Monday, December 22, 2008

WTB Raijin 2.1

Last 2 weekend ride was awful. Towards the ending of the off-road ride, I hit one of the muddy trails and then left for the exit towards car park. As I was cruising down the tarmac stretch, there were plenty of grits flung off from my front and back wheels. One of them landed into my left eye.

It was so unbearable and I couldnt open my eye. My left eye soon became reddish and watery. I quickly took off my gloves and clean my eye with the water pack. The cause was mainly the current non-kevlar tires which couldn't shed off those mud and grits quickly!

Today during lunch time, I left office for a quick lunch and I stopped by at a LBS(Local Bike Shop). My initial plan is to scout for lighter and more flexible tires than my current traditional hard compound tires.

Hanging on the racks are some Maxxis and Hutchinson tires. I miss my Hutchinson Mosquito Air Light but lately, I can't find that model anymore. The only Hutchinson available so far is Hutchinson Spider Air Light OEM. Even though the price is cheaper than boxed version (RM150 per pair), I didn't like it the tread design. I prefer block-tread design.

I then looked around on the range of tires hooked to the ceiling and I found a pair with good, simple block-tread design for good mud clearing. Both tires come with green stripe and I am not sure for what purpose when the manufacturer marked them that way. They are the WTB Raijin 2.1.

I took it off and to my surprise, they are as light as the Hutchinsons and they are not even Kevlar-based tires. I managed to bargain with the seller and got the set for RM110. I came back to office and I found these review by Guy Kesteven on bike radar...

"One of WTB's newer treads, this was another one that was liked enough to have gone AWOL when the photo call came round. Another simple very open tread with trapezoidal blocks, the Raijin handles both very wet and mixed mess trails conditions well.

Traction is dependably good in all directions and at all angles of lean. The wide-spaced side knobs mean that they slide quite early if pushed, but it's a controllable smear rather than a sudden snap.

In fact, they're very easy to snatch back into traction from any slide, making them great for sketchy technical trails. The soft DNA compound results in good adhesion to rocks and roots too and they blow up nearer 2.25 than 2.1in for reasonable float and protection despite low weight.

On harder terrain they are pretty slow and growly though. The soft 50 duro compound means that they get tatty extremely quickly if you're pushing them hard as they encourage you too, which makes the already high price more of an issue."

Tarmac Test...
So far, I just managed to try out the tires on tarmac. Trust me, no one would enjoy climbing tarmac with this tires. It was so grippy when climbing up the tarmac hill. Going down hill was so noisy with loud humming sound. So Annoying!

The best usage for this tires is on nice trails around Forest Reserve and Kiara Technical Trail. I have tested it over and over again on lower air pressure for superb contact on different sections of the trails. I am happy to say that this tires never fail - FLAWLESS fast rolling rubbers!

FRIM Ride: A new relative found!

I was riding as usual on last Saturday(20th Dec '08) with my usual biking mates when MJ appeared at the scene for second time. He stopped riding for several months before that, and guess what? His muscles are already rusty, haha.

To be continued...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Their (ZH & M) First offroad ride in FRIM

Yesterday was fun. I was a bit late when I woke up. When I packed up my stuffs too quickly, I realized that I lost my wallet. I have the feelings that it could be in my car but I wasn't sure the exact location where I put it. Strangely enough, I loaded those biking stuffs into the care together with my wallet but when I was about to move out from the house, I lost it. I didn't bother much because I was already late.

We went to FRIM with 2 cars. Once arrived I saw my wallet in my helmet. I was so smart to put it inside. My fault. Kelvin was already there. About five minutes later, Adrian, CK and Mel arrived. I introduced Zeng Hoong and Michelle to Kelvin, Adrian, CK, Mel and Peter (Adrian's cousin). We then rode the bikes in as usual.

Having 2 beginners under me, I had to leave the others and let them go first. Zeng Hoong & Michelle have no problem going up to rover. They just stopped once just 30m before the rest area. Not bad. They must have been trained to climb at Bangsar hills :).

Once they conquered Rover track, we stopped again for a while before proceeded the path to the horseshoe trail a.k.a Steroid. After stopping another time, Zeng Hoong & Michelle arrived the Steroid area and I followed Kelvin to climb further. On the way down, I met CK and Mel. CK was guiding Mel to take the DH section of Steroid - It was quite tough for me when I went down a bit fast.

Zeng Hoong & Michelle waited for me around 20 minutes before I came down with Kelvin. Many bikers rested further down from us. CK and Mel came down few minutes later. The two iron man; Kelvin and CK went up again for 2nd Steroid climb while the rest of us waited at the same resting area. Adrian and Peter (his cousin in-law) regroup with us at the Steroid rest area.

Few minutes later, Kelvin came down followed by CK. CK fell and hurt his right arm (hope this is correct) and scratched his right XT Shifter and RD. Mel told us that CK now has the reason to change his RD... LOL.

As we rode back, CK and Mel sped off and we couldnt locate them. I then suggested to Zeng Hoong & Michelle to follow the short downhill path towards the lake. We took it and we came to another downhill path towards Autumn trail. That was when Zeng Hoong slipped his front wheel on slippery mud and fell, not to the ground on flat position but he managed to roll sideways like a stunt master, LOL. Instead of falling flat to the ground, he just scratched a his left knee a little.

It was quit hot by the time we cycled out from FRIM. Before we left home, I brought Zeng Hoong & Michelle for drinks at Mamak stall together with Kelvin.

That same afternoon, I went over to RodaLink Bangsar. I met Peter Wong again and to my surprise, he showed me the scars on his right leg. It was quite a bad fall for him in Autumn trail. A total of 3 bikers in our group crashed on the same day! That should be fun when you crash and of course, not the serious ones.

After all, you wanna play, you've gotta pay for it (the crash), LOL. No pain no gain mates! Keep riding!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Unbiased Review: Gary Fisher Opie

It was on Saturday(6th Dec 2008) afternoon when I brought my wife's niece, Michelle to hunt for a new bike after her dad approved her request.

The story began when her brother, showed to her an ad in BBS about 2nd hand(few months old) GT Outpost selling about RM7xx. Her dad agreed some weeks later (5th Dec) - kinda slow! According to Michelle, it is not easy to convince her dad but still, she won at last, LOL.

By the time we chatted on MSN on that Saturday afternoon around 3.xx pm, the seller has already removed his ad. Michelle was a bit sad. I told her that we can still scout around bike shops for some bargains. Since I have another 3 hours to pick up my wife from work, I offered Michelle a trip to Samy bike shops both @ Selayang and Batu Caves. Michelle was interested on Fuji Nevada 1.0 year 2008. Nice blue coloured bike for beginner like her. At the same time frame while scouting for a new bike, her dad replied her sms saying that the price for Nevada 1.0 (less than RM1.5K) was okay for him. She felt so happy and grateful.

The next day, I suggested Michelle & her brother to go over to TScyc for the another round of scouting before she could finalize her decision on Fuji Nevada 1.0. They both agreed and we went there with her dad's car since her brother's car was driven away by her dad for an event. We arived and asked KN, the boss of TScyc for RM 1K++ range of bikes. He introduced some which I already knew, and I didn't bother that much. All of a sudden among the huge bunch of bikes, I notice a matte black bike with small size frame - such an eye catcher!

You can hardly see sticker on that frame because the sticker is dark maroon while the paint is matte black. I felt strange and I got closer to inspect the bike further. It has nice frame geometry(more for slanting head & seat angle), nice welding job, nice gussets, thicker and quite solid frame tubes!

Michelle sat on it and stretched her hands to the handlebar. She commented "nice & comfortable". We kept discussing about it with her brother. I knew she would like it. There was a card hanging by the handlebar displaying the brand, "Gary Fisher" ( and the one of the stickers on the bike has the name "Opie" in it. I checked the price for Michelle with KN and it fell close to her budget. I told her that the bike is kind of a branded one and seldom can be found in LBS (Local Bike Shops and not bike boutiques).

Michelle has been very very kind and considerate not to hurt her dad's pocket. After nearby lunch, she decided to lower the bike specs by going for 24-speed instead of 27-speed. We discussed further about the price with KN and finally we got the bike for less than RM1.6K inclusive of bike stand, chainstay protector and cable protective stickers. Once she got home, she tested the bike by climbing some hills around her place.

Here's my opinion about her bike:-
Picture shown is taken from:

Quick Specs...
Category: Hardtail, Dirt Jump/XC
Frame: Bigg'ns 6061 aluminum, size 15.5 inch (suitable for ML as the top tube is lower)
Fork: RST Gila T7, 100mm travel
Drivetrain: Acera group, 24 Speed
Wheelset: Rigida Taurus with Formula hubs
Brakeset: Winzip Disc Brake Set with 160mm rotors
Seatpost: Bontrager
Saddle: Bontrager Earl
Handlebar: Bontrager
Handlebar: Stem Bontrager
Headset: Cane Creek

- Sturdy frame (can be used for Dirt Jump purpose!)
- Nice geometry with lower top tube (size 15.5)
- Nice classy matte black colour with minimal decals
- Bike equipped with Bontrager components (stem, handlebar, saddle, seatpost & etc.)
- Easy to climb, thanks to the smaller rear triangle section
- Worth the cash

- Heavier thank her brother's Fuji Tahoe Comp 2008, thanks to the solid frame
- The bike is on Acera's drivetrain 24-Speed
- Front fork could be better (Stock: RST Gila)
- Disc brakes could be better (Stock: WinZip)
- Handler bar is too wide for me
- Slightly slower handling response due to more slanting head tube angle

I would say this is an almost all rounder mountain bike for beginner. Not too heavy, not too light, easy to steer, climb and very solid for hitting bigger bumbs. Value for money.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Unbiased review: Wilson (K) Factor Lite (another new toy)

Today (27 Nov. 2008), I went to collect ANOTHER new toy of mine with Donald - The Wilson (K) Factor Lite. Donald and I agreed to purchase it after we tested both, our earlier (K) Factor Blaze at Stadium Juara Bukit Kiara. The Blaze handles the shuttlecock well. It's a perfect all rounder racket, meaning to say, not too light, not heavy, perfect weight distribution, not too powerful and not too weak to propel the shuttlecocks.

Donald wanted to buy the additional racket so that his girlfriend can use it whenever she comes back to Malaysia for a visit. He told me that the (K) Factor Lite is really light and good for her.

Thinking that the promotion is still on, I accompanied Donald for the purchase (Buy 1 free 1). My reason is to have another backup racket just in case if I feel too tired to play with Blaze after an hour of game.

This time, we paid more as (K) Factor Lite costs another RM20 more! Maybe it could be the complexity of the racket's lightweight construction. Once settled, we went back to office to continue our work as usual. When the time reached 1700hrs, we (Donald, Peter and myself) went for a tea break as we needed fuel(for the body) for the 2-hour badminton game (1900 - 2100hrs). We left office @ 1830hrs sharp to the stadium. Too anxious to test the new toy!

The (K) Factor Lite test @ Stadium Juara Bukit Kiara:
Warming up with the lightweight racket is not energy consuming, very light and my hand can respond to shuttlecocks quickly and easily. Knowing that this racket is not a powerful one, I have tested it few times near the net.

After some time, I manage to get the hang out of it. The racket is very nice for frontal assault. My bad, LOL. I love playing at the front section with this racket, but I did not have much chance because my partner mostly covered front today.

Whenever I cover the rear section, I have to spend slightly more energy to swing the racket in order to propel the shuttlecock to the opposite court. It is more advisable to drop the shuttlecock when you are at rear than spending more energy to hit towards the rear section of the opposite court.

I can conclude that Wilson has the know-how expertise to design and manufacture good quality rackets like (K) Factor series. Every single cent spent for both my (K) Factor rackets is really worth it. No joke for the nano-technologically constructed rackets! I really love them! They're so different!

The (K) Factor Lite:

The bag:

- More control!
- Good for net tricks!
- Very swift respond!
- Good for frontal attacks!
- Nice bag (comes together with the racket)
- Feather weight toy @ 78grams [+/- 2g]

- Less powerful for playing @ rear section
- New unit does not come with string
- Silver coloured graphics is too bright and less classy


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Unbiased review: Wilson (K) Factor Blaze

I have been using Wilson X-TECH 2.4 for almost a year by now since I was in Thailand. I bought it through Supersports' buy 1 free 1 promotion @ CentralWorld, Bangkok. It is a very nice racquet due to the fact that it weighs only around 82grams without string and grip.

The Thai guy then recommended me to strung it @ 18lbs of tension. I agree with him since it's a light racquet but the actual fact is this racquet can be strung up to 24lbs. I bought it for the price of 1900.00 baht which was approximately RM190.00 for 2 racquets!

My current Wilson X-TECH 2.4...

I bought it simply because this racquet is mainly for beginner and the price is cheap. I shared (the cost) the other piece with Bayu Indra a colleague of mine from Indonesia @ BKK office.

I am quite active playing badminton now after returning back to Malaysia thanks to the company's sports club for organizing 2 games per week (Monday & Thursday) @ Stadium Juara Bukit Kiara situated less than 3km from office.

Besides the Wilson X-TECH 2.4 racquet, I still have another racquet given by my dad. It's the Yonex carbonex 20 Special. I prefer X-TECH 2.4 over it because the Carbonex is slightly heavier and the frame design is not so aerodynamic. Sorry to Yonex.

Two weeks back, I was discussing about the possibility of getting another racquet for the weekly games. The reason is because I need a racquet which is an all-rounder racquet with higher string tension capabililty. Since the X-TECH 2.4 is my all time favourite and benchmark, I didn't bother to look for other brands. So I stick to Wilson.

Looking at Wilson's range of 2008 ... you can only notice 2 product lines. They are the "nCode" & "(K) Factor" series. I was eyeing on the (K) Factor Blaze due to its functionality as an all-rounder racquet.

Why I choose (K) Factor Blaze? Because it's a racquet with almost perfect balance...

The construction:

The carrying bag:

The deal:
After a badminton game on Monday17th Nov 2008, I came home for dinner and my wife told me that the racquet shop @ Bangsar Village was having "buy 1 free 1" sale. I then contacted Donald (my colleague) to see if he needs to find a replacement racquet for his ten year-old Carlton racquet.

Donald suggested that we should take a look during lunch time on next day (Tuesday). I went with Donald to Stringers @ Bangsar Village. We spotted few models like (K) Factor Blaze, Blade, Tour, Strike, Pro, & Lite. The lower range racquet like xLoop was also displayed on the rack.

The price for (K) Factor Blaze was RM315.00 for 2 units inclusive of carrying bags. We also chose the yonex string for RM 27.00 each and also ProAce grip at the price of RM7.00. I asked the Filipino sales guy called Norway to give more discounts and he told me he will give FOC for 1 string and one grip. The whole package costed @ RM349.00 for 2 ready-to-play racquets! We paid and left the place.

The test @ Bangsar Sports Complex:
I got home from office around seven and I walked straight to Stringers again to see if the racquets are ready for collection. I saw Norway and he told me that both racquets can be collected. He strung both racquets at 25lbs. I checked both and left home for a quick dinner.

It was almost 9 when I reached the Bangsar Sports Complex. I tested few strokes with Blaze and it was amazing! I could do more powerful back-hand than the older X-TECH 2.4! Normally, I can't really return back-hand stroke properly even with Carbonex 20 Special. I could control the ball easily when I manage to hit the ball using the Blaze's sweet spot.

One thing which I do not recommend myself to do is NOT to hit hard whenever I am near the net due to the higher string tension.

- Capable of having string tension of 20-30 lbs!
- Improved my back-hand stroke
- Nice bag (comes together with the racket)
- Nice classy graphics (black and white)

- Slightly heavier than X-TECH 2.4(Blaze is approximately 86g [+/- 2g])
- New unit does not come with string


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Mount Kinabalu & Teluk Cempedak Experience!

Yesterday morning was interesting. I was having breakfast session with John Petruse, Donald and Peter Mikulas. Praga did not join us because he was busy with something. The topic about paranormal began when we talked about the newspaper showing an article about few students lost their way in the jungle of Gunung Nuang. I was there few months back,... I guess I must have been lucky then. I told John that those students must have challenged the nature by making fun of forest's creatures or verbally condemning/giving bad remarks about the place or even informing others about strange encounter.

John started telling us the story about his trip few years back at Teluk Cempedak, Kuantan. Teluk Cempedak is a beach area mainly with visitors from Kuantan. He went hiking into the forest area with his wife in order to reach the secluded beach area with huge rocks for relaxing. There were some people when they arrived there. After relaxing sometime, they left the place when no one around there anymore. So they took the same path in the forest. John's wife did warn him about that path whereby according to the locals, never look back when walking along the forest path.

Soon after walking sometime, he heard a chirping sound near him. At first, John didn't bother that sound but he felt strange when the volume of the chiroing sound did not stop and kept on following him. His wife was right behind him when he turned back. She scolded John for looking back. John explained to her that the chirping sound kept on following him. Both of them knew something was not right when only John could hear the strange sound. They moved quickly and got back to their car. While driving back home, John did asked his wife about why he shouldnt turn back. His wife explained that the forest path to secluded beach area is not "clean".

Next, John told us that several years ago, he and his friends organized a Mount Kinabalu climb. It was supposed to be a huge group but just before the trip, one by one of the members pulled out/cancelled last minute until there were only five of them left for Mount Kinabalu.

While hiking back to the base of Mount Kinabalu, John's wife sprained her ankle and both of them have to hike back to the base camp slowly. They guide was some how not that happy when this couple was so slow hiking down. John and his wife could see the guide few hundred meters ahead of them.

All of a sudden, the thick cloud came passing by and covered the couple's view like a white blanket. When it was clear again, the couple couldn't see their guide. John felt strange as it is nearly impossible for their guide to hiked away from them so fast. At that point of time, John heard a chirping noise. The sound was so familiar just like what he heard at Teluk Cempedak. Knewing something was amiss, he quickly informed his wife to hike faster.

John and his wife was running through a certain stretch of the forest and suddenly, his wife stopped and stunned. With the chirping sound still following him, he tapped his wife's shoulder to move on. Both of them hiked so fast even though they were feeling exhausted and hungry and managed to catch up with their guide. Finally, the couple arrived Mount Kinabalu's base and headed to hotel.

On the way to hotel, John asked his wife about why she stopped suddenly at one particular time. She said that she saw an old woman with scarf sitting under a huge tree in a hunched position waiting for her to pass by. John did not see the old lady but according to his wife, the old lady in scarf was near them! John felt so eerie when she explained.

After sometime, John met a friend at office and talked about his Mount Kinabalu experience and not to forget also about the chirping sound and the old woman in scarf. His friend impersonated the chirping sound and John was shocked that his friend could produce the same sound!!! John's friend later told him that the old woman in which John's wife saw was a "Pontianak" or also known as female vampire / bloodsucker!

There are many things that we do not know out there...

So guys, I would like to advise fellow bikers / hikers / campers... please, please, please never make any comment or boast about strange encounter when you are taking part in any outdoor activity. You'll never know about the other world out there...

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Unbiased Review: Sun Ringle SOS Welded Disc Rim

Marketing Description
Disc only welded all mountain MTB rim, Tough enough for Downhill, light enough for XC / freeride. Superb 'do it all' rim.

- 28mm wide.
- ERD : 548
- Weight : 520g

My rear rim was bent a little due to the previous Melaka Heritage MTB Jamboree ride. Some of my friends did not even belief that my rim was bent - my goodness! According to them, this rim should be very tough.

Hellooooo, think again, guys! How could you expect the rim to be as hard as a rock?

No doubt it is an All Mountain rim, but when I jammed my rear brake and swerved so hard to the left (during a steep downhill section) and and it hit the rock by the side (the impact was phenomenal), it would definately bend ANY rim, I repeat - ANY rim, due to the weight of my bike and my body.

To my surprise, the rear wheel was only bent a little!!! I am still happy with the wheels as they are still performing in perfect condition after I sent them for truing at the bikeshop (Rodalink) near my place.

Pros: Nice finishing with eyelets for reinforcements purpose
Cons: Ugly S.O.S Logo & only black colour was available at the time of purchase, sigh... :(

After all, this is only my humble opinion.

Below are the reviews from 2 other users from

Good Article on "Rim Joining Methods"
Source: []

There are three methods used to join the ends of rims after rolling. The three methods are pinning, sleeving, and welding.

This method consists of joining the ends of the rim with a steel pin inserted into a cavity on both sides of the rim extrusion. These steel pins are about four millimeters in diameter, two inches in length, with pointed ends. .The extrusion shape for the rim is made with the pin cavities extruded in place, usually just under the tire bead on each side of the rim. The diameter of these holes is closely controlled to properly press fit over the pin. The rim is assembled by injecting a measured amount of epoxy glue in each rim pin hole, then inserting the pin ends in the holes. The rim is then placed in a machine that constricts the diameter of the rim by means of a band around the outside of the rim and a hydraulic cylinder that pulls the ends of the band together. This force causes the rim ends to be forced over the pins, closing the joint.

This method of rim end joining is done in the same way as the pinning process, but uses an extruded aluminum insert matching the inner profile shape of the rim rather than pins. The sleeving method is usually used on rims that are lighter and considered to be of higher quality than pinned rims. The sleeve is typically about three inches in length. After cutting the sleeve blank off the extrusion, it is formed in a die to give it a radius to match the rim. The ends are also tapered to facilitate insertion in the rim voids. The joint is closed with the same constricting machine and glue process as described in the pinning method above.

The welding method is used on all levels of rims from OEM high volume rims to high quality after market rims. The method typically used is called a “flash-butt process”. The process is done in a large welder that grips the ends of the rim in clamps to hold and guide the rim during welding. The rim blank is rolled and cut with extra length circumferentially. The rim is clamped in the welder dies with the ends of the rim protruding about ¼” from the die on each side. The welder then starts the “flash” part of the weld cycle. It passes very high amperage current through the clamp dies while slowly moving one die to bring the ends of the rim together. The current creates an arc between the ends of the rim, burning off the extra metal allowed in the cutting of the rim blank while heating the ends of the rim. After a precisely controlled flash time, the current is turned off and the “butt” part of the weld cycle is initiated. This consists of rapidly forcing the heated ends of the rim together with great force to complete the joint. There is weld flash left around the weld that is removed to smooth the joint and blend it in to the extrusion shape.

The end...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Melaka Heritage MTB Jamboree 2008

The trail:
I have always wanted to join Jamboree ride since few years ago but never had the chance to do so. Somewhere around August this year, I came across someone putting a link of the Jamboree event @ Melaka in BBS(BicycleBuySell).
So tempted to join, I pulled along my cousin Kelvin, my colleague Chow, Noob & Fear.
Early morning of the event day:
Noob and Fear have their own respective teams while Chow, Kelvin and myself stick together as a mini team.
That morning, we can't wait to meet up @ A'Famosa. Noob already calling me when Chow and I was approaching the event site.
Kelvin was already there with his bike plate. Chow and myself quickly setup our bikes and kits for the ride, upon reaching the Cowboy Town carpark area.
So many bikers already there queueing! Oh my. I was so nervous. I ran to sign up for all three of us before returning back to check my bike for the final run. Wheels were good, brakes were superb, gear shifts were smooth but I still felt something missing. Oh yea, I gotta apply my mossi-guard repellant and Banana Boat sunblock!
Once done, we went to the starting line area whereby almost all riders can be seen there. Some riders were still at the car park setting up. I guess something must have gone wrong with their bikes.
Once flag off, we did a 10km warm up lap along the road @ Alor Gajah area. We passed by some wooden houses, shops and stalls by the road side before heading in into the forest area. We had to ride slowly in lines to avoid accidents due to some small path to CP1 (checkpoint 1).

CP2 and CP3 were okay with some climb @ rubber plantation area. I had two bananas @ CP3 knowing that my energy will be drained further for upcoming sections. Right after CP3, there was a climb with rope for the rider and his/her bike. Everybody had to queue up for quite sometime due to the narrow climb. The way up was so slippery with dark brownish soil and dead leaves.
Once done with the rope climb, I left my bike and went down to assist Chow. Someone slipped and his bike tumbled down to a nearby tree. He was lucky.
Fear, David, Chow and myself took a photo after the climb. We looked happy but for sure it won't last for long. Next is the fast downhill whereby I gotta lower my seatpost to the max for the thrilling dive. I saw a guy laying by the side of the path with his orange/black bike. He must have skidded or hit some rocks before tumbling across the path to the other side. Scarry. I continued on.
I then prepared myself for the downhill section by lowering my seat post to the max in order to be able to have better control. The first downhill section was so fun with my rear wheel screeched a little and swerved whenever I use my weight to maneurver left and right.
I was so unfortunate that day when I poured some water on my hot head without realizing that the cool water actually caused my sinus to take place. Sigh, that was a huge mistake. I then rode all the way with dripping nose. So difficult to breathe!
The next section was abit relaxing before heading towards CP 5 and 6. If I am not mistaken, there were few deadly climbs throughout the two most difficult section. I had few stops due to scorching hot climate in the open oil palm plantation area.
At one of the stops on the way up to Bukit Botak, several riders were complaining about the hill. It was so difficult for me, not about riding, but rather pushing the bike up the hill with 3 consecutive climbs to reach the 180m peak. That was nuts! I received a call from Kelvin when I was at the peak. He told me to becareful when going down from the peak as the downhill section was bad for him - he crashed.

I proceded downhill by riding my bike at first but it was so slippery that when I jammed my rear brake, my bike swerved to the left so hard that the rear wheel hit a huge rock. I was so terrified that I broke my rim. Fortunately, it was bent a little, thanks to Sunrims.

Looking like and old tired dog after the downhill, I took my one and only PowerBar and head to CP7. Few riders were there waiting for transportation. I was told by one of them that I can get the finisher medal for all nine check points (not true actually, you can get it even if you finish only 5 check points). Without much tought, I left CP7 slowly and cycled all the way to CP8 and then to tarmac section. Tarmac was a killer when I released the air pressure from my rear wheel during the earlier stages.

Lastly, miles by miles, I managed to cover all 9 check points. On they way to finishing line, I stopped once more and met some friends. 2 marshals came over to our resting point. They told us that two riders were hospitalised due to the mad downhill section after CP6. One of them broke the seat post and injured his most important part. Guess what? He couldn't even climb on to the ambulance for treatment. That was a pity.
Finally, all of us managed to cross the finish line together in a small group after crossing 2 water patches. I hate that patches - they wet my shoes! That was my very first jamboree simple story. Tired but happy to have completed it. Thanks also to my Fuji Tahoe SL baby!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Backpost: Mount Nuang Climb June 2008

Nuang was the main topic in office on the third month I resigned from Thailand. Diong, my colleague who is also known as the iron man in my office loves to organize hiking trips. He does multisports as well.

He invited me to join him for Gunung Nuang full day expedition. I was exited when he said that Nuang is usually used as training ground for Mount Kinabalu climb. This could be challenging for me. Well, I should try, I said to myself.

That morning, I woke up so early and proceeded to the Cheras Bt 9 toll booth. Soon, I saw Chin Pin Hon's Honda Civic by the side. Diong arrived few minutes later and I followed the convoy. We stopped at a nearby Chinese restaurant for a quick breakfast as some of the ladies have not eaten yet, sigh, this gonna be late!

Once done with the food, we continued our journey to the Nuang carpark area whereby we prepare ourselves for the full day hike trip. I sprayed some anti-leech ointment to both my legs.
The journey to the bottom of the mountain takes a while on the flat and gradual climb terrain - a bit boring at first but weather was sunny.

We then came to the first stream after walking on the open path for about half an hour. The first stream marks the the beginning of the journey to Gunung Nuang. After the crossing, we started to encounter damp forest area mostly caused rain or nearby natural water catchment area.

As we proceeded further, we arrived at the second stream whereby we rested for a while. Nice place. I could see the beautiful sunlight shone directly into the water, like a straight spotlight in the mist - so beautiful and peaceful.

The moment we left the second stream, we started to climb to higher ground gradually. Guess what? I got a leech that crawled into my shoes! Thanks to the damp forest area!
The worst part after the leech was the climb on orange coloured muddy terrain. Dude! I hate to keep on looking at my shoes (for leeches) while climbing, extremely tiring!

After an hour and a half, we reached Pacat Camp which marks the middle way to the peak.
Oh man, still there is half way to go! We also met our friend with many legs - the wild caterpillar.
Diong told me that we should not stop so long because we need to move out from Pacat Camp by 12pm in order to arrive peak at 2pm.

Another nightmare is to climb from Pacat Camp to the peak. The terrain on this stretch of the mountain is much more different. More rocks and much more slippery. You can even feel that it is cooler as you climb further through the black rocky terrain.

One of the toughest part was the final climb towards the peak. It started at the point where you could see the sign with arrow showing the word "Peak".
Larger rocks can be seen and at certain point, you have to climb over one of the huge rocks as it is the only way to get to the peak. The area was misty and muddy.

Approximately 50 meters towards the peak, I had to climb 90degrees upwards through some roots and rocks by stretching both legs far apart just like rock climbing sports, hehe. So tiring.

After struggling for 2 hours from Pacat Camp, I finally arrived the Nuang's peak.
There were concrete GPS blocks placed at certain corners of the peak to indicate the borderline between the state of Selangor and Pahang.

Honestly I cannot discuss any further about my journey back except about my whole body aching all the way back from the peak.
Finally we returned back to our carpark area around seven fifteen. I was lucky to have made it back before sunset.

Overall, I am quite happy to have made it to Gunung Nuang's peak although my whole body was aching for another several days after the climb. What an experience, hey...

Upcoming activity(ies)

Coordinates :