Not having ridden the Bash in a very long time, about 4 years, I was a little apprehensive. Will my knee hold up? Am I fit enough to get round? Will I get lost? Will I remember how to use the gears? Pushing all the questions aside I overcame the first hurdle and got myself to the bash site (starting point? Does it even have a proper name?) without scraping my bike off the roof rack at the tolls.
Somehow at registration I ended up signing up as a member – how did that happen? Clearly the Bash has become more hard-sell since my last outing. So, RM70 the poorer I went back to the car and set about assembling the bike. I was pleased to find that I had remembered to bring the front wheel – always a concern. Another concern was that it seemed to be terribly hot. After exchanging a few ‘it’s terribly hot’ conversations with familiar faces and stocking up on Hammer Gels, I retreated to the shade by my car to await the briefing. Unlike registration, the KLMBH briefing hasn’t changed at all. An exhausted-looking hare does his best to explain what we are to face while 50 plus people gather round, carry on with their personal conversations and largely ignore him. Note to self – next time leave bike aside somewhere and squeeze through the crowd on foot to be within in earshot of the hare. I managed to glean that on the short ride I would be following square paper, there were no checks (Fab, I have never quite understood the point of them. Someone has already figured out the route so why do we have to pretend to have lost the way and put in all that extra distance looking for it?) and, from the waving of red and white hazard tape, there were some kind of hazards.
On On! And then everyone else moved off. Not wanting to be one of the hazards I waited and followed at the back where I met Ying How and Ai Ling. I generously offered to ride with them and provide assistance if HYH found himself struggling at any point. We had a nice easy start along tarmac roads passing partially inhabited terraces of houses and others only partially built. The golf course was in better shape and looked to be more popular than the housing. I was just beginning to think that this bashing lark was not quite as tough as I remembered when there was a hill. What gear am I in? What do I press to make it easier? Things were suddenly getting terribly technical when thankfully we met someone with a flat who wanted help - a marvellous excuse to stop. Ai Ling and I supervised while HYH helped the damsel in distress, then with much frantic gear changing and some alarming crunching noises coming from the chain I made it up the hill.
And then it all became a bit of a blur – not from the speed of any of my descents, you understand, but from the oil palm and more oil palm nature of the terrain. Variety was provided at one point by a section of rubber, but for the most part we followed trails wending their way through rows and rows of oil palm. I know it is not very PC to like oil palm but to ride through I think it is great. The tracks are wide enough that I can trundle along slowly on one side and there is plenty of room for speedier souls to pass. There is also plenty of shade, it is really green and you meet the occasional cow. The downside is of course that it all looks the same and the cows crap in the middle of the trail. Today’s oil palm was no exception. The tracks were ride-able even for me and the hills were not too demoralizing. There was one I had to walk up, but as I have been out of action for a while I am going to allow myself that. The obligatory group of alarmed cattle had such a cute calf with them that I had to forgive them their lousy toilet habits.
Scattered at intervals along the route we negotiated the hazards – a large ditch to carry our bikes across and some stream crossings involving a bit of a scramble. After nearly 2 hours of riding we emerged from the shade to the openness of the strange ghost town area where, at a guard house in the middle of nowhere, I stopped to take advantage of the “KLMBH Fruit and Drinks Sale”. Some children here sold me chilled melon and a can of 100Plus which saw us through the last couple of shadeless kilometres.
So, I discovered my knee did hold up, I am fit enough to get round and I did not get lost. I could do better when it comes to using the gears, but then that is what the next bash is for.
Venue: Lembah Beringin
Date: Sunday, 2 June 2013
Hares: Nik Mohd Zaim, Lembah Beringin boys and Beringin Bikerz Club
Alright, let’s jump right to the point. Verdict on the bash? F***ing awesome. Yes, I said it, I think this was a really well done ride, and even more so since it was done by newbies. This gang has never set a ride before, and they went out and created something in Lembah Beringin that needs to be ridden again and again. If this was Britain’s Got Talent show, you clearly would have made it to the next round!
To be honest, I went here today thinking that I needed to manage my expectations; know that paper would be scarce, paper would be confusing, checks would be too easy, the ride wouldn’t be that scenic, and everything else negative that I could think of which typically comes when we have virgin Hares. You have now debunked that perception. Well done guys and thank you.
A little more details than just this!
Ages ago I used to run in Lembah Beringin and we parked nearby the Sekolah before it was even built. This was in the late 90s just after the Asian Economic Crisis. It was meant to be a place for people to live to escape the city, yet still close enough to commute to KL on a daily basis. Unfortunately, the economic crisis impacted the developers and people in general, and the area became full of abandoned properties. Those abandoned properties still dot the landscape as could be seen by the link homes directly across from the school, but the area seems to be having a bit of a revival.
I hit the nail on the head with one or two predictions for the day, but was squashed with a couple of others. One prediction was that it would take 30 minutes to reach LB… Well, thanks to the new wheels, I made it there in 28 minutes from Desa Sri Hartamas J. I think Rob could have made in about 20 minutes or less in his suped up Audi. When I arrived at 8 am he, Alan and Jerry already had the canopies set up, but with only Alan’s Honda CRV sitting there. Eh? No yellow Banshee car?! No Audi?! Seems they had a group hug experience and all shared a ride to the bash site!
The other piece that was accurate was that there were rolling hills, but what I forgot was that the southwest quadrant of the area was a wee bit more than just rolling. Sorry guys for those who I told “oh, it’s all just rolling hills”!!! I did say that if I was wrong it was Rob’s fault and not mine, so I stand vindicated of any wrongness spouting from my mouth!
And slowly more and more people trickled in. I’m surprised that there weren’t hordes of KLMBHers in attendance, though. What was the count at the end of the day? 150? Was there a recount on the election results from GE13 going on someplace? Another protest gathering? Or were people worried about my other erroneous prediction; newbies setting a ride?! Again, squash that for future reference … all of us J!
Interesting to note how many families came today; fathers and sons, husbands and wives, or the entire family. Superb! Of course I had to practice subliminal advertising with Conrad’s son, Harry. He was riding what has to be one of the smallest bikes I’ve ever seen ridden on a bash. Told him that as he grew bigger and needed an upgrade, to make sure that he asked for “Shimano XTR components and a composite frame.” Harry furiously scribbled notes and firmly lodged it in his mind, much to the chagrin of Conrad!
Then there was Shiney with his son, Noah. Now here is a poor state of affairs if I’ve ever seen it. Can you imagine having to ride with Shiney all the time, let alone listen to him? My gosh. I wonder if he launches into his non-stop wisecracks with his son like he does with us?! Actually, I think he probably was … since somewhere along the ride, towards the end, we came across them climbing a hill in reverse. Shiney claims he was taking a piss when Noah kept riding, but that’s bollocks. We know he was talking so much, didn’t pay attention to paper, and the next thing they knew they were going in the wrong direction! Well done, dad!!!
And shame on you, husbands, for not paying attention to your wives! I think one lass a) won’t be riding for a while and b) won’t be talking to her hubby for the next few days. The night before, he said “come and join me for an easy ride with the KLMBH, honey. It’ll be nice to do a little us time on the trails.” I wonder if she was thinking about that when she endo’d on one of the descents! Now, I didn’t see this happen, but I hope she doesn’t have any scrapes and bruises on her face. Imagine having to sit next to her at dinner while being scolded for bringing her along and … trying to keep a straight face as you looked at the bandages! Okay, probably not totally accurate, but my over-active mind just has this image stuck up there J.
Then there is Mike Phoon. His wife, Evanna, has really been scorching the trails in Kiara becoming almost as fit as Mike is, and probably better at technical climbing than he is. However, when Mike and I got back to the Bash site today, he waited and waited and waited and waited. Pondering where said wifey was! While on the trail still, said wifey managed to post on FaceBook how hot of a day it was and how Mike Kwan was needed to repair a sidewall tear in her lovely, sort of new, 29er wheel! So, Mr. Phoon, a) why haven’t you taught her how to repair a tire problem and b) why weren’t you there to help her?!!! Case-in-point, Patrick Potvin even rode with his girlfriend, Aida, and helped her repair about five flats along the way! Now there’s a real man … staying with the better half! Ooops. Okay, so Liz also had her own gear problems today, saved by Loon J. As the scribe, I won’t elaborate on that!
Let me jump around some more and go to the start of the ride! This began at almost 9:30 am following a superb briefing by Nik, our illustrious lead hare. Told us that long was on shredded paper, short on square paper and that the two intersected each other about three times. He also gave just the right amount of knowledge on what to expect, had tape in his pocket to show us what he did for the cautious areas, etc. Brilliantly stated. On-On.
My company for the entire ride was the super fit Oskar (with a “k” from Sweden) who is a gentleman … much better than our other fellow FROPs who tried to abandon us later on! As we set off, I remember how at an earlier Bash he was a little stunned at the heat of KL having arrived in October 2012 from the colder climates of Northern Europe! Well, he now seems well acclimatized having literally soared up the hills that I told people didn’t exist, leaving me in the dust more oft than not! The surroundings were full of sunny, blue skies, spindly Acacia Mangium trees, double-track plantation roads and did I mention hills? I mean hills with real climbs? Climbs that were brutal in the open terrain on a hot and sunny day?! Oh, but it was only rolling hills, right?!
The first check was 5.5-km from the start of the ride and this was pretty much a piss to break. No imprints in the grass going forward, so after a lesson in American Indian pathfinding to Oskar, we turned around and went in the forward direction onto paper. And another lesson here for the fellow FROPs that joined us later (e.g. Roberto, Mike Phoon and a few others): we waited at the start of the paper until we were certain that a) the paper was closed and b) our fellow FROPs were there to continue the pleasant ride together!!!
On-On. More damn hills in the sun!!! Did I say there were hills? And man did we climb this time around … at around the 8-km point we started to go vertical. I was able to ride the first steep climb up loose gravel, and just kept grinding away on my lovely 2-10 gear train. Oskar, in front of me, rounded a bend and disappeared. When I rounded the bend I thought “oh shit” … because the road was still climbing … and up near the top was our Acclimatized Swede still on his saddle. I tilted my bike to the side, planted right foot, unclipped, and started walking. Looking at my heart rate monitor at this point, it was at 187 bpm. What’s that formula for max heart rate?!!! 220 – age? Shit. I died back there since I was over my max according to normal medical science!
Climbing back into my saddle just after that section, we continued to ascend to the peak where, at 185-meters elevation, we encountered a panoramic view of the entire area; 365 degrees of majestic scenery as far as the eye could see. Great view … oh … and Check #2. Sh**. This meant only one direction to go to check … somewhere down!!! Yours truly went forward and was a kind soul letting my fellow FROPs rest. What a gentleman I am, see Mike and Roberto, take note!!! Fellow FROPs help out fellow FROPs! We look after our own J. After going down for 200 meters, I found zippo, nada, zero, rien de tout … and turned around to push my bike back up to the bl**dy check. Didn’t I say to someone that newbie hares don’t know how to set good checks? That they would all be a piece of cake? Nik, hats off to you!
Back up and over the hill. Off goes Megat to the back-right trail, and yours truly said “stuff it” to checking anymore. Someone, Tom (?) went to the left where he soon paper. The problem was that we didn’t know if it was him or Megat calling, and despite repeatedly asking if it was Megat who found paper, he didn’t say “yes or no”! So I bombed down, found the start of paper, caught up with Tom, and we both waited until people joined us. After being assured by Lloyd that the paper was being closed, we all, together, took off. Mike and Roberto, take note at how friendly we all are to one another J!
When we finished that excellent descent, we eventually hit a tarmac road that was quite pleasant; shaded, flat, two orang asli’s bathing in their skivvies in a stream that we passed, little orang asli huts dotting the side of the road, and into palm we came. Right about here, in a nicely shaded area on vivid green grass, we encountered a sign for drinks and food with a Perodua Kancil parked in the shade and an umbrella at the back. I think it said something like “KLMBH Sale: food/ drinks” … and it wasn’t free. Darn. Screw this … keep going! I think this was one of the co-hares or a friend of a friend helping out to make money off of the suffering we were facing! Did anyone stop to take advantage of this roadside treat at 13.3-km into the ride?!
Now, here’s where my bubble burst. I was completely let down by my fellow FROPs when we encountered Check #3! This was at 14.2-km in to the ride, and the check was nestled in the trees on a terrace in stunningly beautiful palm estate. Vivid green colors all over the place; green palm trees, green grass, green moss covered estate road, green sky … sorry … I mean blue skies and … rolling hills … these were the rolling hills I remembered … and the area was real shitty. I mean, there was cow shit everywhere! And cows! I guess that if their dumpings are here, the likelihood of the cows being somewhere nearby increases with time!
Okay, so Roberto goes forward, I go forward, Roberto goes back to the check, I do too, but I continue downwards and check where we came in. I turn around, go back to the check, and my fellow FROPs are gone … all in the span of 2 minutes. WTF?!?!?! I hear On-On being called above me, so I short cut in front of Ian by climbing the terraces to get to the road above, and soon find paper. Chew was closing it like a good lad (thanks Chew). About 200-meters of gentle climbing, I come upon the good natured, fellow FROP, a true gentleman … Oskar … waiting for me! What a nice guy. I ask him, where are the others? He said “about two minutes in front”. WTF?????
I told him, “we’ll catch them on the downhills … Mike doesn’t go fast on those sections, especially if there’s loose gravel! ” Well, we climbed all the way to the top of this hill, skirted onto a palm terrace, and began a series of absolutely smashing downhill sections, both on terraces as well as double track road. Soon, we made a sharp right off the double track onto more single track. This section was great! Tight single track, all rideable, and we were able to blast by the slower rides; some of whom were now Short riders … we had rejoined the Short ride somewhere back there!
After rudely blasting by a few riders on this narrow trail, we eventually came upon a stream crossing, and lo-n-behold, there was Mike and Roberto. Hello there!!! Who are you guys? We don’t recognize you? Are you friends of ours? No, can’t be. Maybe in a previous life … and we spewed, and spluttered by them, ignoring Conrad and Harry trying to cool off in peace in the river. Think we flung Harry aside as we cursed and swore at our former friends, clawing our way up on the other side of the embankment! On-On back onto more fast and flowy single track trail!
This section of shaded trail eventually took us into the back of Lembah Beringin on the road that connects Lembah Beringin to Kerling. Here, we exited, turned left onto the road, turned right at the guard shack/ boom gate, then went back into trails that weaved on abandoned land that was ultimately meant for housing back in the 90s. Coming back onto the road a short distance later, we then cruised up to our cars and the Bash Canopies.
Total distance was 26.6-km, 658-meters of ascending on those rolling hills, and a total of 2 hours to complete.
Now, the scribe report doesn’t end here. On behalf of the KLMBH we need to do a bit of preaching.
Anyone who doesn’t carry at least 2-liters of water, preferably 3-liters, on a KLMBH ride is a daft idiot.
Regardless of whether you’re riding the long or short. Rule-of-thumb is that our body needs to consume 1-liter of water per hour during strenuous exercise. If you expect to be out there longer than 2-hours, carry three liters of water.
The next time that someone fails to do this, and you face problems, we are leaving them out there on your own.
Also note that hot days, which surprisingly exists in KL, tends to sap people’s energy more and cause electrolyte imbalance. This equates to exhaustion and a potential for cramping. Hydration salts, electrolytic replacement supplements, and energy bars/ gels are essential. Bring them next time, or crawl back on your own.
Signing off for the night.
By Michael “Dangerous” Davies
As I’ve never written the minutes, or whatever they are for the Bash, forgive me if I make a hash of it. See what I did there? Hash of it…. yeah. OK I’ll get me coat.
Look, if you want me to do this then you’ll have to get used to sh*t gags like that. I tell it like it is. If I think it’s sh*t then I will say it’s sh*t, simple really.
OK, so it was my last Bash, and this is my first set of minutes, nothing to lose I guess, so I can swear and curse all I want, right? No one will come and kill me in my sleep for offending, or I will just change my name to something like hmmmm let’s see, Dave Chap Malloy. Yes I like that, Mr Chap Malloy. I could change my profession too, maybe I will be a secret agent - Je m’appelle Monsieur Chap Malloy je suis un agent secret - I’ll have a pint of beer thanks very much, no need to shake it.
And so to the task in hand, the minutes or was it hours maybe even days, endless days of riding. Well unfortunately it was about 2hrs 45mins of riding, and all of it fine and dry. I Have to say it was definitely Bash of the year so far, and I’m not saying that because Olivier “Panzer” Falcoz, Scott “Two Dogs F*cking” Roberts and Winston Loo are my mates or because they are big and may beat me up if I say it was sh*t, I genuinely thought is was a top Bash.
Loads of open trails, some awesome descents with plenty of room to let the bike run freely and flow over the terrain. The ascents where not too abrupt and mostly ridable and just long enough to make you feel like you were making an effort without killing you.
So there we are, the minutes, what a lovely morning of riding, aren’t we all so very happy, what a wonderful time, jolly boys and girls after a great morning of bashing, slaps on the back and well done everybody.
Boll*cks, no way, they don’t call me Dangerous for nowt. I must be able to say something a bit more controversial. Let’s try this again.
Well you’ve probably guessed by now that I can’t remember f**k all about the ride, yep it’s just a blur compounded by the fact that I had at least 3 beers at the end of the ride, for re-hydration purposes of course. Ah the bash piss what would we do without it? Yes the main points I remember about the ride is riding behind the ladies with nice bums. We are blessed with some ladies with nice bums on the Bash aren’t we? I mean that as a compliment of course - you’re good riders too… OK I’ll get me coat, again!
OK I told a lie, I do remember something about the Bash, I remember Scott Roberts shouting his head off at the briefing, whatever you do don’t give that man a megaphone. “Can you all hear me?” - yes Scott they can hear you in f**king KL mate. And your swearing, brilliant, the kids were all sniggering at the back, with parents putting hands over ears. Best briefing ever.
So far we have - Bash of the year, nice *sses and best briefing ever, let’s see what other accolades this bash can chalk up. What about the paper, yes there was paper and it was square for the short and shredded for the long with occasional cross cut, or was it cross cut with occasional shredded. Either way wasn’t the paper wonderful and so very white and paper like. I managed to find paper all the way, I guess that’s why I managed to finish, yes this bash did exactly what it said on the tin.
What about the checks? I haven’t got a frickin’ clue who broke the checks and frankly I don’t give a monkey’s uncle, it was probably one of the FRBs and one of the usual suspects. Well done whoever you were, but I would be more impressed if you drank the Bash Piss dry at the end.
Which brings me neatly to what the Bash is all about - yep the end of year piss up…. I for one am mightily pissed off that I probably won’t be able to make it to this year’s piss up. Last year’s piss up was a blinder and I think it will go down in KLMBH history. A swimming pool… genius, Shiney, Winston and Gang you all deserve a medal. I am confident that this year’s Committee, under the awesome leadership of the Cap’n - Captain w@nker that is - will do just as good a job.
Captain w@nker & Gang
What to talk about next? Ah yes Bash #223, I suppose we should talk some more about that. I was fortunate enough to catch up with most of my mates on the ride, it makes a Bash a proper social event when you see all your mates. I will miss the camaraderie, it has been an absolute pleasure riding with each and everyone of you. I remember my first Bash - when I say remember I actually mean I can’t remember a bloody thing, too much beer you see. But it was at Tasik Puteri about 5 years ago, and I did meet my good friend Phil “Cajun” Manfield there, who later became the best man at my wedding. So, although I can’t write a set of minutes for a Bash, what I can do is say is being part of the KLMBH for the last five years has been, what are the words I am looking for here, f**king awesome. You’re all great people, I’ve loved every moment of riding with you all, and I will never remember any of it.
I think I will end with a bit of advice. What we have here in the KLMBH is quite unique. Look around you, see all those mountains covered in rain forest, you don’t get that in many places around the world. And in the places that you do get rain forest, it is usually bloody difficult to access. We have access on our door step, beautiful tropical rain forest on our door step, and we ride our mountain bikes in it every weekend. Amazing right? We love what we do don’t we? Well take it to the next level, get involved, if you’ve never set a bash then get out there and do it, explore. Unless you’ve had your head in the sand for the last 10 years you must have heard of The Plight Of Bukit Kiara. Seriously we can’t let that land turn into a concrete jungle. I’m sure it won’t, but what will happen is it will shrink, and then shrink some more and then eventually turn into some landscaped city park, that will be such a shame. So let your voice be heard, enjoy Bukit Kiara and make sure you take part in the preservation, it won’t look after itself.
Bukit Kiara is being destroyed
Finally as a last ditched attempt to try and redeem these minutes and write something sensible about the ride I called my mates, biggest mistake I’ve ever made on a Wednesday morning. “I can’t remember f**k all about the Bash, help me out here”.
Here’s the list of replies I received:
There we go the Bash has spoken.
Take good care all of you
p/s. Now where to get my name changed?
By Ralf Maurer
After Ali Budiman this is only my second Bash and there is still a lot for me to learn….
In Ali Budiman I learned that you actually can go off paper, if an experienced Basher with the newest Garmin tells you to do so. Note, you should have a GPS yourself though, because he may only get it to 90% right.
Back to the short ride of Hulu Yam though and my learnings today.
Oh, and by the way, mossy slippery stones stay slippery (and mossy) weather you are on your bike or walking (the second may be notably safer though).
Riding with my kids all the FRBs (see the KLMBH website for translation) overtook us right at the start, but soon we caught up with some of them again: flat tire! It looked very old and you could see the threads coming out almost like Alonso’s tires after the race…. Well, good preparation is half the Bash, I thought to myself! (sorry mate, but you know you should have changed that tire before the Bash!). Then two more guys with a flat tire, but these guys were rather well prepared and had all the gears (very well actually, see later).
Soon the first river crossing came and my two boys had to show two nice ladies how to get across (proud they were). Then the second climb approached (yeah, there are no mountains and it’s all flat! Go back to learning No. 1) and walking down the hill came another unlucky guy with a broken derailleur hanger… Bash over, luckily it was not too far to go back!
Mike Kwan , Toh Hoon Chew and the derailleur
Just when we thought we were on the top, it got quite steep once more and at that moment the two guys with flat tire were about to overtake us again, when one of their derailleur hanger broke!! I was just about to take out my cable tie when the guy actually produced a spare hanger!! Well, good preparation is half the Bash, I thought to myself! Well done mate and I hope you finished that bash without any more breakdowns. Although I am sure you would have had the right gear to get you out of that as well.
After a short flat ride, a nice downhill started. I somewhat pitied my little boys on their 20 and 24 inch wheels in all those loose rocks, but they did fairly well. Maybe these two French girls also motivated them to ride just a little bit harder.
The kids were not convinced of the next river crossing though, because there was no way to ride through it: is this really the way Daddy? Well it was and by the time we reached home and we told Mummy about it, it was a big stream and the water reached above the knees and I think there were even some crocodiles…. And we also helped a guy with a Swiss shirt - Mile Phoon - (hey, I should wear this!) and his kid in a trailer to cross the river. Ah yes, and then we had to throw some stones in that river as well, while our Dads brought the bikes across.
Thanks to Olivier Falcoz we also went in our second Bash off paper again (I start to think this guy may actually be bad influence, can anyone confirm/contradict?)!! But those hot spring pools were definitely worth the D-tour (thanks Olivier!). While we were there the guys form the long ride passed and I was most impressed with one guy in his slippers. Well at least he had his helmet, and there is no rule about no slippers! But then again: good preparation is half the Bash!
The rest of the ride was a breeze, nicely flat and my boys were flying after they had some pieces of Powerbar.
A big thank you to the Hares that have been out there more than half a dozen times to prepare this Bash! A truly enjoyable ride today and the paper was laid to perfection and all the cows were kept from eating it!!
By Chris Khoo aka The BashPiss
Left home at 7.00am in the morning and decided to follow the GPS which led me to Batu Arang instead of Bandar Tasik Puteri! Anyway, managed to find my way there, loaded all the drinks and Ice into eskies and let king Olivier keep it as he’d decided on riding the kiddie loop specially made for him; or did I hear that wrong…
Back to the topic, after the briefing, it was On On on the road to the mosque, had to cross the road to an off road section which led us to the mosque where I THINK, was our first check. Check Check and after few minutes, it was On On on the road again at the other side of the mosque where it lead us on the road to the Showroom Houses up a hill and down to the left.
Followed paper which led to a hill to the left which also led us back in a loop. 2nd check? No idea… Check Check and went in at least 3 loops, and after 15 minutes of checking, heard On On on the other side of the estate.
*Note To Riders: Guys, when you break a check, please relay paper backwards, thank you !
With no idea how to get across to the other side, me and Scott made our own route which led the pack across and into barb wires.
From there it was On On up a small hill and into a slight fast but very loose downhill section and cannot remember much from then on. Hares did mention no falsie and only 3 checks, but looks like almost everything was a check as paper was laid too far apart.
Can’t remember much of what happened in between. After roughly 10km of going down hills and climbing the Bukit Dua Beradik and riding more road, we ended up at Batu Arang Town where most of the pack stopped for a much needed break from the scorching heat.
After a short stop, met up with a couple of zero2hero members and we headed off on the long which was a road ride of about 3-5km before a bike and hike section. So being the gentleman that I am - which is rare to find these days… - I climbed up first and put my bike aside and my members attempted to climb with their bikes, however, kept slipping due to the weight of the bike and the loose gravel. So I stopped to help carry bikes up while people climbed and a bunch of rude and impatient riders started shouting in mandarin “Don’t know how to climb, move aside and let other people go first la!”
Let me state this as a reminder, this is not a freaking race !
After that scene, it was a short climb up which led to an open area which went down to an open field. Was that a check too? Not sure but couldn’t find out way around. So checking I went over the hills and under the trees and finally someone shouted On On behind the tree line on the right. So On On it was right till a short bike and hike section, which lead to a grassy but open downhill section.
Next up after a short single track section was a very loose gravel downhill section where many people found hard to handle. This was the very same place where one of my members went over her handlebars because she went out of control on the descent. However after a short break and bandaging, we bravely went on to the right which lead to a few short climbs in the oil palm estate.
Once I thought I was on top of a plateau, I decided to help this man out as he looked like he wasn’t going to survive as he looked faintish and ran out of water. Gave him 90% of what was left in my Hydrapak and had to leave the pack behind because of my duties to rehydrate the dehydrated back at base camp.
So from then on, on my meter I clocked 22km, so in my mind, OK this is going to be downhill and road all the way. And so I was wrong, it was a climb, then a downhill then road. The heat was really killing me, riding on the open climbs and on road really made me worry if I had enough water to survive and make it back. So I floored it on the road and looking at a stretch of covered road made me slightly more positive of my chance of survival. However, we got diverted to ride where the cows roamed. Across a stream and up another open hill it was, already burning and running out of water, my breath became hotter every time I exhaled.
On on, stop thinking negative and ride on which led to the downhill section near the pipes. Flying down the downhill as quick as I could, there was a pool of mud ahead just at the bottom of the downhill bit, so I chose my line and went for it. Front wheel sank so deep into the mud, I flew over my handlebars and into the mud I went. Pleasantly cool, looked around that no one saw me fly, I kept going, climb that hill and the next thing I could remember was the timber factory, a rubbish area, the heat and back to base camp thanking God I made it back.
All in all, thank you to Kapten Zainol and the Yaafur Cycling Club for organizing the Bash.
Reminder to Bashers:
This is what hashing is all about. Helping each other get through the ride!
*Special thanks to “the guy in the mask” that helped the struggling riders behind. Forgotten your name, but good guy and you deserves the recognition. Thanks bud!