akmal's bike park

akmal's bike park

Sunday 23 November 2014

22.11.2014: NS Nature MTB Jamboree - Series 2: Tampin

I missed their event in Jelebu, and continuing the momentum from the offroad ride a fortnight ago, I registered for this event through the kind people from Perpatih Cycling Club. It is quite exciting for me as this would be one of a series of jamboree rides in Negeri Sembilan this year; to get a feel of what Tampin has to offer.

Tampin is not far from Seremban, so along with the gang from Perpatih, we convoyed from the meetup point (Petronas station at Jalan Tampin) in Senawang at 6.40am. We reached the starting point - Stadium Tampin - at a comfortable time, about half and hour before the start of the event (race category). Already the starting line has been filled with riders and their bikes. With the nice weather, the atmosphere is filled with good vibes and I'm raring to go.
Tampin Stadium grandstand and the participants flocking behind the starting line
trail route and profile
Unfortunately as I was busy with work and home the entire 2 weeks, I had not given much attention to the most important information that the organizer had put up in their fb event page - the trail route and elevation.

Take a look at the trail profile. Notice something? For the first 5km torture is expected. A steep climb to 250m elevation awaits. You may rest and you may decide to ride or push your bike, the hill (and a CP right on top of it) is there to stay awaiting for you. I decided to ride and take the challenge head on. I guess I managed only for the half of the climb. It IS steep.
*my Sports Tracker map and elevation reveals that the steep climb is actually at about the 10th km, with highest level at 278m!

fellow riders as seen at my climbing rest point

the climbing that awaits

the climbing section that demanded many to be on foot

the view from my 2nd climbing stop
with gang from Perpatih, resting at a  plateau en route to CP1
Climbing up, I gathered supports from fellow riders who gave way for me, and a few in their weariness while pushing the bike up did gave me some good words of motivation. I have to say that the two-tiered climbs that I managed to clean were the best moments for me in this ride. The ensuing downhills are good as well for they are ridable; I enjoyed them tremendously.

with Miep; now a face is attached to a name very often heard  of.Donning a sports shirt, I should've got the clue earlier that he's a rider from Pasir Gudang.
atop the hill, CP1 awaits
the view at CP1
However, the joy was marred by a major hiccup on the trail. Soon after rolling downhill, I came to the section where the trail is already jam-packed with riders waiting for their turns to cross a wide gap. And after that, single-filing (in multiple lanes) into a singletrack steep and muddy technical downhill in the woods. I guess it took me the best of half of an hour or more to get through the jam. We ended up on foot all the way in and up on equally muddy technical climb.

pretty muddy affair
I noticed that a few riders behind me are wearing sneakers which definitely has transformed into sleek soles. Grip and proper footing - important for bringing the bike uphill on foot - are diminished, what more with the added task of carrying the weight of the bikes. Hence I decided to gather about five of us nearby each other to form a human chain; get proper footing and bring up our bikes one by one. Teamwork is the key. After all, it's a jamboree and by then the podium placings were already taken up anyway.

The trail to CP 2 after that and continuing to CP3 are a mix of small hills and a few nice rolling downhills. Nothing much to write about. I didn't stop at CP2 as I was on a comfortable pace and on a roll. At times I was like being transported back to Seri Alam with the usual rubber and palm oil plantation. Sigh.

flowy singletrack, like wide ruts
When I finally reached CP3, it was already past cut-off time. All 3 CP stickers collected, and now is the long way home. We were instructed to take the tarmac route to get back to the starting point. And so we did. I drafted behind a couple of riders all the way, 8km to the stadium.

In my personal opinion, the trail is nice with challenges scattered at many points along the way, marking is ample, organisation of the event is quite good, but the lucky draw is not perfect (because I didn't win anything). Perhaps the major one thing that blemished the overall event (and consequently making other relatively smaller imperfections being blown up as major failings by many participants) is the huge gap en route to CP2. That section wasted many of the riders' time. Anyway, I applaud the willingness of fellow riders to work as a team in hauling our bikes uphill and clear the obstacles on the trail. I enjoyed the ride, except at the gap and non-ridable technical singletrack.

1. I did some weight training for the legs a few weeks ago and I have to say that it helped a lot.
2. Breathing and pacing were controlled with the assistance of zikrullah, and alhamdulillah I did not face any mechanical problem for the bike along the way. Nor any signs of cramps and headache.
3. Man, I really enjoyed the two climbs en route to CP1.
4. Drafting is not a sin.

Thanks for coming.
See you in the next writing.
Ride on!

No comments: