akmal's bike park

akmal's bike park

Saturday 11 February 2012

06.02.2012: Offroad in Kulai

The initial plan was to go for a touring ride to Gunung Pulai with Yad and Kadafi on Monday 6th February, taking advantage of the 4-day weekend (Maulidur Rasul, Thaipusam). I put up my status in Facebook, and there were a few responses from others on it. That includes by people from Kulai - Rahman of KBC and my schoolmate Fahmi. Apparently, they're going for a (part of Gunung Pulai) waterfall ride on the same date, riding up from Kulai. That, coupled with the absence of Kadafi, steered my decision to drop the initial plan and go to Kulai instead.

Fahmi my dormmate during my early days in Jasin, contacted me through fb a couple of weeks earlier. He's a native in Kulai all these years, hailing from Felda Taib Andak and been working and living in Kulai. Much of a surprise to me when he told me that we could have met earlier should he joined the Kota Tinggi ride. In fact, we were in the same event before this at the R&R Mega Ride; he saw me riding with Umar but did not notice that the cool guy with the baby in the carrier on bike was Akmal. Haha... am I really that different from my school days? Anyway, meeting Fahmi after 20 years is another reason to join the ride, too.

It was mentioned that the riders in Kulai are going to the waterfall in Gunung Pulai, but coming from the back route some 20km in. The plan was to go through a part of the KBC Nite Event route. Since Gunung Pulai offroad is one of my ride wishlist (see right-side panel) and I missed out on the KBC Nite Event, it seems all to fit in and reasons for me to join in the ride. Honestly, I was excited I can't sleep well the night before. The waterfall, the offroad ride on a foreign land and the reunion were constantly playing in my mind (or was I dreaming?). Yad agreed to follow along, and so we went out to Kulai very early in the morning on Monday.

The morning saw a bunch of riders congregating at Azizah Curry House having breakfast and ready to roll. The exact number was not known, but we were later on joined by another group making the total of 32 men and boys. Riders are also of a mixed level. There were newbies, seasoned, and intermediates as well; with age ranging from schoolboys to 40+ (kot). As you can expect from an mtb ride, you'll never feel like a stranger although the first time riding along. Of course, there were a few familiar faces, but you feel accepted by most if not all of them. Unfortunately Fahmi couldn't ride with us due to health reasons. Never mind, there's always a 'next time'. InsyaAllah.

The trailhead is just a few hundred meters from the rendezvous point (and a few of the riders' houses are nearby, lucky them). In no time, we hit the dirt of the palm oil plantation. The ride was leisurely all throughout, except for the lung-busting and leg-burning excursion uphill all the way to the communication tower. Albeit, I'd say that the trail mix is quite good. There were singletrack, wide offroad, uphill, sweet rolling downhill, and river stream as well (okay, we didn't cycle into the river lah). 

I tracked the trail via Sports-Tracker, and took a few photos along. However, the apps crashed suddenly while I was busy with taking photos and videos at the stream. Too bad, it was unrecoverable and I lost it. However, the photos are geotagged and I could track the trail later if I'm not lazy.

Anyway, the return trail was tracked and the data as thus:
distance: 11.6km
duration: 37' 57"
average speed: 18.3km/h
max speed: 40.2km/h
highest altitude: 74m

There were three highlights of the ride:
1. The killing climb to the transmission tower
2. Sallehuddin (aka Jalut) met with an accident while going downhill
3. Relaxing in the stream

I managed to get up to a certain level of the climb towards the tower, and decided to take a rest before continuing again. I don't know if I was already at halfway point or two-third up or anywhere it might have been, but it must've been a long rest. The moment I decided to put my butt on the saddle, people who went up earlier were bombing down already. Well, there it went. It was one long and steep climb. My hats off to Ah Chong (with 1x10), Rahman, Rudy, Tony and others who managed to climb up all the way.

After the climb, we proceeded to the stream. While going down a mild descend, Salleh hit the ground. Perhaps his pedal hit the higher ground while the tires were in the rut. Luckily he was able to walk and we were not far from the PLUS highway. We managed to get the highway support vehicle and send him to the hospital. He sustained a broken shoulder bone from what I gathered. Hopefully a speedy recovery for him. As a name would also serve as a do'a, friends decided not to call him Jalut anymore, only Salleh from now on.

A few good samaritans chaperoned Salleh with his bike, while the others pursued to the main highlight of the ride - the river stream. It was not that far, really, with only mild climbing and relatively flat terrain. The part I like is upon entering the jungle trail towards the river. It's like being in the woods in a foreign land. Quiet, calm, shady, plus the mix of rustling leaves on the floorbed and green fresh ones on the bushes are absolutely breathtaking. It has been quite some time since I last had the same feeling (during my trekking days while in college). The waterfall during the ride in Kota Tinggi was awesome, but this one is different.

Before dipping into the cold water, I had the nasi lemak that Fahmi thoughtfully prepped for me and Yad (big thanks, der!). Of course, I learnt my lesson from the KSRP Jamboree in Melaka. But knowing that going back would only be some 6km, I dug it in and shared with Rudy. Anyway, who could resist sambal kerang and fried chicken? I could say a lot about the place, but I'll let the pictures do the talking. Scroll below for the link to the album on facebook.

Going back was refreshing, as we were out from the cold water and tummies filled. The 6km was an illusion really. My tracking showed 11+ km. Anyway, it was not as taxing as in Melaka. More than half of the journey back was on tarmac where I drafted most of the way behind faster and stronger riders.

Many thanks to riders in Kulai for an unforgettable ride that day. Keep on crankin'!

return route tracking (and some geotagged photos)
photos on facebook album

Thanks for coming over.
Have a safe ride. Enjoy it!

No comments: