akmal's bike park

akmal's bike park

Friday, 20 May 2011

My account on Wacycles Fun Ride 2011

I love the ride, entirely.
Enough said.
Naaahh... I thought I'd put up a few words in here about the experience. Close to a thousand, actually.
From before the start of event, I think the organisation of the ride is excellent. Perhaps because it's a low-key event, so the expectations are not that high. At least not as high as the normal jamboree or epic events, because of the measly RM10 entrance fee. Mind you, this is a FUN RIDE. The atmosphere, though, resembles that of a true jamboree. My kind of ride.
Before the flag off, there were the usual formalities of speeches, ride and safety briefing, etc. Plus for this one, as it is joined also by local police, there were a string of patriotic numbers i.e. Negaraku, 1Malaysia, and Lagu Negeri Johor before the flag off. Albeit, they were aired after the countdown.
As usual, I met with many local riders including Fauzi from Perling - the elder brother of my childhood friend, Azman. Yes, Johor is no longer a big state. You would bump into someone you know from somewhere sometime ago during a mountain biking event. That also is saying that people are drawn to mountain biking, nowadays.
Including the local police. Good, eh?
We started off at about 8.40am. While waiting for the flag off, I thought to myself, "well, this is the first time I'm taking part in a mountain biking event such as this in Plentong as a rider". Too bad, I didn't take a photo at the starting line (thanks for the starting line photo in facebook, Koh).
I like the route very much. Not too long, the 30 km trail set up by the organizers. It has everything. Climbs, downhills, singletracks (oh, you should've been there...), open sections, tarmac, cows, dogs, and a cheeky prank too.
The trail is around Plentong, including the sections that I've ridden only once before this, with Wacycles. The route was not extended to Seri Alam, I think. Easily it could be 40 to 50 km if it was decided so.
My ride was quite good. I blasted off during most of the ride, and tried to do so during climbs. Not because I'm a fast climber, but much because I want to end the climb as quick as possible. You would've guessed that the climbs are not tough by that cue.
The downhills are awesome (for a slow descender like me). I enjoyed them all tremendously, especially the serpentine singletrack flowing through the rubber trees. Simply breathtaking, careening left and right accompanied with the symphony of rustling leaves underneath.
Too bad, my chain snapped at the 18th km. Fortunately I was a bit ahead of my ride buddy, Yad (read: Akmal's faster than Yad). He has a multitool with chaintool. I left mine at home, so I had to wait for him. After a 10 minute repair stop, we proceeded and I blasted off again.
Reached the finishing point at around 11.00 am. This must be my earliest finish of all, for a 30 km ride. It was quite exhausting, for I've never blasted along the trail like this. Anyway, I realize that I'm not that fast, for there are many other riders who had even finished their lunch as I stepped into the basketball court. Entering a race? Dream on...
Yes, lunch was provided eventhough it was plain rice with chicken curry. The good thing is, the currry is good and everyone had 2 parts of chicken. Except for Panjang, that is. He got none. Oh, the free flow of cold drinks is also commendable. Good one.
Other commendable things about the whole event? A lot, really.
Trail route
Excellent for intermediate and beginner riders. Experts wouldn't have much problem, but maybe they would be hungry for more which Plentong has plenty to offer. Alas, this is a fun ride, so they hit the bullseye on this one.
Adequate, big and sure can't miss. Junctions are littered with shredded paper, plus manned with marshals to ensure no one taking the wrong turn/junction.
Along the route, at many points there were marshalls standing by, especially at water points.
Good organisation, from the start to the finish. Well, at least from my observation. Not much hiccup that I see, or that I didn't know much about what happened. Kudos to Wacycles, Cyclemotion, PG Gerek and others who worked tirelessly in bringing out this event for us riders on the southern side. Y'all rock!
There's a toilet at the basketball court, and a couple of water hose for washing bikes. I didn't use them, for my house is only nearby.
Fee & goodie bag
The goodie bag is actually a bonus, for the RM10 fee. They went all the way for this one. I bet the Giant paper bag itself would make those who didn't participate in this event to be envious. Inside is a white cotton t-shirt of decent quality, some tidbits and a promotional flyer.
Lucky draw
There's no lucky draw, but a lucky dip. Among the prizes are bike bell and water bottle. What more can you ask, eh?
Overall, I enjoyed this ride. The weather was nice, trail not too long nor short, water and bananas are adequate at strategic points (I actually brought with me only 750ml of isotonic), and best of all I finished before noon. My first.
Want to have another go at this? You're in luck, because there'll be another one very, very soon at the same venue come 3rd July. I heard that the setting is gonna be a bit different, but the route is about the same. And, just as important, the fee is the same. RM10 for the ride plus t-shirt, etc.
A few photos in here.
Have a good weekend, y'all.
Ride safe.


koh said...

Yep i do agree that it was more of a Jamboree in the true definition of the word. And yes the track had a bit of everything even the not so nice ones like hot exposed stony tarmac, mosquitoes and strategically placed land mines :).
I was part of the crew and i can tell you it was organizational hell early that morning. My post as trail marshal along the 1st loop was changed to man CP1 that morning itself. There were other last minute changes to others too. Logistics was messy. We did not know who was suppose to deliver the supplies and manpower to the CPs and when we finally got that sorted out, the driver said that they did not know where CP2 was etc etc. Things were really hectic and it was approaching flag off time. Luckily in the end, it all sort of came together. CP1 was over supplied and had more than enough manpower. I am not sure but i heard that the first batch of racers arrived at CP2 before the water supply got there. Racers don't drink water anyway hahaha.

akmalhizam said...

Ah yes, the landmines. haha... Purposely lined up along the trail so that ppl won't cut other riders off, eh?

Well, the messiness behind the curtain was not evident (at least to me), so yes, it all came together quite good on the outset.