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


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!”

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