Tuesday, June 24, 2008

LTM Terrace Drops Beckoning...


The Class

Back, from left. Daniel (Deputy Principal), Hashim BB Degawan (Principal), Fazmi Kelawar.
Front, from left - Fifi Kelawar, Kelawar, IkanBilis, UmmuFikri and me...

June 20th, Saturday. It has been more than a month since I last went to Ladang Tuan Mee, my early playground. A vast palm estate with rich variety of terrains. Adrenaline junkie would be crazy over its terrace drops. That was the main reason why I returned...My wife's growing desire to ride and to attempt a more challenging terrain compounded that. The terrace drops beckoning.

We arrived around 0800 at the usual congregation place - Zul's stall at Medan Puteri. Not many riders for the day - Kelawar and his two children, Fifi and Fazmi. The regular LTM kaki, Hashim BB Degawan and his son Daniel. Also itching for the ride was IkanBilis. Few other riders were also present but only for having breakfast at Zul's and to see us off into the depth of palm trees of Ladang Tuan Mee.

Show off - me with Axo knee and elbow pad. Missus with Fox knee and elbow pad.
After a snappy breakfast, we geared up. Time to show off our knee-pads and elbow pads. Don't be deceived by our appearance. We are no hardcore riders, just coupla old coots who are scared of injury. Must be careful. Safety first. I'm still short of full face helmet and body armor.

Today's ride will be different. Different in the sense that we will be taking extra times to learn to tackle the technical sections. It'll be some sort of class, if I may say so. Hence, I dub this ride, Akademi Fun-teres-sia LTM 08.

To The Classroom...

Entering the vast "classroom". The welcoming mat was not pretty.
We started off at 0900. From Medan Puteri into the depth of LTM via Block 6. After warmed up (and getting out of breath, courtesy of the welcoming mat), Hashim BB had a flat.

I decided not to let the time just pass by while Hashim fix his flat. There were shallow terraces about a foot to two feet high. Enough for introduction and tackling drop 101. I demonstrated how to roll down the drop. Stressing the importance of shifting the weight to the rear.

Everybody got excited and took turns in trying. Simple enough and everybody passed. My wife wanted to get a taste of rolling down on a full-susser. She checked her pads, mounted my green ogre and roll to the drop. Everything was fine until suddenly when the front tire hit the bottom, it bucked and locked and she went crash-boom-bang. Her first endo! I was worried that she might become scared and discouraged because of that but fortunately her spirit was not hampered. Good girl. The pads smeared. A sign of officiation. At least it proved its effectiveness.

Hashim BB finally got his tire fixed and we moved on to what we call Terrace 3.

Terrace 3

Rolling down the earlier section of Terrace 3.
Terrace 3 comprises of two sets of terraces separated by a fire road. The former section is not so steep but not less challenging either. Though lacking in steepness, the trail was marred with ruts due to water flow erosion. False move, you'll endo because of the gaping holes at the bottom of the drops created by mass of water during heavy rainfall.

The latter offers more challenges in terms of steepness. Both section never fail to incite my apprehension.

If you cannot roll down on the bike, roll down beside the bike. Improving the push-thy-bike-down-the-slope technique
It was here where the class really started. You can either join the rolling group or the pushing group. Hey...pushing also require the correct technique! The kids, except for Daniel, opted for the pushing. Ditto my wife. IkanBilis braced himself and summon all his courage for the rolling group. Kelawar, who had been absent from the scene for 3 months due to injury, was excited to make a return. He too, went for the rolling group.

IkanBilis flowing down the drop with grace...
In the many previous rides before, though traversing the same trail, riders were left on their own. Objective was more on completing the trails and to return to the RV. The skillful will do it astride their steeds whilst the less skillful would be dismountin biking rather than mountain biking.

So for that day, we made some differences. Hashim BB was given the task of Principal. To observe and to teach riders on the proper technique of tackling drops. Riders were allowed several attempts until they were successful or they finaly wave the white flag.

Lis confessed that such approach made him feel more confident, thus, he succeeded in conquering sections that usually make his knee wobble.

The second leg of terrace 3, steep, short and fast drop.
The second section of terrace 3 open with a steep 3 feet drop. Difficulty compounded by water erosion. One has to tread the line carefully, which is barely visible underneath the fern, to avoid getting the front tire locked. That spot claimed many casualties. Still managed to evoke fear and not to be taken lightly.

Hashim and Daniel practically glided through all the drops. LTM terraces is their regular haunts and they know the trails like the back of their palm.

Seeing all the excitement, my wife decided to change mode from dismountin to mountain bike. All the attempts were not successful. I kept on motivating and encouraging her...Perhaps, she was still traumatized after her first endo.

Swooping down the long finale...woo...hooo..
The icing on the cake...The grand finale of T3 is this swooping descent. Opens with 1/3 steep then gradual sloping. Kelawar was beaming when he completed it. It appeared that it was first successful attempt. Well done dude!!!

Lis hesitated and conceded in the end. My wife wanted to try but all went wrong and she couldn't pull through. As consolation, I assisted her to savor the last one third of the trail. Hmmm....

The Playground...

Hashim observed the performance of all the students at T3. He decided to go to The Playground where students can be exposed to more familiarisation. The Playground, aptly named, is a section rich with multitudes of drops from entry to intermediate level. Students were put through their "homework" rigorously to polish and hone their skills.

Kelawar getting the hang of it...

Daniel going against the current

Daniel showing the right way to do it

Lis upping his ante with steeper decline

Missus doing her assignment

Fifi not to be outdone. She showed impressive progress.

Terrace 2...

Having satisfied that students had achieved the expected level of skills, Hashim commanded the class to move to the testing ground, Terrace 2.

Unlike T3, Terrace 2 has something extra to offer. A climbing section. Moderate steps of coupla feet climb to warm up the legs muscle before rolling down the 2 section terraces. What was learned at The Playground will be put to test.

The first section can be considered mild. Students managed to tackle all the drops. Well, almost.

Last drop for section 1 at T2. Sign of satisfaction displayed on those who succeeded in tackling the drops.

Missus tackling the drop

Missus tackling another drop at section 1 of T2.

All was well in section 1 of T2. The ambience changed when the curtain to section 2 of T2 unveiled.

Section opens with quite steep descent with small gap at the end. The terrace was about 8 feet wide not allowing much room for recovery if you overshoot. Most students resorted to descent via another alternative path.

Lis braved himself to tackle one of the slope and was proud with his achievement.

What you'll see next won't be pretty. Missus succumbed to the small drop and kissed the earth. Not once but twice, But I admired her spirit. Still managed to just laugh it off. I thought she was gonna be "serik" but she tried another slope thereafter...and crashed again. Fortunately, she got herself protected with additional protection. The knee pad and elbow pad helped to reduce injury.

End of T2 marked completion of the "dera" session. General comments from participants were positive. More ssimilar sessions should be held so that skills can be upgraded.

We adjourned to Tasik Biru to help ourselves with the exotic "Air Kelapa Gula Merah" . Truly refreshing...The accompanying cendol was also sumptuous. Yummmmmm....

The exotic Air Kelapa Gula Merah. Concoction of young coconut juice, with peels of its flesh sweetened with brown sugar.

Cendol...Cordoned by empty glasses of coconut juice and emptied saucers that used to cantain delicious pau (dumpling)


AO said...

Perghhh.... What a sempoi ride session... Cool bro...

Remi said...

Melihatkan cara Missus saudara jatuh menampakkan yang beliau tidak shift kan body weight ke belakang berbeza dengan cara saudara dan rakan lelaki yang lain. Tapi spirit Missus saudara sangat tinggi. Kalau Missus saya dah gerenti ajak balik dan takkan datang lagi dah. Lain kali boleh masuk PCC.

KeLoLo said...

Sdr Remi, memang sungguh pengamatan saudara. Memang dia tahu teorinya, dan dia rasa yang dia dah pindahkan berat ke belakang. Cuma anjakan bo*to* tu tak cukup. Rupanya dia gayat kalau nak berdiri atas beskal. Memnag semangat mem, sebab lepas jatuh dalam klip tu, dia jatuh lagi...Tapi tak serik. Sabtu ni ajak pegi lagi...


Alimuddin 'Don' Shahid said...

Perghhh!!! org rumah dah layan teres tu... masih teringat2 lagi teres2 tu

KeLoLo said...

Tak leh lawan Mirror Hill punya. Lagi seriauuuuuu....