Friday, October 31, 2008

From Plentong to LTM

A chance to be in KL over a stretch of few days spanning over a weekend was taken to good mountainbiking use by Akmal. After a near miss downtown adventure, I took him for another treat to my homeground - the palm estate of Ladang Tuan Mee, home of the BTP Bicycle Brigade. This could be my bloodiest ride so far. Why? Read on...

I purposedly did not announce my intention to BBB to ride there on Saturday, Oct 25th, 2008. It was supposed to be a small group ride in honor of my special guest. Only Akmal, me, my wife and Iyyah, my 12 year old daughter.

We set to meet in Selayang at 0800hrs. Akmal would be coming from Crown Princess. I was a bit late since confronted with a challenge of squeezing 4 bikes into my trusty Unser. Not a small labor!

Bikes for lelong?
When we arrived at Medan Puteri, the regular RV place for BBB, no biker was in sight. Hashim BB was there minding his stall, instead of prepping his gear for a ride. His riding has been lessened ever since his wife started her stall business there. We unpacked and started fixing our gears. Hashim BB won't be riding but he called his son Daniel asking him whether he'd like to ride with us. That 10 year kiddo jumped with joy. Soon he was there with his bike ready to roll.

Before the trail head
About 0930hrs we rolled. Trailhead was Block 6. Daniel in the lead. We would do the usual Teres 3 > Playgound > Teres 2 > home routine. The trail opened with a climb. Open naked barren rutted red earth climb. My Bolty felt funny but I couldn't figure out exactly what...

To Teres Tiga
Though LTM is my regular, I still couldn't remember the trail fully. Lucky Daniel was there to show the way. From trail head to Teres 3, my memory could still recall the path clearly. But when we were almost there, Daniel diverted left to a tributary road I'd never been before. I yelled at him "Mana nak pegi nih?". "Trail baruuuuu....", he replied without even bothering to turn back. Aha! new crafty work by Pechiko? Let's see how it goes...

Approaching the new section
The tributary swerved left, ascending. Then began series of twisted downward singletrack underneath the palm tress. Small terraces decking the rows of palm trees added the trail flavor. Coupla drops and gap jumps up to 2 feet high ready to secrete your adrenaline. If you are not bold enough to jump (like me), you can roll down the gap.

From boingy T-Bolt to hard tail
Daniel practically ate the "layer cake" voraciously impressing Akmal as he watched in awe at the 10 year old's agility. He would apply his Plentong experience here. "Plentong don't have technical terrains like this", he commented. Moreover, a change from his fully T-Bolt to my Element hard tail would require some getting used to.

Gentle Iyyah
I was proud of Iyyah who glided gracefully on the drops. She was slow and gentle yet graceful. Ummu was very selective in trying out. Her 2 months of biking void need brushing up. Fear of tumbling still haunted her after the lip cutting, face smacking incident in Teres 2 months back. I chose to be wild! Must preserve my pride. Shouldn't let a 10 year old kiddo outdo you...Right? OK, you can disagree...Pushed the Ogre as much as I could. Woo hoo...But that funny feeling in the rear became more prominent...There was also a new section carved at the last descent of terrace 3. Steeper, faster...Daniel made it looked like a simple child's play, literally. Akmal finally pulled through in second attempt. Iyyah backed off.

Small in size, big in heart. Daniel pushing Ummu's bike uphill
Fall of a giant
From Teres Tiga we moved on to The Playground. In getting there, you have to pass a steep rutted double track climb, then rewarded by a fast downhill followed by ala slalom in between palm trees before trail leveled out. The Playground was called such because it offered multitude of simple drops and slopes. Good for training. Akmal looked like really enthralled by that section. What stimulated him more was the skills and agility shown by Daniel. He tried jumping off the small ledge after seeing Daniel did so. And he scored a tumble. Hurrayyyyy....Iyyah also crashed when she attempted a steeper slope.

Cut in elbow
Enough of the training, time for putting it into practice. Missus suggested we took the Budak Nakal trail to Teres Dua instead of the usual estate laterite road. Motion accepted and we blasted through. Everything was fine up to gliding down the steps. Feeling that it was not enough, we searched for more challenge in the terraces. Greed usually get us into trouble. True indeed because shortly thereafter, a palm frond got the better of me. It flipped my front tyre sideway and I was flung towards an awaiting palm trees coupla feet below. I got a nice cut on my elbow and a splinter embedded in my palm. That splinter poked through my glove. I was shattered momentarily but brushed the pain aside. Journey to Teres Dua continued....on the normal trail.

Savoring Teres Dua
Teres Dua threw in different kind of challenges. The first set of small drops pumped Akmal's adrenaline up. But when confronted by the first slope in set 2, Akmal resorted to finding alternative descent. Other milder slopes on Teres Dua were savored by him. Daniel continued to make Akmal's jaw dropped in awe.

End of Teres Dua marked the end of that day's session. Time to pack it up and go home. From Teres Dua, Daniel took us spinning around till we got back at the bottom of Teres Tiga. The climb back up was treacherous. I decided to find a milder ascent. Recollecting my memory, we diverted but only to be disappointed that it was farther and of similar steep ascent. That invited furious nagging from Daniel. fault.

Akmal and the young master
Finally we got back on track and off to the trailhead at Block 6. The rutted laterite descent proved to be no obstacle for Daniel as he glided down. His bike rattled in protest, but the kid showed no mercy. Iyyah took a slo-mo downhill followed by Ummu. Akmal did the same. By 1.15p.m., we were back at the RV. A treat of home made cendol, laksa Kuala Perlis concluded the ride. A ride that recorded fall and crash for every rider except Ummu. And mine was the bloodiest one...Could have been worse if not for the padding I wore. Hope Akmal enjoyed the ride. Hope he can bring back nice sweet memories of LTM to Plentong.

If you hate static pictures, check out the video

More pics can be seen here


fuzz said...

Looking from the pics, if i'm not mistaken, Daniel was the kid i met at kaki Steroid, FRIM 2/3 weeks ago. I was chatting with a BBB rider, came this boy from Sg Buloh doing a stunt (stoping the bike with the rear wheel drifting). I told him that "Huiyo, pakcik pun tak brani nak buat macam tu"

Perhaps i can be a young padawan to the master Daniel. He .. he..

KeLoLo said...

On Deepavali day, right?

I kesian dengan basikal tu...Kena dera tanpa ampun.

Young padawan? Or shall it be, old padawan to the young master? kih...kih...kih.

Akmal Hizam said...

What a memorable weekend it was!
Thanks BC and family.
Great article.
I'm drafting mine and will publish it soon.

fuzz said...

Yes, its on deepavali. The same day i saw u and your family at the tokong car park. Maybe i can learn how to bunny hop from the young master