Friday, May 11, 2012

Bikepacking, Rawang - Sekinchan Expedition, Part 3

Sand, everywhere...
We've entered a place lost in time.
The Batang Berjuntai Tin Mines were a source of revenue for the state and country back in the 50s and 60s. 
Today, there are little remnants of the tin-mining days.
All that's left, are holes in the ground.
Master Siang had stated earlier in his communication to the cyclists that sand-mining is a very sensitive issue in Selangor.
We had to thread carefully around 8.5km of sandy roads leading to the spine of Tanjung Karang, one of the state's rice producing districts.

Michelle, near a sandmine in Batang Berjuntai

Riding with the sun directly above our heads
Power of the sun
The heat was reflected directly onto our faces from the white sands that we were riding on.
This is the route leading to Tg Karang.
We packed enough drinking water to stay hydrated and by the time we rode across the vast sandmines, only seven of us were continuing the journey.
Siang, the lead rider signaled to stop at a shaded area.
We parked our bikes and made ourselves comfortable to savour the packed lunch.
Michelle and I carried two packets of chicken and roasted pork rice. We did away with the cucumber and sauce to prevent the meal from going stale.

Our packed lunch

Chowing down under the shade...
 Lunch break was well-deserved.
We made our way to the exit of the mine and found a herd of wild water buffaloes.
The critters made a quick dash across the lily ponds to the higher ground.
We mostly ignored them and continued riding towards a peat swamp off Tg Karang.

A water buffalo making a run for its life

The Bikepackers at the end of the tin mine trail
Into the peat swamp...
Riding the tin mine was an awesome experience.
We were skidding along the way with some loose sand causing loss of traction, this adds to the fun on cycling offroad.
Siang said the KL Mountain Bike Hashers would salivate at the route. We could have done better with lugged tires, but the Schwalbe Marathon Supreme held up very well.
As soon as we made an exit, our next course was the Raja Muda Musa forest reserve.
This is a borderline between Batang Berjuntai and Tg Karang. In the past, numerous peat swamp fires were reported here.
The ride was pretty straight-forward as we made a loop towards the Sungai Burung village near Sekinchan. At this point, we were getting near with only 35km to clear...
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