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Existentialism-- Just a bloody good excuse to go riding...

Monday, July 25, 2011

Penang Ride 13-17th Jul 2011

I think the more one rides, the bigger and harder you want to go. Weekend riders like me are no different but somehow with age, something is lost. Every gnarly move and airtime thrill is weighed over and over again against the long recovery from a bad spill. But pushing that edge whatever the skill level, I reckon is really an integral part of mountain biking.

So with a little trepidation and not really knowing what to expect after over two years absence at Penang Hill, the same para-bag was packed, the same old full face helmet, gears and yes the same old trusty EG with a load of parts changes in the last twenty plus months...

And so I thought with all the fine tuning on the biking, I'll be at least a little more ready than the last time in Penang.......

The familiar tarmac for the truck uplift and everything start flooding back from the first trip... Pushing against the gradient at the foothill was the wake up call of what lies errr "up ahead".


Then came the package....dropping in to steep rocketing into more drops and steeps and those never ending rock gardens ... Tires and rotor size on the bike just weren't the most assuring on the first day

The bike had "grown" beefier since the last trip and I thought it was sufficient but Chwee's been telling me how bad the erosion has been in the last couple of years... Pretty hard to imagine until we got there and see some of the things for ourselves.

Totally winded halfway down, the hell with smoothness. Just make it down in one piece and hope the arm pump isn't that bad to lose the front end...  2nd day wasn't any much better, still heaving and drowning with sweat under the full face under the heat wasn't helping either.

XC lid?? No thanks.

Back after day one... time to upsize every bloody parts that I have bought spares for.. Rotors 8", rubbers and whatever. Now I understand why so many swear by the Minion DHf 2.5 despite the weight. Some trails you just got to respect them when they can eat up a lesser tire in literally 15 mins into a descent. Franke was the fortunate recipient of 3 flats in one run! Thats a bloody record that would stay for awhile...

All the boot-camp-rides of day 1 and 2 just made the next 2 days a "breeze" and in the words of Chwee "the most flowy singletrack" on the mainland side, To'kun.

This was actually a full on DH track that was just raced on in April. So it hasnt been neglected for too long to make certain things unrideable... Definitely flowy but bloody fast and with the jumps coming up, some stuff were just way too much to take it all in one go. Respect goes out to all the DHers in races hitting out at max speed. Still after 2 days of wake-up-tumbles and terrain that threatens to eat one's bike up in Penang Hill... this was a much welcome relief. Except for one rider's bad accident that left a brake lever scooping out bits of the thigh.

What biking trip can ever be complete without the makan shots!

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