akmal's bike park

akmal's bike park

Thursday, 6 October 2011

ECC Burung Hantu Jamboree 2011, 1 - 2 Oct 2011

at UTeM stadium, 30 minutes before flag off

The ride is over, but the exhilaration from completing it still lingers.

This is the second time I participated in ECC's Burung Hantu event. And I have to say that the event has improved very much. Partnering with UTeM as the event venue, I'd say that ECC hit the bullseye. Well, as any good event is the result of manpower, a salute to ECC for the carefully planned and executed event. One that is not easy to be topped, I would say.

They are being cheeky this year, by presenting a major uphill right at the spot  where most would have thought that they are nearing the end of the ride; but still thinking "hey wait, I still haven't got my fifth checkpoint sticker". You bet, and people were in for a exhausting surprise.

Checkpoint 5 is on top of the hill, and to get there you have to go offroad; its entrance is right next to UTeM's main gate. People coming in from CP4 would have thought that after the road route, then that's it; if last year's event were to be referred to. Well, I did. But then, that's last year's story. This year the surprise was unbelievable. I bet most have juiced out their energy on the tarmac towards UTeM, and most would have cursed about the ensuing task to get to CP5. Myself included, but not too much. Not sure what's the elevation, but I promised myself to kill it. Just so that I'd get something out of the already good ride, and something to write home about.

And victorious I was. Alhamdulillah.

But I tell ya, the climb was torturous and not easy at all. However, with the darkness and support from fellow bikers hiking uphill, I made it. The sweetest feeling ever. I don't know if I could do it during daytime. Can't see the top of the hill in the dark, so I just kept on spinning and scaling the hill inch by inch.

The rest of the ride was also good. As with the last week's ride at Setia Indah, I rode like a hare again. However, as it is a night ride, I didn't get as tired and so didn't stop except at the checkpoints to have water and bananas. Even so, the stops were no longer than 5 minutes. I wonder, too, if the can of free Red Bull before the start of the ride helped.

I enjoyed my ride tremendously. The trail was good, with enough challenges technically and physically. Good downhills, after manageable uphills. With 5" rear suspension, I bombed the trail without having to think much about a proper line, much like at Setia Indah last weekend. This means that it is doable, night and day.

Of course, with 1800 pair of tires in the trail, traffic jam is unavoidable especially for intermediate level kind of riders like me. Have to bear with the long queue in the middle of the trail to continue the ride at a few sections. What frustrated me, however, was that knowing the cause of the jam is riders trying to avoid the muddy ruts. C'mon, this is an offroad ride. You're supposed to get dirty.

The road ride was also good. I was lucky because I found a strong and fast rider in front of me. The few km at the beginning of the ride towards CP1 was a breeze. Literally. Yad and I tucked behind this guy wearing a yellow jersey and we zoomed behind him all the way to the trailhead. I shouted to thank him, but I'm not sure whether he heard me; just went ahead snaking his way among fellow riders in the trail. On the way back towards CP5, I was the one heading the sprint. I asked a guy to follow behind me, and he did, but not for long.

I'm happy with this event. Enjoyed it very much, so much so that the lucky draw event is reduced to something that does not matter anymore to me. Of course, however, I did stay right until the end of the event - just in case if I am lucky.

One aspect that I observe and applaud is how the organiser put in effort with the small details. Directions and LED markers are ample, emergency personnel are available - even with ambulance at a certain checkpoint, water and bananas are plenty, after ride food is good - with Ribena!, there's a  specially erected bike wash booth (more would be better) with high water pressure, unique goodie bag, high quality rider plate with specially printed stickers (featuring Shimano MTB groupset family. Nice!) and good quality t-shirt although I prefer it to be 100% cotton.

Kudos to the people from ECC and UTeM. You guys rock! Looking forward to next year's already.

My thanks also to Reza for using his car to get us to Melaka (and he drove us all the way... hehe...).


Wee Yik Chuang-BH Chairman said...

Thank you so much for participating in our Burung Hantu Ride 2011. W hope to see you next year if we going to organise again.

Anonymous said...

Salam vro. Hopefully they still organize this event next year and i can join.


akmalhizam said...

Salaam, Shidi.
Of course they would organize another BH next year.
Kan, Yik Chuang, kan...?

Hopefully there'll be another one for next year. Twice a year pun boleh.