Saturday 21st of July 2007, the alarm woke me up at 6:15am to tell me that it was time for great a hashing day. The early morning air was crisp and fresh after a heavy downpour the night before. I had spent the night updating the Wild Geeks blog on our last trip to Batu Dam. Man... Google video needs some major usability upgrade! In the admin screen, a simple thumbnail of the video would be nice.
Anyway, the day started off with me forgetting to bring my brand new helmet, which I was really anticipating to wear on this FRIM hash. The next thing I forgot was my speedometer cum odometer, which was a bummer as I needed it to keep to keep track of our distance cycled. Luckily I did not forget to pick up Joe or all hell would break loose... LOL...
And so I picked up Joe from Sri Petaling and we arrived at FRIM at about 8:25am via Jalan Kuching. There were plenty of parking spaces in a chinese temple across the street from the road turning into the FRIM emtrance gate. There we met up with Azril and we all had "roti chanai" for breakfast. Btw, we had never been to FRIM before so we did not know where the trails were and had no idea where to start. Check out the location on Google Earth and photo here.
As soon as Joe paid for entrance fee of RM 1.00 each (if you drive your car in, it will cost you RM 5.00), we rode through the gate with Azril leading the way, Joe capturing our trails using his GPS and as usual, I was shooting video and taking GPS embedded photos to mark our location in Google Earth later... LOL...
Since none of us had ever been to FRIM, we needed to find out where the trails were.
From these videos, you can see that there were a lot of traffic going in and out of the road leading into the institute.
After cycling for a short while, Azril spotted an information map and decided to refer to it for directions. Check out the location on Google Earth and photo here.
With much analysis and consultation with the stars, we had a direction... LOL. We decided to go find the "land rover trail".
When we finally found the trail, it turned out to be a hiking trail, but we went for it anyway. After a stretch, with Joe fending the mosquitoes, the trails ended abruptly. Check out the location on Google Earth and photo here.
Azril proposed that we started climbing. He believed that the land rover trail was just up the climb! And he was right at that... except for the fact that it was another hiking trail... LOL.
The land rover trail seemed elusive! After Joe's battle with some mosquitoes we took off again.
The surface of this trail was "rooted" with slippery and damp tree roots criss-crossing the route, which makes a smooth ride impossible. There was no grip when the tires went over the uneven root, causing the tires to slide along the exposed roots. I was quite concern about damaging the roots with the pedal of my bike, so I walked by bike through.
You can see that walking the bike through the trail with one hand holding my Dopod shooting video was not exactly a breeze... :-) So pardon me for the shaky video footage... LOL...
The videos also showed the trees growing straight upwards. The wet and damp leaves should had been a paradise for leeches. Surprisingly, there were none that I could find. Believe me, I was on a look out for leeches... :-)
After a short while, we came crossed a bridge spanning across a steep gorge. On the other side, we could either turn left or right. This time, the decision was made for us... we could only turn left as there were some people cutting trees on the other side.
Our friend Joe was too busy fending off mosquitoes again. After Joe and Azril's comparison of their "smoking" bodies, we went on our quest for the land rover trails again. This trail was uphill and hardly visible as a trail. There was a big fallen branch blocking the way and we had to go round it. Before we knew it... we had to carry our bikes and climbed a steep slope to a road, which we hoped was the elusive land rover trail.
Success at last. It is the land rover trail. Another decision time, left or right? After Joe's consultation with the stars, we decided to head right.
It was pretty easy from here on as the trail was a dirt road used by land rovers... LOL... What's better than a nice downhill to ward off mosquitoes and cool ourselves? LOL... I could think of a dozen reasons... HAhAHA...
And then all of s sudden, we ended up on a tarmac road. It seemed we had found the beginning of the land rover trail... LOL. There was a nice tarmac road leading up to this "elusive" trail... LOL. So, after a discussion and consultation with Joe the Oracle, we decided to ride back into the land rover trail.
With Azril leading the way, the geeks followed. Before long, we came to another fork in the trail. Joe the Oracle was consulted again to determine the location. He brought out his divination machina and the decision was made.... LOL. Check out the location on Google Earth and photo here.
After the decision of which fork to take was made, the Oracle demanded a price for his professional services... the fee was to ensure that he was fully protected from mosquitoes. So Azril the Ranger had no choice but to perform a sacred ritual, the Baptism of Tobacco, on Joe the Oracle.
As we were ready to head out on the right fork of the land rover trail, I discovered that the stars alignment was not favourable to me... I had a puncture on my front tire. What a blow! As none of us have any equipment to fix a tire puncture, we had to turn back and forget the hash... it was indeed a sad day... :-(
To be continued in:
FRIM - Part 3 - The Rubber Tube, The Stars and A Birthday