Scribe: Terry van Kalken (not fucking Kevin, Jerry, Tierry, Cherry or any other name Starbucks has christened me within the last 4 years)
(Anyway , why do they ask your name when you’re the only one in the shop??)
OK on to business. Sunday 24 February 2019, around 50 keen MTB hashers met next to the mosque in Kampong Sungai Telaki and listened attentively to the directions from the hares. Only 20 minutes late, we were off.
Traffic jam right at the start as we navigated our way over a small bridge to ride through the Kampung, and then through rubber plantation single track interspersed with some gravel and concrete roads. All pretty reasonable. Very picturesque, riding past market gardens and fish ponds. But life wasn’t meant to be easy and sure enough we were into the HILLS.
Despite the hares assuring us the hills were in the shady jungle (it sounded quite nice at the time) they turned out to be in full blazing sun, causing many a hasher to start melting, much like the chocolate bars in the backpacks. Just when we thought we were at the top of the climb the track narrowed into an even steeper grassy single lane affair, hard enough to ride in normal circumstances but impossible for yours truly after an hour in the saddle with leg muscles going into a Chernobyl style meltdown.
The hard work was well rewarded as we broke out of the jungle on a steep and fast gravel road which gave plenty of opportunity to practice our braking skills. On we went, up hill and over dale, through the beautiful Malaysian countryside, birds singing in the trees and happy villagers ….
Fuck this. Truth be told I don’t really remember the rest (and most of the above is made up) – because my main memory of the ride is of The Incident.
The Incident occurred probably less that a kilometre from home. Remember that little narrow path home that that ran along the babbling stream? Pretty wasn’t it? Did you see the stands of innocuous looking bamboo on the right side of the path? I didn’t.
So as I whizzed past, one particularly vicious bamboo stalk caught me in the chest and proceeded to push me hard left toward the water. Sensing what was about to unfold I hit the brakes – but too late. Somehow my bike was reprogrammed and was heading straight for a little rocky outcrop on the stream bank, where it came to an immediate halt, while I kept travelling past the handlebars and plonked sideways into the water. A couple of seconds to assess damages: move arms: check, move leg: check, head not split: check. Almost delirious with joys at my lucky escape, sitting in the water, I suddenly remembered by phone was in my pocket (so I could take lots of Scribe pics ). I jumped out the water and got it out, pulled the cover off and started blowing to get all the water out (or was I blowing it in?). Amazing, despite the submergence the phone was still working (thanks Steve). It was then I noticed my GPS was missing from my handlebars. Hopeful, I looked on the path but nowhere to be seen, so I figured it must be in the water. So back in I went, looking like a Louisiana redneck tickling for catfish. Incredibly, after a couple of minutes – found! And still working (well, it lost the GPS signal for a few minutes but all is forgiven).
Having regained my composure I got back in the saddle and made my way back to the car park (it was literally just a few hundred metres away). It was then I recalled my car key was also in my pocket and had got a similar drenching to the phone and GPS – as I approached the car I gingerly pressed the unlock button, and as if by magic the lights flashed and the car made that beautiful beeping sound!.
Time will tell I suppose if my phone, GPS and car key all rust to hell – but so far so good. Not so good to my bike, as I loaded it into the car the rear gear change bracket fell off the handlebar, sheared clean through!
Thanks to the hares – it was a great ride, love those water features!