Saturday, July 15, 2000

THE EXTREME TOUR OF REJANG (ETOR)2000 - Preparations 1 week to D-Day

Logistics is still a concern. Apparently it is a very busy time of the year for timber companies, with the dry weather and all. 4x4s is crucial for logistics support and hopefully we will be able to know before we depart for Sibu on Sunday 16th. All else are firmly in place with the loose ends expected to be tied up. The supporters have been very enthusiastic in their assistance; we've even got our menu lined up on the morning of the ride by one of our hosts - Hariwood - sensible pre-ride good old-fashioned porridge at Camp Ecobay - owned by Hariwood

12th July 10.05pm - A slight hiccup; mud slide has made some sections of the Iran-Mapai stage impassable. The longest stage of the tour has suddenly thrown the team an extra challenge. At this moment we have yet to get in touch with the man on the ground to find out more about the washed out trails. Malcolm was hoping this would not put a damper to the tour as he was looking forward to the climbs.

Two releases came out in the Sarawak Tribune that concerned the keen wishes of the Kapit mountain bikers to be part of the first stage of the tour. First and foremost, they have to realise that this a close event, not a race and that logistics are planned around the Etor team. However, they are welcome to participate with the understanding that they are completely on their own. To take matter to the public has generated publicity for the event nevertheless!

There are other avenues to test their skills against others; that is the Junaco Park Mountain Bike Race Sibu and the Rainforest Cup - Cross Country in Lundu, Kuching.

13th July 5.10pm - It has been a good day for the event. Received report from the Camp Manager of Camp Mapai that although the Iran-Mapai stretch was impassable to 4x4, the good news was that the riders could bike and hike over the affected stretches. This means that the support crew will accompany the riders as far as logistically possible before they will turn back to base camp (Camp Iran) for a speed boat ride to the destination camp (Camp Mapai); where they will meet the riders head-on.

Naturally Malcolm was pleased to hear this piece of news. He, obviously, relishes the challenge of tackling those rolling hill stretches. I couldn't wait to ask for his opinion after he has done this stage.

A bit of promo work of the event was done over the RTM radio network. Malcolm and Michael were interviewed on the 91.9FM talk-show programme with Coma Smith.

14th July 4.00pm - Received word that our American rider/writer, John Hagedorn has to iron out his work permit renewal. At this juncture the team do not know if he could make it for the tour. We are keeping our fingers crossed.

15th July 12.34pm - Its official, John Hagedorn won't be able to make it to the tour. Needless to say this is disappointing to the organiser. The group has been whittled down to 5 riders; Michael, Malcolm, Uncle Liu, Glen McNair and Jong Tze Fui. Unexpectedly, the rose among the thorn, Eunice will join in the ride Way to go Eunice!

The Sibu 100 Celeberation committee headed by YB Lau Hui Chew is expected to see the riders off at the Kapit Jetty at 9.00am 17th July. And what novel and better way to do it than to garland each and every rider a string of 'Kong Pias'

The team will be making an overland trip to Sibu at 9.00am tomorrow (Sun) for a night's layover in Sibu.

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