September 2006


First attempt this Ramadhan at Putrajaya. The rest of the gang rode KL city last Wednesday nite, all 11 of them. Aku tak join sebab belum fully recover from the weekend torment. These guys sometimes if mai angin dia, berdesup semua… tak berani aku.

Only 3 of us last nite, Alwin, Saiful & me. The rest can’t make it. It was hazy, breathing was not comfortable. No night cooling breeze to embrace us while we glazed on the tarmac. We followed the MMDS route, which supposed to be a total of 25km.

Almost 3/4 of the way, strong winds start gushing…pushing us aside. Storm coming in actually. Suddenly haze was gone, what a clear sight. Yet we were still struggling to reach the carpark. We decided to cut short the route & finish up at only 18km. Quick chat at the car, we headed home.

The rest of the way was heavy rain. Reached home 20 minutes later. Didn’t quite sleepy though, so layan dvd sampai ngantuk…somewhere at 1.30am. It was raining heavily…best!

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Yehaa! Finally, i don’t have to get in the office just to get online, now i’m adding my bill list with additional stremyx bill. Dang, ada duit semua boleh jadi, eh? Reminds me of the phrase that was used by one our own national cartoonist…Rejabhad, in one of his famous royal malaysian army cartoons that was based in Congo.

Current gens might not heard of him but it was the era of the Gila-gila humor magazine. Ujang was from there…if i’m not mistaken which further bloomed to his own mag. How fast he succeeded, that was also the rate he vanished…very unfortunate for a guy with so many talents.

Now, magga & action type comics rules. So many young graduate artists take part in the showbiz. That’s maybe bcoz the pay is better & demand is there. I wonder how majalah Ujang or Lanun are getting on.

What a start eh? First day of fasting, and I was already flat on the bed. Last night’s happenings was triple the worse than mat kilau experience. It was absolutely a series of unfortunate events. Triple threwups & timeless moment at the loo.

Super sunday was all down with a fever. Posa tetap posa. Monday & Tuesday was recovery. Monday MC while Tuesday was just plain lazy & yet still recovering. With fasting, recovery was definitely slow.

Had a quick check with the giant xtc. Quite a relief it was not ground zero. Just a bit of lube at the chainrings, cassette, gear cables should do the work…kot.

The bell rang at 6am. Taking our bath was the first challenge…macam kartun menggigil! Then it was packing up time. Suddenly banyak pulak barang to pack up. Shoved all the unrideable stuff onto the bus & we headed to Lata Lembik, the actual campsite near to a river. The sight of the rapids was breathtaking in the cool serene morning.

We had group photo taken (Metro, Mangga, Utusan Melayu, Meskulin, etc) & off we rode officially by the District Officer at 9.25am. Depa bekalkan kami with rice wrapped up in banana leave (macam lepat pisang) & sambal ikan bilis & rendang for lunch. The first stretch under the canopy of rubber trees was a breeze but only lasted for 1km. The following 2 hours covering ONLY 8km was horribly sticky.

It was an endless climb whilst pushing. 400 people have trampled the trail yesterday, numerous 4×4 trips in & out & a bit of rain have made the climb even worse. Muds already stocked up the frame & jammed the tyres. At first glance the tyres were like 3.0 slick, macam moto GP kaler oren…muahaha! Even our legs matched the tyres colour. A few initial attempts removing the mud by stick was helpless, finally pakai tangan…dah macam buat jemput-jemput pisang. All faces dah mula mental kacau. The sound of laughters turned to complaints & regrets. I can’t imagine Mamal pushing his Haro downhill beast, which now weighs like a baby elephant. I kept on asking Saiful how is his new shimano shoes, just to keep the conversation continuity…hehe. My sidi is definitely serving it’s last duty.

Definitely the progress was slow. We reached a river rest area somewhere at 11.30am. Time to open up bike wash counters. Some just dipped their bikes macam rendam teh uncang Lipton. Some already start brake tuning session. Most of us just sat on the rocks after washup & tried to rationalise back the mind. After half an hour, the body starts to cool off. Ooops! Time to heat up again.

The following trail conditions was still muddy but this time with different colour coding… grey & sticks up the weeds. Sekali pandang at the v-brake dah macam taik gajah. Muds at the legs started to dry up & hardened. Two river crossings & the trail kept on climbing. From the start, we only manage to pedal less than 2 km, I guess. The more we approach the peak, the more that we had to lift our bikes, not just pushed since boulders formed drop-off as high as 1 meter.

At 1pm, a few of us stopped for lunch. A few more shoving, lifting, cursing & we finally reached the state boundary stone. Too bad my camera’s battery gone to capture the victory. I believed that we were located at the backbone of the peninsular…also known as the Titiwangsa Range. Can’t really picture it out, how was it like when Mat Kilau walked these trails in 1880s. The trail at the ridges was actually a water way. We were pushing in a ankle high stream, too cooling. It was mountain atmosphere, as high as only at 900m from sea level.

The rest of the way was endless rolling downhill, technical & non-technical. Some was quite similar to Kemensah bukit laknat… rosak dinding tayar aku…cis! I wished that I had disc brakes, these hands were squeezing the lever like holding to my life. A quick stop here & there to catch our breath & we continued further down. It was only Saiful, Haziq & me. Azri, Rosli & a few bunch were up front. Acong, Brahim, Tun & others were behind. The more we saw the floras of secondary forest, the faster we went. We saw lalang! Even faster! Hahahaha! Sound of gushing river, lagi laju kayuh! Giler!

Upon reaching flats, Saiful’s chain sucked up when he forcefully tried to pedal off a tangled up rear wheel. The chain stucked between the cassette & hub. Tarik kuat giler, it stayed there. Quite a precious 5 minutes, Acong & the rest appeared. As usual, Brahim to the rescue lah from his magic touch, the chain got working again. Another rolling, we reached the river at Kg. Ulu Slim where abang Ramly served burgers & 100 plus. We clocked 9 beautiful pretty ugly hours. It was 6.30pm. Washed up the bike again & rest.

The last two, Aidil & Akmar arrived at nearly 9.00pm. That was only after Dr Izaini assisted by going back in after his arrival & lend a torchlight. It was a cold & tired waiting session, plus the mosquitoes. There’s another 4km to reach our cars at the school. It was pitch black. Only a few brought torchlights, the rest of the way was plain luck & miracles. One torch followed by 6 riders….crazy but we survived. Had to passed through an orang asli settling where they greeted & welcomed us with torchlights. Some of us even rode the wrong way in the dark when hearing girls voices calling…lawak.

Reached the school at 10.30pm. Straight away to the school toilet, washed the bike & fast bath. A quick handshake & farewell, Saiful, Azri & me were off. A simple & tasty rice & soup for dinner at Tg. Malim. Hit the highway, I was the passenger, Azri was driving. Reached home at 1.30am. Serious headache.

It all started on 16-Sept’06. I left home at 7am & fetched Saiful & Azri. Dropped by at Megan’s since Azri broke a few spokes while pedalling from his house to Joo Ngan Ampang where we were supposed to meet. Met up with the rest i.e. Acong’s member, Ibrahim & gang at R&R Rawang. Left for UPSI with fellow mtbers from Klang, Shah Alam, Melawati & Saujana Utama.

Arrived at UPSI at 10.45am, loaded up the bikes onto a lorry, t-shirt & tag collection and we were on the move by UPSI’s bus. Owners of vehicles had to drive 30km to Kg. Ulu Slim to park at a school where the end of our expedition will be. Drove back by UPSI’s Pajero to meet up with the convoy at a Mamak’s restaurant for lunch.

The trip had to use the Kuala Kubu Bharu route to cross the Range up to Fraser Hill. We passed by the controvercial Sg Selangor Dam at Pertak. Climbing through the Fraser route to the Gap reminded a few of us of our recent Genting Sempah attempt. It was so typical but longer. The faces of excitement turned sour & pale upon reaching the peak. Lucky us that we are gonna ride back to Tg Malim & not by bus. A 15 minutes stop at Fraser Hill for some dramatic throwups & we were cruising down the hill again towards Raub. Big relief seen on every faces upon reaching the flat…hehehe.

Upon reaching the school at Kg. Ulu Sungai in Raub, we were so surprised to notice the grand welcoming party. With penyambut tetamu, bunga mangga, kompang & most of the villagers were there…pergh! So much feeling like a VIP!! Macam bagus je. Among the crowd were the 400 participants in the Mat Kilau trekking event. They did this expedition on foot annually for the past 3 years…kot. And the numbers keep adding. The VIPs came, speeches with countless pantuns, so much protocols and budi bahasa, man. Malay will always heritage it. We made our move to Lata Lembik for our campsite for the night at 6.30pm.

Lucky us they allowed to camp in the village clinic compound with toilet & water supply. Everybody picked their own spot & put up tents. A quick dinner back at the school with some cultural shows & we were tuning up again for the big ride tomorrow. Just to get the feel of camping, a few of us burned the midnight oil by stuffing ourselves with maggie mee party.

And so, in remembrance to our fellow heroes of Kemerdekaan, loads of events were organised all over the country in the month of August & September. One of it is this expedition which is being held annually between the two neighbouring villages. Kg. Ulu Slim in Tg. Malim, Perak & Kg. Ulu Sungai in Raub, Pahang. These two villages only connected by the Mat Kilau trail tranversing the Titiwangsa Range.

UPSI had the opportunity to squeeze in a mountainbike attempt at this famous trail with hopes that it will be in the Malaysian book of record. With the help of the district offices in Tg. Malim & Raub, we were given the chance. In August, Dr, Izaini of UPSI has attempted the trail all by himself creating the first solo record. All in all, 39 mountainbikers from Klang Valley & UPSI pushed their limits as what Mat Kilau did, only this time with bikes…hehehe.

Mat Kilau was born in Kg Masjid Pulau Tawar & grew up during the reign of Sultan AHmad al-Muazam Shah in the early 1880s. His father’s nama is Tok Gajah or well known as Imam Perang Rasu. When he was in his 20s, the British came & took over the State of Pahang. With their arrival, they sowed discord among the State’s chieftain. While some were in favor of their presence, there were others who did not take kindly to the British intervention in Pahang’s administrative affairs.

Unfortunately, the Sultan himself welcomed their arrival having been taken in by their convincing promises of wealth & luxury. Those who were opposed to the British were headed by Tok Gajah, Mat Kilau, Dato Bahaman, Mat Kelubi & many others. Because of the Sultan’s attitude (stupido), they were forced to hide their intention & take action in the quiet.

Mat Kilau’s revolt was between the year 1891 – 1895. He rose to fight against British Colonies for several reasons. The Resident of Pahang J.P. Rodger, introduced a few new rules & regulations which were against the traditional values of the people.

The Malays leaders lost their income & also their power on their very own land, Pahang. At the same time, Dato’ Bahaman, formally known as Orang Kaya Semantan realized that the British wanted to take control of Pahang. Together with his men, he revolted against the British & its colony. This is when our hero, Mat Kilau came into the picture. History tells us that Mat Kilau & his father, Tok Gajah helped Dato’ Bahaman. They became Dato’ Bahaman’s main men. Mat Kilau’s skills were proven in the Lubuk Terua war. This incident happened because British caught 3 of Dato’ Bahaman’s men while they were searching for goods in the jungle without license. Furthermore, British built a police station in Lubuk Terua (Dato’ Bahaman’s territory, near the bank of Semantan River), without his knowledge nor permission. So Dato’ Bahaman & his men (including Mat Kilau), attacked the police station & the managed to win over Temerloh.

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