Saturday, April 28, 2012

Bikecamping - Pertak, Part 4

Early day..
Roger and I decided that after breaking camp, we ride toward the first metal suspension bridge, take some snapshots and move on.
I woke up 06:30am, tried to locate my bar of soap.
It was missing from my shelter.
Not only that, the food pack was also gone!
I took my Surefire Aviator A2 flashlight and shined through a path normally used by the orang asli and their dogs.
Found the pack about 10 meters away.
The food was gone.
Dogs raided our campsite and made away with what they can salvage.
Two packs of instant noodles, gone. 
I managed to salvage a teabag and beef in a foil pack. That was everything the dogs had spared.

A successful outing: the bikepackers

A river-crossing

Slow-shutter shot of the river
Sleep-depravation, scavengers, insect bites and discomfort: its all a part of camping.
I re-lived my younger days - camping in the jungle.
The only difference this time: is the bicycle that came along.
After taking some snapshots, we broke camp.
Took me about 15-minutes to dismantle the fly sheet and pack everything back to the pannier.
We shed a few kilogrammes, but the bags are still heavy.
After clearing up the place, we rode towards the first suspension bridge.
Roger went on crossing to the other side of the river while I spent some time snapping some slow-shutter shots with my Canon Powershot G1X and my trusty Slik Mini-Pro table top tripod.
Everything worked out fine as we rode out towards Kg Orang Asli Pertak.
The bikes held on pretty well across the offroad section and as we climbed towards the village, Roger had a chain-slip.
That was easily fixed as we made our way towards the Dam where we staged our trip.
I need to answer my early-morning toilet call, so, this is the perfect place to do it.
We took a break in the area and spoke to a couple of elderly Malay men who were resting there.
The rest of the journey was a downhill roll towards Kuala Kubu Baru.
We met two mountain bike cyclists along the way and enjoyed the smooth journey towards town where we had breakfast..

Rolling out

The scenic Dam
At Kuala Kubu Baru
We made a decision to have a late breakfast in town before heading to the train station.
The plan was to visit a noodle shop in town.
There, we had a nice wantan noodle meal at RM4.50 a plate.
Roger and I chatted a bit before heading out to a local bicycle shop. 
After the visit, we rode out to the train station.
With barely minutes to spare, an ETS train bound for KL Sentral zipped past.
Roger had to pack up, so, we gave it a miss.
I bought two Komuter tickets bound for KL.
We had to disembark at Rawang and hopped onboard a Seremban-bound train.
Again, hauling was an issue as we had to walk up a flight of stairs on the bridge linking the terminals.
On a weekend, I wasn't favourable when it comes to the Komuter service.
Its usually packed and crammed like Sardines.
My first choice was an ETS service and the alternative was a KTM intercity train ride.
You can book your seats without worrying about people kicking your bike.
Since this was Roger's first bikepacking trip on a train, well, it was worth the experience...

Makan time!
Waiting for the Komuter

All aboard!

A slow ride to KL Sentral
The train bound for Rawang arrived at 12:10pm.
We boarded with our bikes and gear and got off in Rawang and switched trains.
There was a new coach which was bound for KL Sentral.
By noon, it as already filling up with the weekend crowd.
Later in Sungai Buloh, a bunch of Talibanistas (trouble-makers) boarded to attend the Bersih 3.0 gathering in Dataran Merdeka.
These anti-Government guys are really vocal about their dislike, mostly hard-liners from out of town who came to the city for the purpose of protesting. Well, life is better spent on anything other than that.
We arrived in KL Sentral at 02:00pm and had a round of coffee at Starbucks.
During the break, we reviewed the trip and decided that more is in the offing.
Roger and I later boarded the LRT towards Petaling Jaya.

The journey home and a tire blow-out..
I got off at the University station.
Rigged up the Speed P8, and rode off.
When I was reaching the Avon building after clearing Jalan 223 in Petaling Jaya, I heard the dreaded noise of air hissing.
I slowed down the bike, and realised that I had a blow-out.
First order of the day, was to remove the skewers, take out the tire and see if I could repair the inner tube.
After trying to inflate the tube, it was a no-go.
I just had it replaced and experienced my first blow-out of the year.
The tire was fine as I found no foreign objects embedded in it.
While I was working under the scorching afternoon sun, motorcycles whizzed by. 
No one will stop and help. 
Then on the horizon, I saw a guy on a road bike.
He slowed down and came to a halt near me.
"Hello kawan, okay ka? You pergi it Bersih 3.0 ka?," he asked.
I told him I was on my way home after a tour. 
The roadie offered some comfort by asking whether I needed help. But I think he knew that I was equipped for the worse.
I did an inner tube change, inflated the tire with a C02 cannister.
The tire was half-inflated, so, it was wobbly. 
I later found a spot underneath a flyover near Guinness-Anchor and proceeded to pump air into the tire with my trusty Topeak Mini-Morph. That saved the day as I slowly pedaled towards Subang Jaya.
From SS13, I crossed towards Persiaran Kewajipan.
While I was making my way towards USJ 1, I heard my name being called.
It was SK Yeong of  Lima Bintang cycling group. 
I waved at him and made my way towards Summit.
My ticket home was secured.
So far, the inner tube changed held up. Slowly, but surely, I cycled towards USJ 26. 
The plan was a refreshment break at the Petronas station near USJ 23.
After re-hydrating, I rode towards home, my kidz were happy to see me as I opened the gate..

Future trips
Bikepacking worked for me.
But, I need to work on finding a suitable campsite with no issues on cleanliness. I knew this would be a challenging task, but its worth doing so.
In short, the bikepacking and camping trip was a success. I really enjoyed it and took home some really good memories from the trip...
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