Friday, November 6, 2009

PT Riders at The Wetland, Oct 11,

We started cycling together again last week (Oct 3&4, 2009). With two months laps and the additional weight and fat contributed by the endless consumption of lemang, ketupat, rendang, lontong, kueh and the lots it was really a trying moment for us to complete a mere 10KM. In anticipating this difficulty on the first day we decided to explore a new route along the Semenyih river. After the bridge at Impian Putra we turned left next to the river and rode off road along the river expecting new adventure. Din and Izam were cheeky letting me to lead just in case a surprise came jumping out of the bush or something to chase us. We arrived at a spoke just before the highway bridge and when I saw construction debris almost blocking the path I continued to cycle under the bridge. By then I saw ahead the Sg Buah's Driving School and Testing Center telling me roughly where we were heading and the possible exit point to the main road. Soon we came to the front yard of what I suspected a three well built squatter's residents. They could not have been legit due to the position of the houses closed to the river. We cycled pass the houses that took us to a section where a single car wide tarmac on our left and an off road path leading up to the main road of Sg Buah. We reserved the tarmac road for another day to explore and we cycled straight on to the main road to turn right towards Bangi Lama road for us to be on our normal route to Teras Jernang aftre that.

Once we reached the round about I decided to stop to take my camera out. Naturally Din and Izam stopped as well for a breather and we ended up taking a short rest before we tackled the long climb ahead of us. To make life a bit more interesting, I am not going to say who, one of us suddenly had to go big time. By the look of it, it was one nasty motion that needed to be passed. So that person scrambled up the climb quickly with the idea to stop at the Petronas Stataion at Sg Merab. I announced there probably one surau at the Kampung. Down at the end before the climb at the Spastic Children Complex we turned left into the kampong and true enough there was a big new surau on our left and we stopped.

With that diversion our next logical option was to cycle out and turn left towards Limau Manis. We discussed how far we wanted to go and Izam confidently said Alamanda. The thing I like about the route was the series of climbs that we had to do. Save one most of them are not steep but the cycling will sag your energy definitely if you are not careful with your cycling. Climbing too fast initially would drain your energy quickly while taking it too easy would drain you all the way. So just like anything else constant speed is the best approach. Through these climbs I realized my cadence was not consistent.

I let both Din and Izam lead in front during the climb as I almost reach the maximum HR level. At the steep climb in front of Kakak’s friend’s house I saw Din dropping to the side to stop and Izam agonizingly climbing to the peak. I passed Din and it was his chain and as I slowly passed Izam I asked for confirmation whether we were continuing to Alamanda as planned or heading for home. Loudly and instantaneously he exclaimed ‘balik! Aku dah nak pengsan ni!’. I could understand his dilemma because right in front of us would be another two nasty climbs. I immediately turned left to fly downwards towards Sekolah Teknik Sepang. Then slowly we cycled home via the same off road we got out. At 0906 we were under the highway, not resting, killing times as we were early.

Check our our photos here

On Sunday (Oct 4, 2009) the same three musketeers rode out to take the same off road as the previous day after Impian Putra bridge. Still none of us had any ideas where to go. As we were cycling along the river we started to talk about Sg Buah where I once been and Din once or twice. Immediately it was decided that was where we were heading. We cycled out to the Bangi Dengkil road and turned left after the bridge climbing towards Sg Buah. The Eidil Fitri was still very much in the air, the fact even more stronger once we approached the Kg where the houses around the area was like any typical kampong scene. All the three of us suddenly became nostalgic. We even suggested to each other next year to created the atmosphere to plan to bakar lemang and rebus ketupat. Which none of us had even an ounce of clue how or what to do to masak lemang. Nostalgically we cycled slowly through the kampong until the end when we entered the other entrance to Bukit Unggul. We kept on cycling ahead until we reached a tunnel under Elite Highway leading to the other side. We took it that was the place to take a break and to turn back later.

We stayed there around 20 minutes chatting until we decided to cycle back home. Since we were there already I loudly suggested we cycled through the tunnel to see what’s exactly on the other side. Din and Izam followed. Immediately on the other side was a short climb and we stopped next to the highway. Beyond us was definitely USIM and it would be a different day for us to explore further. We turned back and took our own sweet time cycling home. Once we reach the kampong we decided to explore the inner route and were presented with a pleasant surprise of coming out to the Bailey bridge that we passed on the way in earlier. Since it was still very early we stopped at the bridge just to enjoy ourselves before we head for home. As we were standing and talking a familiar car came onto the bridge to turn left into the kampong. We acknowledged her and speculated on her objective.

The bridge that we stopped at was actually a Bailey bridge. Somewhat a rare thing these days and I took an extra interest on it. On the bridge we talked about our river cruising project. Looking at the water we decided it would be doable for us. Still, confidence that we are, we still need a few kayak or white water rafting lessons. We talked about exploring the area in the near future.

After awhile we decided to cycle home and we reached home just after 0900. As usual we stopped at Midi’s for breakfast.

Our photos from the ride

The day before, Saturday (Oct 10, 2009), I could not join the guys cycling as I had an important matter to deal with in Bera, Triang, Pahang so we planned to do the Putrajaya Wetland on Sunday, Oct 11, 2009. The plan for that morning for the four of us, Din, Izam, Baqir and myself, was to cycle there from home and for our wives to follow in a car to meet us there. Sam, my wife, was to join us cycling at the wetland whereas Din’s and Izam’s families were to have picnic and family fun time there. We left the house at around 0700 and cycled earnestly so that we would not be too late to reach the Wetland. I suggested to Sam to start at around 0815 together with Din’s and Izam’s families so that they we could arrive together at the Wetland at 0900. On the way there we explored new route the best we can. Those that have used the Sekolah Teknik route to Putrajaya know what kind of terrain that we have to conquer to get to Putrajaya. We were punished. Not fit and we had to do three steep climbs in a row. Huffing and puffing we reached the entrance to Putrajaya and stopped for a well deserved break. Ahead of us would be another long gradual climb to the Wetland.

Everything seemed to be perfectly timed. As soon as we reached the boathouse our wives drove into the parking lots. At the same time Allah prevailed by gifting us with a rain. As it turned out Izam and Din actually planned to park and picnic at the Wetland Park which was just a short drive ahead. We conferred and decided they will proceed there with their wife and I chose to park at the boathouse and cycled to the Wetland Park from there. The rain started to get heavier and we waited for awhile at the boathouse. After a while we concluded that there was no point waiting as we were going to get wet anyhow. We started to cycle under the rain. It was not bad but we knew eventually we were going to be drenched. Baqir decided to cycle ahead and I stayed back with Sam to cycle slowly.

At around 1000 we reached the Park and climbed up to the main office area. On the way we met with Izam, Din, Azrul and Azrul’s friend. They were cycling towards us. On reaching us they invited us for a picnic breakfast.

After the mee hon, nasi lemak and the hot Nescafe the rain stopped prompting Izam and Din to rent bicycles from he park office for their families. As for us after we had rest a little bit left to explore the place further and eventually took a short cut back to the boathouse.

Our photos at the Wetland

This is photo of Din, Izam and their families at The Wetland

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Last Ride Before Ramadhan, Aug.15, 2009

As planned we rendezvous at Semenyih’s Petronas. But all of us were late especially myself as I had to send Baqir to school first. On the way from Kajang I stopped at the nasi lemak place in Semenyih and bought six packets. When I arrived at the Petronas station Acong, Zull and Mazri were already there. Once we parked our car we started to assemble our bicycles. After about 20 minutes we were already on the road cycling towards Broga and the time was around 0815.

It was two weeks back during our ride at UKM that we were talking of going somewhere further and nice for our last ride before the Ramadhan. I suggested Broga and the waterfall at the kampong orang asli near Kampong Kapal. All agreed and instead of cycling from home we decided to start at the Semenyih’s Petronas gas (petrol) station.

As I was passing the Nottingham University the guys were way up in front of me already and I had difficulty catching up. Normally I would start slow and takes a bit of time to warm up but today I was drained and could not keep up. That was a very clear indication that I was overweight and not fit. I had not been regular with my cycling anymore but my daily food intake remains the same and I paid for it. Luckily I have a Ramadhan that I look forward to. So I struggled at the back to reach Broga. Out of courtesy the guys in front slowed down but when I got to them I told them to go ahead until Broga town. They sped away leaving me behind again I only caught up at the Broga town and led the way to Kampong Kapal. Halfway through my heart rate reading was almost at maximum so I slowed down and told the guys to go ahead and wait for me at the bridge after Kg Kapal sign board.

We took a breather at the bridge before we went off road and to the waterfall. I told the guys that there will be a short climb through a kelapa sawit plantation and level off within cleared plantation to cycle down later into and through kebun-kebun sayur. After we came down to a small tarmac road into the kampong orang asli we did not have to have a better incentive to get to our destination than the destination itself. A promise of a cool exotic waterfall. .

Click this link for the photos.

We did not stay long at the waterfall as most of us had plans with our families for the rest for the day. It was at 1038 when we cycled out. I led them out to the main road taking short cut on the tarmac. The guys stayed with me until we reached Broga town but as soon as we passed the town they cranked up and left me behind cycling alone. By then the sun was already on top of our heads. We were back at our cars around 1110.

Monday, August 17, 2009

My Wife and Her New Bike

It has been a while now since my wife bought her bike. So far I have taken her riding around our residence, PCM, Raub, Nilai 3. Bidor, and Putrajaya Wetland. She complained but she completed all the routes nevertheless. The last one when she successfully conquered the steep Bukit Mahkota and Nilai 3 climbs. I was really proud of her when she did that. After a few more round cycling there she would be ready for UKM.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Broga Waterfall Ride, April 25, 2009

Yeap, I went there again and this time a proper planned PAR ride for PERs. About nine of us gave a positive notification for this ride and all of them showed up on time at the first RV points, Semenyih Petrol Station. The adventurous group comprises of Col, Abedib, Azahar and his daughter, Pak Samad, Jefri and his brother Joari, MKA and myself.

Right on time as soon as we were ready we rolled off towards Kg Kapal at slightly after 0800. The cool surrounding was the beginning of what to come for all of us and we rode leisurely talking and joking all the way. It was about 6 KM ride and the main topic for the whole stretch was the recent Chicken Run episode. As planned MKA led at the front and I was sweeping at the back.

At 0840 we were already at Kg Kapal ready to brave the short off road trail. With the low sun coming up brilliantly we started to cycle under the cool canopy of the Oil Palm Plantation compensating the little hardship of the first series of climbs. At the end of that we came out into a brilliant sunshine on top of a small hill overlooking a small valley of a cleared plantation. The cool breeze immediately brightens up our mood and we enjoyed our ride more. I never could explain the joy I always have riding on the edge over looking a valley. Well even it was not Cameron Highland it was still a joy to me. Even with the sun majestically rising the morning cool breeze blowing across the valley brought fantastic hues and smell of freshness. Cycling was not only pleasant but also therapeutic.

We cycled down through just cultivated vegetable beds onto a narrow tarmac road into what was left of a rubber plantation. Through there we entered another vegetables farm into the kampong orang asli. There on it was just a leaisure ride until the waterfall. The front riders were seemed to be impatient when the got to the edge of the waterfall and without further prompting climb down to the waterfall.

The sound of the waterfall was something else. The wonder of Allah prevailed in front of us and some of us could not help but wondered loudly how long this place going to last until unscrupulous human being will spoil it. Nevertheless I received a101 tuition on fundamental of water management from Abedib. We spent almost an hour enjoying the cold water and the nice undisturbed surrounding. The Semenyih nasi lemak added to the excitement.

Around 1040 we rode out using the narrow tarmac road and onto the main road to Broga town. The ride back was almost a non event except that we made the day for one lucky Apek by stopping at his Hawaiian Papaya stall to buy almost the whole lot. Just picture this after that – folks riding MTB with two heavy loads of papaya hanging on both sides of the handle. It was quite funny to look at an I concluded that they were happy lots. In fact Col could not stop from saying that he is coming back the following Saturday. We were back at our car at around 1140 and drove home with a smile across our face.

The pictures are here and here.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Broga Extreme, April 11, 2009

We rolled off at precisely at 0830 from Kg Kapal and immediately after about 200 metres turned left to climb cycling within a kelapa sawit plantation. After about 10 minutes of friendly climb we came out into a plantation that had been recently cleared to the ground. The weather was still decent as we rode along the ridge of the clearing. I was at the back of the peloton thinking hard whether I should take out my camera and rode shooting from my bike. The idea dissolved immediately when we came to our first downhill. It was not bad but because of the rain the night before the terrain was a bit slippery and my recent mishap at FRIM made me think otherwise. In fact I did not take that many photos in the end. Since it was a recce ride I was focus on it. I kept on looking around me to savoir the moment. The sun was rising on ahead on my right creating a shadow less surrounding in the open plain. Had it been a fall like in New York, Michigan or New Hampshire it would be a perfect ride for all of us that day. The rain the night before help a little bit and encouraged me to think that I was cycling in a nice cool weather he he he. I maneuvered the bike down to where the rest were already waiting. It was like that until we came to a small tarmac road surrounded by a kebun sayur. I was in kebun sayur bigger than that before but I did not take the opportunity to capture them with my camera. With my camera in my backpack I was tempted to get down and spend few minutes there. But then it would mean I would drag everyone behind.

You could see beautiful sawi, pucuk manis and kangkung around you. We turned into one of the kebun and came to a halt in front of an obvious what left of a bridge. We were bullish and very excited, and jokes about jumping across came easily from us. Since we were still thinking of saving our shoes from the water Lan asked an Indon farm worker who came out from his hut really close by. He suggested another route across and hi ho silver we rode again cycling among the vegetables farm into an orang asli village. As we rode I framed several possible shots there. The day on the real ride I must do it I said to myself. Lan was not sure of the exact route and we almost rode into what supposed to be our finish line for the day ride, the waterfall. We turned back and with the help of the orang asli we found our way to Kg Kedah and we were back on the right track. Up until then we have been cycling on a tarmac but just outside Kg Kedah our real adventure began.

Immediately after the last house in Kg Kedah which was a small climb we came down at the base of our first steep climb. If climbing to Genting Sempah was tough last week imagine in front of us a steep slippery and uneven terrain to be conquered. Azman went first only to stop halfway to T&T. Seeing Azman almost at the top, with my gear at the lowest, I pedaled up. I wanted to give up halfway as well but the guys down below started to yell at me to have it a go. I pedaled hard up with my heart rate monitor beeping like crazy. I was panting at the top and waited for Jefri, MKA and Lan to come up. I knew there and then this route was not for PER’s PAR. We stopped for a while for a breather before we proceeded into the unknown, at least to MKA, Azman, Jefri and I. Immediately we came down to a small river crossing. I knew this as before I took the corner I could hear Lan making a water swoosh ride sound across. We tried but got stuck only to push our bike across. There was no way we could save our shoes from getting soak by then. After that it was cycling along a slippery, uneven small single lane walking path. We were enveloped by a damp dense forest. If you had jungle trekked before in that kind of environment just imagine you are on a bike now. I straight away remembered the time I walked in that kind of environment going either fishing or searching for buloh lemang with my cousins and uncles. To us it was exhilarating and fun as we were laughing and joking. Once in a while we hit a pot hole and crash landed onto the bushes. I could not remember how many river we crossed in total but I think five. The last being at the end of a downhill into another kelapa sawit plantation. Before that there was one incredible down hill that was so treacherous that I did not dare to ride down. Only Lan and MKA did it. Immediately at the bottom of the downhill was a small log bridge across what seems to me a small landslide. It was up and down within a jungle again after that. After we crossed the last stream Lan told us that we would be going into a Kelapa Sawit plantation passing another orang asli village and continuous climb to the summit of Broga Hill. A beautiful promise that speared our already tired muscle forward. From a Kelapa Sawit we climb into a rubber plantation. The canopy helps to create an air-conditioned environment that helped our body a bit. We thought it was going to be down hill all the way to the ultimate climb but Lan tricked us into climbing a very sudden steep one first.

We leisurely rode under the rubber trees anticipating the hard climb. As usual I stayed at the back letting the younger guys tackling everything first. Then from the front Lan shouted for us to brace ourselves for a long climb to the summit. Everyone immediately jumped at the first climb. Looking from the back I saw Jefri stopped halfway and as I passed him he yelled that his bike broke. MKA immediately turned back to check to diagnose a broken hanger. We knew only Lan could help us and shouted for him to come down. On seeing the damage Lan said only one thing he could do, to cut the chain and put it back at the medium level enough for Jefri to cycle. Which means he could not use his gear anymore. Well it was better then to carry the bike all the way back. We thought it would be easy, in the end it took Lan almost one hour. I tried to keep moving and warm to make sure my muscle did not go to sleep. I failed and I struggled for the rest of the climb. Since Jefri’s bike broke at the very bottom of the climb the rest of the climb became too much for both Azman and me. We mostly just T&T, that’s Turun and Tolak if you are not familiar with the term, to the summit.

If a gift of a waterfall was waiting for us at the bottom the summit was by itself a breathtaking gift. When we saw the view from the top we forgot about our tiredness Since we were late already we sat up there just enough to rest and enjoyed the place for awhile. Lan told us it would be downhill all the way from there on and our spirit picked up a bit. Expecting it to be easy we started to enjoy ourselves once again. Lan even said since we were late once we were down at the village we were going home and not going to the waterfall after all. We were ok with that but getting down now was another big challenge for all of us. The terrain has changed since the last time Lan was up there so much so he could not locate the shortcut that we intended to take going down the thick secondary rubber tree jungle. Nevertheless we confidently cycled down until Lan realized and confirmed by MKAs GPS we were actually going further from the village down below. We backtracked to a spot where we took a rest and let Lan went back up to locate the spot. MKA followed him living the three of us. In about ten minutes they shouted for us to cycle up again. Confident he got the spot right we walked down carrying our bike through the dense unattended rubber plantation. It was a steep downhill and our path was just big enough for a rubber tapper to maneuver himself from tree to tree whereas we had to carry our bike. Once we were inside there was no turning back and we suffered our way through. At least I was very sure we were not going to slide down if we slipped. Eventually we reached at a small ledge big enough for us to rest for awhile and decide which way to go. By then we could hear and see the roof of the houses down below but below us was a deep ravine and there is no way through. Lan decided to go and find us a way out. He came back a few minutes later to say he had found a way out but we had to take it slowly. Without giving too much detail in the end we climbed out into a clearing downhill into the village.

We were, at least I was, relived to be back on the tarmac and we rode back to Kg Kedah. We stopped in front of their community hall to rest and chatted with two government officials who were there to discuss on a documentary they were making of the place. Luck has it there was also a small sundry shop and we cleaned the refrigerator of anything that was cold. I actually downed the 100plus in two big gulps. While in the jungle suffering from fatigue Azman joked hoping that there would be 7eleven along the way. The small sundry shop was our 7eleven. I just laughed when I saw Azman almost yelling kedai and rushed in.

Since we decided to go to the waterfall we rode out through the way we came in and out using the tarmac all the way. We were back at our car at 1350. Checking my gadget I burned 2300+- cal and I was weak and very tired. The distance we covered would probably more like 25 km X 3. It was not the end of a story for Jefri and Azman. When we cycled out Jefri’s chain keep coming off that we proposed for him to just use Azman’s bike to get his car to pick Azman and his bike later.

Click here for the pictures

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Janda Baik Ride, Apr 4, 2009

I was very sure I was not going to do the Genting Sempah Janda Baik Genting Sempah ride when I was on the way home that night until Along called. The call presented me with my ‘magic act’ for Saturday. I communicated earlier to my cycling buddies that unless I could pull off a magic act I would not be able to join them. The news from Along was that Lan wanted to join me for the ride which meant the possibility of me going for the ride in his car. So when I drove home from the station I stopped at his gerai to negotiate. It was a done deal from the beginning as Lan did not mind driving and would pick me up at home around 0630 the next morning. The other part of the plan was for Baqir to drive Kak CIk and himself to their sport day in our Ranger. Of course Baqir few days after getting his license would be very glad to drive. But I warned him no showing off, especially on the road. Back at home I told my plan to Sam and I was set for Janda Baik.

Lan came at 0649 and we left as soon as we packed my bike in the Kancil. I was prepared for being late but when we were on the highway I knew we would be on time.

At 3 minutes to half past 8 we pulled up at Genting Sempah parking area and immediately saw the others were there already. We were told another two persons were still on the way. Straight away we unloaded and get the bikes ready for the ride. Five minutes later the other two arrived and after our customary photo session rolled down towards Janda Baik along the old Gombak Bentong road. It was really rolling down and effortlessly we just relaxed and let the gravity took us down. Of course my mind was already thinking of the return ride. It was going to be a long climb up and presumably if we delay our departure would be cycling back under a hot sun. Later Dr Taufik told us from Genting Sempah to Janda Baik was actually a 100 meters drop. Once we reached at the junction to Janda Baik began the see saw right up and down to Janda Baik. The first climb was moderately long that took some of us by surprised. We stopped waiting to regroup and down again to encounter another long climb. It was like that until we reached the end of Janda Baik.

The end of Janda Baik means the beginning of a jungle trek. On our left was the nice, clear flowing stream that I had fought hard to resist and on our right was a Chilly Farm. We were told that the farm was cultivated by a Chinese farmer. Obviously the Malay owner does not know what to do with the land. We rested and chat for about 20 minutes before we turned back to stop at Andak’s Place for breakfast. What interesting about this place is that it is run by two entrepreneurial young men who know what they are doing. They installed a WIFI network there and served ready made menu of nasi lemak, mee hon goring, the like and other la carte dishes. Because I knew I would be able to ride back properly if I had heavy breakfast I just had two buns. If would have been excellent if they had a bit of American or Continental breakfast. Well not the whole enchilada but those that we Malaysian would normally prefer. Apart from us cyclists there were a group of high-powered bikers with their BMWs having breakfast.

At around 11 am we left the Andak’s Place and took another route around Janda Baik back to Genting Sempah. The route was beautiful but I decided not to stop to take any photos as I was seriously concentrating on my cycling. We passed another stretch of training resorts, picnic areas as well as beautiful homes. The terrain also took us through several hills which was very good for our MTB endurance ride. We had our last rest in front of a gate of a resident on top of steep hill before we hit the road all the way back to Genting Sempah. We went downhill first to exit at the junction to the main road out of the Janda Baik that we came in. At this stage we got the taste of the long climb ahead. I pressed hard and maintained my momentum to get me going up without stopping. At this juncture Lan decided to take off and flew by me to leave all of us struggling at the back. We only met Lan again at Genting Sempah. I stayed focus on finishing and eventually we reached the Janda Baik Bentong Genting Sempah junction which means from there on would be climbing all the way to Genting Sempah. Thinking about it alone would make you want to stop there and walk up or hitchhiked on the occasional one ton trucks that were passing by. Jokingly I said to myself no pain no gain greeted my teeth and pedaled hard up. I dropped to lowest gear and push it up whenever I got my rhythm. In cyclist term I was spinning myself up. I was just riding my own ride without thinking much about the others. If you had been on this stretch of road you know that the climb would take us climbing maneuvering through tight corners as well. My colleagues kept on passing and dropping by me. However, halfway through the climb I felt a surge of energy from no where and I pushed the gear up and started to speed passing few of my colleagues. I was really surprised by what I did and I kept going and I knew, despite seeing two of my colleagues resting by the roadside, I could not stop now and had to finish the climb. By that time the sun was already high and straight on top of our heads. It was really hot and the only help we got was the cool breeze blowing up from the valley down our right. Because of my torn saddle my butt was already going to give up on me. No pain no gain he he he. Looking down below at the Karak Highway with the Bukit Tinggi valley as the background on my right was a sight to enjoy while riding. I guess that was my booster. Rounding the last corner about 200 meters to the Genting Sempah rest area my younger colleague overtook me and I immediately fell directly behind him and tailed him pulling me up to the end game of the day.

What a ride and it was the best so far for me. I’ll definitely do it again and with two more runs like that I would be ready for Gombak Genting Sempah or even Bentong Genting Sempah. The good indicator for me was that my heart rate only beeped once during the hard climb.

Pictures click here

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

April Fool Ride, Putrajaya, Apr 1, 2009

A total of 20 riders turned up for the ride and three quarter of them were from the Gedebe gang. Except for Alif and me all of them came down with their road mean machines. I said mean machines because they were indeed a very powerful bicycles where even the weakest of the rider will leave you breathing wind behind from the get go. A couple of Cervelo, Bianchi, Trek, Merida and the like. There I was with my Trek MTB thinking very hard on how or what to do to make sure I would not be too far behind. As usual I had Alif but I wanted to build up my speed and endurance and planned to stay in touch with the roadies. Which mean if Alif stayed back I’d hope someone would sweep.

Surprisingly when I arrived at the Dataran I was presented with a clear sky. In fact a few minutes after a crescent came out with stars flickering around. We definitely riding tonight I said to myself. We rolled out around 2145 and as I guessed tackling the outer ring of Putrajaya. Alif and I started off among the second pelaton but when ahead after the first pelaton waited at the last bus stand before we went out of the big Precint 1 round about. I pushed hard at the front but I knew the roadies will pass me in due time which they did as I was climbing below the junction just before the PM’s resident. With the biggest crank on I stayed with them. I could not help to think if I were on one of those flyers I would be blazing the Putrajaya night myself. With that kind of machine there is no way I would be just cruising. So for now to protect myself from myself I would stick with my Trek MTB. I was cruising at a constant speed passing the PM’s resident on my left and over Section 10 before proceeding towards the Cyberjaya Dengkil highway. It was a long nice incremental climb from there to the bridge over the old MDC HQ, my old office.

As I was under the pass to Cyberjaya Marina, the birthday girl, passed me. Quickly I moved behind her tail and let her pulled me through the gradient going towards Dengkil. As we passed Cyberlodge looking down at my old office I wondered whether I would be riding there had I stayed working for MDC. I continued tailing Marina closely until we were approaching the turn to Precint 5 that I let her go a little bit. But instead, probably not realizing I was behind her, she stopped waiting. I thought there was something wrong with her bicycle but when I came close she said she was not sure which way to go. I asked her to follow me and cranked up around the junction towards our halfway rest spot. At the rest point waiting were Pak Wan, MBA, Muhaimy, Pak Samad and Doc Taufik. By the look at it the first pelaton must have sped away. As usual we took a five minutes break. Apart from the obvious at the rest point is where bicycle stories were flowing. Each rides for us a new adventure as well as another classroom of anything to do with bicycle and cycling. This time Pak Wan held court narrating mostly their recent tour down from KB to Kuantan.

Pak Wan gave the ladies the honor to resume the ride and off Alif went almost flying followed by Marina. Knowing that if the guys follow suit I am going to be left behind I took off after them. Relishing a long climb in front of me plus the desire to regain my fitness I overtook them and rode at a constant speed alone upfront. I knew in no time the guys would be behind me. I felt I go harder but I restrained myself afraid I drained myself during the long climb. Soon I heard them coming from behind and one by one overtook me. Pak Samad on his road Trek came to my side about to pass but I held his progress by asking him about his Trek. He gave a thumb up. As Pak Samad slowly move up Pak Wan joined me from behind and we had a chat for a while.

Looking at the red flickering night riding light in front Pak Wan decided to chased and when he pulled out I tailed him hoping he could pull me. I never ever was going to last long tailing him as he inched forward further and further from me. However Allah knows best as about 30 metres before the overhead bridge to Kg Limau Manis came the rain. It was not heavy but we saw in front of us the guys beside the road. When I got there I thought I wanted to join them but since I am in the momentum to climb I decided not to stop and Pak Wan followed me. The guys stopped because they wanted to secure their handphones from the rain. As I passed I joked by asking ‘nak bukak payung ke?’ I made the right decision as I climbed the rain stop for a while giving me enough dry tarmac to push harder. By that time Pak Wan was way ahead of me already. I pushed and pushed until almost three quarter of the climb when the rain started to really fall and hitting my face. About 30 meters to the top I pressed forward using Pak Wan’s red tail light as my beacon. Once I was almost at the peak I was thinking of slaloming down but I saw flickering signal lights on my left down below indicating several of them were waiting the rain out under the overheard road. I hit the break and pull over slowly.

If not for the rain we could have been back to our starting point by 2330 but it was not all lost. While waiting with, mostly the Gedebe gang we got to know each other better. I witnessed also the Chief Poison and Super Dealer and Trader at work ). Pak Wan was relentless with his dealing and managed to get a deal done out of nothing. It was a joy to witness. The rain came pouring for about half an hour or so and nothing much we could do accept to wait. It was about midnight when the rain eased a bit and would be acceptable for us to continue and finish our cycling for the night. We waited for the last group and as soon as they joined us we pedaled hard home to our cars.

Since it was still raining when we reached the Dataran everyone just quickly packed their bikes, said goodbyes and drove home. Thus no makan-makan for the birthday girl just a wet Aprilfool ride.