Monday, May 30, 2005

Revenge of the Tree Roots.

Teratak Tekala. A scenic ride from Ulu Langat town towards the Sg. Selangor Dam.

Base camp situated at 68m above sea level. With tonnes of holiday makers enjoying the view and the waterfall at Tekali.

Yesterday, A few of us entered one of our playground again. An offroad trail of 16km uphill, and 16km downhill.

Doc called at 7am sharp "Are you on the way to pick Bandit up?", He asked.

OK, this is efficient. It's 7am and they are at Phoenix Plaza's toll. And i'm still driving to Bandit's place.

I droved faster, put Bandit and his bike into the car and zoomed off to Teratak.

We reached at about 7.35am and instantly set out to fix all our gears.

We went off at about 8am.

The ride was pleasant. Teratak has always been some place where we could train for our stamina/endurance. it is a good place for beginner to try going downhill fast.

Azman, Doc, Bandit, Steve, Adilah,Dhamsal and Rizal, and me of course set out to conquer Teratak once again. Both Adilah and Rizal was first timer in Teratak.

We reached the track opening and Rizal went forward, followed by Steve and Doc. The rest followed ensuite.

The climb up was great, eveyrone maintained good speed of about 8-10km/h over the gentle uphill. We reached the first turnoff and took the oppurtunity to rest and comment on the track's condition.

The track was not maintained for long. Undergrowth and tree branches were low hanging and would caught the unsuspecting rider at neck level should he/she did not pay attention.

But that is the beauty of Teratak. It's an adventure of somesort. Leeches were on Holiday it seems, as non of us had any leeches sticking out of any body parts.

We reached Buluh Terbakar (A name we coined because the bamboo at that stretch was totally burnt by some inconsiderate people, possibly by those 4WD Dumbasses*) and Rizal was no where in sight. Apparently, he shot off straight after the first turn off because he says he wanted to take a crap.

I shouted for him and he responded, asking him to wait for us to cycle together, as he was without walkie talkie and it's rahter dangerous, as this trail is known to be *keras*. There were news and rumours that bikers/hikers got lost and ended up somewhere or their friends found them doing some other things. It's rahter scary really, but perhaps, it is all tales to prevent riders like Rizal to leave the nucleas group while cycling in the jungle.

We caught up with Rizal about 3 minutes later and noticing a low hanging branch with thorns, I took Doc's parang and cleared the branch and thorns. Adilah asked me if i did ask their (as in tree's) permission to do so.

I didn't. It did not occur to me. Jokingly, i told adilah and everyone else that they will take revenge on me later.

Later, doc radioed us over the walkie talkie that he saw a huge dumbass wild boar in the creek. Yes Doc, the place stink of the pig's smell when we pass it.

We reached the first steep drop. Due to erosion a portion of the tracks was swallowed by the surface water. The whole erosion portion looked as if it is some extreme game ramp.

Slowly, everyone took their turn to have their 4 seconds of fame as a extreme gamist wannabe. Adilah wasn't too sure about the whole stunt and decided to give that a miss. Smart on her, as we do not want her to injure herself after last week's incident at Cameron.

We reached the place where the 4wd was abandon. The 4wd was overturned yet again, this time to the other side of the track. We fooled around the 4wd until everyone reached the 4wd. We then proceed to the Log bridge.

The bridge collapsed and there is only one way to go around it. And that place is messy! By this time, we were joined by Melvin and 2 other girls. These people are fast, but then again, are they enjoying it as much as we does? (they looked serious, cheer up buddies!!!)

From there on, it was about 4 more km before we reach the river with small waterfall. We reached the RV point as per expected. Happy and all nasi lemaks was served with beehoon goreng and karipap.

After about 20 minutes of rest, Me, bandit and Rizal left first, because we need to be home for other matters earlier.

We went off and i chatted with Rizal while pedalling uphill towards the highest point of the climb at 330m above sea level. Rizal told me he saw a huge cobra, ready to strike when he was riding alone from the first checkpoint. I went ahead and told him that is why it's important to stick togehter.

We were reaching the apex when Rizal stopped to snack on his granola bars. Bandit went past me and i told him to go ahead first.

We reached the Log Bridge after an exciting downhill section over loose gravels.

As i climb out of the muddy creek that bypass the log bridge, and as i mounted my bike to pedal downhill, my chain got stuck in some root and it happened too fast for me to realised what happened.

Before i know it, my chain snapped. Great. Twice in 3 weeks. First lumut, now this. Accessing my damage, Rizal reached me and i told him to go ahead first while i fix the thing up.

My chain snapped, the chain literally opened up at one of the link. My rear derailuer hanger was broken too. This is bad luck. Suddenly Adilah's statement of if i did ask the tree for permission before i cut them rings through my head. Shit. This is the revenge.

I removed my deraileur and clipped the cable to my top post. By then, the whole gang that i left behind to go ahead earlier caught up with me. Azman, as his usual helpful self offered to help me. After 1 chain cutter spoilt by the Hyperglide chain and all attempt to rejoin the chain to make my bike single speed failed after 30 minutes. I decided to just run/walk/cruise on my bike. No point really. The roots had their revenge. And i have to live with it for the next 12km out of the track.

The group stuck togehter as usual as they do not want to leave me behind.(how sweet), not to be a burden to them, i asked a few of them to go ahead and Man and Steve stayed back to make sure i'll be OK.

Doc and Dhalsam was nice to leave their bottle of ribena and gatorade for me, as i've totally exhausted my water. It was already 12.30pm by then and the sun was burning down on us.

If you recalled how those old men/women ride their 7-up or royal bike last time, that was how i was, one leg on pedal and one more pushing off from the ground. It was tiring.

Doc and man tried cheering eveyrone up by doing their own redention fo Alleycats's song and doing up their own composition by putting in incident of chain snapping and being unlucky at teratak and all.

Appreciate it fully. We finally caught up with the group up front and i was told to go first, as i'll need all the momentum going downhill. Humour is indeed magic, and that is why these bunch of dumbarses are so fine adn ncie to be with!!!

This time, i was glad i had brakes. The first time, i was doing Freddy Flintstone stunts after my brake pads jumped out of their casing. And coincidently, i was always the one cutting away vines and branches!!!

I sped downhill and ran with my bike on certain uphill section as not to upset the back rider that certainly will be pedalling over the small peaks. Steve went really fast after the Buluh Terbakar. By then, i was already too tired to comprehend what it meant to be whacked by those vines and leafs all over my arms and face. Infact, standing up on the pedal with no resistance was kinda tiring as well.

I met bandit at the first checkpoint and he totally understood why the long wait. He had been waiting for the past 1 hour. We could all see him resting comfortably on the ground. Regrouping, we all geared up for the final downhill assault. By then, the sky already turned grey and looked like it is gonna be pouring.

I only knew i went downhill fast. At least touching 35km/h at the long stretch before reaching the trial's opening again.

As fast as i came down, it was over.

Bandit came to me and asked if i felt like some jedi in some fighters when i went downhill, with those leafs and branchs whizzing past and in blur...hey yeah man!!!

It poured when we reached the road, i ran with the bike. Reaching the car, the rain was hitting on us and we were all drenched. Wet from both pespiration and excitement.

Time check, and it was already 2pm.

We grouped for a quick lunch with burgers and drinks. I couldn't thanks the guys and girl that much, for making sure i get out of Teratak Tekala safely. The don't have to wait, but they did. And with that, my thanks to all those that went on Sunday.

Today, i felt like i had secret training yesterday, some duathlon of some sort. Biking and running. Perhaps, it's the nature's way to ask me not to mess with them next time, and to train harder for JB Duathlon!!!!

ps- 4wd Dumbasses* - Apologies to all 4wd adventurers that might ahd taken offence in what i wrote here. I fully understand that not all 4wd pirates destroy the nature as per what i wrote. But to those that does, i think you are better off whincing your machine in the concrete jungle. Leave the nature for people like us (hikers/bikers/4wd-ers) that appreiciate her as she is.

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