Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Saturday Night Live!

What do you do when it's fasting month but you still want to get a decent ride in?

You do it at night. And you do the KKB-Gap route.

So it was that five of us gathered in front of the 7-11 in Kuala Kubu Baharu to begin this journey into darkness. Present were me, Senn, Steve Azmar and Zabil. Senn and I were the only ones on road bikes while the rest were on their mounties. Azmar was on his touring bike.

We started at 10:30pm and made our way up to the dam. Zabil pushed the pace a bit and I was barely hanging on. Looked back to see the other three had dropped off. So we backed off a bit and made sure everyone stayed in a group.

This is one ride where it's important to stay together because once across the bridge, it was total darkness. Now, this is one place you wouldn't want to be alone at, it is seriously scary.

Anyway, we rode at a leisurely pace of about 15km/h, chit-chatting all the way to the top. It was a very nice and easy ride, and the conversations helped the kilometres go by a lot quicker.

We hit the Gap at about 12.30am and had a little picnic there. Steve took out a wedge of watermelon, Zabil brought some sandwiches. Our tummies filled, it was time to head back.

This was the part I was dreading. Gap during the day is nice and cool. At night, it was freezing. I put on a spare long-sleeved jersey and stuffed newspapers down my chest to help keep me warm. No good. I was still shivering. Need to get me a windbreaker.

The pace going down was cautious, rarely going more than 30km/h with Azmar leading the way. I dunno how he does it: we had benefit the taillight blinkers of the bikes in front to follow, he had total darkness. Still, he led us down confidently. But unlike on the way up, we rode in total silence, each of us concentrating on the road ahead.

When you descend in these conditions, it's very easy to let your mind wander. The red blinking lights in front of you can be hypnotic, causing you to lose concentration. Your mind starts to wander and you start wondering why you can't feel your right hand. I realised that my hand had gone numb. So my concentration went there, clenching my fist to get the blood flowing again.

When the feeling came back, I looked up and saw darkness. No one in sight. Not one single blinking red light.

Panic.

It was scary. I know all the hantus are supposed to be tied up during the month of Ramadhan but still, being all alone in complete darkness, your heartrate goes up a few beats.

Had to pick up the pace a bit. Cranked it up, went through a few of the corners faster than i would have dared, then I saw it. First one, then another, then another. Blinking red lights! I'm saved.

Caught up with the rest of the pack and stuck to them for dear life all the way down. My right hand went numb again, but I ignored it this time. No way am I going to get dropped again.

We picked up the pace a bit when we got to the dam and continued all the way back to KKB. Except for my hitting a pothole and dropping my waterbottle as a result, the rest of the way was pretty uneventful.

We reached KKB around 2:30am, loaded up the bikes and went to the mamak shop nearby for some sahur.

A late-night ride to Frasers may seem extreme but it's really great fun if you have the right company, people who are as insane as you. This weekend, the plan is to run from Genting Sempah to Genting peak on Friday night and ride the same route on Saturday.

I seriously recommend these type of rides. It's different, it's unexpected and it's a lot of fun. Midnight train to Broga anyone?

5 comments:

ishsal said...

it was dreadful missing this last weekend. i vow to not miss it this weekend. dont know if can do both nights, will try. as not fit since recent downtime.

Adrian said...

mmmmm i am tempted by friday night ride to genting! what's your start time and where?

tryathlete said...

ish: i'm planning to do boht nights. problem is support car.

adrian: friday night is run. saturday night is ride. try and arrange for some sort of support vehicle to bring you down. start point is at genting sempah rest area 10pm

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The Editor said...

U guys are nuts, only a greater nutter will follow u guys, when is the next get together then ;-)?