What a month December is turning out to be! Most of you would be quite focused on the PCC Prez Ride and after that partying hard at the KLMBH annual dinner, but please remember we still have one more ride to cap off 2013.
Specifically on 15th of December 2013 at MARDI/MAEPS/Taman Wetland Putrajaya - the day after the KLMBH Annual Dinner.
So if you’re not having a big hangover from the partying the previous night, have recovered sufficiently from the Prez ride the week before, and still haven’t gone on your holiday yet - get your bike ready for one more ride!
Please be warned - due to the heavy monsoon downpour and some other stuff (wink.. wink), please make sure you waterproof your valuables. Its going to be a wet ride!!
Directions and description of the bash will be published soon.
Goodies Bag for everybody and Lucky Draws for the main prizes is being arranged.
Seats are limited to 200, so hurry up and Members can invite ONE additional guest only
By Scott “TDF” Roberts
Pictures all courtesy of Mike Kwan … I stole them from him … thanks, Mike :-) )
Hares: Thomas Fong, Albert Chua, Eric Teo, Low Min Chee, Toh Hoon Chew and Yeo Lee Nya
Whenever I see “Eric Teo” listed as one of the Hares I have to shudder thinking what he’ll do to us. After all, he knows virtually all the trails in Selangor and further afield, is the master of creating worm holes to get in front of you no matter which bash it is, and has set some pretty different rides than what we’re used to (e.g. the Slim River out-and-back bash)! As Liz mentioned to me the night before when I was packing my things, his co-hares were his saving grace :-) … she particularly singled out Thomas :-), but I’m sure the rest of them also helped in taming the beast!
What a venue to get to as well. Just shy of 30 minutes from Desa Sri Hartamas and probably only 10 minutes for Rob in his Audi R4 which flew past me at the Jln Duta Toll Plaza! Ample parking, albeit it with zero shade, and I’m amazed that no one ran into one of the many fallen (or knocked over) lampposts that were on that side road. At least I think no one did!
Impressive number of people it seems. If I could gander a guess, I’d say close to 150 riders were there.
Having seen bashes getting a little more confusing with the type of calls made and when, we did a quick call for hands to see how many new people there were … and … we had a few. Regardless, it’s not the newbies that are making bad calls! Gave everyone the essential calls “On-On”, “Are You” and “Checking”, and to make sure that paper was closed before proceeding, but there’s a lot more to bashing which people should be aware of. Here’s a great document that was created a number of years ago for a reminder. Please take a read even if you think you’re an expert at bashing. There are also a number of other good details on the KLMBH on our Bash Basics page.
On-On was called after the bash brief, and we did a long slog on tarmac. At first we went about 2-km towards the toll plaza and turned left just before it. From there we had a very wee bit of gravel/ laterite road, and then we hit tarmac again which took us north towards and past a dam that I can’t find the name for … so lets just call it Bukit Tagar Dam :-). It was quite scenic up there, but really really hot with zero shade and the tarmac reflecting the morning sun. Had the company of Lloyd, Gillie, Mike Phoon, Tay and a couple of other guys whom we played leap frog with depending on whether it was a climb, flat section or a slight descent! But most of it was climbing.
Somewhere around 8-km into the ride (maybe more) we turned left and exited the tarmac for the terrain that we would encounter for most of the remaining ride; lovely shaded palm estate roads! Loved the terrain; fast, flowy, sometimes slimy with that green hard-packed clay surface that could cause a few wipe outs if your not prepared for them, a couple of mud-holes that would have snagged your bike if you didn’t see the tell-tail sign of a few tire tracks showing you the safe path through it, and almost all rideable. I’ll get to the “almost” sections in a few minutes!
The checks were quite easy; four of them, all back checks, two of them were back hooks into steep climbs, two were on downhill sections, and … all in palm! First broken by Greg Phillips (aka Flange), second by Tay, third by Steve Yap and fourth by Marcus Kuckhiak (aka Jizzeye). Nice to have a diverse group of guys breaking checks for once, and it was also a real joy to have the checks continuing within the 150-meters norm. We, myself included, have gotten out of hand a few times in the past with extremely difficult or far away paper. It was also great to see the FROPs working together to make sure paper was closed, and from some riders who I spoke to at the end of the ride, they didn’t even see the checks … which meant they were closed properly.
But what happened to that Circular Check mentioned in the briefing, Thomas?! And it was all rideable?!?! Two sections were most definitely not; one was a right turn and a climb that went through a severely rutted trail, and the second was the descent out of the Berjaya wasteland. I’ve embedded a pic of that second section below for your pleasure viewing!
Okay, it wasn’t all that perfect on the checks either. At the fourth and last check, Steve Yap went forward and the last thing he heard from me was “we’ll all come back to the check and then connect the dots, and call you!!!” Famous last words. We did call, but you never answered J! “On-On Steve. On-On, On-On, On-On …” Steve was never seen again. He apparently found a lovely section of single track forward of the check, didn’t have a GPS, and was rumored to have been seen riding off into the sunset with a grin on his face with the pleasure of being on single track!
From there we descended out of palm, made a right turn, and … became roadies for the final stretch home. Around 2 to 3-km on the highway all the way back to the cars. And WTF? Some riders climbed the barrier to go with the flow of traffic?!?!? Just ride against traffic. It’s far safer in Malaysia, and there’s a gap in the fence where we turned into the ride site with our cars that fine morning.
Vital Statistics of the ride:
Well done, Hares. Thoroughly enjoyed the terrain.
Description From The Hares
Long ride – Approximately 33km and Scenic ride – 24km.
This is a 100% rideable bash and no pushing are required for moderate fitness riders. Don’t get put off by the long distance for the short ride, route covered are easy tarred road leading to the beautiful dam and looping back via reasonably flat oil palm estate.
Long and Scenic share most of the route except long is longer with more hills and checks. As the distance were lengthy and many parts of the trail exposed to hot sun, riders pls make sure to carry at least 3 liters of water.
Parents who wish to bring kids for the scenic are advice to keep an eye on them as there is a short 1km road ride starting by the highway. Tired kids/riders also has the option to double back upon reaching the dam to shorten the ride to 20km.
Long riders has the chance to redeem their karma as a small part of the route are closed to the Berjaya Sanitary landfill and thus has to bear with the smell of rubbish we dispose daily.
On On !
A short ride report (as opposed to the short ride report) - Bash #227 Sg Buaya
Only my second bash this year and my second scribe report. How did that happen? As usual after the first few twist and turns everything becomes a bit of a blur. It really is quite tough to make ‘we cycled up a hill, then down a hill, then up another hill…’ sound interesting, but here goes.
One of the nice things about coming back to the bash after a long absence is catching up with old friends and today was no exception. My resolution to do the short ride wavered after pressure from Joyce Leong and Chua Hui Peng.Old arch rivals from adventure racing days, they were now trying to convince me to ride with them on the long ride. I readily agreed and joined them and Visan, all the while telling myself that I could still wimp out at the split.
The start of the ride was a nice warm up. The first section as far as the split was totally rideable even for an idiot like me. I enjoyed riding in a long file of riders and feeling able to keep pedalling and keep up. It wasn’t long though before we reached large group of riders standing around chatting. A check? No, the split. So it was decision time. Long or short? Having volunteered to be scribe for the short ride, I thought I had the perfect excuse for wimping out, but no. The hare assured me that the long ride shared a good distance of the short at the beginning and end so it really was not a problem for me to do the long. Damn it!
With Joyce’s encouraging words of “We’ll do the long. If die, die lah!” we set off following the ‘Long’ signs on a very pleasant downhill that was strangely devoid of any other riders. We became instantly suspicious that everyone else knew something we didn’t and I kept waiting for the trail to turn into a complete nightmare. It didn’t. The route continued to be fun and I spent most of the time riding the bike, not pushing it. We even caught up with another rider (well, he did have a puncture) and felt better about being on the right trail.
The next memorable section of the ride was descending a cliff. Some very kind riders where hanging around and helping to pass people and bikes over the edge (Thank you!). I was told that some people would actually ride this precipice, but mere mortals such as myself, gratefully passed our bikes to waiting hands and slithered inelegantly down.
Here we left the shade of the forest and for the first time entered into bright sun as the trail took us between large fishponds and onto a gravel road. This didn’t last too long and we were soon in the green again taking advantage of a shady spot with a lovely lake view for a quick snack stop. No sooner were we back on the bikes, than we were off again. It was the first of two ‘branch’ bridges that the hares had warned us of at the briefing. A lone rider was waiting there to help us across. Feeling somewhat guilty that we had been resting and merrily stuffing our faces just round the corner, I handed him my bike (Thank you … again) and wobbled my way across the rickety bundle of branches that passed for a bridge.
From here we had another short section of gravel road. There were large puddles and it was of course obligatory to whizz through them at excessive speed and get covered in mud. Before the long, the puddles were just a vague memory and we faced a hot sunny up hill. A large group of riders had stopped at the bottom to rest and contemplate the climb. We did the same and then slowly inched our way up. I managed to ride it, despite struggling for breath, so I was feeling very pleased with myself as I rested at the top and chatted to Joyce. That was short lived as the hares arrived calmly pedaling up the hill and having a conversation as they came. How is that humanly possible?! Another blow, we discovered we were the last riders on the trail. How was that possible? We had passed groups of riders, but the hares were adamant there was no-one behind us. At the next point where we met the road we would have to decide whether to continue on the long or take a short cut out.
We watched the hares disappear ahead, expounding the joy of riding a bike with no brakes as they went. Our next obstacle was to negotiate a steep gravelly downhill. Half way down we caught up with the hares who were helping a fallen rider. They were quick to point out that once we passed this guy we were in fact no longer that last riders. Good for my ego, if not for the poor bloke with the bleeding knees.
The second of the branch bridges awaited us. Not only that, but yet again there was a patient rider waiting there to help us get our bikes over it. (More thanks). I remember teetering over the branches and retrieving my bike but the next section of the ride escapes my memory. I remember only waiting at the top of a hill and seeing the hares once more cruising up and chit-chatting. In their rounding up of stragglers, how many times had they been up and down that hill? And they still had enough breath to talk! Even though we were pretty much the last riders they were quite prepared for us to continue on the long which was pretty decent of them. However, the lure of a short cut was just too tempting. We sneaked out to the road and back to the starting point for a well-earned 100 Plus.