Saturday, April 28, 2012

Bikecamping - Pertak, Part 1

Something different...
Cyclist Roger Teoh suggested a bike and camping trip to Kuala Kubu Baru.
The destination: Kampung Orang Asli Pertak.
I've hiked along this place a couple of times and its also one of my favourite macro photography locations.
We corresponded via the Malaysian Foldie Forums and decided to set a date for the trip.
Since this kind of ride is entirely new, only two of us had confirmed the trip.
The plan was to take a train to the Kuala Kubu Baru station and cycle to Kg Orang Asli Pertak, some 12km away from where we alight.

Sounds like a plan
I had time to prepare.
The first thing that came to mind was getting a set of collapsible tarp shelter poles.
Corezone outfitters in Petaling Jaya had them on retail and I snapped at the opportunity of scoring to Mountain Safety Research poles.
I had the rest of the gear and got myself a Thermarest Scout Lite sleeping mat. This is small enough to be packed in my Ortlieb backroller pannier.
The thermarest sleeping mat I use: is a 17-year-old long mat which is still in use until today.
For an overnight trip, I need to pack my sleeping gear, cooking utensils and food.

Choices, choices, choices...
There is a price to pay when it comes to hauling the goods. Too heavy means you will be bogged down and when it comes to a steep gradient, you can't push an 8-speed bike on the crank. It just ceases.
For food, I packed two meat items in foil packs, two packs of instant noodles, coffee and tea including one pack of pre-cooked rice from Japan (Top Value from Jusco at RM14.95 for a pack of three 200gm rice). These would be enough to sustain for a night and with spare food for emergency.
When it comes to garment, my choices were a dry-fit short sleeve tee I bought sometime back which is made for Head sporting goods. I also carried a RaceReady long sleeve thermo shirt in case it gets too cold. So, to sum it up, two tees and a long sleeve including an REI Sahara shorts for clothing.
My tarp shelter set up is simple: Fly sheet and ground sheet including some aluminium tent pegs I cannibalized from my Big Agnes Seedhouse 2.0 tent.
I had a roll of Dacron lines for anchoring the poles and flysheet.

Since Roger had no experience in Bikepacking, I planned it in such a way, the trip would be staged from KL Sentral train station.
From there, we take a Komuter/ETS/intercity train to Kuala Kubu Baru.
The ticket for an intercity train ride to KKB costs RM11.20 and it would take about an hour or more to get there.
We carry our bikes in a carry-on bag. 
My choice ride is my trusty 2009 Dahon Speed P8. Roger will be cycling his Tern Joe 24.
We cycle from the train station to KKB town, have an early lunch and ride to the campsite..

Arrival at Kuala Kubu Baru

The bikepackers

Setting up
The journey
There were delays in the train trip.
We paid for the tickets, so, we waited.
When boarding call was made, we loaded the bikes to the coach. I picked a seat which is furthest to the front where we can store the bikes and panniers.
All in all, I lugged about 30kgs of gear for this trip, so, I need to keep an eye on the bike and camping gear.
We left KL Sentral at 10am, arrived in KKB near noon.
When we got there, the equipment needed to be man-hauled across a bridge. 
This proved to be tough for Roger as he had a larger and heavier bike.
Setting up was fast. It took us 15-minutes to get gear up and running.
I had my Speed P8 tuned and serviced a day before. So, things were in good running order and since this is a self-supported ride, everything from spares and recovery kit was covered.
We began to ride to town which is 2km away. 
Roger found a good makan place where we had our lunch...

A decent fare

The makan place

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