akmal's bike park

akmal's bike park

Monday 16 July 2012

Offroad: 15.07.2012 Kayuhan Amal Skudai

Sorry, readers. No photos. Was busy enjoying my ride

There are too many events these days lining up in Johor alone, judging from the event invitations that I received through Facebook. During my initial year of mountain biking, I wished for mtb events in JB some years ago. Some wishes do come true, albeit realised after a few years. However, you better be careful with what you're wishing for; it may not be good for you. But in this case, I think it is a good thing in some aspects.

Take for an instance the recent event I took part in. A simple event, with a good cause, and kinda back to the roots. It was Kayuhan Amal Skudai, in conjunction with Festival Skudai 2012 at Masjid Zainal Abidin in Taman Sri Skudai. The mtb event was brought up by the handsomest bug in all Skudai, Ijat aka Kumbang Hensem Durjana with CTanggang Riders and Rahman KBC with KBC bros. The measly RM20 event fee goes to the masjid fund, while 200 registered riders were given a nice turquoise cotton t-shirt.

I registered as a walk-in (or pedal-in) rider that morning. The ride suits me very well in various facets. First and foremost, it is a charity ride - fii sabilillah - for the masjid's fund. And the rest, on equal ground: riding with friends, excellent trail, a short distance offroad and a closure for my offroad biking before Ramadhan (which is, not many). I noticed that my handlebar gathered dust from too much resting at home. Sheeshhh...

Alhamdulillah, the weather was fine as it was raining the day before. Mudfest expected, and more or less prepared. To get to the trailhead, 6+ km tarmac warmup required, guided by Traffic Police, on hilly Skudai Batu 10 area. I enjoyed tremendously the uphill sprint before the descend to the trailhead. The fun began as soon as we hit the dirt. Some younger fixed gear heads went in too, I guess to get a taste of offroad, but I think more of a preservation (and manifestation) of their ego. Well, you never underestimate what the young ones could do. Let them be. I went ahead to enjoy my ride.

The beginning of the offroad was quite mild, but my bike was relishing it; and so did I. I intended to enjoy every inch of the trail. Soon enough, we hit the trail junction. Rather, a secret door to an awesome technical trail loop. Magical it might seem, with the damp ground and undulating, swervy singletrack  strewn with roots in certain sections. There's also a slippery KumBerm and some drops. That's Plastic Cup. The loop is about 2km. Panjang and I enjoyed it so much, we went it for a second serving of the cup. How envious we were with folks at Skudai who regard this as their evening playground after working hours (or before iftar).

We continued to Denai Trail. Here, the magic continued further. More singletracks, with some bumps and the infamous drop, decorated with a gem of a finishing at Bukit Tergolek - a steep drop that (honestly) made my heart pounding and knees wobbling. I bypassed the first mega drop, and continued on. But I knew from my first visit here more than a year ago, that BT is the pièce de résistance not to be missed. I was a bit shaken upon descending the BT drop, forcing me to suspend right at the edge of it. It took me some time to regain my normal heartbeat and shaking knees attenuated. I redeemed myself finally, and descended not once but twice. Pure adrenaline rush. Loved it.
*ye laa... tak tergolek, boleh la kata macam-macam...

After much of a carnival at the base of BT we headed to Bukit Double Trouble before a somewhat fast singletrack with an ending at a small drop. I thought that it was over, but soon enough there was a little surprise - Bukit Che Mat greeted us. Rather a big mound than a small hill. Plus, some more small drops after that. Still, simple features like this make the playground a happy place. For the bike and myself.

We got back to the trailhead, right where we came in from and pedaled uphill on the tarmac to get back to the event base. Total distance was less than 20 km, and I finished the ride at 11.30 am.

I stayed around to cool down and enjoyed the tug-of-war match at the field. I reached home at 12.30 noon, much to the delight of my missus.

To Ijat, Rahman, Skudai folks and everyone else who made the event possible - thumbs up for you. May Allah bless you for all the good deeds done.

See y'all in the trails, local and elsewhere(!) after Ramadhan, insyaAllah.

Thanks for coming around.
Have a blessed Ramadhan.