Nice climbs - but a bit difficult to ride it with the traffic.
Normal pre-ride event - meeting up with people and catching up in between getting the bikes and gears ready for the ride. Good thing we arrived early, so no rush to get everything sorted out for the ride. Soon it was briefing, and I came to wonder - where the heck are the KLMBH’s loudspeakers? I remembered KLMBH owning one handheld loudspeakers and a pair of wireless speaker system - and yet the lead hare was doing briefing unaided by either one. Its pretty difficult to hear the briefing over the people chatting in the background, but I managed to gather the necessary information to survive the short and not accidentally go on the long. Same paper, same route, split at some houses, river crossing, hike a bike. Check.
Trying to hear the briefing over the noise.
Soon we were off on the tarmac to the orang asli village. This area is new to me, not having explored it before so it was a pleasant surprise. Since we’re taking it easy on the tarmac soon we were stuck behind the usual traffic jam on rideable terrain once we hit the trails, great more time to chit chat with people I know here and there. This section is mostly young rubber trees plantation, so not much of the scenery is memorable - but the trails are a joy to ride. Here we came across a chap on a cyclocross bike. Not new to me since I’ve seen people doing bashes with a cyclocross bike before, but I’ve never been stuck behind one before now. The poor chap must be suffering with his gearing range and lack of suspension, because he’s really riding slowly on the trails. Poor guy.
Nice rubber plantation downhill section. We left the cyclocross guy somewhere around this area.
Soon enough we were riding back towards the starting area but still off the tarmac, followed by a short hike a bike section behind some flats. As usual, I get stares of amazement as I zoom past them with the bike on my back while they’re struggling to push their bike up. Really people, its way easier to porter your bike up this kind of terrains then pushing it up. I managed to get 2 bikes up by the time they’re halfway done.
Hike a bike section starts…
Hike a bike section ends.. not quite yet.
A short ride around the flats, and then we’re back into familiar territory of palm oil plantation. Here the sun is starting to take strength, and we find ourselves stopping a lot more on the climbs than before. Here is also where a lot of people keep on asking me if we’re still on short - since we have yet to see the split for long and short and the ride was quite tough for some expecting a scenic ride. Knowing the area, I’m fairly confident we didn’t miss the split - but once in a while the though did come to mind. A few up and down in rubber plantation later and we arrived back on tarmac near some houses, and back into rubber single track. I really love this section ever since the local guys (Prima riders) showed it to us in 2010, so its nice to ride it again after all this time. We completed this part quickly and finally see the short-long split at Kg Sg Buaya.
Palm oil plantations climbs
While stopping to take pictures here, Mr Lead Hare Bertrand Peuchot arrived with his lovely wife to sweep us along. Hmm.. I was fairly sure we overtook a lot of people along the way, so I can only assume a number of them either got lost or found a shorter way back to the cars. We rode together for a while on the tarmac until we went back into the trails. Here we split up with the lead hare off to create a shortcut for people who might find the long ride a bit difficult.
So off we go on to more single track taking us through some grass parts, this one new to me so quite a joy to ride. Here I encountered something new - a KLMBH sign to prevent long riders from going back into the scenic route in reverse. Its such an obvious thing to do, and yet I’ve never seen it before or never thought of implementing - so of course I had to stop and take a photo for posterity. Only once I dismounted did I notice Laurent Ane at the top of the hill taking photos of long riders zooming past, and caught a glimpse of Paul Fajer dropping down.
Thou shall not pass!
Always nice to see the home sign
Off we go again into a bit more single track, until we reached the river crossing. This is where we got a bit lost - since when we reached the river we saw Paul and a bunch of other guys crossing to the right or upstream side of the riverbank. Naturally like the sheep we are, we followed without confirming its the right trail to take - so its not a surprise when we reached the other side we didn’t find any paper. Having searched around for a bit and still not finding paper, I happen to see through the bushes on the river bank Laurent crossing the river further downstream. Now only I remembered during the briefing the lead hare mentioning the river crossing is rideable. Would have been useful to remember this information while I wade through the muddy riverbank to tell me I’m on the wrong trail. Well, off we go again - this time into old palm oil single track and then back to the starting point.
Crossing the much more difficult side of the river.
Here to our surprise we found only a handful of riders has completed the long, and the gap between last we saw Paul Fajer and the next rider coming in was about 30-40 minutes. By the time we left, most of the mid-pack riders I know was still out in the trails. Driving off to some recovery food, we sure didn’t regret doing the scenic for the day. :)
Overall, a nice ride of familiar trails with an addition of some very nice new trails with good paper marking all the way.
The chicken chop served at a mamak shop in the area was still as delicious as I remembered it. Or maybe I was just hungry.
Story by Rebecca Thomason. Photos courtesy of Rebecca Thomason and Laurent Ane. Captions by Bashweb.
My enthusiasm for this month’s bash had waned after checking the website the night before and seeing that the long ride was indeed long – 30km. My stuff was already in the car, so that all I had to do in the morning was remember to put the bike on the roof before setting off. It seemed a shame to waste such organized preparation, so I set my alarm and resolved to get up, get out there and give it a go. And despite it turning into a day of mechanical problems, I am very glad I did. What a fantastic ride!
Following possibly the simplest directions ever, I found the bash site easily. In busying myself with getting the bike and chatting with friends I managed to forget the 30km distance which had been so off putting the night before. At the briefing there were the usual annoyances, one being the futile call for scribes. So everyone wants to enjoy the ride that the hares spend many hours setting, but they don’t want to give back a little and spend half an hour writing about it…hmmmm. Then there was the normal difficulty in hearing the hares. Why is it that people manage to heed the call to the briefing and assemble, and then fail to understand the basic principle of how it works i.e. you stop your personal conversations and listen?! Hmmmm, again. So, rant over, I heard something about water, hills and a river which might or might not still be crossable after the previous night’s rain. They all sounded like pretty good ingredients for a bash.
Beardy McPunch Shooter enjoying his last KLMBH Bash
I sought out Liz Roberts to ride with so I would have an encouraging riding buddy with a good sense of humour to get me round the ride – the hares had reminded us of the distance so it was once again preying on my mind. It was slow start before the crowd thinned out. The sheer volume of riders meant we ended up walking up hills that looked ride-able. We loitered here and there to wait for the trails to clear. And then, the first of our mechanical problems struck. Liz’s sense of humour was put to the test when the back wheel fell off her bike. Luckily, she was pushing it at the time. And luckier still, Rizal Hon was just passing by and stopped to reassemble the bike for us – thanks Rizal! So Liz, that husband of yours (TDF) supposedly sorted out your tyre problem and created another. How many years of marriage was he bragging about this week? You deserve a medal.
TDF’s mechanical prowess is legendary! Anyone with a spare medal, please donate to Liz.
I would love to be able to give a blow by blow account of the whole ride but the trails all became a blur after the first hour or so. I came home with a sense of enjoyment and satisfaction but little memory of the details. What I can tell you is that the trails were just beautiful. They were mostly shaded but with the occasional moonscape area where there was no hiding from the sun.
A tropical moonscape
There was a nice mix of single and double track. The hills were challenging enough to be interesting but not impossible to climb. There were some exhilarating sweeping downhills with no nasty technical surprises on the way, which is always a bonus. Now and again, I recognized sections of trail from the Sungai Buaya bash (#227) in August last year. Some areas had been burnt leaving charred, blackened ground and bare trees with silvery trunks. The greenness of the surrounding forest that escaped the blaze made a stark contrast. It was eerie and yet beautiful at the same time.
Eerie burnout terrain
Before too long the second of our mechanical mishaps occurred. On a climb my chain jumped off the cassette and got jammed somewhere it shouldn’t have been. No amount of pulling by me, Liz, Beatrice or any of several people who stopped to help could free it. I was contemplating a long walk back when, man of the moment, Andrew, managed to tug the chain free – thanks! This delay had definitely put us near the back of the pack but happily meant we were out of the crowd.
After about 3 hours, the ‘are we there yet’ mantra started to put in an appearance and we began wondering where the promised river crossing was. We figured that we must have been nearly back and yet it had not materialized. When we finally reached the river it was a relief to find that the previous night’s rain had not turned it into a raging torrent and it was ride-able. Of course, we still had no idea how far we’d come or how far we had left to go.
Not long after this our third mechanical disaster struck and my chain once again parted company from the cassette and got itself well and truly stuck. It was our good fortune and this point to be riding with Julian Gomez and friends, who had also been delayed by puncture problems.
Puncture problems sorted. TDF no where to be seen… thank god!
They instantly set to with an impressive array of tools and eventually extracted the chain. There then followed a slightly alarming discussion on how to put everything back together again. I did my best to look calm and not fret over my beautiful bike that was looking somewhat the worse for wear. With the application of even more tools and, by this time, a good deal of sweat they got things bike shaped and working again. They must have spent more than 30 minutes in the hot sun wrestling the chain without a word of complaint, so huge thanks to them for coming to the rescue. Only another 5 minutes riding after this brought us to the end of the ride. If only we’d known, I could have just walked back!
So, 5 hours after setting off we finally made it back. A very long ride indeed, although due to mechanical issues and, to my surprise, not the distance. The hares gave us a fantastic range of terrains and trails. A superb ride and a valuable lesson learned – don’t let the number of kilometres put you off. Stuff your Camelbak with water and gels and get out there.
Thanks so much to the hares for setting such a great ride!!
For this bash, you will ride mostly single trails in the hills covered by (hopefully not yet burnt!) plantation forests.
Hills. Yes, we said hills. So that means up, down, up, down… Each time, not a big slope but just enough to erode your stamina and keep you barely alive all along a (very) long ride.
You will start with a quiet warm-up on the road till the entrance of an Orang-Asli village. Then, get prepared to eat the single trails hidden in the woods.
The Short Loop should be within reach for decent riders but is not recommended for kids. It is a short version of the long. You will remain in the forest most of the time.
Short or Long, you will meet one tricky passage and will have to push/carry/(suffer with) the bike a couple of times.
Distance: Long approximately 30km, 800m elevation; Scenic approximately 17km, 450m elevation
On the way back it is recommended to take the highway (instead of the B112 + 1) to avoid the traffic in Rawang.
Bring plenty of water.
Enjoy and ride safe!
Ride brief was given by a Rebecca Tomlinson and while heading out, I kept in mind her scenic route instructions that there wasn’t much to worry about except after an up-hill section, where there would be a steep gravelly descent and beginners/kids were recommended not to ride down.
From the parking area, it was about 2km on tarmac to the trail-head. As I was about to turn onto the trail, I heard my husband Chee say, “Sh**, I’ve got a flat!” So I patiently stopped by the side of the road and waited while he changed his inner-tube.
By the time he was almost ready, we were clearly at the back of the pack. As a couple of families with small kids (Olivier, Marie and Paul Fejer) were about to turn onto the trail, Chee asked me to go ahead with the families and he would catch up with me after he had packed up his tools.
That was the last time I saw him until I had almost completed the route! So most of my ride was a solitary one but very pleasant as unlike my supposedly experienced ride partner, I had no problems following paper and just enjoyed the scenery, riding at a my own pace.
The ride mainly consisted of relatively flat terrain through wide double track, shaded oil palm. This was fortunate, given the sweltering hot sunny morning. There was a short stretch riding past a scenic pond towards the start of the ride. At about 4.5km there were some gradual climbs. When we hit the relatively steep gravelly decline, there were a few screams from kids and as I walked down as briefed. Also saw a few newbies skidding and falling over in clouds of dust. Don’t lock the brakes! Even I know that!
We crossed beneath the highway through relatively dark tunnels a couple of times during the ride. The first time around, I entered the tunnel with some kids and it was amusing to hear them happily screaming through the tunnel like they were on a fair-ground ride.
As I reached an opening, I came across a camera-man (Albert) and saw that I had hit the junction where the short and long split. Albert asked where the Hubby was and I explained that he had a flat so was somewhere behind. I waited for a few minutes but decided to push on and asked Albert to tell Chee to follow the scenic route and to catch up with me.
However, for my other half, it wasn’t quite his day because he never made it to the junction. He somehow rode most of the short in reverse and also part of the long on a very steep uphill climb with about half a dozen other riders who were equally bewildered on why an easy short would have such a long, steep climb. Eventually, after another flat (yup!) and a few calls to the hares for some directions, our paths finally crossed again.
At around this point we found ourselves leaving the oil palm estate and crossing through farmland. We passed banana trees and a vegetable farm. A rider was standing beside a doorway and casually asked whether or not it was the correct way to ride though. After checking that we were on paper, it looked right.
We passed the farmer who watched us cross a small ditch by wheeling our bikes along a narrow wooden plank. After we greeted him, he said jokingly that he was thinking of converting his vegetable farm into a resort and asked if we would return to stay!
We hit a gradual climb and after reaching the top, over-heard a dad say to his kid that he reckoned that was the last climb. And indeed it was. The last few minutes of the ride was a breezy gradual downhill on tarmac, back to the car-park area.
Thanks to Ying How and all the Hares for spending many weekends designing and preparing this Bash! It was an enjoyable ride!
Story by Oskar Engberg; Photos courtesy of Nabil Fuaad; Captions courtesy of bashweb
Beautiful conditions for riding. Photo courtesy of Nabil Fuaad
Some slacker who couldn’t hack it ;). Photo courtesy of Nabil Fuaad
For the lycra minded. Courtesy of Nabil Fuaad
Photo courtesy of Nabil Fuaad
When I think back of it, I believe it was pretty hot too! The climb was about 15 minutes, so those who found it suffering can rest assured it was for all of us! Despite my words about this hill, I think it was a very good climb to feature in a hash. Challenging, yes! But rideable. And the reward at the top for those who went all the way there was either closing check #6 or enjoying the magnificent view.
Description from the Hares
The Long will be between 24km to 28km(TBD) and the Scenic is 9km.
This bash is a mixture of old and new. We revisit the Kuang area of KLMBH#225 in June last year and have an additional jaunt through a new area on the Rawang side.
Starting from the somewhat less than salubrious industrial area of Rawang things improve rapidly as the rides move through housing and into a palm oil estate. For the most part this is where the rides stay.
The short ride follows some lovely, shady undulating trails alongside, and crossing, pretty streams. There are no challenging hills and it’s a good chance to get kids and newbies out on their bikes.
The long ride has some steep climbs. While it is mostly shaded, there are some open areas near the highway. There is a short stretch of brand-new single track cut by the hares, ride-able but not for the faint hearted! Be prepared for a longish hike-a-bike section through rubber and then be rewarded with a sweeping downhill the other side. Riders on the long need to be fit and, as always, bring plenty of water and gels to get you through.
Some Confusion in Google Maps with Street/Jalan Names
Pease note fellow bashers, there seems to be some confusion in Googlemaps with references to the Street/Jalan names.
Jalan Bersatu and Jalan Perusahaan are named Jalan 1c in Googlemaps, the GPS coordinates are correct so use them and we’ll see you on the day!
GPS Coordinates: N3 17.871 E101 34.600
Then you fit the requirements to become a hare so why not?
So you and some of your friends are thinking about setting a hash but you’re a little uncertain, don’t worry they’ve all been answered by the friendly crew at KLMBH, check out the link which answers all the questions a potential hare may have.
Also you can drop the Hareraiser an email and I’ll set you up with another group of would be hares, get you involved in an existing group so you can get some experience or answer any questions so you can be confident in your approach to setting a bash.
Currently we have April 27th, 25th of May 2014, 27th of July and the 14th of December spots open so don’t be scared, put your hand up and experience the satisfaction of setting a bash, being a hare and keeping the KLMBH spirit alive.
Remember without volunteers (yep I know everyone hates that word) the KLMBH wouldn’t be able to host the monthly bashes hence dish out the truck loads of enjoyment, pain and ecstasy it does every month!