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Which hill is Bukit Kiara?

Date: Sunday 3rd August 2014
Time: 0800 for the briefing, 0830 sharp to avoid the heat
Venue: Setia Alam
GPS Coordinates: N3 05 55.7 E101 27 42.44 (Make sure you read the detailed directions below)
Rabbits: Teh An Qiao, Adrian Yeoh, Alex Ng, Chee, Lai, Lele, Seong, Stanley, Nicholas & Sanusi; special thanks to seasoned rabbits - Riza & Mike Kwan for advice

Description

Short : Not suitable for kiddies, some MTB (Mari Tolak Basikal) section, plenty hot open sections and pavement

Long: Same easy route as short for the first 20KM but with an extension of very torturing & technical 15+KM single track.

Word of advice - Bring 3 litres of water, apply sunblock, and save your energy for the last 15KM.

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Lots of tree lovers hang out hare

Note: Bright yellow-red square or shredded paper means dangerous section ahead. There are 2 of these sections in the last 15KM in long. Please slow down or you might fly off a cliff. If you have to dismount, please look out for riders behind.

Long is not suitable for feeble newbie riders, complaints will not be tolerated.

Selamat berbuka puasa & selamat hari raya!

Detailed Directions

  1. At NKVE, those coming from KL, PJ & Shah alam, head in the south west direction towards Klang (If from Klang, head north)
  2. Exit on-ramp at Setia Alam exit
  3. After exiting the toll booth, proceed for another 2.5KM and exit at the first overhead bridge (The overhead bridge is immediately after a right bend so please keep left after the toll)
  4. Turn left at the traffic light junction on the overhead bridge
  5. Go straight along the road for 1KM and turn right at the first traffic light nearby the shell station.
  6. Park anywhere at the row of shops behind shell.

Setia Alam Map

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Story by: Willem-Jan Nuis

Photos by: Willem-Jan Nuis

Venue: Taman Tasik Biru

GPS Coordinates: N3 14.823 E101 31.466

Hares: Ying How, Mike Kwan, Rebecca Thomason, Albert Chua, Riza Shaharuddin and Ai Ling

Today we choose the scenic ride because it was the first time I took my son Bas who turned 14 last month to a Bash. I should naturally have done that much earlier but you know how it is. He is busy with school, friends and other plans; but with the summer break well on the way he was free and motivated to join. The weather was beautiful and there was a blissful lack of haze. API readings below 75 and at 9.30am it was on on.

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As advertised the scenic ride was 17km through well shaded, palm oil plantation. With a relatively flat and flowy start and enough hills and some ditches.We started with a little tarmac to lead us on a single file trail out of the housing area.

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The trails were in very good condition due to the dry weather. The hills were therefore also very well rideable provided your engine is strong enough.

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There was also a fair share of casualties due to technical failures. Only a km in we saw broken chains, loose wheels, run-off chains and other failures.

Like Alexius in the picture below; he had a loose crank and came well prepared with a full set of tools like spanners to fix it.

He rode his bike from Bangalore of the famous Hero brand as if he wanted to make a statement; all you other riders with SantaCruz bikes, SRAM XX1 single ring  Bling Bling don’t need all that. It can be done on any bike (provided you bring the tools). When I asked him about this social statement he explained, it was only his second ride and first wanted to see if it is something for him to do regularly. So my guess is that we will see Alexius soon on some all singing and dancing full bells and whistles steed of some boutique brand. 

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The down hill sections were fast and bumpy, some quite scary due to the loose gravel. But certainly a lot of fun.  Here we see Bart in action.

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Then there were a few ditches and streams to cross. 

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Bas was very happy that he joined and was one of the first to finish. He also found the trail at a check and shouted on on to lead the pack. He will certainly be back for another Bash, and like any good rider he also regularly joins TRAKS for trail maintenance. Lets all follow his example and support TRAKS.

Rest me to say thanks to the hares: Ying How, Mike Kwan, Rebecca Thomason, Albert Chua, Riza Shaharuddin and Ai Ling ,for an excellent morning of mtb fun.

Willem- Jan Nuis

Date: Sunday 29th June 2014
Time: 0925 for the briefing, 0930 SHARP for on on !!
Venue: New 3 storey shops, off JalanTasik Biru 1, Taman Tasik Biru, Kundang.
GPS Coordinates: N3 14.823 E101 31.466 (See directions below)
Hares: Ying How, Mike Kwan, Rebecca Thomason, Albert Chua, Riza Shaharuddin and Ai Ling

Important!

Firstly, we the hares know that this bash unfortunately falls on the first day of the fasting month. We would have loved to have had it on the Saturday to allow all those fasting to join. However, we just don’t have the manpower to lay paper on Friday (all of us work) and then run the bash on Saturday (some of us also work on this day). We hope you understand and wish you ‘Selamat Berpuasa’. 

The lay of the land

This month you have 3 different distances to choose from. So hopefully we have something to suit everyone. All 3 routes are through oil palm plantations and the palms provide shade for most of the ride. The trails are wide, not technically challenging and in pretty good condition all the way.

The long ride is 29km.This will be a fast and furious ride for the FRBs. The start of the ride is relatively flat and flowy but save some energy for hill climbs towards the end. There are a few large ditches to carry your bikes across and slow you down a bit.

The scenic ride is 17km thorough the same kind of terrain. You have the same ditches to scramble across and also the climbs towards the end that the long has, but overall your distance is shorter.

The kiddies ride is a very manageable 9km. All the rides start and end along kampung roads so close supervision is needed here. There are some gentle hills but no big climbs. Younger children will need a helping hand at the ditch crossings but these are smaller than the ones on the longer rides. It’s worth taking a break in a shady spot and checking out the owl shelters dotted among the palms. We saw a beautiful owl in one, shyly peeping out at us. Also look for fish in the streams, they like kaya sandwiches!

Directions:

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  1. Drive along the LDP and exit at the Penchala Toll. Zero trip your meter here.
  2. After the toll, keep to the middle or left lane. Follow the sign to SgBuloh.
  3. KM1.3, ignore the left turn to Bandar Sri Damansara.
  4. KM1.5, Caltex on the left. Keep on the left lane.
  5. KM2.0, you will see the main intersection, turn left to SgBuloh. You are now on Jalan Kuala Selangor.
  6. KM3.4, ING Insurance and Esso Station followed by BHP on your left.
  7. KM5.7, ignore the junction to Valencia and Sierramas, continue straight towards Sungai Buloh and Kuala Selangor. 
  8. KM6.7km, ignore the left turn to Shah Alam. Continue straight.
  9. KM8.3, keep right and take the ramp on your right to Bukit Rahman Putra.
  10. KM9.2, Esso on your left. Continue straight at traffic lights.
  11. KM10.8, Petronas with McDonalds drive thru on your left.
  12. KM11.2, turn left at the T-junction. Follow the signs for ‘Kuang-Kundang-Rawang’.
  13. KM11.7, SMK Bukit Rahman Putra on your left.
  14. KM13.5, traffic lights at cross junction, continue straight. 
  15. KM15.1 Look out for the Guthrie Corridor flyover as you will have to turn left immediately after the flyover. TasikBiru will be on your left. Proceed in a clockwise fashion around the lake.
  16. KM15.8, turn right and park at the three storey shops.

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This view is now unavailable, but Kiara still has plenty to offer. Enjoy what’s left while it lasts!

  • Date: Sunday 25th May 2014
  • Time: 0900 for the briefing, 0930 sharp as a square edge for on on
  • Venue: Bukit Kiara
  • GPS Coordinates: N3 08 27.9 E101 38 01. (Make sure you read the detailed directions below)
  • Hares: Steve Thomas, Mark Shine, Conrad & Charlie Fawcett, Matt Morris, Martin Gilliard, Andrew Murray

Bukit Kiara - showing our support for #SaveBukitKiara

Another month goes by and it seems another fence goes up, more barbed wire is laid and more land is being cleared. When will it stop? We all know about the people who built the trails (Pat, Joe, Steve and many others), but what about those greedy few who come to steal it away from the Rakyat. When are they going to be held to account?

What can we do about it, you might ask? Well, we can stand up and make a lot of noise for some thing we care about, or we can watch it all disappear in front in of our eyes. The choice is with us, however if we stand united and in overwhelming numbers we can’t be denied without consequence.

Reason for the Bash?

Well, me the Hareraiser couldn’t find anyone willing to host a bash this month. We are a little thin on the ground with Hares prepared to look for and prepare new places to ride. But never mind because Kiara is always fun and has plenty of options and more than enough volunteers willing to help out. 

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Bash Description and advise from the hairy Hares

Please note this is no night bash. It is a day time full-on fun Kiara ride! And because it’s the second Kiara bash of the year , we are gonna be nice and make it enjoyable for everyone, especially for the Long riders. This will be an easy 16-18 kms.

The keywords to remember for this bash are uphill - downhill - eat - drink - repeat 

The Short ride will be 8-10kms MAX. Do NOT underestimate the Short ride, however, as Kiara can be extremely devious, and while we try to make it as easy as possible, NEWBIES may need to push their bike in places!

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Please heed this warning!!

Riding Bukit Kiara can be challenging if you’re unfamiliar with the place. If you are a new rider, and have not ridden in Kiara before, please do the SHORT RIDE.

Kiara regulars will tell you it is by far the greatest place in Malaysia for mountain biking, however it is important to know that it has teeth and can bite when you least expect it.

Last but not least, especially for Kiara regulars, STAY ON PAPER! Should you lose paper, just backtrack to the last paper you saw, wait for other riders, ask around and get back on paper. 

Directions

  • We are not meeting at the Sekolah as in previous bashes
  • We are meeting at TTDI side at the car park in Taman Rimba Kiara (off Jln Tun Mohd Fuad, opposite Jln Abang Haji Openg).
  • Pass KSH on your left and turn right at the last traffic light before the hill.
  • Please note that this is TAMAN RIMBA KIARA, and not TAMAN LEMBAH KIARA where the bike wash is located!!
  • GPS Coordinates: N3 08 27.9 E101 38 01.

PS: If you have a Save Bukit Kiara T shirt, make sure you wear it. :)

A story about someone who completed the “Veeery Long Ride” at the Broga Bash

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A gruelliing ride that had one or two people almost lose their head

Story by:  Robert Barragan

Photos by: Martin Gilliland, Andreas Huggel, Phil Bee etc.

Captions and the occasional editing by: Bashweb

Venue: Broga
GPS Coordinates: 2.932454 N, 101.923585 E
Hares: Phil Bee, Steve Thomas, Martin Gilliland, Scott Roberts

My first bash of this year was an extra dose of suffering and extreme fun….(kind of like a marriage). What else I could I ask for?

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Extreme fun?… maybe not for these long suffering slackers 

It was an epic ride that included tortoise like hiking of more than 3 km to an elevation of 550m. This was hard core climbing on singletrack with my bike on my shoulders most of the time. The lovely leaches that wanted a free ride also lunched on my strong Ecuadorian legs. Once at the summit the real fun started. It involved an awesome technical downhill section that lasted for some time that took us through dense rainforest. This natural beauty is one of the main reasons I’m still living in Malaysia.

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This could be the Ecuadorian Amazon… instead it’s on our doorstep in Broga. How lucky are we?

The trail was really well marked considering the challenging remoteness of the area and the rainy weather. Without clear directions anyone could have easily gotten lost in such a thick and steep forest. Great work there hairy Hares.

The fascination of my ride ended abruptly after I passed the difficult forest section and reached the final check at the palm plantation. “Punto Maldito”…my colleague ahead of me (the idiot, it’s all his fault) rode off paper and then  …voila!!… I got lost for more than 45 minutes …

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But then thanks also to my dear organizers that cunningly put some paper to the west and some to the north to confuse my search got me even further lost! Considering myself an experienced geologist that has never been lost, even in the Ecuadorian Amazon forest, I found myself embarrassingly trapped in a benign palm tree plantation without a clue how to get myself out.

I had no choice but to appeal to technology, so I called my friend Paul Fejer who was behind me (as usual) and who never gets lost (because he’s American)  gave me the directions I needed to get myself out of the sh#t.

Anyway, that was quite an adventure which I kind of enjoyed!!
To top it off the rain came at just the perfect time. And how refreshing it was. In fact it was one of the best parts of the ride, cooling me down and cleaning my bike.

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And for some there’s nothing like a good post ride body pose :)

So all in all, it was a fun 4 hours 10 minutes ride. I clocked up 40 km which obviously included several kms of being lost.

This ride confirmed for me that Broga has much to offer,us MTB riders. I’ll be back for more.

A big thanks to the organizers …you did a terrific job,!

MUCHAS GRACIAS!!

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Story by: Pat Brunsdon

Photos by: Phil Bee, Martin Gilliland, Andreas Huggel  

Captions by: Bashweb

Venue: Broga
GPS Coordinates: 2.932454 N, 101.923585 E
Hares: Phil Bee, Steve Thomas, Martin Gilliland, Scott Roberts

I couldn’t believe my luck to find that smack in the middle of my vacation in Malaysia there should be a Bash in Broga, haired by such a stellar cast. One of the best areas I know of in Malaysia for riding, and some of the best hares the KLMBH has to offer. How lucky can you get? So let me reach into my bag of hyperbole and see what I can find to describe the ride: Awesome. Beautiful. Clever. Dynamite. Exotic. Funky. Groovy. Heavenly. Inspiring ….

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Some of the best riding is to be had in and around Broga

Alright, enough already. Are you getting the picture? An absolutely terrific ride, as near to perfection as I can imagine a bash could be. For the stat freaks, 26km and 600m of climbing on the long ride. Just under 3 hours for me (these days a highly average rider) to complete it. There were times that the singletrack seemed endless (and having set a couple of bashes in the past I know how much thought, recce’ing and hard work with a parang it can take to put something like that together).

The checks were well done, enough to get the pack turned inside out at least a couple of times. Trail marking was excellent, considering much of it was apparently washed out by the heavy rain the night before. The organization as always top-notch. So a very big thanks to the hares for making the magic and the rest of the KLMBH Committee for adding those extra touches that bring it all together.image

Beware of strangers close to thatched huts.. not that they’ll do you harm

And thanks to all of you who stopped to say hi before, during and after the ride. So nice to see you again, even for just a little while. Some of the best memories of my time in KL involve the KLMBH and the many wonderful people I’ve met through being part of it. So thank you.

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A crap photo of Pat… sorry mate

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A classic Broga ride awaits

  • Date: 27th April 2014
  • Time: 09:20 for briefing, 09:30 sharp for On On!!
  • Venue: Broga
  • GPS Coordinates: 2.932454 N, 101.923585 E
  • Hares: Phil Bee, Steve Thomas, Martin Gilliland, Scott Roberts

We will be returning to an old favourite, the Broga area. We have held bashes in this area since 2004, and with the PCC Presidential also using this area a number of times previously, the Broga trails need little introduction. Needless to say, expect a mix of double & singletracks in a beautiful area. We will be combining some of the best bits of bashes past, mixing it all up with some new links here and there.

Unfortunately some plantation areas have recently been cleared for re-planting, so not all of the climbs are shaded any more. There will be some open trail & tarmac under the sun.

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There’s a bit of climbing to do, but as you can see it’s smiles all round

There will be three route options on the day.

"Very Long Ride" - be prepared to do some steep hike-a-bike on this route. All riders MUST be prepared with at least 3L of water and PLENTY of food, gels, salts & other sustenance to make it around the full loop. You will be going into a remote area where it will be near impossible to get you out in an emergency - PLEASE BE SELF-SUFFICIENT and that includes taking your own brain with you, using it, and not doing anything stupid like falling off bridges. Take sufficient tools, bike lube and insect repellent too.

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Remember to take your brain with you… and plenty of goodness for your body

"Long Ride" - This will be classic Broga ride territory, without the added pain of the V.-long loop. Expect about 26km or so. There will be a hare stationed at the split between this and the very long route (or direction signs).

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If you need a break you can take a rest at one of many fine hotels in the area

Short Ride - We hope this is a kid-friendly route, but it is not all rideable & will require an adult to help lift and carry bikes in a few places. There are a couple of narrow plank wooden bridges and river crossings that require care & attention. Distance approx. 14km.

Directions: see map

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Get to Broga via Semenyih, the best route depends which part of the city you are driving from. Either:

  • Take the North-South highway Southbound (E2) and exit at junction 210 for the E18 / Silk Highway. Continue Eastwards through the toll & follow signs for Semenyih.
  • Alternatively, the Silk Highway (E18) can also be accessed from near the Mines resort but this is a longer way round.
  • From Mid Valley, take the East-West link highway (E27), join the Cheras-Kajang highway (E7) heading South-East, & follow all the way to the Semenyih exit. Note that both the first and second exits to Semenyih are now open, only the second appears to be signposted. First exit will lead you through town.
  • Proceed through Semenyih town, go straight at the T-junction with traffic lights by the mosque. Proceed through the town & turn Left at the traffic lights (opposite a Petronas petrol station), ignore any turns & go past Nottingham University
  • Keep going, dual carriageway will become two-way road just before Rabbit Funland and the start point for hikers to go up Bukit Broga. Keep going straight.
  • Enter Broga village, and proceed straight over at the main T-junction, under an archway
  • Go straight past various restaurants & over speed bumps. Road goes steeply uphill to the temple. Park here.

Briefing 9.20am, ride starts at 9.30am sharp. Please arrive early to allow for registration time etc.

Have an awesome ride groovers!

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Story by mynameiskoko. Photos courtesy of Teou Ming Ming.
  • Venue: Bukit Beruntung
  • GPS Coordinates: N3 24’32” E101 32’.36”
  • Hares: Bertrand Peuchot, Anders Tidemand, Jean-Philippe Race, Laurent Ane, Philippe Nicolas, Frederic Clos, Vincent Hebrard
The day before we were still debating on whether to do the short or long for this bash. I’m very familiar with the area having set up bash #186 in 2010 - so I was doubtful if we can do 30km of trails in view of the terrain around the area and the condition of our fitness at the moment. Finally made up our mind on the drive to the bash site, and here I am writing a report for the scenic ride.
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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.

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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.

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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.

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Hike a bike section starts…

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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.

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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. 

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Thou shall not pass!

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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Story by Rebecca Thomason. Photos courtesy of Rebecca Thomason and Laurent Ane. Captions by Bashweb.

  • Venue: Bukit Beruntung 
  • GPS Coordinates: N3 24’32” E101 32’ 36”
  • Hares: Bertrand Peuchot, Anders Tidemand, Jean-Philippe Race, Laurent Ane, Philippe Nicolas, Frederic Clos, Vincent Hebrard

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!!

Photos: KLMBH #234 @ Bukit Beruntung, Sunday 30th March 2014 by Laurent Ane

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