Thursday, October 28, 2004

Joint Pain

Did some training yesterday by myself.

Elevated the heart rate to almost 95% of my Max Heart Rate for some speed exercise, then let it fall back to about 50% of my max before pushing for the 95% again (roughly 1km of hard running, and 1km of recovery run).

It was good.

But, this morning, as i woke up, i could feel pain in my knee. Omigosh...the dreaded knee pain.

I lost weight from my previous 90kg to about 82kg now. I guess, technically, in order for me to be able to run/bike/swim ie continue to do those trialthon, i better get my weight reduced by a further 5 kg.

Seems to be an achievable feat, actually, considering that my body fat percentage is still pretty high. (LOL, whadaya expect? i'm no model!)

Anyway, a bodybuilding friend of mine reccomended me to take Glucosamine and Chondroitin.

The effective dosage per day is 1.5g and 1.2g respectively.

What these two susbstance does is to treat arthritis actually. but it is used by atheletes as a form of joint health and maintaince.

I've seen too many of my active friends busting their knees. It is no fun.

Only problem in Malaysia is that these are hard to find in normal pharmarcies. The only place i could think off is to buy it off from Weider or Shiff from Weider Shop in Sunway Pyramid.

But of course, as per usual, i will do my own research on this.

US FDA has a good write up on this.

Also, there is news report about Glucosamine, chondroitin propel natural arthritis gains published in August 2000.

And there is Consumer Report article telling the world about this drugs.

As for now, i'll keep my options open, maybe the knee pain is just because i was inactive for clsoe to 3 weeks, while my blister heals.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Of Puasa Month and Exercising

It is Day 12 of the Puasa Month.

So far so good, at least for the one particular group of friends that never cease to STOP running or cycling.

I was running with them yesterday in TTDI Park. We did 3 big rounds and one small round, totalling circa 10km i would presume.

Non of them showed any sign of being tired or out of energy.

I, on the other hand, with my blister/sore just at 95% healing stage, was struggling a bit. Due to the fact that i was not active for the past 2 weeks plus.

Gonna get back in shape, and start improving my fitness level.

Gonna run again today. Alone this time. Interval training maybe?

I treated myself to a few issues of back issues of Men Fitness, Muscle&Fitness and Flex recently. Priced ar RM9.90 each, i am not gonna complain if it is a July 2004 issue.

The thing about exercising and fitness is that it is addictive. If you think that Sex is addictive, then wait until you start to get your body in shape. It is exhilirating!

Monday, October 25, 2004

Facial

Before any of you had any funny thoughts of what i am talking about, i really meant facial, as in the beauty/grooming regime, not, well...some other *facial* you guys, or girls, (dis)like!

And also, before any of you think that i've lost my manliness by going for this facial thingy, think again, the pain and humilation sometimes are so overwhelming, it could make any Malik Noor wannabe (or Dorian Yates, even Ronnie Coleman), cringe.

Actually, this wasn't like my FIRST facial. Been at it since i was 18. Only difference this time, was that the last facial i had, was dated 8 months back. I swear it wasn't THAT long!

Went with wifey to her friend's place, where i've signed up for a package. She was surprised to see me and she was expecting for me to appear with my face full of acne, blackheads, whiteheads etc etc.

I was excited of course.

Maybe it was the feminine side of me crying out for attention again (or is that what you call, metrosexual?)

First Diagnosis. "You've grown darker, just got back from beach ah?". I replied an aye of course.

"OK, we will do a light peeling for you", she mustered through her surgery mask covered face.

At this point, i almost freaked out. SKIN PEEL? Err...HELLO? What and why in the world would i need this? I do not want my face to be some *whitening* experiment.

Somehow, i could just muster a "Yes, pls, peel it".

I felt so ashamed. My innerself conflicting with what my lips just mustered. I blame it on the estrogen in me. Or was it the oil diffusers in the room?

It was too late to say NO to the peeling anyway, as when i came to my senses, some cold paste was already all over my face.

Then i heard plastics being stretched. Those plastics that we use to cover our food with to be stored in the fridge, or to be microwaved.

Err..homocide? I guessed she sensed my insecurity. She explained that it is used to prevent the skin from drying while the solution are slowly etching my face to look like some superstar.

Yeah right.

I felt tingling sensation. Instinct told me that any tingling sensation is good. It meant that my nerves ending are still functinoning.

About 5 minutes later, she came in and removed the plastic. She wiped the face clean and she proceed to start to remove all the white/black/yellow/orange heads there was on my face. It was painful.

"Tell me if it is painful", She said.

OK, now look here lady. IF it WAS painful, I WON'T tell you. I'm a man. I am supposed to be oblivious to pain. Thank God for the wet cotton that was placed on my eye, she did not see the tears rolling down.

There wasn't very much coloured heads to be pinched in the first place. It was all over in about 10 minutes, the pinching i meant.

Then there was this mask that she put on my face. I know i fell asleep and was rudely awaken by my own snore.

2 hours and one more mask later, it was all over. i was asked to rehydrate my face skin. It is dry. That means, i could steal some of those Aesop stuff that wifey has! (Giggle)...

OKla, 150 minutes later, i looked into the mirror. Not that i noticed any differences in the skin tone, but i definately felt the benefit of the facial. My skin was so much more smoother, and i came out alive, without my face's skin peeling like some lizards we see in the 1980's show V.

Friday, October 22, 2004

bored

I was just blog hopping online. I realised that somethings i wrote was of any substance. I write. Yes. But of yesterday's news.

There wasn't anything exciting. Or Sexciting for that matters.

Sometimes, i wish, i could just leave everything i'm doing everyday behind. Just for a day.

Impossible.

My phone almost never stop ringing.

*private numbers* on my CLIP aren't the best thing everyday. It meant that some pesky bigger than thou so called engineer are calling you. Most probably to irritate the heck out of your fucking mind.

I was recieiving calls on the day i was registering for my marriage. For all it is worth, wifey was pretty tense up as well, as she can't believe that she is getting married.

I, for one, can't believe that the phone hasn't stop ringing.

I switched it off.

It didn't help. An hour later, barrage of SMS came in.

"Call me back or i'll ask boss to call you back" was what the pain in the arse engineer's sms said.

"where the fuck are you" echoed anohter one.

"Authority are making my life hell in this inspection", said my blurry colleague.

Heck. I sometimes dread Monday. I am even more afraid of Friday.

They call and call they will. Asking for the impossible to get the things done BY Monday.

If my fahter owns this blardy company, or my grandad(peace be with him) owns those pumps company, i would ensure that those blardy pumps are delivered to their door in the next 30 minutes.

Well, it is weekend again. And it haven't changed a thing.

Am expecting many many calls coming in tomorrow, at circa 11.30am till 1pm. And asking me to get my stuff done by Monday.

sigh...

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Sultan Of Selangor Rocks!

Kudos to you sir,

At least we all know that you are serious about whipping those Latuks(sic) and stripping them off their title because they are undeserving!

Whoop Their Arses

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Si Kar Chuk*


Taken in Sg Melaka. This way to see Monitor Lizards


But i found this bugger further upstream obviously flustered by my presence, it made a dash for the water!,

This baby was a good 8 footer. This pic was taken using a 1.3megapixel camera, and this pic was cropped and enlarged by 200%!

*Si Kar Chuk - Hokkien for Monitor Lizard.

Of Old and New

Took this pic last week, when i was at site checking the progress of work near Discovery Cafe

I then sent it to NST and i guess i was the only one that sent in picture on that particular day.

It got published in the Online NST. Check it out and see:
NST Pix of the day

Come 2006, the whole Sg Melaka beautification project will be completed. The current Phase 1 work is in the process of being handed over to the Majlis Bandaraya.

So, if you are in Melaka, check the walkway out along the river. Just becareful of the Si Kar Chuk!
To those that is trying to improve their Bahasa Malaysia, better start reading up this ride report written by OP Doc Hisyam.


BERBUKA PUASA DI EMPANGAN BATU

17 oktober2004/3 Ramadhan 1425H
430petang
Peserta:
Azman
Ashley
Zeyus
V(tak tau nama penuh)kawan kepada Zeyus
Loh(Teman lelaki Stephanie)
Amir(Teman lelaki Azman/ peserta baru)
Doc(saya)

Aktiviti riadah yang tidak dirancang ini bermula apabila Zeyus membuat panggilan telefon kepada saya untuk bertanyakan khabar. Apabila ditanyakan tentang acara berbasikal lasak, Doc dengan segera mencadangkan agar dapat berbasikal di Empangan Batu pada keesokan harinya iaitu pada 17/oktober. Melalui kaedah SMS, rakan rakan berbasikal dihubungi dan akhirnya walaupun dengan masa notifikasi yang singkat, 7 anggota dapat menghadirkan diri. Sememangya acara dirancang untuk dimulakan pada waktu petang untuk membolehkan sahabat musliman berbuka puasa pada penghujung acara.

Keadaan cuaca amat mendung. Kuala Lumpur baru dilanda hujan lebat. Kesemua peserta berada di tempat letak kereta tepat pada masa yang ditetapkan, dan setelah menukar tiub getah baru bagi tayar basikalnya, doc dan rakan-rakan memulakan aktiviti riadah mereka. Kesemua peserta agak tercungap kehabisan udara apabila menaiki lereng bukit yang pertama. Mungkinkah cuaca yang mendung dan udara lembap memainkan peranan disini? Hujan sudah reda pada masa tersebut dengan titisan renyai membasahi kami semua. Agak lega rasanya bagi kami yang berpuasa.

Keaadaan jalan adalah lembut dan berlumpur. Kami semua dibasahi lumpur dan apalah nak di kata empangan Batu, lika tidak disebut tentang pacatnya yang bermaharajalela pada petang itu? Saya menerima tidak kurang dari 10 gigitan pacat.

Kami teruja apabila sampai di anak sungai yang pertama. Anak sungai yang selalu menjadi tempat bermain, telah menjadi sebuah sungai yang deras dan dalam! Air sungai yang selalunya jernih kini menjadi kotor dan berbahaya.Kami menyeberangi sungai dengan was was.
Pada dakian yang berikutnya,keadaan adalah amat sukar disebabkan oleh keadaan tanah yang berlumpur. Banyak dahan yang jatuh disebabkan oleh hujan lebat. Walaupun begitu, keadaan jalan masih boleh membenarkan kami untuk mengayuh sebanyak yang mungkin. Pengalaman baru bagi Amir. Ini adalah kayuhan denai yang pertama baginya. Bagi V, ini bukanlah kayuhan pertama memandangkan dia pernah menakluki denai Kiara. Walaupun begitu, dia tetap berpuas hati dan gembira dengan denai Empangan Batu walaupun pada kali pertama di situ. Zeyus telah mengalami masalah teknikal dengan sistem gearnya. Syukurlah tidak serius, dan dia dapat meneruskan perjalanan dengan bantuan daripada Azman.

Laluan turun bukit menuju sungai utama diredah dengan perasaan gembira! Sungai tersebut juga kami dapati telah menjadi dalam dan amat deras.Loh telah berbaik hati dengan memberi bantuan kepada semua anggota untuk menyeberangi sungai tersebut.Doc hampir dihanyuti arus deras. Dia pun amat kecewa kerana tidak dapat mandi manda ditempat kegemarannya.
Memandangkan cuaca buruk(keadaan semakin gelap dan hujan renyai), dan untuk mengejar masa, kami bergegas meneruskan perjalanan. Runtuhan pokok yang telah menghalang denai pada masa lalu telah dibersihkan. Kami meneruskan perjalanan menaiki lerengan bukit menuju ke puncak bukit dimana bermulanya acara kegemaran semua iaitu acara turun bukit.

Pemandangan amat cantik dengan kabus selepas hujan meliputi puncak bukit dan juga lembah lembah yang diselubungi kabus. Kebanyakan denai dapat dikayuh walaupun tanah agak licin. Udara yang sejuk juga membantu kami . Keaadan persekitaran juga semakin gelap dan membuat kami bergegas ke puncak dakian.

Acara turun bukit apabila tiba tetap memberi kepuasan dan kegembiraan yang secukupnya kepada kami, walaupun denai ini telah dilalui berkali kali di masa lepas.Loh dan Zeyus berada dihadapan diikuti dengan V, Man dan Ashley. Saya dan Amir mengayuh dengan berhati hati.Sememangya Empangan Batu memberi kepuasan yang tidak dapat dibandingi!

Kami berkumpul semula di kedua sungai. Keaadan sungai yang berbahaya membuat kami berwaspada menyeberanginya. Pada laluan terakhir, kami mengayuh dengan kelajuan agak sederhana dan tidak memecut seperti yang selalu dilakukan. Keadaan yang hampir malam dan pemandangan yang amat cantik membuat kami menikmati persekitaran dan lebih berwaspada.
Azan Maghrib berkumandang tepat apabila kami sampai ke pinggiran empangan.Selepas berbuka puasa dengan air kosong dan roti(terima kasih kepada MAn), kami terus ke tempat letak kereta dan mendapati pintu utama telah berkunci! Doc terpaksa mencari pak jaga yang pada masa itu sedand berbuka puasa di rumahnya.

Dengan perasaan gembira kami meninggalkan Empangan Batu....

Jumlah masa:2jam 15 min
Denyutan nadi maksima: 186
Purata denyutan nadi: 146
Keseronokan: BEST GILA!!!!

PS: Jangan lupa bersenam walaupun bulan puasa!

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Friday, October 15, 2004

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Yeap, He did it again!

What did i tell you?

in my posting yesterday, i qouted him as saying that it will take a week to clear the place.

Now, it will take...3 months!!!

Well done Samy!

OK, To be fair to him, there was 2 stretch of the road that will be opened, converting it into a 2 way street.

An officer from IWK this morning that i met, told me about how precarious the whole road looked, since this portion is almost at the apex of the hill, chances of you being stuck behind a 3 tonnes lorry carrying 15 tonnes of goods/stuffs are high (We are the citizen of Bolehland, Any 3 Axle vehicle could be transformed into a 4 axle to carry more goods), and it is definately not a pretty sight to be following them up the hill at 30km/h.

If the Lorry breaks down how?

Or how about those daredevil bus driver that would speed, it isn't any prettier with them tailgating you at 80km/h, knowing very well you got no where to go but up front faster, then you meet with the slow moving lorry upfront, then what?

And raining days are back again, lets hope there is no further earth movement (i bet the department in charge would had said that they have been monitoring the situation...hahahahahaha)

Well Done! Again!

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Sigh...

Remember the eagle that has a wing broken in Perhentian?

Well, looks who made it into the pix of the day!

I sure hope the eagle will recover, and take to the sky, as it should be...

Ironic isn't it?

Oppss..he did it again...

Less than a year after the Bukit Lanjan Rockslide, now we have the Gua Tempurung Landslide.

IN the land of many Slides...and not to forget, Boleh-ness, this comes as lil surprise.

The highway owner, PLUS, should had taken all nessasary action prevent these incident from happening again.

Bukit Lanjan was kind enough not to cause any casulties.

But Gua Tempurung was less forgiving, at least one was injured and many more shocked at their luck and predictament to be so close to death itself.

One week to clear the rubble?

Well, that was what they said about Bukit Lanjan to take more than just a few weeks, which turned out to be a few months!

Of course, I can already hear what our beloved Work minister would say.

"Act of GOD!" (ok, which he didn't say this time around, but he did say...)

“You cannot say it is the design because the highway has existed for 18 years. At areas where there have been hill cutting, even though we have placed retaining walls, we can expect such incidents to happen.”

OK, 18 years, aren't the slope supposed to be stabilised by now?

“We will assess the situation and if feasible we will build the tunnel at dangerous stretches like this one. We could not do it before because it was too costly,”

Hmm...after his attempt to build a tunnel at Bukit Lanjan..looks like he wants a tunnel in Gua Tempurung!

Now, what's with our country's fetish for all thing that *slides* and all things that need to make *holes* (SMART tunnel that is causing massive problem from Kg. Pandan roundabout to Sg. Besi, and all these tunnel $hit)...

Forgot, it is all in the spirit of Malaysia (Samy) Boleyyy...

All together now... BOH...LEEYYYYYYY!!!!

Monday, October 11, 2004

Sg Dua Epic Ride

Sg Dua Trail
Lentang Forest Reserve.
Sg Dua, Pahang

10/0ctober/2004

By Doc. Hisham...

Reconnaissance Ride

Members:
Azman(special forces)
Nik(Kor Agama )
Fendi (Kor Armor/kereta kebal)
Stupe(Kor Angkut/ transport/mechanic)
Bacin(Sjn Bacin / Kor Renjer/ orang asli)
Me(doc)

Well what can you say, we finally did it. So much talk of the big ride and we finally did it! It started well enough. Everyone was on time. 0730hrs at the Projet. Barring a few minor adjustments, toilet visit, breakfast and filling up of petrol...we were on the road by 0745. The going was steady, with speeds within the limits. Radio communication was on and the usual macho chat got into full gear. Nik and Azman brought up the rear and we all had to wait for them at the Bentong toll gate. Hopefully nothing fishy went on in that silver Kembara...Entertainment was free, courtesy of some Alleycats wannabe. Somehow my karaoke singing doesn't sound right so early on the morning.

As usual, the theme of the morning was" bash your doctor day" The doc was pre blamed for everything." KAlau kita sesat, memang salah doc la, etc etc." Thankfully, he was competent enough to lead the pack to the trailhead. It took us an hour to reach the trailhead. It was easy enough to find, thanks to a well written trail guide by Joe adnan. No thanks to Nik.

The tail head and also our parking space is located in a flat open plateau (260ft A.S.L) just off the exit to Kg Sertik Mempaga where we had to make a u turn under the highway back towards KL..Located nearby was Pusat Serenti Sg Dua.(Stupes Alumni)

After the usual prep action, we were off. 0900hrs. the initial phase of the track was slow gentle ride on narrow tarmac road. We passed trough some orchards (dusun) on the way and even passed trough a small orang asli village. Sjn Bacin wanted to stop and meet his relatives and Nik wanted to check on his illegal offspring there, but we had a long ride ahead. Familial matters had to wait.

The tarmac road changed into double tracked 4 WD track immediately after the village. The track was dry and firm with only a few ruts. Maybe the loggers have had their day in Sg Dua and now have abandoned logging there. At Km 2.5, the climbing started. Technically it was not very difficult. However the climb was quite steep at places and was sustained at a steep angle, unlike the more gentle slopes of Teratak. As we got further, the ruts appeared. Perhaps the heavy rain fall coupled with the steep incline contributed to the deep ruts. It was painfully slow and frustrating, especially when you had to restart from stopping or falling into the ruts. The only person who was able to ride almost the whole extent was Man. The rest, well what do you expect from a couple of over the hill, weekend warriors? Pushed and cursed laa...Somehow, Doc's vocabulary of not so good words just got better on that Sunday morning uphill torture.

Whatever motivated this group of buggers to wake up at 6 and endure such torture was soon rewarded with some wonderfully beautiful breath taking views. The early morning cloud cover and mist made the backdrop of mountains stunningly pretty. Somewhat difficult to imagine that we were only an hour's drive from KL and away from that thick polluted air. At this height, the air temperature dropped. It felt like the lower 20s (C), and of course the air was clean. Unfortunately it had to be polluted by nicotine tainted Dunhill (KATAKAN TAKNAK!)

At Km 6.8 we had our first river crossing. (Sg Dua Olak). Even at this point the view of the river was superb. As we ascended, the river was on our right side following our course (south westerly). Met a couple of small but impressive waterfalls on the way. A few too many Kodak moments here and there made the climb less torturing and more rewarding. The climb finally ended at the highest point on the trail (1360ft A.S.L). The apex of the climb was situated at a ridge (genting) which overlooked the confluence of 2 valleys. According to the trail guide, it marked the watershed between the two river systems of Sg Dua Olak and Sg Kurau, of which we were attempting to follow upstream. (The end point of the trail is the Kurau waterfalls)

From here onwards it was more or less undulating downhill for the next 4-5 km. The track was becoming more technical with deep ruts and slippery rocky terrain as we followed a more southerly course this time. You can sense that not many people come here by the sheer overgrowth and fallen logs. At most of the river crossings, the log bridges had fallen over and left in a state of neglect. The journey here onward was getting more demanding and tiring.

We reached the 15km mark at around 1230hrs, and at this point spirits were high as we were confident in being able to reach Kurau water fall by the pre planned cutoff point of 1400hrs.4 Km in 90mins? Sounded simple even for Sjn Bacin and the already semi comatose doc! We proceeded on crossing quite a big river. In fact it was the confluent of the Kurau and the depressingly named Sg Rogol. Off course, the view here was magnificent. Large boulders and what I reckon to be grade 3 to 4 rapids. Haiya...kalau boleh kayak ni sure best! After crossing, we immediately lost the trail! What heavy overgrowth!

The team had to spend almost 20 minutes trying to figure out where the trail was. Finally after much hacking of the jungle with our bare hands, we finally found it. Damn me if I may, but the thick bush was almost like virgin jungle! Couple with the fact that nobody remembered to bring any machetes or axe (yes, you can blame the doc) forward movement was very slow. The Kurau River was now on our left as we began to climb to reach its waterfalls. Those of us wearing short sleeves and fancy Lycra got a hell of a beating from the thorns. By 1315 we only managed to reach 16.5km! It was getting late, morale was low and some limbs were bruised and itched like mad. Ahead was the proposed river crossing at 17.5km and another 2 km till the water fall. No mention was made in the trail guide about the terrain and we were not sure what kind of forest growth awaits us.

The team immediately stopped and reassessed the situation. A quick vote was made. The choice was easy a) continue onwards and bash through the hell and turn back at 1400hrs. Or b) turns back now and rest at the river confluent/crossing (15km). The risk with a) was we may not have enough time to rest before embarking on the long journey out of there. However, having got so close and yet so far, it was really frustrating! In the end the vote count was 4-2 in favour of turning back. The 2 opposition MPs were Azman and doc.

It was again jungle bashing, this time downhill to the river confluent. At this point everyone was dead tired and hungry. Lunch as usual was served.....burnt toast with peanut butter and raspberry(lovely), burnt toast with cheese spread, Nasi lemak bungkus(courtesy of Fendi), Tuna sandwich(Nik), and other stuff. I must say that the quality of the caterers has improved. Unlike most rides where people would talk rubbish and make fun of Stupe or Bacin depending on the mood, the team was a bit subdued. Maybe it's the breathtaking views of the rapids or the calm serenity of the moment. It looked more like that we were all half dead from the ordeal. Nobody wanted to talk about the upcoming 4 km uphill on the return journey. A matter to contemplate too was the long downhill. Maybe it was easy for some like Nik and Fendi, but for morons like me, Stupe and Bacin, it was scary enough to think that we had to endure it while we were already tired!

The river was steep enough to swim in with some guys taking the opportunity to do their laundry(Stupes), clean their gear, mandi wajib etc. Man said the fish was big there. I didn't see any though. Too tired laa.

At 1400hrs we headed back. And just like a porno movie with a bad ending, the first technical failure arose thanks to Nik's really crappy brake pads which decided to come off. Thankfully our brake pad expert was on hand to refix it which I'm sure no one else on the team knew how to. Nasib baik ada bawa cina murtad.

The 4 km ride to the highest point was HELL! No macho talk now. Fendi and Stupes were quietly pushing their bikes. Man was contemplating what went wrong and noting that we should have been more prepared for this kind of trip. Bacin was thinking of the next adventure race and how he was going to beat Stupes and doc. Nik was Busy checking his watch altimeter to gauge how far till the summit. Doc was comatose silent, maybe trying to get used to HELL, as at his current status, a one way ticket is already prebooked. The sun was already beating down hard and despite the altitude, was again drenched in sweat. Fear was of running out of water. Almost all had their water bags drained by now.

During one of the rest stops, we talked about taking on the Jill Thompson loop in the next biggie. Azman mentioned that his previous bike owner had already brought the bike up Cameron. Wow if that simple bike can make it? Surely our Scott Racing and Specialized Stumpjumper can make it! In the end the conclusion was that it wasn't Man who was fit and able, it was the bike...Haiya, we almost thought he was on performance enhancing drug or something....You never know these kelantanese tongkat ali stuff they have .

What a relief it was once we reached the 10.4 mark. A quick pit stop and some words of caution on how to tame this downhill section and we were off. It was as said earlier easy for some and damn frightening for others. Fendi had one tergolek episode...laju sangat tu. Meanwhile Man also took a tumble over his handle bar. Nasib baik ada helmet! Me and Stupe as usual on downhill sweeped the rear.

The gang reorganised past the river crossing (6.8km) and we all felt like we were home free! We were screaming trough the orchard like there's no tomorrow.... and just like any other cheap porno horror flick, something shitty had to happen. This time it was Fendi's chain which snapped! Thanks to overzealous hard shifting during a climb, the chain just gave up. Immediate call for assistance brought everyone together again except for Nik who was way ahead (radio battery was out) and probably thinking he was a hero to blaze us all behind! Once again the cina murtad came into action. The rest, well they just looked and talked cock. By the end of repairs, the sky was darkening and drizzling. Not sure whether the rain was starting or ending in that region. The track was getting muddier and slippery. We only got really dirty at this point onwards. Home stretch was at near full speed, no time to visit kampung people.

A welcome relief to reach the cars. Someone noticed some police crime scene -yellow no entry tapes around the parking space. Shit! We were on some kind of crime scene! No mood to talk. Everyone was trying to go home and get lectured from their spouses. Muka semua sedih je...Reached the cars at 1735hrs.

Total journey time: 7 hrs 35min
Actual bike rolling 4 hrs 17
Elevation gained 260ft to 1360 in aprrox 8km
Max HR: 196
Av HR : 148
Pleasure ratings: Hell freezes over!

Bacin: Best gilaa...!!!!
Stupes: Penat sial!!!
Man: Kita kena prepare lebih lain kali
Nik: Better than Pusu -kemensah

Lessons learned from this ride: we have to be more prepared. Always bring parang/kapak on unknown trails like this.
Perhaps an earlier flag off time instead of the usual 0730 is warranted for oncoming biggie rides. In open trails like this wear long sleeves!
So let's do the Jill Thompson in December after raya!

Lim's and Har's!!!!

Delivered!!

Sealed

Signed

Last Moment before legally married

Perhentian Island Challenge : Part 4

The Aftermath...

We Got Medals!!!


Well, the organisers was kind enough to present each finisher with a medal. That was sweet of them. Since this was the first Perhentian Island/Quadrathlon in Malaysia, the total prize money was RM20K! But of course, non of us managed to come close to get any of the portion of the pie.

Nevertheless, everyone that came, and finish the race was more than happy of their personal achievements. OP Adventure did pretty good, personally, if you were to ask me. We not only better our own full dress rehearsal time by 30 minutes at least (does this mean we pushed ourselves more), to some, it was a personal thing.

Some of us were bugged with injuries sustained during those many years of knee bashing exercise or games.

Some of us had chaffing and blisters at all the most unusual (and not mentionable places).

Some of us only decided to train like in the final 3 weeks before the race itself.

Some of us, had to conquer their personal fears of swimming in the open sea (in swimming pool, there is always the *touchable* flooring, should anything goes wrong) and the depth at high tide at the far end of the swimming league could well be more than 30 feet, not forgetting the elements.

This applied to kayaking as well, as kayaking in Putrajaya Lake was by far a luxury, compared to what we had to do in Perhentian.

Even the biking trail somewhat resembled the famed technical outback of Kiara, where most riders will at least take a tumble or two. It is evident as the Perhentian trail took a few casulties in some of those expensive reliable bikes.

But of course, the so called trail run was the biggest ploy of them organisers. Duping us to believe that it will be loads of running, but instead, it was much more technical than the *Tok Penghulu, Where the Fakawi* trail during the AXN KL Race.

Again, It was exhilarating, exceptionally fun, especially chanllenging for all those first, or even regular triatheltes (as Kayaking wasn't even in any triathlon events).

And as usual, these races thrives on adrenalin rush. It breathes on the spirit of competiveness.

OK. I better stop before it sound like some ad for some car company...

But i am sure you all know what i meant. For those that had taken part in this races, they now what it takes to achieve what they achieved. Personal sacrifices. Training pains and injuries. Monetary issues. The list could go on. We now have the same respect for these atheletes that compete in international arena as for those that does well in the corporate sector.



Me and Doc after the race

Prize Giving and BBQ Dinner
We had our lunch at our usual joint. Food don't taste as good after those hours of toiling with the elements. But it did taste better than those bananas and powerbars/muesli bars. It was also then that we saw the last 2 contestant, ladies category, running their final 400 meters to the finishing line, to complete their race nontheless. We cheered them on. We know, how important it is to finish the race, and not just PARTICIPATE. Kudos to them!

Later in the evening, after loads of washing up and damage control over all the equipements and bodily parts, we went for the scheduled BBQ dinner cum prize presentation.

Food were buffet styled. it wasn't anything really impressive, if it was even impressive in the first place. The race for food also happens here, maybe this should be called a hepthalon, including fighting for food is concerned. LOL. The organisers did their best to accomodate paying guest and also the participants to the prize giving ceremony, but some of us can't help but to feel cheated that the buffet spread cost RM40 per head. Then, the ice cream came out...hahahaha...it was funny to see grown ups fighting for that one scope of miserable flavour laden, colour enhanced ice cream. So much so for atheletes taking care of their health and food intake. hahaha.


This applies to you as well Bro, better finish that last stick of ciggie...

The winner was announced later. Well done to all of them. The ladies champ was seen going to the stage with one member's leg in cast, apparently sprained ankle sustained during the trail run. The other member, also the champ for the Mix team in the AXN race, was carrying her injured teammate to recieve the prizes.

The Mix team champ was called upon as well, with a pretty muhibbah mixture of races in their blood.

The male Champ, and also the overall champ was last to called upon. As expected, this guy is a full time triathelete. He does nothing but run, swim and cycle.

Then there was the lucky prize presentation.

OP Adventure team member managed to get one return air ticket from KL-Kota Baru(Asry got that) and anohter one, which is one night stay at Bubu Resort (Azman got it).

The rest of the lucky prizes, i could say almost 80% of it, went back to the staff at Bubu Island Resort. heck, even the MC had the prize of the lucky draw, not forgetting their GM!

OK, I don't need to be sore, but, isn't it proper that the STAFFS are not allowed to be included in the lucky draw. Did they pay for the food in the first place? This leave much to be desired, if you ask me.

Also, not to mean to be overly paranoid as well, but i just found out that the Race Director's son was the winner! Now, isn't there should be a clause that says members of the immediate/close family are NOT allowed to take part?

No wonder why he said that any formal complain should be done only after the race, which by then, will be too late, isn't it?

I just hope what i think it is, is not true. I respect them in many sense. I give them that much that they commit their lives to all these activities.

Err...how about the other clauses that say that ONLY AMATEUR atheletes are allowed to take part? then, why is a few NATIONAL athelete allowed to take part?

But of course, even without them, i do not personally think that I can be in the winner's standing. But i just a bit unfair that these things should happen.

Whatever happened to being Righteous?

The Dinner After
Grouses aside.

We left the prize giving feeling pretty disgusted at whatever happening. We joined the rest of our spouses and divers OP for a chit chat under the moonlight at Lily Resort. OP Nordin and gang brought their Divemaster with them. OP Andrew97B. His family owns a diving business, and by a stroke of coincidence, the OPs dived with him! He was in RMC for only a year. Which he later pulled himself out after Form 2 for reasons only known to him.

But once an OP, he will always be an OP. He enjoyed our company of course. He stayed until just before he predicted that rain will fall. By then, it was already 1am in the morning.

OP Amerul and OP Azly had a word with him, and they are now looking into the possibility of planning to organise a mass diving certification exercise for OPs. More reasons for being an OPA member now, isn't it?

As usual, whenever OPs get together, cock will fly(pardon the pun). We had an enjoyable outing. In fact, OP Amir even asked if OP Hisyam wants to JOIN HIS team next year.

Bacin was estatic that he overtook me and doc in this race. Asry was more than joyful to be able to complete the race.

Blanka and Bean was as usual, their ownselves, exceeeding where they are with their great fitness level (both are Pilots, and MAS should be given a pat for emplying only FIT pilot)

Upak and Chipok will come back with better results in the next race, having encountered loads of problem from body injuries to bike problem.

Bandit and Mat Gan apparently signing up for the Eco XTreme challenge.

Amir and Azman said to "let statistic speaks for itself"

And Doc and me, as usual, just continue with our wall climbing, weekend biking and those runs to make sure we get some top 5 finishing next time.

Whatever the so called pledges were, everyone knows deep inside, that the biggest single hurdle is to exceed one's limit, both physically and mentally. Like i always cornyly tell them, it is mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter!

The Return Journey
OP Nordin and family left earliest at 8am the next morning.

The rest was still dragging their aching body out of bed, with the exceptions of the Pilots that decided to spend one more day in this beautiful island.

We packed and checked out by 11.30am. Some of us forgoing the supposed snorkelling trip that was cut short due to some freak storm in the evening (call me jakun, but it was my first time facing some 6 foot waves and being thrashed around in the sea, the divers were caught in it as well, and only came back after 6pm, and saw a double rainbow!!!).

The journey back to mainland took longer than expected. Upon reaching the jetty and unloading. Everyone convoyed to Bandit's house in KT for a stumptous lunch prepared by his parents and an aunt. Nasi minyak complete with everything that will be too mouth watering to put it in words(i do not want to drool over the keyboard). It was like some homecoming kenduri in a smaller scale!

Doc's wife and Amerul stayed on in Bandit's house as they are catching the evening flight back.


Lunch is Served!

Thanks to Bandit's parents, we cleaned up the whole mini kenduri!!!


Oh ya, did i tell you that we made a new friend and took her back with us to KL (I mean, she Tumpang-ed our cars la...) Her name is Kate, a Briton that could speak Indonesian Malay.

After lunch, Mat Gan, Bandit and Doc's car convoyed back home. OP Alan stopped over in Kuantan to visit a friend and stay overnight. It is like he is doing a round Peninsular trip!

The 3 cars stopped over at Kuantan for dinner. Hoping to catch OP JI Ostrich or even OP Chef KZ there, but i guess our last minute timing didn't materialised.

Mat Gan and wife also stopped over in Kuantan, as she will be working in Kuantan on Monday, so Doc and Bandit's car left back for KL.

As usual, being Boys, we refused to top up our tank when there wasn pump station. We got lost in the trunk road, that was supposed to lead us into the East Coast highway. The signage was just bad, as usual. but we did managed to find our way into the highway, or risk driving 4 hours in the trunk road.

Doc's car was on low fuel warning for at least 80km before we managed to find one petrol station near Temerloh. Bandit was literally holding his breath as we were climbing the Karak-Bentong stretch before refueling at Genting Sempah.

We only got home at circa 1am.

And of course, to keep each other awake, the two cars driver actually sang to each other!!! hahahahahaha...


Looking Back
Sometimes, i felt as if i am writing like Martha Steward in her those corny talk shows. LOL. OK, anyway, that aside, it was just me thinking outloud.

After the race, everyone gathered around the OP camp and had a chat. Everyone was estatic, despite not being placed in a more favourable finishing position over their own personal feat. Immediately, there were news about joining the Eco-Xtreme race on November 27th, 2 weeks after raya.

Like i've told all of you in the AXN report, these races are addictive. It pushes the norm human ability. You do the things that other average people around you can't. And you will have the bragging rights after all that ends.

We are constantly looking for sponsors. We envisoned ourselves to be racing for OPA for the longest possible time our body allow us to. We give the spirit, YOU give the commitment to us. What say you?

Totally irrelevent picture:

An Eagle on the beach, unable to fly as it has a wing broken. Someone please play Flying without Wings!

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Perhentian Island Challenge : Part 3

... On to the Race day!

Adrenalin Pumping
Most of us woke up at 8am to catch breakfast of toast and scrambled eggs. Some of us swear by coffee to wake up. A few of us was seen cleaning up the plates of whoever that refused to eat the toast and we found Nutella at the cabana where we have our meals. Oh ya, did i mentioned that there was also bananas on the menu?

Yes to both the Docs... better wake up now, you both hear me?

Man, Asry, Bacin and Ziana - well at least they all looked more woken up that 2 docs

DOC!!!!! Wake up!!!!!!

It is the Race Day. D-Day. H-Hour. Whatever.

Then, we have two OP Participants having seconds thoughts about the whole race....

Don't worry guys, it will be over faster than you think it did...

One Hour to Race
After the draggy morning breakfast, where everyone suddenly felt that the whole 2 months of training will now be fully utilised in whatever manner to stay in the race, will be utilised (gosh, i think it must be the sea water...)

First thing we did was to ensure that the OPA flag are put up at the most auspicious position. Thanks to Amerul, that brought the flag all the way from JB, of course.

We met this OP Col retired that operate a restaurant next to Coral Bay (Sorry sir, i totally forgotten your name) He was from intake 1971. He seems to know Nordin Manan though...


Band of Brothers

Swimming - 1.5km
The swimmers was the first to be called to the briefing, body marking are done using those waterproof markers. It is for identification purposes, just in case some of us are unlucky enough to be hit by some speedboat while swimming in the open sea. We were made to hold on to a pastel coloured band as well, as that will be then be passed to the MTB participant, as a form of recognising that the *baton* are properly passed from the swimmer to the bikers.

At 10am, all swimmers were gathered at the beach.

Within minutes, we were flagged off and the usual jostle and fight to get up front amongst the contestant looked more like some Haitian that was attacking the relief trucks that was distributing food to them.

It was a fairly competetive sight. Loads of shoving and pushing around. Fortunately, we decided to let all of them fight it out first, while most of us were seen doing the beach run ala Baywatch (minus those boobs...)

For some of us, swimming in the sea is a first. Some more experience contestant took the water like fish. Where else, some could be clearly seen trying to move by pulling onto the bouy's rope (that's cheating, but no one complained, so how?) Most of us swimmer did breast stroke. maybe 1 or 2 of us did freestyle/front crawl. The sea was scaringly calm during the swimming league, with minor waves that was more of a relief on the return journey back to the beach.

We had to do 2 loops, each circa 750meters (some did 800, because they decided that they were fitter, nola, it was because they lost their sense of direction, and hence has to retrace their steps back).

Fastest contestant did it within 30 minutes. Actually, a good deal of them did it within 30 minutes. In front of me was Blanka. Right behind me was the bugger than say he didn't swim for 6 years (Amir la tuh!), and not far behind was Mat Gan with Asry (cheering each other on) and Upak, crusing down the water.

By the time i am out of the water, i was placed at 22nd Position. Time difference between Blanka and Upak was a mere 9 minutes max. A very small difference where anything goes in these kind of race.

One by one, as the swimmer takes their breather, the cyclist slog it out in the technical trail of 7km (2 loops of 3.5km).


Honey!!! I'm home, now get ur arse up and finish the 7km offroad biking league!!!

Mountain Biking - 7km
Before we know it, the first contestant emerged from the trail. 32 minutes. That's almost impossible (but then again, he showed that it was possible...). The jungle trail has took a few victim. The 3rd team to arrive had his bicycle crank broken at the bottom bracket part. He was running most of the time in the mountain biking trail.

Azman was out of the jungle equally fast, he did a 39 Min ride. Then it was all quite at the OPA camp until when Bean emerged in 46 minutes. He was followed by Bacin in 51 minutes. Then it was an agonising wait for Doc in 56minutes. Bandit did a 57 minute ride and Cheepok didn't complete the trail ride until 63 minutes.

The bikers that came in late all complained about technical error. Doc's derailler refused to perform as it should. Cheepok's brake was binding to the rim, making it extra hard to pedal.

Meanwhile waiting for the bikers to complete their league of the race, the swimmers were seen busy preparing the kayak and waited eagerly for their partner to reach.

Kayaking - 6km
This was when real Kiasu-ness came out. Noticing there isn't any Singaporean competitors, it is a surprise(maybe not) that this diseases has spread to fellow countrymen all the way to Perhentian. Some of them were seen choosing the best kayak( if there was any, the kayak was in pretty bad shape) and some were doing some shopping for the best paddle (and i'm left with one pair that was in the oddest angle). Even the life jacket wasn't spared. Though new, but it all didn't seems to unfaze the competitors to *selectively* choose the jacket, for whatever reason.

Then, the ultimate kiasuness happened. The kayak that i've pulled out to the edge of the water complete with my water bottle and isotonic drinks, were snatched from my nose by some !@&#^ competitor. I got no choice but to repeat what i did again. ie. Look for paddle. Look for kayak. Look for life jacket. Get another bottle of water. Get more isotonic drinks. GRRRRR!!!


This is when it all starts getting chaotic


Doc Amir getting ready for the kayaking...


Bacin and Asry getting jiggy with the jacket


No la Chipok, that's not the correct way to wear that...

Kayaking in the sea was hell. The marker bouy was placed close to the rock face of the island, causing the water that was usually calm to be extremely rough. Thoughts of toppling over was there, but most of us were praying that it won't happen. As Me and doc completed our first round of 3km (full course is 6km of kayaking), we saw Man and Amir...the completed their kayaking. Fast. I guess it all boils down to technique. But being tired after the riding, it was really really difficult to do the kayaking, especially in the heat and the wave conditions. We found ourselves fighting just to keep the kayak going to where it should.

It didn't help with those KLCC in the sea whizzing past in breakneck speed, turning up more turbulence in the sea than it should.

As me and Doc approached the beach, our kayak took a comical tumble. Maybe due to tiredness or whatever it was, we capsized in knee deep water. We were embarassed, but we guessed the organiser were more worried that we both will drown and die, and sent 2 beach boy to help us up. Needless to say, it was both embarassing and memorable.


Kancil and Gajah getting out of their capsized kayak in the background while the beach boys check if it was the Marlin that did it

Trail Running - 7km
When we reached the beach, we were told that Amir/Azman, Bean/Blanka and Bacin/Asry has already left for their trail run. Time diff between all of them was about 5 minutes from each other. After taking off the life jacket, (which by now, has bruised both sides of my underarms) we ran to the watering station and took off with a can of isotonic drinks and a bottle each of mineral water. Dousing the heat off our head using the mineral water that was chilled in ice box brought renewed energy. The isotonic drink was way too gassy by now to be consumed while running.

The trail run was thecharous. It should be called a nature trail walk. There is no way for us normal denizen to run up 70 degree slope and descent 80 degree slope. I've no comments about the winner though, they might be aliens for all i know (LOL..that is a very nice way of being spiteful of them LOL)

By then, me and doc was already in postion 26th overall. Not much to be proud off anyway, but i guess completing the whole race is more important that to break the legs of whoever that we meet up front to better our positions.

The trail run took us from one end of the island to the other end. Perhentian kecil is only 5km max in length. So, contestant could proudly claim that they traverse through the jungle, up at least 2 hills and down numerous number of cliffs, just to finish the race.

There was this particular rock surface at one of the trail climb. It open up to a lagoon below, where the water was crystal clear and a school (BIG school) of achovies (Ikan Bilis la tuh!) was swimming. Their colour was reflected by the sun and they appear to be a big patch of silver object moving under the surface of the water. Add it in with the sea breeze, what was missing was a set of lazy chair and some mocktail to enjoy. SORRY! we are in a race here! So, we took off before anything gets to serious like what Bandit and Mat Gan claimed that they almost kissed while enjoying the view (that, ladies,gentlemen, i leave it to your imagination)

The 3.5km mark came sooner than expected, especially when the walk seems to be at a more leisure pace than at racing pace. Not wanting or risking injuries should we slip and fall (there was a section that requires the contestant to climb up the cliff using rope), we decided that to be safe is better than to be sorry. We quicken our pace fast enough only to ensure that our heartbeat are maintained at 60% max. We ran on flat ground and clear downhill (which was scarce) and we crawl up on cliffs.

After nearly an hour of walking, running and tumbling over roots, we came out to the clearing, which marks the last 500 meters of running to do to reach the finishing line.

The first team already finished the race like 90 minutes ago. He was seen sitting under the umbrella, acting as the race marshall himself. Now, that is some sort of encouragement, isnt' it? NOT!

As we approach the finising line. Cheers could be heard. Wives and compatriots cheered us on. The first 3 team of Azman/Amir, Bean/Blanka and Asry/Bacin was cheering us on.

On a count of 3, me and doc gave our signature finishing (just like wrestling, we have to have gimmick too you know), we crawled to the finishing line. To the delight of the crowd at the Bubu resort. Maybe we've just proven that they are as sadist as we thought they were...

Upak/Chipok was not very far behind and Bandit/Mat Gan completed the whole OP Adventure team race in this Perhentian Island Challenge.

Here is the full result : Result


Best finisher amongst all of us in OP Adventure - Azman and Dr. Amir


Bend overrrr Boy!!!

To Be continued.... Part 4 coming soon!

Perhentian Island Challenge : Part 2

And the drama continues:

Perhentian, Finally!
The sea was rough, well, at least for the first portion of the journey as we tranverse through the choppy pre monsoon sea condition (if there was such terms for that la..). The ferry that thook us was like some pseudo roller coaster ride. But when we enter the Perhentian island water (ie between the big and small island, that is), the water was unbelieavably calm, maybe because the boat wasn't going at it's almost full speed anymore.

We were greeted by the GM of the Bubu Resort on some poonton that was supposed to be used to carry us from the ship to the beach. The floating poonton was pulled to the beach by the locals, hmm, talk about slavery...hahahaha...

It was still drizzling when we reach the island. This can't be, Island are not supposed to be effected by rain. No? Ah well, i guess it is too late to turn back and go back to the comfort of the home, isn't it?

OP Bean was there to greet us. Or was it because his wife was with us? But it is sure nice to see another familiar face. We unloaded the luggages and all the bananas enough to make the whole Zoo Negara primates happy (okok, at least just the Chimps' cage that is) and a few cartons of isotonic drinks and mineral water.

Bubu wasn't the place where we will stay. The place that was arranged by Bandit was circa 500 meters away from Bubu. It is called Matahari. Walking on the brown wet sand with the rain falling on you, and the tiredness of the journey, sorta seep into some of us.


Perhentian viewed from floating poonton

Don't worry bro, this Poontoon floats

When we reached matahari, there were some glitches in the reservation of chalet. Instead of giving us 12 chalet as per deal, the management only reserved 10 for all of us. That also mean that some of us has to put up with chalet that shares common toilet/bathroom and some would be staying a further 200 meters away.

Nordin and family was staying in Coral Bay, on the other side of the Island that is about 10 minutes worth of trekking through the island's track. Shouldn't be a problem for him. (by the way, did you see lil Adam Nordin? gosh..he is so so adorable... Unlike his father...All MAN, All 240Lbs of it!)

OP Adventure has purchased a set of Walkie Talkie
that proved to be useful as a few of us was staying away from the main group.

Later in the afternoon, all participants went to Bubu to submit the disclaimer form to the organisers. We also took our time to check out the route map. Oh ya, did I tell you ppl about the goodie bags??? There were one Banana Flavoured Powerbar, One Arena Latex Swim cap, complimentary toiletries from Bubu, Race Bib (cool stuff, Bright Orange colour, suitable for any of us planning to change job to become highway maintaince crew), Note book with PIC 2004 logo and info, Participant tag and T-shirt (err..may i suggest to you guys to double stitch the seams...the T-Shirts are falling apart).

Lunch was served at 4pm, a simple meal of curry chicken with sayur mess and rice. And loads of banana. To give you guys an idea of how much banana...look at the picture below. Amir was carrying one of the gunny sack ala santa claus and it is actually filled with banana...all 50kg of it!


Mr. Banana Man finally understand why Santa Claus only deliver gifts ONCE a year


After lunch, a few of us decided to try out the MTB trail and a few of us swimmer went into the sea and did a few laps out to some bouy far far away. It was dangerous actually, espcially with those speed boats whizzing past like some member of the KLCC (KL Cubchai Club). The white latex swim cap ensure that the swimmer are well spotted even 500 meters away from the beach.

The MTBers were very excited about the trail. It was a technical trail, but unlike Kiara, it is rideable.

Some of us decided to take it easy and just do the tourist thing, ie snap pictures...

Later in the evening the participants went to Bubu for Cocktail reception. The GM then signalled everyone to go ahead and eat the stumpous meal being served. Well, we, being trained in RMC, followed the instruction to the dot. Ate we did and did we ate! After going through the food 3 times, one of the staff approched us and asked us if we are staying in Bubu, and if not, we must purchase the meal vouchers.

Oh! OOhhh...Kayyy....

That isn't too nice of some story, isn't it?

WHY stop us ONLY after we finish eating?

WHY ask us ONLY after we got to the third serving?

Not satisfied with the whole scene and definately not too happy about being treated like freeloader, Bandit approached the GM and seek explaination. He admitted it was his fault and we got off scot free. I mean, if we have to pay for it, i guess we won't be too happy about it as we were asked to eat in the first place, and not as if we were hawking at the food like some unnourished beggers. That settled. We went back to where everyone is and had our carbo loading meal of spagetti and salad and whole loads of banana again. The carbo loading session was specially organised by Bandit and he personally bought the item (thanks to the OPA budget) and brought it there to Perhentian. Kudos to this ever efficient fatigue boy. :Þ


We decided to boycott the drinks, as it is all alcohol, so we make our own OJ

Everyone had an early night, the divers sorted out the diving arrangement, and the racers all quietly went to bed at 9.30pm. Damn, we don't even sleep until it is like 2am in KL!

To be continued.....


Farah, Doc Hisyam Daughter

If we were to wear any army fatigues, ppl would had mistaken us for going to war with those baggage and food

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Perhentian Island Challenge : Part 1

OK, lets starts by telling everyone that we all came back alive and well after the race. Minor bruises aside, we all did what we are supposed to do, and some of us did it better than what they themselves expect them to do!

The Journey There...GOSH!
There was 8 batches of ppl leaving from various part of Klang Valley and Malaysia:

1. OP Alan Siew and lovely Jenny left from Ipoh towards Kota Baru via the East-West Highway - passing by Cameron Highland on the way.

2. OP Nordin and family and Col. Patrick left from Shah Alam On Wednesday and Stayed over at his house at Batu Rakit.

3. OP Shahrir aka Bean left from Bandar Utama with his teammate, Muliadi aka Blanka on Wednesday as well, to act as recce group to check the trail and condition of the race route.

4. OP Azly aka Bandit, Wifey Jas and Baby Amirul, together with OP Ee-Van aka Stupe with wife to be Aileen was in the same car, leaving on Thursday afternoon from Taman Melawati.

5. OP Hisyam aka Doc, OP Amir and Azman left USJ/Shah Alam on Thursday evening, after sorting out the logistical problem of tranporting 2 bikes on his car.

Together with Doc was OP Riza aka Mat Gan and Wifey Azura.

6. OP Asfani aka Upak and Wifey Shikin, OP Adlee aka Chipok was in one car, convoyed with Padzli aka Bacin, Asry and Pom Pom girl Ziana was in the other car, left KL after the Maghrib prayer.

7. OP Amerul left JB in the evening on flight and was scheduled to land in K. T'ganu airport.

8. OP Shahrul aka Mat Kong and his elusive friend left by Bus from KL.

The Newly opened East Coast highway from Gombak to Kuantan was a bliss. Apart from taking extra precaution on KM96-KM126 because of some super-elevation stuff about the highway being accident prone and all that, it was all the way fun, with loads of jokes, singing and anticipation being thrown into the journey.

Most of us recieved sms from Bean about the condition of the trail and we could better pictured it in our mind, but as usual, seeing is believing, so, some of us just shrugged it off while swallowing our own saliva.

The journey from Gombak to Kuantan didn't take more than 2 and a half hour at a constant speed of 100km/h (we were carrying bikes on the roof of the car, what do you expect?)

From there, some of us opted for the coastal road passing through Paka to KT and some Opted to take the Felda Road via Bukit Goh (which paid off with 1 hour less of driving, in some obscure road...)

I reached bandit's parent's home at about 1030pm. Baby safely in Grandparent's arms, we proceed to wait for the rest and freshen up.

Later, we went for OP Amerul's resque, he touched KT airport, but due to some miscommunication, he took a taxi, trying to find his way to Bukit Rakit, ie OP Nordin's home. Bandit and me located him near KUSZA and brought him home before the taxi driver decided to make him his stepson.

Doc and Mat Gan's convoy didn't reach KT until about 1.30am in the morning. Apparently, they got lost. but somehow managed to find their way to the Airport, which is 5 minutes from Bandit's house.

Upak and Bacin's convoy didn't reach Nordin's house until circa 6am in the morning.

By 8am, OP Alan already start calling Bandit to ask for the ETA of the whole convoy to Kuala Besut. WE are LATE!

Kuala Besut, Here we come!

Doc went on to pick up his wife and pretty daughter and also bean's wife from the KT airport. Upon their arrival at Bandit's place, and changing of the compulsory diapers.

We were late, no doubt. After having some problem locating Nordin's home in Batu Rakit, said to be behind some lamp post 12/12 and with green gate, we could swear that we didn't even see anything similiar to that. Nordin later explained that it was almost 4 years since he last been there.

We had breakfast there, great food and cheap food, averaging about RM2.00 per head including drinks!

We pushed off from Batu Rakit at about 10am. By this time, Bandit recieved a call from his contact in KT and we must get our lazy bums to the jetty in Kuala Besut by 11am max! Not wanting to miss the ferry to Perhentian, which if we do, it would mean that we will only be allowed to take the 3pm ferry!

Driving at maximum allowed speed (ie, both road and car condition factor included) and many winding and turning road later (and we witness one Proton Waja overturned on the way to Permaisuri, hope that the family involved are OK).

With 2 more cars 30 minutes behind, the task of getting to Kuala Besut within an hour seems to pass like seconds. Time flies when you want them to stop, and STOP when you want it to pass quickly (like the 6 hours drive we endured).

Believe it or not, we managed to catch the ferry by 11am. After 15 minutes of frantic loading of all the items that we need to bring, and ensuring that the gunny sack of bananas, mineral water and isotonic drinks are in place and parking the cars at the safest possible place and securing the bicycles on top of the boat...we are good to go.

To be continued.....


The Waja with 2 bikes


Breakfast at Batu Rakit


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