Ng, Olivier Falcoz, Lloyd Laughlin, Jonathan Monteiro, Eric Chu, William Lai & Morris Heng
Time: Briefing 6.30pm, ride off 6.45pm
Sepang F1 International Circuit which is in the vicinity of KLIA/LCCT requires no introduction to most of us here. But for the benefit of those who has not been to SIC or the LCCT, we have prepared some directions below.
There are two ways to get there; via the ELITE highway or by the Putrajaya/Dengkil trunk road B15/B20. Which ever way you prefer, driving towards the directions of Sepang F1 Circuit or the LCCT, you will come by a roundabout (which is next to the Masjid SAS KLIA). The directions would begin from this roundabout (diriving towards the LCCT)
By the B15/B20 Putrajaya/Dengkil Road:
By ELITE Highway:
Description from the Hares
This night bash objective is to provide an introduction to night riding. For the record, this is not the first night bash as the very first one was in 2006. For those who missed it, it was set in Bukit Cahaya by Fakawi Chief himself and his crew. Yes, cracko riders were already doing night rides then, not many but there were a few. The numbers have since increased tremendously, thanks to the very successful Burung Hantu Jamboree in Melaka for the past 3 years, and so we thought to ourselves what a good time it would be to run the 2nd night bash. Well, this could be the beginning of many night bashes to come. So why Sepang? Our recces did not locate a “Bukit Cahaya” so we thought the bright lights of KLIA would light it up a little for us.
Good trails, scenic viewpoints in mostly palm plantations. This ride would fit the average weekend warriors and the scenic is tailored for kids. Overall, it is a quick and fast ride, but please remember to stop to take in the views of the airport.
The Scenic Ride
The Scenic Loop is approximately 11km long, 3 mini climbs and flat-ish through palm trees plantation, forests and open spaces. It is quite scenic and can be suitable for any kind of riders: first timers or even trained kids (10+ yrs old) with their parents.
The Long Ride
The Long Loop is about 24-25km long. The ride will alternate with fast flowing sections, mini climbs which you won’t even realize it is a climb! and a hike a bike section.
Do’s and Don’ts
Remember, whatever little wildlife that we have comes alive at night in our jungles, estates alike. When riding at night, you may encounter wild boars, cattle (Yes, cows are nocturnal as well), wild cats, burung hantus, snakes, lizards and others (1 of our hares would swear there’re crocs in there too), and if you are lucky enough to encounter one, please do not agitate it by chasing it with your state of art mountain bike, bunny hop them, trying to impress it with your super-duper 100,000 lumens biking lights, or worse still try to keep them as pets or ornaments. These animals/reptiles and whatnot are best left alone in their environment. Just slow down or move away from it.
When taking a rest, try not to lie/sit down in large patches of grass, etc. Do not stop by the swamp or pond and try to see if you can spot some bullfrogs or check if it is suitable for fishing.
Irregardless which loop you are targeting, please pack along sufficient water, some snacks, first aid kit, and your sense for adventure. Ride with your buddy/ies and oh ya, remember to charge your lights. If you can, bring a spare light (flashlight, keychain light, etc), so you don’t get left out in the dark in case your main light goes out for whatever reason.
As this is a night ride, be mindful to slow down in the downhill sections and keep a safe clearance with the rider in front of you. When it is dry, some trails can be a little slippery or soft due to the sandy top surface, not forgetting some ruts as well, so be mindful of your speed. Also, there is a section of grass where there might be small rocks lurking, waiting to stop your front wheel as you roll downhill, so be warned!!
BBQ after ride:
Our Naked Chef (aka Bash Piss) will be preparing some chicken Frankfurter hotdogs for the returning bikers, so do bring your chairs and chill after the ride. The hotdogs are priced at a measly RM 2.00, proceeds go to the T n’T and KLMBH fund. Beers and drinks will also be sold at the usual RM 6.00 and RM 2.00 respectively as per normal bashes.
On On !
The Expert: Mark Hendershot (Santa Cruz Syndicate) is a man of many talents: organic farmer, floor-covering expert, pedicab business owner. But where the 44-year-old Grand Rapids, Michigan, native truly excels is on the racecourse—especially the 24-hour kind. Over the past nine years, Hendershot’s been a consistent podium finisher in the World and National Solo 24 Hour Championships, effectively scratching out a place among the elite of the endurance world. His secrets? Confidence—and quality lights.
"When I first started, the equipment was junk," he says. "It was a common occurrence for your lights to go out on the trail." Today’s high-end lights have all but relegated sudden darkness to the history books. The key to successful night rides now, Hendershot says, is knowing how to use your lights—and your head. We caught up with Hendershot before the national championships to hear how he does it.
Set Your Light Right
The ideal light setup combines a helmet-mounted spotlight and a bar-mounted unit with a broad-coverage beam. But if you can afford only one, a helmet-mounted light is better because it directs the light where you are looking. Mount it close to the center-top of your helmet. “The higher you put it, the more stable it’s going to be,” says Hendershot, “which means it won’t fatigue your neck as much over the course of the ride.”
Look Where You Want to Go
Your light—like your bike—is going to follow your eyes, so look ahead, not down. “Your helmet light should be aimed at least eight feet ahead,” says Hendershot. The final adjustments depend on the condition of the trail you’re riding—which you should plan for well in advance. A first-timer? Stick to a trail you know like the back of your hand so you can test your night vision on known obstacles and corners.
Keep Your Perspective
Artificial light sources create shadows that skew your perspective on obstacles. Two keys to success in technical situations: knowing about the weird shadows, and saving your highest light-output setting for when things get rough. “The switch to high will give you more confidence,” says Hendershot. “You’ll think, ‘This is great!’ even if the difference is minimal.”
Be Confident—and Day Dream
Night-riding success comes down to confidence and a good attitude. “If you think you can do it, then you’ll do it,” says Hendershot. “That’s the most important thing. You need to stay positive and think about fun things. I think about sex and tattoo designs. For me, that just works.”
Enough theory, see it in action !
Ok folks, a special bash to look forward to this month. Before we post up the directions, etc for the upcoming bash, your Bash Boss, who coincidentally is your lead hare this month, has asked me to post a little something to give you guys a headsup on what to expect.
What could your lead hare have up his sleeves?? Did someone spread some rumours of a night bash for this month? Well, yes ok, you asked for it, a NIGHT BASH it shall be!! What was that? You didn’t ask for it? Well good, a NIGHT BASH it shall be for you then!! :P
If you have ever wondered what it was like to mountain bike at night, wonder no more. You’ve heard about it, you’ve seen photos of it, you’ve dreamt of it, what better time to try it out than at this month’s bash?
We will have both the Long and Short rides as usual. You can expect fairly flat estate trails for both, with no technical sections (at least none planned for now). The Short is planned to be suitable for kids, but only if they are not afraid of the dark. It is also suitable for adults, but only if they are not afraid of the dark too!! The Long is expected to be a fast ride for the FRBs, what with the flatness of the terrain and all, and should be rideable within 2 hours or less. Distances for both TBA.
Your Bash Boss is also in the midst of finalizing some other plans for possibly some food or even a BBQ for after the ride. Stay tuned for more details!
In the meantime, here’s what you need to prepare yourself for in order to make it for the night bash:
There are a number of options for lights, if you don’t already have them. Obviously, the brighter the better (bet you didn’t need me to tell you that). You could possibly get away with a bright headlamp, but when I say bright, it is quite relative and hard to define. You’ll be amazed how the darkness of the night can swallow up what you would think is a ‘bright’ light. Suffice to say that the brighter your lights are, the easier it will be for you to ride.
On top of that, if you have only a choice of 1 light, try your best to mount it on your helmet instead of handlebar. This is because having a helmet light will allow you to spot ahead, especially around corners, provided that the light is powerful enough to cast a beam at least a few metres ahead. An ideal setup would be a wide (flood) beam on your handlebar and a powerful (spot) beam on your helmet.
Also, ensure that you have enough batteries for the light to last at least 2 hours and more! Nothing worse than running out of batteries halfway through a night ride! Always have spare batteries and even better, a backup light. Ask around your local bike shops or even on your friendly bike trading post site (e.g. bicyclebuysell.com) to see the different types of lights and prices. You’ll be surprised what you will be able to find.
Hope this helps with your preparations, and that you are as excited as we are for the first night bash since like 3-4 years ago! Stay tuned for more updates!!