Rookies... that's what I consider ourselves as... not sure about Jack, he is probably the only veteran among us, by previous MTB-ing experience as well as his age... hehehe :P. Anyway, since this is the first adventure, we decided to go to RRI in Sg. Buloh (see GPS attached), may not be the real hashing trails but good enough for a start ;)
Armed with a road standard mtb with a cute basket, I joined Jack's Exitway (Hard Tail) and Daniel's new Zero (Full Suspension) on this rookie's virgin MTB adventure. We went into RRI through the Jalan Sg. Buloh entrance and 4 minutes down the road... we are lost... hahaha... someone need to update the GPS map, the trail marked require you to carry your bike down a riverside sloop, cross a medium size deep river and try to climb up the river bank again!
Anyhow we managed to find our workaround cycle into the trails which are surrounded by rubber estates as well as orchards and nursery. Most of the trails are shaded but that also means its filled with mosquitoes, the mosquitoes are so hungry that they actually bite you as you cycle by!
The trails looks easy from pictures and first look at it, but when you are actually there, a small but long sloop is actually quite tough and you get a lot of those here. Basically you will suffer uphill climb but be rewarded with downhill zoom then suffer more uphill climb again and we are already choosing the easy route. Since this is the first time here and I don't have a mount for the GPS, we have to stop on a regular basis to make sure we don't go in circles or stray too far from the our truck.
I will leave the talking to the photos, but overall, this is a good place to start, getting to know your bike and give beginner a good idea what a real hash will be demanding from you. It may not be your jungle trail but the air is good and you actually don't feel tired at the end but relaxed and good :).
Credits: Photos by Daniel with Canon G7
Just for sharing we decided to test each other's bike to feel the difference in these trails, conclusion are:
Lerun Maverick, no suspension, metal frame, on-road tyres, cute basket, 18 speed - the moment we start I can feel the bike is much slower as the tyres eat into the sand, giving me not enough traction. Most of the journey I am on 1 or 2 gear, meaning I have to cycle more than the rest especially going uphill, its super slow, had to push for certain parts *pai-sehhhh*. When going downhill, the rest of the guys just zoom down but I will be braking like mad because its too bouncy. Conclusion is keep this bike to cycling with my dog to the shops.
Sub Exitway (i think), front suspension, alloy frame, double rim with thick tyres (26x2.00) - the first thing I felt different is the saddle, after enduring pain for the whole trail, I felt less pressure on the b*lls and the ride is comfortable. Going downhill with this is good, less bump and you can confidently go faster and can go on higher gear. Overall this bike is quite good for its price, if only it have quick release for easy transport, but heck our friend don't need it :P.
Polygon Zero, this is so far the most expensive bike in the group but not for long, we know there will be one KHS coming soon :P. Full suspension, alloy frame, double rim, 26x2.00 tyres, shimano STEF 29, 24 speed. Surprisingly, the saddle is not as comfortable as the Exitway and I don't feel too much difference in suspension, maybe I didn't cycle long enough but hill climb was relatively easy with this one. I noticed this from the numbers of time Daniel overtook me and rubbing it into me "so easy to go uphill la" *beh tar han*.
Conclusion, I think for a rookie, we don't need a power bike yet but should at least try to get one with front suspension, thick tyres for offroad, good brakes (v or disc), speed doesn't matter too much for now, light alloy body and quick release (easy to carry and transport). Btw, insects repellent saves lives, get plenty of them before going in!