Friday, March 27, 2009

Mtb Evo II

Fuh! Bukan main susah nak cari masa nak sambung chapter 2. Macam-macam kejadian sepanjang 2-3 minggu yang lepas sampai kan badan pun dah naik lebam.

Ok2...kat mana aku stop? Yep, that was the empire...the Celcom Boys Empire which lasted for less than a year. However, the glories last forever. When it was time for everybody to pick their own way, the timing was almost the same. Some moved into new house far away from Klang Valley. Some chosed to try out other sports. While the rest stayed, waited & see the coming atmosphere.

The rides at Kemensah, Sg Pusu, Teratak Tekala & Batu Dam came to hault. We need new kind of trails. No more the canopied, mud, technical singletracks. No idea arose until Brahim invited us to Elmina. A new breed of trail & riders were introduced to us. These are the fast & furious firetrack riders of Ladang Elmina, a large network of trails in an oil palm plantation. We have steep long grannies, fast winding descents & long open flats miles and miles ahead. Week by week we returned for more trail networks.

There was a time when we were also introduced to UPSI mountainbikers. We commuted to Tg Malim & rode their trails of rubber plantations & secondary forest. A few trips were organised which eventually brought us an ultimate Trans Titiwangsa expedition during our country's National Day.

We were hunger for more adventures and adrenalins. We planned for more epic rides. We attempted Sg Dua trail, Pertak trail & signed up for PCC Presidential endurance ride & never missed the annual KOTRT Penang Jamboree.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

My mtb evo I

Since maybe sekarang aku tengah kemaruk dengan mtb, feels like strolling down back to memory lane. Wayback where I started to ride again, mountainbike style instead of my schooldays commuter bike. Maklum la, malas nak fikir pasal running since masih dalam confinement :P

As I still remember, maybe it was estimated to be somewhere in 2003, when I moved into my new house. Tak lama rupanya, only 6 years ago. Tapi rasa macam lama dah, maybe sebab the evolution went very fast. I was first introduced to the world of singletracks & mountain biking by a fellow schoolmate whom owned & still am a GT Avalanche. He was truly proud of it & I was admiring the steed with it's cool colour & fat tyres. Another buddy was riding a Shimano frame which I have no idea what model it was but light enough to go off-roading. I was loaned with a cap ayam bike came with a rigid fork. Weight wise, only God knows :(

The first trail we ventured was the Sg Kantan rubber estate & orchard trails. Quite a short trail but good enough to pump up the adrenalin & talked about. I was becoming crazy with the exposure until I purchase my own complete bike, brand new from KSH PJ a year later. An entry level Kona Ha'hana? Did I spell it right? Maybe la kot, but the price suits my budget. Good enough for me to bang it for almost a year.

Too bad for me, my buddy moved to Putrajaya & was occupied with new house, family & work. I was left with not many options but to find new friends. Desperate punya pasal, aku bedal je. That day, aku pi tengok Kiara Mtb Carnival. Saja nak tengok & amik feel what it was like with dunia mountainbike secara profesional. Memang nampak gempak with all those gorgeous bikes swaying around the courtyard & macho looks. Aku redah tegur seorang insan yang nampak approachable. Nizam from Maluri was my second mtb buddy. Syiok punya pasal tengok race, aku sign up for my first mtb race. The Parit Buntar Mtb Challenge. Aku & ex-uni mate. He rode one tough peugeot full suss. Nak nangis je aku tengok panjat bukit. My Kona met it's purpose.

From that point onwards, Nizam & me were allies. We expand the horizon & get to know fellow Celcom buddies when we first attempted Kemensah trail. "Brader, boleh join you all kayuh tak?" My first dialogue to Nik who was waiting depan Zoo Negara for the rest of his buddies. It was the beginning of a new era for me. We were known by budak-budak Celcom. Masa tu, tak banyak group mtb. We were Nizam, Nik, Bachin, Azri, Fendi, Din Nokia, Nas, Amin. Lepas tu we all kenal otai Mizi yang memang regular kat Kemensah.

Dah puas Lubuk Tedung & Kem Sleh of Kemensah, we ventured into Batu Dam forest reserve. In & out we rode the magnificent trails. Sambil2 tu, we planned for more challenges. With the help of geng Kemensah, we attempted our maiden epic ride from Sg Pusu to Kemensah (Ulu Gombak traverse). It was awesome.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Kemensah lagi...?!

Steamed punya pasal dengan mountainbiking stuff lately, this weekend punya thoughts pun hanya bergelumang dengan mtb. Tak dapat buat benda lain pun takpe, janji dapat layan mtb. Everybody looking forward for the Kemensah revisit & we were working towards that. Tak kisah ler ada guide or not, kita orang belasah aje dengan hanya berbekalkan memori daun pisang dari kayuhan last week.

Akmal came back from his Orchid hobby which was actually his abscent from running due to ITBS eversince GE30k. We were Bachin, Saiful, Zamry, Akmal & me. I had my new Ritchey Carbonbar & 70mm KCNC 5 deg. installed & ready to test it.

Trail was a bit more wet than last week's condition which was mint. So, bragging up the slopes were a bit tricky. Even with my Nevegals require some ballast to make my rear wheel intact. This time around, the idea of taking some photos came across.

We managed to find our way through the trails & completed by 11.30 which was half an hour faster than last week. The cuts from having less stops & quick breaks making the almost 20km cross country trail a breeze. Once lepak kat Jimbara for a drink, terasa pulak macam tak puas. Takpe, looking forward for another trip with more buddies.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Back in the mud groove

Pergh! Lama sangat aku tak kembali ke alam mountain biking. Since sekarang dah bercuti berlari for a while, aku terpaksa beralih pandangan ke interest aku yang dah lama ditinggalkan. Pelan-pelan aku cari alasan untuk mencetuskan semangat mtb semula.

Ianya bermula dengan alasan untuk tukar frame. Walaupun agak berat untuk aku buat keputusan nak melepaskan my trusted 2002 xtc team, alasan punya pasal, aku layari kembali semua sources mtb yang ada. Kononnya nak cari saiz yang ngam untuk aku, which should be smaller than my current 17". aku lawat hampir setiap jam. Puas aku cari frame yang reliable, susah betul nak jumpa yang berbaloi. Suddenly ada pulak mamat nak let go xtc team 2008. Sekali pandang memang mantap, tak macam design xtc team yang sebelum ni. Color hampir ke charcoal with very minimal stripes etc. Saiz S. it worth a check?

Appointment made at PCP. My first visit to the now most talk of the town among mountainbikers especially freeriders & downhillers due to it's designed trail. Jumpa Zul whom to be a proud owner of 2 xtc team bikes! Fanatic agaknya. Technical knowledge memang A. Unfortunately the size S have the same geometry as my trusted steed. Disappointed bercampur lega pun ada jugak. Lega sebab selamat duit aku & tak payah aku sedih nak melepaskan frame aku sekarang. Kecewa sebab susah sangat nak jumpa frame yang best.

Since frame is not a good option untuk aku carry on my search, aku cilok idea dengan improving my riding position by playing around with the contact points. Despite his crossride ST, XT hydro brakes & SLX crank, Zul gave me an idea about his contact point. He attached in a 70mm X4 Thompson 0 deg stem & mild rise carbon handlebar. That made his bike compact & nice for handling. OK, stem & handlebar will be my next search. A quick browse at LBS & bbs. X4 tu mahal ler, RM250 beb! Tapi memang nampak mantap ya rabbi. Carbon bars tak payah citer ler harga dia. Pencarian aku terbantut before the weekend mtb ride sebab something came up kat rumah.

Come Sunday, our long lost trail was revisited. Kemensah. With some help from Achong & his local buddies, we discovered a whole new world of sweet awesome trails. Thanks to Pak Agus (a nickname for an expat who discovered the trail), Din, Teh & Amri. The gang were Alwin, Saiful, Bacin, Zamry, Pi'e & me. As usual, we were the machas in the wild. Crying out aloud, be it climbing the grannies or the long roller coaster ride descending. 20km from curry house to curry house. We finally had a feeding frenzy at 12.00pm. The feeling of being together & laughing our way into the trails reminded us of old times. Something which is rare lately, eversince we seldom go off-road. Eventually, we were looking forward for a few future events like the PCC-Presidential Ride & Penang MTB Jamboree.

Despite the excitement from the session, I anticipated that some expenses had to be made very soon, which is considered a priority. My 3 years old Sidi Dominator showed signs of fatigue & old age. Tapak dah serupa road shoes...hahaha! Hampeh. Looks like dilema mencari kasut cycling akan berulang kembali. Problem besar untuk aku. Anyway, Zul's SLX looks tempting jugak...hehehe :D