akmal's bike park

akmal's bike park

Monday 15 December 2008

14.12.2008 wet offroad

The initial plan of riding up Gunung Pulai with Panjang and his brothers Salleh (from Perlis) and Putut on Sunday was scrapped (much to my delight). Instead, we went into Seri Alam/Plentong, to track the hash trail.

Early Sunday morning as I was getting ready, it drizzled. Texts exchanged with Panjang, and we agreed to ride on. I decided not to use a car to get to the meeting point at Ruza Café. So 0715 hrs after practically gulping down 2 half boiled eggs with sweet soy sauce I pedaled out towards Taman Scientex. It took me 37 minutes to get there, some 13.5 kilometers away - in the drizzle. Quite fast for my standard. I'm not sure whether it's the rain, the eggs or plainly the need to be at the rendezvous place before 0800 hrs (we agreed to be punctual and roll out at 0800 sharp).

I reached Ruza at 0750 (whew!). The café was closed, and I saw only Amat with his bike perched atop his Matrix roof. I checked my phone and there's a message from Panjang informing to meet at Ruza Restaurant. Another message from Yad enquiring whether we are going to ride, considering the wet weather. When I reached the new meeting point, Panjang and his brothers were there, with Mulyano. I gave a call to Yad and eased his anxiousness - already 6 riders in Ruza, so there’ll be a ride definitely despite the foreseeable wet condition throughout.

The planned route for the ride is simple: to track the Plentong hash trail. I just love the initial climb and the payback long rodeo downhill right after. Another thing is riding offroad in the rain. I’ve never experienced it so far. As I experienced during night rides, pedalling without the sun in sight is always a plus – less dehydration, less taxing, and much more fun. I could go more kilometres with lesser feeling of exhaustion. However, I constantly sipped 100 Plus for replenishing fluid and mineral loss.

Riding in wet has its toll, though. Hunger struck quite early (too bad I didn’t pack a 50 sen bun in my pack). Safety also is a concern, particularly regarding your brake pads. When we made a stop at Plentong, I saw blackish deposits on the surface of my rotors. Panjang hinted me with this: “kau pernah asah pisau pakai batu asah tak?”. Aahhh… I get it. Added with water, my brake pads would be diminishing very fast. In the second half of the trail, I really felt the effect to my brakes – very loose, and the levers reach very close to my handlebar grips. During that time, I was very concerned about safety riding the bike especially on steep slopes. And now, after the ride, I’m concerned about the $ I’m going have to burn for a fresh sets of pads – front and rear.

Panjang and Salleh also suffered the same fatality with their brakes. Because of that, and as a few of us cannot tahan anymore stamina-wise, we decided to exit the trail at Seri Alam. While Panjang was assisting Salleh on the brakes, Putut pointed out that he has a pair of spare pads in his bag. Much, much later than they were really needed. Haha… I left them with that and parted with the pack – on road towards Plentong.

Much early, actually I had the option of going back home when we reached Plentong, but we were only halfway through and it was 11ish. So I decided to move on and only split when we get out at Seri Alam. Probably due to the coldness, I felt the onset of a cramp a few times during the ride to Seri Alam and once on road going back. Alhamdulillah, nothing happened.

The ride was enjoyable, with 8 riders of about average stamina and skills. For the sake of having it, I’ll pack something to eat in my bag next time. Thanks Panjang for a bite of your yogurt bar. It was the most delicious thing I ate yesterday afternoon (my lunch was at 3pm).

Fully soaking wet, I sprayed clean my bike as soon as I entered the house gate. The shortest period of my bike being in a dirty condition after an offroad ride so far. A good thing, with the expense of brake pads! Well, I went further with cleaning the rest of the gears as well – shoes, shirt, shorts, socks, and the hydration bag too!

My ride yesterday:
13.5 km on road towards Ruza
29 km offroad
8 km on road going back to Plentong.
Total 50.5 km combined.

No wonder I was a bit tired than usual yesterday when I got back home…


jafa @ the panjang said...

ada ride wishlist tu.. apsal tak masukkan pcc presidential ride? ehehe..

akmalhizam said...

Aahhh... yes. How did I forget about that one.