This was my first hash back for this year and have only been back on the bike for a couple of weeks after a bit of a layoff. So I came into the hash slightly scared (not of the ghosts mentioned in the write up) and looking for an adventure of the famous MIMALAND and what an adventure it was!
An early rise for a Sunday morning…… Coffee and Vegemite on toast (yes I am an Aussie), load the car, click on WAZE and head out of the city. A short time later arriving to the location and heading up a long road/driveway that had some freshly laid concrete in many places… Did the hares spend the night before concreting a nice driveway for us? I do believe a couple of the hares are Italian!!! Arriving to the top and finding an Austrian guy with a smile and a funny sign on his head guiding us to park.
The group of riders was gradually becoming larger and larger as it came time for briefing which was called by Caesar on time at 09:15. I scanned the crowd and it looked like a great turn out, how many riders? I have no idea but it looked like a lot…
As Caesar, Joe and Paul aka Jason Statham gave us the details of the ride and the usual…. Stay on paper, look for signs, 4 checks, enjoy the ride etc. etc. They separated us into long/short riders to try and ease the congestion of the first downhill single track. After a few minutes the long riders were off and us short riders patiently waited for the instruction to get going.
They gave us the instruction to go and we started, a few hundred meters later at the start of the first downhill single track it reminded me of Friday afternoon traffic in KL ‘bumper to bumper’. Once getting in and started it was a very nice trail freshly cut through the bamboo down to a small creek crossing. About half way down there was a short steep descent that must of tested a few riders as there were a few nice lines with runoff marks into the bushes. It was after this descent that the traffic cleared and a good run to the creek was enjoyable.
Then came the first uphill….. After getting up and out of the bank and a short push (for me) we popped out onto an old road which had be nicely roughed up due to no use and rain, it looked soft at first but had a firm base so was ridable and got us to a smooth forest road. A quick wave to the farmers who I am sure were wondering WTF was going on…. then a test to see how strong my legs are, It was up, then up, then up and finally rounding a bend to see a very happy Italian guy standing next to the signage telling us “don’t do kiddy ride do short or long” with a smile…
After a 5 maybe 10 minute rest it was time to keep going with a little further up the hill to go, and it was worth it as the long wide downhill section to come was so enjoyable…. A forest road with some loose rocky sections, washouts and some jumps to get some air as well. This is where I reached my top speed for the day 46kmph (not fast for a lot of you but I’m happy with it) crossing a flat area that looked a bit like an old quarry?? is where I caught up with Paul and Clayton riding with their young boys Olly and Arthur. I followed them down into a kampong and on the road it was quite loose with rocks where the young boys were gaining some speed approaching a corner braking hard, locked wheels, rocks and dirt flying, trying to keep control and just managed to stop in the bushes!! Dads looked worried and the boys were laughing their heads off.
Into the Kampong where the locals I saw where very friendly, enjoying seeing us ride through and even help guide.
Up and out of the kampong saw the start of some long, long, long uphill’s. This is all I can remember, there might have been some small flat areas and downhills but we were definitely on our way back up!
Arriving to the junction for the long and short rides was another time for a rest. Lots of riders making the decision of which way to go…. There was encouragement, banter between the groups of riders which was great to see as almost everybody looked tired.
I kept to the right and followed the sign for the short continuing uphill…. Ride, push, rest, ride, push, rest seemed to be the order here. Not long after I arrived at the junction where the long riders were entering back to the same return trail and with some of the faster long riders joining, more uphill to come and these guys are good. I would hear them come behind me, I let them by and they just power off. There’s no way I could chase.
Finally reaching the top and what a relief know that it was all downhill back to the finish. (if you didn’t do the extra 2K loop) After a quick rest at the top it was a nice flowing downhill to the junction for all riders home. The funny Italian guy was gone by then.
A quick link across to the Junction for the extra 2K loop and a lot of tired riders here taking the route to home. The extra loop 2K loop had a beautiful virgin downhill single track trail freshly cut through with some great terrain and a short cross trail back onto an old access road uphill leading back to the smooth forest road that we rode earlier in the day leading back up to the junction.
Back into Mimaland with a nice flowing smooth single track that had a slight downhill gradient which was easy on the tired legs and passing some of the old buildings then into and through one of the larger disused buildings that was good to stop for some photos. Out of the building and then a short deviation to see DINOSAURS. After a few more photos it was time for a couple of beers so onto the finish.
Many thanks to the Hares.. ‘The Usual Suspects’ I am sure there was a heap of work done in the months prior to plan and prepare for this hash with lots of new/virgin trails that needed to be created. Congratulations to them for setting a great hash that I am sure many will remember for a long time!!!
Scribe Report by Glenn Watman