akmal's bike park

akmal's bike park

Monday, 25 April 2011

GUMQ'11 - My Experience

This s a bit late, but there are a few things I'm gonna jot down here.
I was quite surprised to know that there are good trails in the UTM area itself. I really enjoyed this particular section whereby it is in a reserved forest quite like in FRIM. It is really good to know that we could have a go at such trails in JB, a change from the usual rubber estate and palm oil plantation. What's more is that riders are acquainted with UTM Skudai campus (mostly hilly tarmac). Nice.
However, I think the killer is the long uphill to CP1 at Balai Cerap. Well, that was expected, but the non-rideable downhill (for me) towards CP2 and a couple more after that was quite a disappointment.
There are a few things that should be in place, and there are things that are best left out to cater for the latter. RM50 gives you the 30 km ride in UTM, a good quality jersey, 2 candles, one canned pineapple and a ride plate presented in a nice UTM paper bag (plus a shot at the awesome lucky draw - which I didn't get anything).
I think it would be desirable for the total 12k+ prize money (sponsored by faculties) to be spread evenly to all the participants in the form of lunch. Let's say there were 800 riders, that would be a very nice RM15 worth of meal for everyone. Well, that's me.
Event organisation is good, particularly the trail signages. They are clear and adequate. Kudos for the team for reusing banners as signages. There was a major accident and I believe the team had responded well to that. Too bad it was raining the day before. However, it was not as bad as many of the trails are still rideable.
I like the facilities around the start/finish area. There's a toilet (but without shower). What I love most is that there are lots of water taps, some with hoses for riders to wash their bikes. The parking lot is also spacious.
The event was a clear-cut 'jamborace', but I take it personally as a jamboree in its true sense. I spent quite a lot of time chatting and socializing. Don't have the legs for a race, anyway, so why waste it. Met a few of BBS kaki there. Zaza, Bugs, Ali, Kona (only from afar, though), a few fans of this blog (hehe...), and Anuar Manan of course. If that's part of the event fee, well, I guess it was quite okay then.
I started as the very last rider, and ended the ride at 1.15pm. I don't know what was my placing, for the oganizer didn't cater for that. Well, at least I know that I'm faster than a lot of people for there were still many more riders coming in at the finish point after me. The most important thing of all: I rode the whole course collecting all 5 checkpoint stickers.
If there is to be another GUMQ for next year, I'll give it another go. But I'll not waste my energy riding uphill to Balai Cerap. Pushing the bike while chatting would be much more fun. Care to be my buddy?
One question, though. Is there going to be an ebook with our 'best closed-up picture', after all?
Photos are here.
Check out this video by faizpa - I'm at the 55th second.


Koh said...

Good that you had some fun. Personally i suffered a lot. the massive hills up and unridable downs were bias against 'gravitationally challenged' (fat) people like me haha. in the end, i was so unsatisfied having to walk more than cycle. and i was burned by my deore rotor which overheated from braking too much. now got rotor mark on my arm haha. did get to chat with strangers which was fun. at a certain point (just before CP3), most around me were all gravitationally challenged people. Like i said, a biased trail against us. after CP3, only me and another fat guy was left. Faizal. Cool dude from Spore. kept me going till CP4. He was going "bro, we do this together bro, I wont leave you bro". In the end, we passed CP4, went towards CP5, passed the carpark and that was it. 4.5 checkpoints for my first jamboree. Really hope to meet that faizal again one day. Forgot to get his contact details.

Anonymous said...

Dear Akmal,

Another interesting posting. Very honest opinion, non biased, well calculated points and findings. Very straight to the point. In my personal opinion the organizing committee of the GUTM event, being first timers and most of them students did put up some commendable effort. The spoiler was the weather, well we cant control nature, it's god's will. Yes, definitely will participate again, god willing. Hopefully will be able to tacke Balai Cerap next time around. In to achieve that, got to put in a lot of miles up Bukit Panjang,hope it will help...