Monday, December 17, 2012

Bek-2-Bek

When the legs are feeling obnoxious and when adrenaline pumped in so bad, the head kept on spinning plans for whatever spinning options available. My weekend was pretty much tight up with a bek-to-bek spin. Surviving both rides and post ride recovery was surprisingly OK.

Putrajaya
Been awhile since I last joined the Putrajaya Night Ride. With the weekend plan scheduled to be in Seremban, the least I could do was to hook up with these guys. It was a late entry after some delay with the kuliah but all was good since these guys were the considerate bunch plus, it's Friday night! What's the rush for anyway?

Dataran Putrajaya was packed! Traffic was pretty much hectic too. I just squeezed in at any available space I could find, ignoring any thoughts of getting summon. Too late to think about it either.

Wow! So many people joining meh? I think easily there were almost...30?! Some familiar faces but most of them aren't in my contact list. I tried to be as casual as possible and open up for any kind of riding pattern these guys had up their sleeves. Though my initial plan was to do it at an easy pace, soon I regretted making plan for a mtb ride the next morning. Argh!

Begini Pak caranya!

Jangan bikin pening-pening.
Bawak bertenang ya!
Satu pose untuk anak-anak. Peace yo!

It was more like a paint ball game instead of cycling. Attacks came from every corner, at almost every stretch and by almost everyone! Damn! None breathtaking chances. You just need to kick in and hooked up with the group. The quads were screaming by the time we almost ended the ride approaching Alamanda. It was a good workout in a sense for a short ride, but the muscles might have some premature exertion in another sense. That was kind of risky though. I was glad I survived most of it. The worry was more on the next morning plan.

I skipped the teh tarik session (if there was any), and drove back juggling the plan for tomorrow. Threw the road bike out of the car and dumped in the mtb (crazy thing) and forced my eyes shut while rubbing the quads with concerns at 1.30 a.m.

Kiara
I was overly lethargic the next morning, but bailing out and breaking a promise is not in the list. Besides, mountain biking is more FUN! And I'm going back into the Bukit Kiara trails! That is one thing I don't want to miss.

I was running a bit late meeting Alwin at the RV point but all was good. He was late too. It drizzled a bit but the trail kept on giving promises for a good ride. Though with heavy legs and a slight feeling of groggy, the simplest plan was to have an easy Kiara welkambek ride and finish by 10.00 a.m.

Soon before we hit the trail head, we were welcomed by a few old time buddies. Definitely they were surprise seeing me and pleased indeed. We hooked up and decided to ride together as the regulars were tailoring the trail plan. I just tag along, lost into the new roller coaster Kiara trails.

We entered via the Carnival trail head and hit the first climb spot on. It was still an impossible climb like it used to be years ago, only with an improved rock surface to stop erosions. It appeared to be more brutal in another way. Scary!

We skipped Lung Buster for Office, new for me. Slowly carving away deeper into the spiralling single tracks with ups and downs, and tight switchbacks. 200% concentration plus skill  between brakes, legs and balancing. The damped ground and wet roots from last night's rain added extra bonus. The 680 mm wide bar got strangled up at some very tight switchbacks. The grogginess adds up to the distraction. Office itself provide more than just warm ups. Zapped half my dwindling juice.

A buddy had some difficulty catching up with the pace and the technical trail. We rerouted our plan for a quicker and less technical trail. Still, the originality of Kiara remains for the rest of it until we reached Sri Hartamas. I tossed down a Nescafe (go away groggy!) and a nasi lemak ... and a roti canai (what?!).  Sorry. Can't help it. Suddenly I was starving. I remembered having breakfast though.

Round the table chat covered the usual mtb stuff. Most of it browsed around yesteryears' epic rides. Those were the days. If asked for a repeat, perhaps I'll take a rain cheque. Not into the adventure thing any more I guess. Alwin and me decided to ride back to Lembah Kiara via the Sprint Highway and not with Komeng, Ajak & Zul. We needed to round up our ride.

The remaining weekend was in zombie mode and legs weigh a tonne. I was however surprised that it didn't last long that I used to feel. I was happily cleaning the bikes on Sunday evening, ready to store it for 2 weeks zero ride.

The 2006 Pat's Kiara Trail Map
Current map (Endomondo)
Le profil

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Epically X-Rated Kayuh "Laksa" Version


The word “epic” is best explains the X-Rated Kayuh Lasak. What turns out to be a planned ‘kayuh laksa” ride, gave birth to an epic “tolak basikal” ride. Nothing gets easier than that. And there goes my whole week of lower back ache and insufficient beauty sleep. Not about complaining here, but rejoicing the adventure and torment celebrating the 10th Kayuh Lasak Penang Jamboree served by KOTRT. Thumbs up!

Four of us planned for a quick getaway for this ride over the weekend, but it proves that you don’t get enough of Penang from just a night stay. And you would just kill yourself from the oversize traffic chaos.

I’ve skipped a few Kayuh Lasak. Done my first in 2003 for their second Kayuh Lasak edition and I was addicted for more suffer fest when KOTRT kept on adding more thrills and challenge. I came back for the next 5 consecutive years before I hung up the bike for a more ‘clean’ ride on the road bike :P

Kayuh Laksa version for me, as always, was due to the lack of training…macam ler dulu-dulu pun train? Yesteryears was once a week aje kayuh, hence this lazy butt adopted the same ritual. And you’ll be amazed at the moment of truth where the big momma’s climb can be really a pain in the butt.

Penang has been popular about the traffic, which started from the Juru Toll. Though we tried planning our travel time, the traffic conundrums can’t be avoided. It continued on entering the bridge but surprisingly Jalan Masjid Negeri was silky. It rained throughout the evening over the island, and that was just promising for a bonus thrill on the trail. However, we had loads of Penang meals to chase the worries away. From nan tandoori to cendol and Penang laksa. Nasi kandar? Save that for post ride.

The volume of participants grew year after year. My first Kayuh Lasak had only about 500 passionate mountain bikers putting on our trail vacation spirit, tasting those holy single tracks left behind from the Colonial age. This year, the crowd grew immensely into easily 1500 riders, and that created a huge impact on the trail traffic as well.

We came late that morning due to logistic issues and of course parking issue. Hence, Alwin and me decided to chill and rolled off from the tail end. Honestly, we were actually the last ones leaving Youth Park and the last ones crossing the gate up the Jeep Trail. But, it didn’t last long before the climb starts and hundreds of riders started to stop pedaling and started pushing. Jeep Trail was packed! People were pushing bikes all over the place and that left only a single line to keep pedaling. If this guy pedals too slowly, then we were stuck tailing him without any room to overtake. It was a 4km climb and I lost a kilometre from bike portaging. Attempting to ride it was almost impossible. It was just too steep for me. I should come back for a revisit.

Traversing the island via Penang Hill towards Balik Pulau was plainly 100% epic and 200% adrenaline. Every mother climb gave birth to mother downhill. The continuing descending from the Jeep Trail climb brought me back down memory lane. It was an endless technical descent and you’ll be using all your muscles for it. Siapa kata turun bukit tak guna muscle? The straining starts from the tip of the finger till the tip of the toe. And you’ll start asking yourself when it will end? It was just awesomely long!

The tax of climbing came abruptly before you even dreamed of reliving the smile from the descending. The second climb was nothing less than the first one, only with less traffic. But the scene was different. It was better. We climbed through a durian orchard and the endless sight of Balik Pulau coast on our right was simply breathtaking.

Not quite finish with the hefty climb, we were challenged with a technically suicidal descend. That slippery concrete narrow lane swerved at switchbacks after switchbacks bringing another endless adrenalin rush, and dangerous too. A split second of wrong judgment, I could’ve overthrown myself over the side and land in Balik Pulau! But, that didn’t take any toll so far since the swerving trailing of 10 riders was caught up by the over cautious ones up in front. That was just a little too bad for the adrenalin junkies. Or else, it would be a lovely snaking descent.

We reached Balik Pulau and started climbing back up on a tar road, just like Genting Sempah only with a slight blow from the coastal wind. This was supposed to be the pre-climb or legs loosening part because what wait was another big momma! The final one I hope. It was just plain monotonous except for some single track section climb that was just very tricky when you don’t have the rolling momentum while tailing another group of over cautious riders. Sometimes I had to give a bit shouting motivations just to keep them going. Pressure sikit la konon J

Eventually the trail came up to a slight civilization whilst approaching the Ayer Itam Dam, after another round of tricky switchback. By this time, there’s lesser canopy from the foliage and becoming hot by the minute. The following downhill thrill was nothing more than pain and fatigue in the forearms. It was another slippery concrete descend and it was too steep. There was no more tapping on the brakes but more like squeezing it for your life! My mind started playing the “Rumor Has It” tone all the way down and when it was about time to bail out from the over kill, the final checkpoint await. BIG Phew!

6KM ride back to Youth Park via Ayer Itam town and part of Greenlane, blending in back into Penang chaotic traffic. I guesstimate that it was slightly after 1.00 when I crossed the gantry…smiling of course. The rest of the gang was already chilling out with fruits and cans of Red Bulls. Sumptious!

Though I missed Checkpoint 8 when I failed the cut-off time, it was still an awesome jamboree. I gave this a 5 star when all the previous 3 jamborees in 2012 combined would never come up to this one. Coming back? Definitely, not just for the ride but for Penang heritage J


video

Friday, November 23, 2012

Segenggam Ilmu


Tatkala dunia sekeliling sibuk berlumba-lumba mengejar impian masing-masing, aku hanya akur dengan kehendak Illahi dalam menatang tanggungjawab yang telah diamanahkan olehNya. Satu tanggungjawab yang di dalamnya mengandungi proses pembelajaran untuk pengalaman baru yang secara dasarnya merupakan titik permulaan untuk cabaran-cabaran yang akan datang.

Lumrah dunia dan lumrah manusia, evolusi hidup perlu dilalui mahu atau tidak. Orang yang disayangi akan lebih membawa pengertian dalam perjalanan hidup kita, lantas mengorek setiap inci komitmen dalam diri ini demi untuk melihat kejayaan.

Sesungguhnya segala ketentuan yang hakiki adalah ketentuan Illahi, namun seperti yang diriwayatkan, kita adalah kita yang kita bentukkan. Kecintaan dari Yang Maha Esa merupakan titik perubahan sama ada ketentuan kita akan menerima anugerahNya atau tidak.

Jiwa kehambaan dan senantiasa redha dalam mencari ilmu Allah digalas dengan penuh cermat agar tidak sekali terlondeh dari pegangan. Tatkala bahu dan tangan terasa lemah, tatkala itu seruan Illahi menyeru kembali agar perjuangan diteruskan demi mencapai ketaqwaan sebenar. Begitulah yang dirasakan hubungan kasih sayang dari Pencipta Yang Maha Penyayang.

Hari-hari yang berlalu diambil sebagai pengajaran. Hari yang ditunggu-tunggu muncul tiba dengan penuh rasa sayu dalam kegembiraan dan kesyukuran. Genangan air mata berkaca seketika, memikirkan kebesaranNya dalam memberi nikmat dan balasan tatkala suasana hingar bingar di institusi. Segunung tahniah dan syabas dari hasil perjuangan yang tidak berbelah bagi.

Jazaakumullahu Khairan Kathira

Allahuakbar 

Genggam bara api biar sampai jadi arang

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

More muds...Sepang Jamboree


The soak-ier the trail, the more la we lunatics want to roll around in it. We don’t prefer running or cycle on the road in this raining season. It’s just too dangerous and probably a bit insane. The best way to keep activities in sanity, we signed up for a mountain bike jamboree. Rain or shine, the fire trail of Sepang palm oil plantation estate serves a great getaway and monstrous epic adventure.

During my heydays, mountain jamborees are rare. Back in 2004 and a few years that followed we only had 2 major rides. The PCC Presidential Ride which later followed by KOTRT Penang Jamboree a.k.a. Kayuh Lasak. Both were purposely held at the end of the year where trails are ‘plush’, sweet and juicy. I don’t miss either of them year after year. For rest of the year, we were the genuine weekend warriors. Defined weekend warriors, the fun & workouts combined into a Sunday ride. No weekday’s hamster trainer or secret trainings. In and out of mountain bike trails all over Klang Valley. Sometimes we plan for an epic ride once a month that would take a whole day camped out.

As of now, jamborees can be on every weekend! With the increasing number of cyclists in the region, the sport is also blooming with events and bike demands. That’s a good sign for healthy living awareness, as long as we keep to healthy economic expenses as well. So, what does Mr. Government do about that? I would like to suggest, stop raping our green lungs and let the rakyat enjoy what remains of Mother Nature. And perhaps, remove the tax on sporting goods. You guys kaya already meh! You get taxed for bike components but not for a complete bike. What’s with the discrimination?

OK back to Sepang Mountain Bike Jamboree 2012 (SMJ12). With so many sporting events in Malaysia’s calendar, I almost had my eyes checked once a week looking at it. Banyak sungguh! Even Powerman’s photos are still up on Facebook till now. If I were to dunk myself into every event, I’ll be like super maniac la kot. The only way to participate in a less competitive manner and down to earth style is to sign for a jamboree. As shared before, these dirt fans are the coolest ever. Even the event venue was relaxing mode without Gangnam pumping songs and loud Deejay.

You don't get to see super expender with super expensive bike parading around, tapi kayuh tak pernah podium. You don’t see super bike models parading in trendy bike apparels tapi setiap kali ada bukit, tolak basikal. And you don’t see gadget freaks wearing super GPS watches moaning about the battery will kaput if the ride is more than 5 hours.

Alwin and I planned for early rendezvous to allow for slow-mo bike setup and a bit of warm up. Weather was awesomely chilly after a night rain. Muddy trails await my 13 kilos baby tapir and yours truly. No top of the range groupo, no stiff and feather weight wheels, no carbon here and there, not even a cyclo meter! Two bottles is enough and I have the trails to pump at whatever endurance I have with juice in my legs.

Oh! Forgot to share the new family member, the Scale 29er. Al-cheapo used bike purchased from a chap who don’t seem to have the challenge to handle a baby tapir. No more bike borrowing lah. Segan & malu you.

Warm up macam pro. Sampaikan orang nak flag off baru tersengih-sengih kambing nak masuk kandang. But the organizer was cool with that. Chillax event, remember? The neutralized zone of 6km road start really burnt up this shabby old diesel engine. I didn’t push myself too early, which would be too premature for an old goat. Surprisingly the guys around me paced themselves the same way?! Betul punya casual ni. Bagus punya non-competitive environment. I like. No kiasus breathing up your neck taking advantage at any opportunity to be competitive.

A total of nearly 40km fire trails inside Sepang palm oil plantations. Just plain fire tracks, neither Holy Grail single tracks nor cool river crossing. Reminds me of Ladang Elmina, Sungai Buloh and Bukit Subang. The matured palm trees provide covered trails from the sun and rain but be extra careful for the mossy ones. Those green surfaces could be quite tricky for climbs and fatal on descends. Rainy season adds up to the slippery mud that sucks up the bike and at the same time throw you away at high speed corners. Remember those super models with Gucci bike apparels? You’ll get dazzling chocolate expresso top in minutes once you hit the trail.

My bike handled every bit of the jamboree satisfactorily. My first experience the hyped about these giant off-road breed. I trust that Newton’s theory should come in handy. The bigger and heavier they are, the more UMPH! it delivers for such kind of trail like these. I may have relived the suffer fest of delivering this baby tapir up steep slippery climbs but the grannies helped me with patience and virtue. One rotation at a time and the knees and quads are playing in rhythm. Should I push myself into red zone; I could be bailing out at the next chicken loop. But the pleasure comes in all kind of rewards. This heavy steed thumped the descending with high speed confident rolling over ditches and ruts.

"Look Ma! I'm floating going downhill here (not flying though)!"

The front heavy coil spring shock absorber performed at every technical trail it can sucks in. When I was high with adrenalines, the inner laughter of macha-style almost broke out of my ribs.

I smiled to myself at times for the pleasurable torture. I used to be passionate about this crazy stuff. Grooving my way back is something seemed possible, but at my considerable pace of course.

Things gone a bit sour and monotonous when you don’t have any idea of the distance covered (padan muka takde cyclo meter) and the lack of marshal to ask. Even chunkier for the brain to digest is when the legs get weaker and stomach started to growl.  That was 3 hours into the ride I guess.

“Ishk! Bila nak habis ni?!”
“Argh! Ada climb lagi?!”
“Weiiii….brader depan ni bila nak give up kayuh? Kuat pulak dia nih…”

The last checkpoint served Revive and bananas. Phew! Alhamdullillah. Allah Maha Pemurah lagi Maha Penyayang. I swallowed dengan rakusnya and the salty/sour taste of Revive was really…errr…reviving la kot. Slowly get myself checked in at the CP and politely asked the marshal with fake smile.

“5 km to go!”
“Argh”

But my baby tapir stayed loyal and obeyed at the remaining tricky trails ahead. The only technical despair was the few times of chain-suck. Argh! I hated it. It was just demoralizing. The stopping agony of holding you from getting the momentum was awful. Next time, bring bottles of lube OK?

Finally it was over. And it was still before 12.00 p.m.! Wow! The overcast weather kept the relax mode at bay for the rest of the event. Thumbs up for the organizer for the ample bike wash bay and good healthy lunch! You don’t get these at other jamborees. Guess what? They served steamed broccoli, steamed potato, fish balls and fried chicken with an either black pepper sauce or mushroom sauce. Pergh! Bukan nasi dengan ayam goreng and curry. Sorry. These are great stuff, and top  on healthy food chart!

Kalau nak ikutkan taku cukup tapi bedal sehingga
menjilat jari
Met Alwin moments later. He bruised the right knee while clowning around at the slippery green mossy climbs. Hehe. And met a few other familiar faces. A buddy sprained his shoulder from a crash at the tarmac stretch in the beginning of the ride. Speedy recovery bro.

Alwin, Hancik and I obviously were craving for something more UMPH! for the taste bud. Besides, the free lunch burnt so fast and we were already starving for more. Maggi sup was the ideal momento at this kind of mandom like weather. Perfect for calorie replenishment.

Things are getting into place. That’s a good sign. I don’t have anything grand to shout about, just as long as the word ‘enjoy’ is relived and clearly defined.

Rehat kejap lepas chop buat sawit

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Dirt to Dirt


Aku rasakan gema takbir raya Aidil Fitri macam masih lagi segar di cuping telinga. Kini gema takbir raya Aidil Adha pula muncul, lantas sedikit sebanyak membawa aku mengelamun seketika pada suasana ibadah haji yang acap kali aku saksikan di kaca TV. Bila lah aku mampu nak melalui pengalaman ibadah Rukun Islam ke-4 tu ye? Niat dah ada, kemampuan sedang diusahakan. InsyaAllah.

Seperti tahun lepas, aku decide untuk just chillax di KL bersama-sama mengerjakan ibadah qurban di kampong tercinta BTHO dengan orang-orang kampong. Al-maklum, BTHO dah menjadi kampong ku & juga kampong anak-anak aku nanti. Jadi, sebagai menjalankan tanggungjawab ber-kampong /berjiran, jangan sekali-kali kita abaikannya. Lagi pun, apabila mendengar laporan trafik, aku cuma mampu menggeleng kepala.

Kemeriahan kami bermula sebaik sahaja selepas menunaikan fardhu Maghrib di surau. Ribut petir mengiringi bacaan takbir kami sehingga masuknya fardhu Isya’. Lepas tu kami berduyun-duyun bertakbir ke lapan buah rumah jirang-jirang yang lain sambil mengharung gerimis di malam raya (fuiyo! Dah bunyi macam lagu balada beb).

Kids paling enjoy. Yep, everything aku buat untuk kids. Zaman budak-budak aku dulu, kurang dapat peluang sebegini especially exposure ke dunia Islamic. Penerapan melalui parents dan hidup berjiran yang bersyariat aje lah salah satu channel kita mendidik anak-anak ke arah jalan yang benar! Benar Pak!

Habis takbir dah hampir 11.30 malam. Kids memang lepak & perut ayah dah semakin terbina. Ngeh ngeh ngeh. Lapan rumah beb. Rumah ke lapan dah ramai main cuit-cuit aje makanan yang dihidangkan.

Alhamdullillah setelah semalaman hujan, pagi raya menyinarkan hari yang sangat indah. Takbir raya bergema seawal selepas fardhu subuh. Hasil kepenatan semalam, aku hampir mendapat subuh gajah. Setiap kali lidah ini melafaz takbir, tahmid & tasbih setiap kali itu juga hati ini terusik dengan kebesaran yang Maha Esa.

Al-Ansorian in action
Ibadah qurban bermula 9.30 pagi. Alhamdullillah semua berjalan lancar. Sedangkan kami ada limited time untuk settle kan semua sebelum solat Jumaat. Berkat ukhwah orang kampong, semua kawtim.

Sabtu pagi aku sudah lambung Amir untuk kayuh. As usual memang dia tunggu aje pelawaan aku. Tambah lagi dia nak test kayuh baru & bib baru. Hehe. Layan kat Putrajaya aje. Park kat Taman Empangan & both us spinned our way towards Alamanda interchange & turned back.

Macam biasa kalau sekali sekala long distance (for his level la), akan aku terima beberapa complaints. Aku layan aje. On our way back to Taman Empangan dah nampak muka hampir bonk tapi aku this kid memang strong, cuma kena play around sikit dengan mental dia. So, bila aku nampak ada traktor trailing 500 meter belakang kami, aku challenge Amir not to give up and to stay ahead of the tractor seberapa lama yang boleh. He sure did. On the way balik, dalam kereta member dah lelap kena aircon. Hehe. Lepak ler tu.

The key event for the weekend was yesterday. Attempt kali ke-2 aku kembali menerjah trail mountainbike. Ni semua hasil lambungan kaum jugak. Sign aje. Since first attempt aku kat UPM MTB Fete awal bulan hari tu went well, aku sign untuk seksaan di Slim River MTB Jamboree pulak.

Kami car pool 4 orang seawal 6.00 pagi. First time sampai Slim River. Venue kat taman tasik. Ramai dah participants beratur kat starting line. As usual, with our casual mode we joined in at the tail of it.

Alwin & Azmar were men on a mission. Targeting to qualify for placing their category. Aku? Setakat nak kasi habis with minimal suffer. Al-maklum training pun casual mode.

Rolling start on-road for almost 5km. The 1000+ participants all strung out and aku tercungap-cungap untuk catch up putting myself as close as possible to the front, which is actually impossible la sebab aku tak nampak langsung yang depan sekali tu. Hahaha. Takpe, just trying be motivated. Antara tujuannya ialah untuk mengelak bottle neck once dah masuk trail.

99% from the overall trail was riding in a palm oil plantation road. It was totally undulating with ruts, cow dung, bukit ammah and steep fast descending sections for the whole 42km (eh? Dah macam marathon distance meh?) Punya lah aku tak power & jugak perhaps trail yang demanding super power quads and calves, aku kawtim dalam 3 jam setengah jugak lah. Champion kawtim sejam setengah. Which means the surplus 2 jam lagi tu was pure penyesalan :|

Alhamdullillah kaki tak meragam dengan cramp atau lemah kepala lutut. Endurance OK cuma strength aje aku kurang. Sebab malas training. Weather was also a bit on the killing side. Bukan aku nak salahkan cuaca tapi memang betul punya cabaran. Tatkala sinaran mentari tajam menikam setiap ruang kulit ini tanpa sedikit pun tiupan angin sepoi-sepoi bahasa di saat sedang meng-granny panjat bukit, setiap kali itu juga lah memori ngeri Sahara Jamboree mengimbas kembali. Meremang bulu tengkuk beb.

OK. 100% Slim River trail are rideable. Bila steep climb, aku engage grannies dan spin lenggang lenggok so as not to impose any stress to the legs. Bila part super sonic descending aku cuba layan full concentration with light taps on the brake levers so as not to introduce any unwanted crash nor endo.

Lantas untuk tempoh masa 3 jam lebih dok perangat saddle tu, minda aku mula membuat beberapa perhitungan statistic ringkas (sebenarnya nak bagi hilang bosan & penyesalan…keh keh keh).

1.   Kayuh cross country mountain bike is equivalent to kayuh interval on road bike. 3 jam lebih punya interval pace memang totally demanding.

2.   Kayuh off-road tiada ruang untuk lalai atau santai, hence memerlukan focus & perhatian throughout the whole thing. Unless terus dismount & chillax bawah pokok kelapa sawit :]

3.   Kayuh road boleh coasting or drafting, but not here. Your legs, your effort.

Setibanya di garisan penamat, aku menghela nafas lega yang amat. Jumpa kaums pun aku masih belum mampu untuk bersembang & hanya mampu duduk sejenak collecting my thoughts back yang dah spread out all over the trails tadi. Cuaca yang sangat panas menyebabkan aku hanya mampu dehydrate seberapa banyak yang boleh & mix dengan fruits yang penganjur sediakan.

Badan memang lenguh-lenguh from the ride beating. Kaki juga masih sengal sikit-sikit from the long hauling. Bila badan dah tuo, recover may take longer. I can live with that, sebab aku bukan extreme weekend warrior yang setiap minggu masuk event. Keh keh keh.

Tapi it was a good ride, especially when it is a birthday ride. Takde la teman ni beriya-iya sangat plan for it, cuma coincidence aku signed up for the event with the same date. Dah lama tak suffer, perhaps it could be the start of more sufferfest to come.


Aksi ketap bibir sebab tahan kejung
buah pinggang :P

Thumbs up to the organizer. With a small fee of RM50, it was a great event, cool goodies and awesome prizes. And how come other events like running and road bike races still want to cekik the fee too much and yet give sampah in the goodies with cheapskate prizes? Kena kaji tu.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Grinding back


Bila dah lama sangat menjalani proses pertapaan dan percutian, badan dah mula manja dan mental dah mula lawan touke sebab seronok duduk dalam comfort zone. Latihan hujung minggu terpaksa dirancang seawal 2-3 minggu lepas bersama kaum supaya kalau nak bail out last minute akan terpaksa menanggung kemungkiran janji. Aku teringat satu hadis pasal janji ni.

Sabda Rasulullah s.a.w yang maksudnya:
“Ada empat perkara, sesiapa yang melakukannya maka ia adalah seorang munafik tulen. Sesiapa yang melakukan satu daripada empat perkara itu, maka ia mempunyai salah satu daripada sifat munafik, hingga dia meninggalkannya . (Empat sifat itu ialah) apabila dipercayai ia khianat, apabila bercakap ia berdusta, apabila berjanji ia mungkir dan apabila bertengkar ia mengenepikan kebenaran. (Menegakkan benang basah )".

Sekadar berkongsi :]

Walaupun mental bermain-main untuk mencari alasan mengelat, tapi aku berpegang pada hadis tersebut. Walaupun baru recover dari flu. Bahkan, aku memang perlukan sesi ini sebagai starting block untuk seminggu ni terus berlatih sebagai prep menghadapi event Ahad depan. Nak enjoy, kenalah bersiap sedia.

Despite the unpredictable weather since last week, we were hoping that it would give a bit of mercy. Alhamdullillah the sun shone its brightest that particular morning, simply plain awesome for those training for the upcoming Powerman. It was named the hottest race ever for no reason.

To strengthen the reason to train, aku plan untuk teman kawan-kawan yang training for Powerman, selain juga berjumpa kaum yang dah lama sangat tak jumpa. Silaturrahim kena pelihara beb.

Depa plan untuk buat brick training, aku plan untuk menghilangkan berat brick kat kaki ni. So, I just want to spin.

Masa depa did the first run, aku spin pi cari toilet sampai ke Taman Empangan. By the time aku sampai balik carpark, depa pun dah habis lari & bersiap sedia untuk cycle pulak. We managed to cycle around Putrajaya, following what was supposed to be the Powerman 2012 cycle route. Aku follow aje saper yang lead. Al-maklum tahun ni tak masuk.

The first half of the session I tried my best to stay within the zone, maintaining the 110 rpm for as long as possible. HRM punya bateri dah kong, so aku cuma main agak-agak je rate kesemputan. Due to the rolling nature of Putrajaya roads from the interchanges and flyovers and bridges, keadaan memaksa untuk aku bisu seribu bahasa tatkala jantungku memukul gendang bertalu. Kaum yang dah memang stamina bagaikan dewa itu masih maintain kayuh sambil bersembang. Maka, usah lah kalian berfikiran yang aku ini sombong ye. Hehe.

Badan dah betul-betul panas barulah aku cuba selit sikit-sikit sesi menekan pedal especially sampai jalan belakang Alamanda menghala ke Pinggiran Putra. Tiada sebarang aksi Sivaji tapi aku cuba cangkuk pace mereka yang kuat-kuat belaka. I was grinding the crank up inclines and on long flats. Even I was surprised and of course thankful that legs didn’t give up throughout the excursion. Bukan senang nak draft depa ni & aku assume depa ni saja bagi chance & bukan full throttle.

Sampai balik carpark untuk refill, aku menarik nafas lega. Phew! Kami decided to make another shot untuk bundarkan (bahasa matematik UPSR) 50km distance, kasi puas sikit kaum Powerman training. Hence, we repeated the Pinggiran Putra – Alamanda 20km stretch. And the grinding continued for the next hour. It was pleasure pain which I missed for a long time & much appreciated.

Tersangat power ini-ini orang

Dah habis cycle, aku escort depa buat second run pulak. Aku kayuh of course. It was so hot and the same weather was anticipated come event day. Memang suffer aku perhati sorang-sorang tapi it’s better to suffer masa training rather than masa race.

With that concluded, I think I’m heading the right way for the week towards Sunday. Another round of mud and dirt I need.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Tripping - Langkawi D4


Day 4

It should be our last day. Ler…ada lagi rupanya. Tak reti nak balik rumah ke? Hahaha. Wait till I tell you towards the end. It’s going to be the final, I promise.

And we have almost the whole day to ourselves to just do whatever. Orang kampong kata “free and easy” la konon. Konon ye.

Since dah tidoq awal, we had enough rest then. So, kids bugging to go to the beach. Semalam tak dapat main kat beach sebab cuaca tak mengizinkan & dah lewat petang. Hari ni supposed depa kena kasi puas hati chillax.

Weather was still gloomy from yesterday and still wet. Overcast all over the horizon, so panorama nampak lebih mandom instead of terang benderang from the typical beach scenes. At least takde lah golap kulit ni haaaa berjemur ye tak.

Slowly the beach nestled in with crowds coming in every other minute. Joggers, swimmers, shutterbugs. And the resort management did their job well by having housekeeping personnel keeping the beach clean. Bagus lah kan? No wonder la beach nampak bersih.

After a while, I got tired of sitting, watching and waiting. Kids were having a great time, of course lah. Kids. Aku decide to walk the beach to other end which seems to be something worth discovering. The solitary moment I seek.

Mengatur langkah demi langkah, aku observe pelbagai jenis beach resort sepanjang perjalanan. From individual chalets to high class properties. Very high class ones, where they have their own outdoor bar by the beach, sure depa serve cocktail dengan payung kecik tu kan? Beach benches bersepah, typically catering for the mat sallehs la. Orang Melayu idak nya nak berjemur.

Nearby islands seemed so close and reachable if aku ni adventure sangat untuk pi redah. However, the walk was just another typical walk along the beach tanpa sebarang benda menarik yang aku boleh share. Sempat la jugak gatal tangan nak on kan endomondo just to check on the distance. 2KM aje.

We saw the skyline turned grey telling us that rain is approaching. From the point of standing, and due to the open horizon, we could see the phenomenon of rain eating up the land and sea, screening the power of monsoon. Apa lagi? Berterabur ler lari balik chalet.

We checked out at noon and decided to drive pusing island. Singgah kat tourist spot beras terbakar sat, beli towel mandi dari China yang mak aku pesan. 3 helai RM20 tu. Hahaha. Then to Pantai Pasir Hitam. Telaga Air Hangat (nice facilities but there's something wrong with the drainage system coz the hot spring didn't drain properly causing some sort of contamination look). Then dah sampai balik pekan Kuah. More or less covered 60km. No wonder la Ironman Langkawi kena pusing bike leg sampai 3 kali nak cari 180km. Hehe.

Model Paksaan Pantai PAsir Hitam

Our flight back to be at 10.00pm, hence still lots of time to bask around. Fikir punya fikir, suddenly wifey decided to give it a shot at the cable car ride. Ooooh! She missed the first ride sebab belum prepared. Hehe. Yes, we took the chance to take a friend’s advise that the sunset therapy from Gunung Mat Chincang was priceless. Tapi sebelum tu kami pi pekena laksa power kat jalan airport dulu. Memang lazat, bukan aje sebab rasanya, but the location tepi pantai tu dah cukup 'moment'.

'Moment' beb. Rasa macam nak bawak balik otak udang tu

6.30 p.m. dah sampai peak. The part where Umar dok pi usik ibu dia masa dalam cable car, kita skip la. Hehe. Tak ramai orang tapi semua have the same agenda. We just chilled, enjoying the cool mountain breeze and the gorgeous view. On the west side is the Telaga Harbour. The north view, range of padi fields surrounded by mountains. The east side, where it is still untouched, lay across green mountain range with solitary coastline. It was quiet, just the whispering wind brushes through our faces. The typical mountain 'moment'. Hurriedly brought me back through the timeline while atop Mount Tahan, Mt Kinabalu and a few others. The same 'moment'. I was touched. Touching la pulak. Tapi aku serious ni beb. Keindahan ciptaan Allah swt yang macam ni lah yang memang aku appreciate sangat setiap kali aku melangkah kaki mendaki gunung zaman dulu-dulu. It  bring me closer to the Creator. Subhanallah.

The South Platform.
Almost like city in the sky

Maghrib at 7.03pm. Thus the moment for sunset therapy came. Takde bersenjatakan camera canggih, so I have to be thankful with what I have. The light penetration was just pure and full of sincerity. Masa ni amik gambor dengan camera cikai pun memang kompom chun. With slight overcast covering the sun and the skyline, it was just a dramatic view.

East. Telaga Harbour

West. Sunset therapy

Magical

Tak payah tunggu lama-lama. Tak lama lagi dah nak gelap. Even when we reached the carpark pun dah golap. Time to check-in at the airport. Satisfied with our tripping days.

However, the thrill didn’t end soon. While we were queueing, ibu showed me some figures which doesn’t add up. Err…flight schedule ni sebenornya tunjuk pukul 10.00am or 10.00pm ye?

OMG! OMG! OMG!

Tak payah citer banyak. Memang dah sah ler ayah tersalah beli tiket & kita overlooked the flight time. Aiyak. Consultation dengan airline counter didn’t help much since the tickets dah kira hangus. While the next flight fare would be too cekik sebab dia ikut normal rate.

Staying another night for the next morning flight will just add up to more logistic issues and of course cost. So, we have to face abang Tony’s counter for the last resort. Sorry bang Tony, hang memang double ‘A’ la. Hahaha.

We purchased for the flight at 10.40pm. Kids are running out of juice but they stayed cool and rational. Tabik from ayah. It was cold too. Takpe atas plane ayah mintak pinjam selimut & Amir boleh tidur for an hour before kita sampai KL ye.

“Mintak maaf encik, selimut kena beli”.
“Mintak maaf encik, sila naik kan semula kerusi sebab kami dah nak sampai”.
“Kacang ada tak?” Jangan harap!

And we only enjoyed our so called nap for half an hour. And the captain took us another 15 minutes from that point of landing until la plane betul-betul parking, which was tersangat jauh. Senget buah pinggang aku dukung Umar sampai ke terminal building.

OK la. We deserve to be penalized for the carelessness. Takpe. Alhamdullillah. Overall the tripping went well, minus the minor glitches but it was an enjoyable experience.


Posing ala Ustadz Azhar Idrus :]

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Tripping - Langkawi D3


Day 3

Pagi kedua kami teruja pulak dengan island hoping. Terutama aku, yang teringin sangat nak ke Tasik Dayang Bunting. Tapi cuaca agak mendung. Dari kejauhan kelihatan awan hujan berarak mengelilingi pulau-pulau berdekatan. Sahabat travel agent memberi pendapat, jika hujan aktiviti island hoping agak kurang enjoy. Namun kami berserah kepada yang Maha Esa & Abang Cad yang bakal menguruskan trip kami.

Naik bot kecik aje dari tepi jeti feri besar-besar tu. Bot kami muat-muat lebih kurang 15 orang, siap berbumbung & bertingkap. Kami meninggalkan main island tanpa aku ketahui ke mana pakcik kapten nak bawak kami. Memang laju. Pengalaman aku menghentak punggung seperti ke Pulau Manukan dulu berulang kembali. Nasib baik bot pakcik ni ada banyak kusyen. Muka yang dari tadi penuh senyuman dah berubah jadi kelat tatkala setiap kali bot menghentak ombak, or was it the other way? Tak kisah la, tapi memang dah mula fikir “bila ler nak sampai ni bang?!”. Hehe.

Pulau Beras Basah jetty

Aku rasa almost 30 minit kami berlabuh di jeti Pulau Beras Basah. Cantik pantainya. Putih bersih pasirnya dan panorama keliling oleh pulau-pulau kecil bersebelahan dah rasa macam di negara lain. Sayangnya aktiviti kami hanya terhad kepada melepak di pantai itu sahaja sebab topografi pulau yang menghimpit pantai tersebut dengan batuan di kiri dan kanan menghalang aktiviti menjelajah. Lagi pun, aku bersama family dan kelengkapan juga kurang. Kami just chillax sambil melayan monyet-monyet yang dah mula menunjukkan tanda-tanda ‘minat’ kat kami.

Let's do the Tarzan stuff!

Satu jam kemudian, pakcik bot sampai tatkala hujan sedang lebat turun. Begitu juga dengan bot-bot pengunjung lain. Aku rasa memang pengusaha island hoping memang setting timing semua lebih kurang. Maybe atas sebab-sebab jika berlaku kecemasan dan sebagainya.

Bot kami berlayar di balik-balik pulau-pulau kecil yang sangat indah. Ada pulau yang menunjukkan tanda-tanda berpenghuni tapi pulau-pulau yang kecil mungkin tidak. Terdapat juga pulau yang tanpa pantai, hanya gerigi batuan tajam yang curam membentuk geografi yang sangat unik. Sambil-sambil itu juga, aku cuba explain kat anak-anak ciri-ciri pembinaan pulau ini. Jadi cikgu geografi pulak. Hahaha.

Kelihatan juga banyak bot-bot island hoping lain yang bertebaran di merata tempat dan di sebalik pulau-pulau lain. Memang pakej perlancongan Langkawi merupakan salah satu punca rezeki orang-orang tempatan. Alhamdullillah.

Pakcik memberhentikan bot di tengah-tengah sebuah teluk yang agak tenang airnya. Hujan dah mula berhenti. Aku membuka pintu hadapan bot dan menjengukkan kepala, lantas aku terpukau apabila menyaksikan puluhan burung helang berlegar-legar memenuhi angkasa. Satu fenomena yang belum pernah kami lihat, burung helang liar yang bebas berterbangan di habitat semulajadi mereka, dan bukan burung helang yang terkurung di zoo.

Kenapa aku rasa ayat aku dah macam karangan UPSR?! Ceh...

Sekali sekala kelihatan helang turun ke permukaan air menyambar kulit ayam yang dilemparkan oleh pakcik bot. Tatkala ini aku hanya mampu berpuas hati dengan foto yang diambil dengan Blackberry. Tak berapa nak cun sangat, unless ada DLSR yang boleh zoom, memang aku boleh memang award National Geographic kot. Hehe. Kami leka memerhati pemandangan semulajadi tersebut. Satu keajaiban dalam penciptaan Tuhan yang Maha Berkuasa.

Aku expect our next destination should be Pulau Dayang Bunting, since waktu dah pun menjelang tengahari. Island hoping dijangka complete by 1.00 p.m. gitu.

The Plane! The Plane!

Setibanya di jeti Pulau Dayang Bunting, kelihatan dah ramai orang. Yang baru sampai & yang dah beratur untuk naik bot untuk pulang. Sama ramai. Bot pun sama banyak, terpaksa queue untuk mengambil dan menurunkan penumpang di jeti yang sempit. Tapi keadaan masih terkawal di mana aku harap tidak akan berlaku sebarang kekecohan macam cerita Pendekar Bujang Lapok. Hahaha.

Sebaik aku menapakkan kaki di tanah, kami sudah disambut dengan pemandangan monyet-monyet. Aku jangka akan berlaku sesuatu di antara dua sepsis primate ni jika keadaan membenarkan. Sedetik kemudian, sebaik kami melangkah menuju ke pulau, telah kedengaran jeritan seseorang. Benar sungguh dah jangkaan ku. Monyet telah panjat di belakangnya dan ingin meragut botol susu anaknya. Normal untuk hidupan liar sebegini bertindak liar dan begitu rakus meragut. Aku hanya mampu berpatah balik dan membantu supaya monyet tersebut tidak mengambil tindakan agresif lagi terutama terhadap isteri dan anak kecik lelaki tersebut. Dia dah dapat botol tu dah cukup baik dia tak kacau lagi.

Tak sampai seminit, satu lagi kes ragut berlaku di baris hadapan. Seorang kakak juga telah diragut di mana roti Gardenia menjadi habuan. Takpe lah kak, anggapkan aje sedekah. Janji kakak selamat tak di per-apakan. Anak-anak aku dah mula berkepit dengan aku, rasa takut. Sedangkan aku cuba tenteramkan mereka dan cuba explain bahawa monyet hanya akan menyerang jika ada makanan pada kita. Kalau takde apa2, tak payah nak risau.

Tapi, I was informed that monkeys kat Bali dah hupgrade. Depa ragut barang kemas in exchange with food. Setakat earings or Oakley tu aku rasa depa dah ada catalogue kot. Kih kih kih.

Pendakian mirip Telaga Tujuh bermula sebaik kami meninggalkan perkarangan jeti, akan tetapi tidak terlalu jauh. Sejurus kemudian kami telah dihidangkan dengan pemandangan tasik yang sangat memukau.


Without the trees blocking the view, it should be cantek

This one cilok from Google

Aku terpanggil untuk terjun tapi malu-malu kucing. Puiii... Umar dah excited nak terjun. Tasik tiada pantai hanya kemudahan platform disediakan untuk pengunjung. Teringat pulak macam pengalaman terjun kat PD Tri dulu. Keliling tasik membentangkan pemandangan cerun-cerun curam. Papantanda menunjukkan kedalaman tasik mencecah 30 kaki. Umar sewa life jacket. Ayah teman Umar. Pakcik bot bagi sama aje masa 1 jam, which is tak lama actually. So tanpa membuang masa, Amir, Umar & ayah terjun tirup menikmati kesejukan dan kesegaran air tasik. Ayah terjun dengan track bottom & t-shirt terus. Sakai betul ayah ni. Takpe, takde masa nak tukar pakaian renang. Bedal.com la katakan.

Settle island hoping. Kami check out dari motel & check in pulak chalet kat Pantai Chenang. Masa untuk chillax suasana laid back. Konon.

Area Pantai Chenang saling tak tumpah dah mirip-mirip Feringhi Walk. Penuh dengan foreigners dan kedai-kedai yang majoritinya cater untuk foreigners jugak. And penuh dengan beach hotels, beach chalets, beach motels, water sport facilities dan segala jua benda yang berkaitan dengan beach & air. Sampaikan locals pun dah jadi beach boys and they started putting up beach joints ala-ala surfers' joints gitu la. 


From Pantai Chenang to the rest
of the world

Kami just grazed along the beach. Rain just stopped. Kids enjoying the surf. A clean beach of course and not too crowded. Very calm. Too bad we didn't get the chance to enjoy the sunset due to massive overcast of rain clouds over the horizon. 

As for dinner, we just checked in kat Restoran Haji Ramli which seemed to be the most reliable halal joint around. Itu pun kami sendiri rasa macam kami mendapat pandangan pelik dari pekerja restoran. Don't know what type of look but that kind of weird stares. Tak kisah ler, Alhamdullillah masakan not bad, asalkan tak order benda pelik selain nasi putih, tom yam & telur dadar. Hahaha.

Our night was short. It rained again slightly after Isya' and we were not keen to venture out and hit the sack early instead.