Saturday, January 1, 2000

A Lady With A Mission

Suck It In And Spit It Out - Bukit Kiara Kuala Lumpur

If there were a bunch of the craziest and zaniest bikers that could ride on the face of this sorry earth, then the guys from PCC would have won it hands down.

We had this tryst with Kiara last week that tested our skill and patience to the near extreme. Something like a scene from On The Edge, a bunch of locos actually went down through some pretty steep drops astride their trustee mounts, the only thing separating their almonds and the top tube was a piece of flimsy padded lycra.

Hats off to the guys. Some of the drops were like Vertical Limit less the ice. If my bike could turn hysterical, it would have, without a doubt. Me? I'm just a sorry excuse for an XY chromosome and a piece of chicken meat in disguise as an off trail biker. But really, I am as guilty as sin in this department but give me a couple more thousand tries with a safety net like the one you see in the circus and I'll be Evil Knievel any which way you want me to, for a day for free ;-)

BRAIN FREEZE! I guess it must have been 50% psychological fear, which hit me real bad. Don't ask me where the other 50% come from coz I'm still recovering from my jet lag at Kiara. I bet it affected more of the other riders as well. It so numbed my legs that both of them were in danger of being amputated for frostbite. Previously coming from mountain climbing and �caving� backgrounds, I expected some kinda cheap thrills like the one you get from rollercoasters at the amusement parks but this was totally unprepared for. Just like Kuwait expected Saddam.

Of course Kiara had its own personal joys but this time we hit it real hard and it gave us no quarters in return. Too many ruts, embedded hazards, steep curves, extreme switchbacks, steep drop offs and you've got a lethal cocktail of a full Tequila bottle and no salt or lime and just plain fish dish. Hard riding to the end.

I bet some wanted to quit judging from the expressions but no pain no gain eh Paisan ? The previous ride we had at Pangsun was no less strenuous but definitely lacked the technicality of Kiara. Perhaps Kiara needed a lesson in humility, when the proper time comes. But till then I'll accord the Lady the proper respect it rightfully deserves. Through my somewhat insane theory, I'll let other riders go through Kiara until it softens up just like in caving where the reccee cavers go in and out until the cave floor actually opens up a bit to let the bigger cavers through. Incidentally, James did mention about the hole in the ground which we encountered early on which served as a jungle latrinefor emergency banking facilities. Cool dudes, coz it looked just like it was meant to be. In caving we have some passage ways which may just be a dead end chamber but serve The Purpose truly well in case of bowel overflow. Deja vu.

Obviously after the actual ride, is the time when you know you have completed it and while sipping that cool 100Plus, you could actually look back and be pretty smug about the whole shebang. I don�t know about the rest of the locos but MTB riding seems to me more than just stamina-ride-push-drop-speed-climb, it is also about self-discipline, self-control, perseverance and most importantly patience. This is where one realises one's own limitations and work at adapting, improving and changing oneself where necessary in order to reach a higher level of self. Self discovery seems apt for want of a better term. For me simply, having fun is the ultimate attainment.

So, do I chicken out of future rides with that bunch of certified locos?, This geek is gonna shout a positive yeah and pray he has adequate insurance .

As for sheer thrills, it doesn't get any better than this. Believe you me.

Now if only Leica made bikes ;-)

by Izzy aka LeicaNut

Reprinted with kind permission of Perfect Cycling Companion (PCC) Cycling Club

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