White Water Rafting Part 1

30 01 2011

Can anybody guess what I was doing here (again) today? It started off as a rainy Sunday and remained that way throughout the day. A great day if you planned on getting soaking wet!

The full story and more pictures later.

Ok so where was I?

Sunday morning saw us driving off North to toward the sleepy town of Kuala Kubu Baru. I wasn’t doing the driving but the navigating . . . withthe help of a GPS unit. I decided we would bypass the town of Rawang and use a little known route which is supposed to be scenic. Well, it wasn’t really but still it was much faster and offered some interesting views. The rain had by this time eased into a drizzle and Beadon decided to open the sunroof. for the rest of the journey. It was really nice to get a blast of cool wet wind in your face. really woke me up that.

This town was once one of  the main stopovers on the route from Kuala Lumpur to Ipoh. Nowadays the town is a sleepy hollow except for weekends  holiday makers on the way to Fraser’s Hill stopover to have some breakfast. It’s also a meeting point for those who have come here to do some white water rafting. There were scant few restaurants open in this town on a Sunday. We found two that were open, one a modern mamak style restaurant which you normally find in the Klang Valley and the other a Malay restaurant across the road. Beadon decided to go for the quaint Malay restaurant. It so happens that this restaurant is also owned by the couple En. Piee and Kak Ros, who runs the outdoor adventure company that is taking us white water rafting today. The nasi lemak here is simple but very taste. Almost like homemade. After paying our bills we headed on foot to the post office where Piee was already waiting. Apart from our group of 18 he had another 34 people who had paid him to take them white water rafting, making it a total of 52! We waited for half an hour for the whole group to arrive but by 9.45 there were still some who had not made it.

I told Piee that i would take my group on ahead to see the river from the bridge nearby the starting or drop in point. he okayed it and off we went.

The rain had picked up again by the time we reached the bridge but that did not stop some of us form leaving our cars and having a peak at the river. As expected it looked terrifyingly dangerous from way up here. After a brief stop we headed to the drop in point and waited for the rest of the group.



Surprise find on Guthrie Highway

29 01 2011

Early this morning found me on a flyover overlooking the Guthrie Highway in Shah Alam. I was supposed to meet up with Arnaiz and Beadon at 7 a.m at the Bulit Jelutong Golf Club for a ride on the Guthrie Highway but it turns out that they were a little late or I was early. Since I had already parked my car and got my bicycle ready, I decided to ride out to the highway and see if i can take a few good pictures. The Iphone’s camera is generally quite good but doesn’t perform quite well in low lighting condition as was this morning. The sky was overcast and looked like it was goigng to rain again. It’s been at least 6 to 8 months since I last rode this route on my bicycle and I was really doubtful I could make the 42 or so kilometres.

I was right, I was not physically prepared for this ride. I wonder who designed this highway? The Guthrie Highway is far from flat. There is hardly a stretch which isn’t hilly. But with perseverance and pain, I maanged to reach the abandoned flyover at the northern end of the highway.

While I waited for my two riding companions to arrive (yes I made it to the end first woohoo!) I enjoyed my mini snickers bar which I had brought along. It was well that i brought them along as I was feeling rather hungry. Soon Arnaiz showed up and not long after Beadon joined us. After a short rest we made our way back.

That was when we came across a surprise find. As we were cycling back south, a highway patrol officer overtook us on his motorbike with sirens flashing. i had thought there was a nasty accident up ahead. Then a few minutes later we came across the officer, his bike parked to one side of the motorbike lane, lights still flashing.

As we passed, I saw that he was standing over a dead wild boar. it was still intact but obviously dead. I turned around to take some pictures and my friends did the same.  It must have been trying to cross the highway sometime during the night when it was hit by a motor vehicle. I guess it had tried  to find it’s way back to the palm oil estate bordering the highway when it succumbed to it’s injuries. Beadon told me these creatures were very tough and it takes a lot to bring one down. He must be right as there were no signs of trauma to the carcass except for a bruise on it’s right forelimb.

Arnaiz lamented the lack of a knife. Hahaha, as if he wasn’t looking much like a pig himself lately without the need to consume one! We had a chat withthe officer who was soon joined by his colleagues driving a pickup truck. Since they were all Muslims, none of them touched the boar. One of us asked how they would dispose of the carcass and they said they had called a few friends who would do the needful! Ha, too bad guys, someone has got dibs on this one. I wonder how much this boar would fetch on the market?

With the wild boar pictures taken, we continued our journey back to our cars.

Sunday @ Kota Damansara

9 01 2011

Hooked on cycling once again, I decided to ask Tzy Wen to accompany me for a bicycle ride and surprisingly he said yes! For those of you who know him, Tzy Wen is normally a very busy person with lots of things to do and places to go. So early this morning I found myself in front of his house with my bicycles (Tzy Wen does not own a bicycle …yet).

We had decided we would do a short ride to Kota Damansara and have breakfast at the McDonald’s there. We nearly did not make it out of his housing estate as the tube I replaced earlier on explode3d with a big bang, the result of improper installation by yours truly. Having no other tube, we had to repair the original tube which had suffered a puncture. some 20 minutes later, we were off.

Hungry, Tzy Wen decided that breakfast was first on the agenda. While I guarded the bikes, he went in and bought the both of us a light breakfast.

At first I suggested we head for a bicycle shop I knew of to buy some spare tubes just in case the bicycles suffered another puncture. But we found the shop had since closed for good. We then headed for the centre of the new Kota Damansara township on our bicycles and found it quite busy for a Sunday morning. So we decided to head on home. On the way there Tzy Wen lead us to a part of Kota Damansara where people used to fly remote controlled aircraft on the weekends. No more open field’s there, instead there were  new buildings, including the sprawling Segi College and many new apartments and factories.

While cycling past one of the new apartments we noticed a lake that wasn’t there before. We decided to investigate. That’s the beauty of being on a bicycle, it allows you access to almost any place you wish to go. There was a jogging path around the lake which afforded us an easy ride.

Here you can see a raised platform or jetty built on the lake. We found a few men fishing from it. A few gazebos built on the platform afforded some seating and shelter from the weather. Tzy Wen said that it would make a great place for a barbecue but also noted a lack of barbecue pits.

Toward the other side of the lake was a new development comprising 3 storey luxury homes. We later Googled it and found that each design had 7 rooms and 7 baths and cost a whopping RM 4 million! definitely out of my league. What would I do with 7 rooms and 7 baths anyway?

By the end of our ride we had covered almost 30 kilometres. Thanks for the company and breakfast Tzy Wen. Let’s try to do this again next weekend.

Another ride

8 01 2011

Managed to get out of bed and join another group of friends for a bicycle ride. We headed out to Kota Kemuning but this time we turned around at the first roundabout and headed for home. The weather was not great, it drizzled most of the way there and back but at least it did nto rain heavily.

I managed to get off my bike and snap some pictures of my friends as they cycled home. I shall not comment on the remarks that were heard all along the ride especially when they were going uphill. hahahaha!

Overall, i was quite satisfied with the ride and very pleased with myself for getting out on the bike two weekends in a row. I’ll have to service the bikes soon as I can and get them humming again.


Ride to Kota Kemuning

2 01 2011

It has been a long while since I rode my bicycles. Going around the corner to buy a burger doesn’t count. When my riding buddy of nearly 5 years invited me for a New Year ride to Kota Kemuning I said “yes”. Even then it took a lot fo mental wrestling to get myself out of bed on a Sunday morning. In the end, at 8 a.m this morning, I found myself riding towards this relatively new township in Shah Alam with Mohd Radzi and his 2 friends in tow.

It must have been at least 8 months since I entered this township with my bicycle and i must say it was a really nice day to have done it. The sun was out but it was not hot. The bike I took out did not have a speedometer but i think I covered the distance in a respectable time. As always, riding with Radzi means stopping for breakfast midway into the ride. So we spent about an hour at breakfast and catching up with each other. Then Radzi proposed we ride around the township a little before departing for home.

A guy whom we met on the road and I were in the lead when we noticed the other 3 were not behind us. It turned out that one of the guys had a puncture and the other 2 stopped to help. The two of us decided to turn around and join up with them.

The punctured tube was replaced quite fast but it took some effort to pump up the tyre with Radzi’s mini pump. The tyre was inflated to a point where he could ride on it a short distance to a nearby petrol station where we used the pump there to inflate it to a decent pressure. At this point I decided to leave for home on my own because I had a few things to do.

I must say the ride turned out better than i had thought it would. I did not suffer any cramps and I managed to cover the whole distance without encountering any problems even after a long hiatus form cycling. I came away feeling rather good with myself and promised i would start cycling again on a regular basis. I might even try to start cycling to work again soon.

White Water Rafting @ Sungai Selangor

27 03 2010

White Water rafting down Sungai Selangor was the plan for today! Radzi, my cycling buddy had called a few days ago inviting me for this trip. After some discussion I managed to get 3 of my friends in on the trip too. So early this Saturday morning saw Hector arriving at my house in Subang Jaya. Arnaiz and his wife were to pick us up here at 7 a.m and rendezvous with Radzi and his friends in his house in Kelana Jaya.

Drivng to Kuala Lubu Bharu

With 6 of us in 2 cars we started our journey to the head waters of Sungai Selangor at the town Kuala Kubu Bharu. We reached KKB at about 8.30 and had some breakfast in town. Then we were on our way to the launch site. On the way there Radzi took us to see a part of the river that we will be going down.

Sungai Selangor

Just look at the rapids! The white foam is what gives the sport it’s name. We would be shooting through those white waters soon. It couldn’t be soon enough for Hector who was very anxious get his first go at shooting the rapids. We arrived at the launch site a few minutes later but found we were the first ones there. After a rather long wait the rest of the group arrived, followed by Piee and his merry men, with the rafts and the safety gear.

The rafts arrive

life vests and helmets

Piee is the owner of the adventure company that we have employed to take us safely down this river. Don’t let his small stature fool you. A former investment banker, Piee chose to quit his job to do white water rafting full time. He set up this company as a way to enjoy this sport and earn some income. He recently joined the international white water rafting competition in which he was placed 12th in the world rankings!

Piee and his men

After determining that mst of his customers this morning had none or very little experience, he set out giving a thorough briefing. he and his men gave a very good demonstration of how to handle the raft and our paddles. he even managed to inject some humour into his lecture, saying “if you suddenly feel cold, you’re in the water”, “if you suddenly feel cold and you open your eyes and see yellow. . . you’re in the  water AND under the raft” hahahaha! very funny though I did not think so later.

We all listened quite intently to his lecture knowing we all had to work as a team to get as much fun from this outing. I could see Arnaiz and Mila off to my side. Arnaiz had this familiar smile on his face which said “I have a bad feeling about this!”

From the launch site, river water was quite fast but still relatively calm. Within a few minutes we came around a bend in the river and saw the bridge above us. Ahead was the first set of rapids, the saem one we saw form the bridge earlier this morning.

The bridge

And then it was shooting one rapid after another almost none stop. We had to paddle according to the instructions of our guide or risk capsizing our raft. “Forward paddle”, “Left Aft”, “Over left” and many more which Piee taught us this morning. It was hard work but absolutely fun. The following pictures are courtesy of Radzi and his new Olympus waterproof camera.

Notice how we all had our oars upright inside the raft? Well this is so that we do not accidenty bump one of our mates off with the ends of the oar! I fell off the raft a total of 4 times! Twice I found myself submerged under the raft. I even fell off  while  we were navigating one of the smaller rapids, after getting back in the raft , the bewildered guide said, “nobody falls off at this rapid!” How embarrassing.

Along the route we stopped at several places along the river to either take a rest or to allow each raft to take turns navigating the bigger rapids. One of the longer stops was at this waterfall. Even after getting acclimatised to the cold waters of Sungai Selangor, the water from this waterfall still felt super cold!

Sitting under the waterfall was quite an experience. The cold water gave your nerves a jolt while the the force of the falling water gave your body a good massage!Can you see the expression on Arnaiz’s face?  I did not realise why he was looking so miserable until much later when he told me he fell. . . just as Mila told him to be “careful of the slippery rocks”. And fall on the right side of his face he did! I guess he was right to look so worried during Piee’s briefing earlier that morning.

Group Photo

At this particular rest stop, the organizers provided us with snacks of apples, chocolate and energy bars. I wonder how they kept the containers from falling off the rafts? After a group photo we got back into our respective rafts and continued on down the river.

This video was taken by Radzi with his waterproof camera. My raft was already downriver waiting for his raft to clear the rapid. You can see my raft in the video hwne he pointed his camera downriver.  It was obvious to everyone that he was NOT taking part in the pedaling! hahahaha! But he did come off with a great footage of shooting the rapids! If I am not mistaken this particular one is rated 3 in a scale of 1 to 5. The Selangor River has only one rapid that is rated 4.5 and it;s called the “Chicken Drop”.

Cycling to KL

22 03 2010

Sunday Morning 21st March 2010

A few days ago my cycling buddy called me up inviting me to cycle in Putrajaya today. He said it would be awesome with the hot air balloons in the background. The 2nd Putrajaya International Hot Air Balloon Festival was underway since Friday and would end today. But alas we did not have transport for 3 bicycles and riders. So the plan was to ride to Klang and back early this morning.  Again our plans were dampenend by the sight of rain cloud as I woke up at 6 a.m. Yung Tian, sent me a message saying it had just stopped raining in Shah Alam where he stays and the rain clouds were moving toward Klang. So with that news, I told him to come over and I would plan another route for us. Radzi then called to suggest a ride to Kuala Lumpur with a breakfast stop in Taman Titiwangsa on the other side of the city.

I did not take any pictures on the ride to KL but here’s a picture of Yung Tian with our 3 bicycles at the canteen by the lake at Taman Titiwangsa. If you check out the video in the link I have provided above for Taman Titiwangsa, you will notice a sports complex on the right. This canteen is situated in the same sports complex. After breakfast and a 30 minute rest we decided to start our return leg.

Climb up Bukit Damansara

Being on a bicycle exposes you to a lot of dangers from motorised traffic. So it’s best to follow and respect all the traffic rules including waiting at the traffic lights. Radzi proposed that we go thru Damansara on our return leg. I forgot about the steep climb up Bukit Damansara until I was about 1 kilometre from it. Although it was his first time, Yung Tian climbed it like a champ. I guess being 20 years younger and not smoking has a lot to do with it. We finally arrived back safely in Subang Jaya at about 11 a.m after cycling for about 1 hour. Since the road was quite empty of traffic, I took the opportunity to snap this picture from my moving bicycle. Yung Tian must have  realized this and posed for the camera. I guess he can be quite a poser. hahahaha! In all we covered some 54 kilometres this morning. Not a bad ride for one that nearly did not take off due to weather.