akmal's bike park

akmal's bike park

Monday, 10 November 2008

Rvlatn Wk - Ride 2: offroad in LTM with Kelolo and the gang

25th. October 2008 | Saturday

Early morning, drove from Jalan Tun Razak to Caltex Selayang petrol station (just next to Pasaraya Warta - the most prominent landmark in the whole Selayang).
Reached the rendezvous point much earlier than agreed with Kelolo. We are going to Bandar Tasik Puteri (BTP) in Batu Arang, near Rawang. It's been quite some time since the last time I've been to Rawang. Anyway, that's not the thing I'm excited about this morning. It's been a few weeks since my last offroad ride. And I'll be riding with Kelolo in his playground.

A little bit after 8:00 am, Kelolo arrived with Ummu and their girl Farihah. Kelolo's boys are not following us, for the Unser is cramped with 4 bikes and 3 pax. Apparently, the boys were left at home, sad with the fact that they couldn't come along. I should've gone to his house and take them along in Avanza instead of meeting at the RV point.
Faris, Farhan, and Fadlan: I'm very sorry for that one. Forgive me ya.

Following from behind, we drove towards Rawang along Jalan Ipoh. Passing by Hutan Lipur Kanching, memories crept in. I had my first camping with JBS WP there. Oh, and how can I forget the hilly road, especially at the point towards the HLK entrance. Was 13, with a steel Raleigh road bike, pedalled uphill with friends on the way to Sungai Bil in Tanjung Malim. Several times we conquered this hill. Precious memories.

1.3 Avanza had a hard time following the 1.8 Unser, most of time speed was about 100km/h. I followed still, and soon reached Rawang. The only landmark that I remembered was Lafarge Cement on the left. Pretty soon, we were entering BTP in Batu Arang and reached the parking lot. A nice warm Saturday morning, the stalls lining up the brim of the parking area were full with customers, getting their breakfast. What a nice leisurely Saturday.

We unloaded the bikes out from Unser and prepped up for the four of us. I was truly amazed with how he could neatly cramp 4 bikes in there. Still there's ample space for riding paraphernalia - helmets, floor pumps, et al.

Much to my surprise, we are not going to ride with BBB riders this morning. I thought we were already late, as Kelolo were driving fast all the way from Selayang. It turned out that we were to have a leisure ride in Ladang Tuan Mee (LTM) in BTP all by ourselves. Cool, then.

waiting for Daniel

After a pack of nasi lemak and warm Milo for breakfast, we got ready for our ride. Kelolo asked Hashim Degawan of BBB for his GPS, and he lent us his. The biggest unit I've seen - in a form of a 10 year old boy. Well, the youngest guide I've known, then. We waited for Daniel to finish his breakfast, and off we went.

We cycled to the starting area called 'block 6', and waited for another rider to join us. Kelolo and I killed time practicing log hop on the tarmac while the rest were resting under the shade of a hut. Convinced that it's a no-show, we went in only the 5 of us - Ummu, Iyyah and Daniel went in a bit earlier.

The welcoming entrance to LTM is uphill an 'open naked barren rutted red earth climb', as Kelolo puts it. I wondered how do we get down this if we were to end our ride here. Nevermind, just enjoy the offroad ride for now. First destination: Teres 3. Then we'll go to the 'Playground' and to Teres 2.

Daniel the robust GPS

First revelation: riding a hardtail is cool (compared to my T-Bolt). It is light, climbs uphill steadily, agile and fast. With Marzocchi shocks on his Element, Kelolo's hardtail that I used felt awesome. I guess the 'Zocch's plushness added confidence too. This, and the responsive Quad hydros on board.

LTM is a palm oil plantation. Much of the trees are young. Fronds are put together and kept to the sides. Very neat and well kept with only little vegetation between the trees.

While going down the terraces of T3, Daniel easily cruised and jumped through, literally child's play to him. Really. Kelolo assured me that this area is Daniel's, week in and week out riding in here. I was simply amazed, still. The fall I took in February still haunted me. But that was a different kind of ride. Going down terraces requires a different set of skills - timing, agility and guts (at least for me).

I took the challenge, and succeeded going down T3. It's a set of small successive mild drops, bringing you down the hill. Not that steep, but the last drop was not that mild either. The closest to it that we have in Plentong is called the 'jongkang-jongket' (see-saw). The difference between these two is that jongkang-jongket' has mild drops over a longer distance, and not as steep. You just glide down and enjoy the fast ride downhill.

Daniel Iyyah

Ummu Kelolo

The most challenging for me in T3 was the two succesive descend off-camber carving steep terraces. I don't know what's the height, but enough to make me shiver. Daniel again made it look easy. At that point, I thought his advantage is because of his low center of gravity (COG). Anyway, if you're not brave enough, COG wouldn't matter at all. And so I gathered my mental strength and courage to take on this experience. I succeeded, and man, the feeling is out of this world!

We headed on towards the Playground. Had to climb up mossy doubletrack. This, I like very much - the triumph after the slow and steady pedaling uphill non-stop. Playground looks harmless and innocent. It provides nice gentle drops on the terraces for you to practice your riding skills. Pedaling up a small mound, going down successive drops - gliding or jumping. And like most playgrounds you see in housing areas, this Playground could be dangerous too, if you're not careful. I fell down when doing a successive drop. Minor bruises only. Well, as the Malay saying goes, 'tempat jatuh lagi dikenang' - I'll definitely remember this Playground.

Next was to Teres 2. Kelolo in front, followed by Daniel, me, Iyyah and Ummu. A mishap happened on the way. Kelolo took a tumble - fell acrobatically on a palm tree about 2 feet down aside the ledge that we rode on. His front tire flipped sideways when riding on a palm frond lying on the unkept ground. I didn't witness the accident, but Daniel gave a good account about it to all of us.

While falling, Kelolo was twisting his body a la Moero Attack (except that he's going down instead of jumping up). He's the only one with a camera, and so no photos of him crouched on the ground beneath his green ogre, flanked by the ledge and the stupidly still palm tree. Well, during that time the situation was a little bit tensed. If I do have a camera, I don't know whether it is okay to snap photos, instead of helping fellow rider. Apparently, it is not easy to witness Kelolo taking a tumble. So, woohooo! I had!

re-enactment of the bedepek

After nursing the cut, taking photos, doing the re-enactment, and a little rest, we moved onwards T2. We were actually going uphill, right to the top. And then again going downhill through the terraces. Heck, there was one descend that's actually a set of small steep staircase. Still, Daniel went through it like savoring his breakfast. I hesitated, and opted using my biceps - carried the bike down.

Back to the Playground, and then home towards block 6. Uh oh, we'll have to go down the 'open naked barren rutted red earth'. Kelolo went first and stopped midway to take photos and videos. Iyyah and mUmmu went down next, quite cautiously and in slow motion. When Daniel's time came, he went down like it's nothing. Boy, this guy should've gone to KLD. I went down last, gently reached the bottom and with Kelolo we regrouped with the earlier riders. By that time, it was already Zuhr. And time for lunch.

We went to the parking lot riding leisurely. Passing by a school, Daniel took the chance to run down the staircases of the school's bus stop. 'Pantang jumpa tempat turun'. Reached the parking lot and we sat at Hashim's stall. Savoured his plain homemade cendol and laksa Perlis. The cendol was very good, in fact, the best so far I've had - not too sweet, not too mushy, not too hard either, and the shaved ice was very fine. No, not because it was on the house by Hashim.

Helped Kelolo to pack the bikes into his Unser, and got myself ready to go. We parted our ways from the parking lot, and headed for the highway towards KL. I went straight to Crown Princess, had my shower and such. Quite tired, and it's a bit late but still managed to go to Mak Ngah's for Kak Liza's kenduri. Nubhan and Toi were there, but they already took off by the time I reached Kg Pandan. Nevermind. Mak Ngah's house would be crowded if they're there, anyway. I wanted to relax. Had a plate of laksa Johor and chat with my cousins. Next: fetch Naza, mak and kids from Puduraya and spend the night at the hotel with my family in KL.

What a day. Bike ride, adrenaline, cendol, laksa Perlis, revelations, friends, family, laksa Johor - all in a day.

Thanks Kelolo and family, Hashim Degawan and Daniel.

Pics taken from Kelolo's photo album.

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