Sunday, December 12, 2010

Putrajaya Challenge Park Core XC Loop ++

Just got back. We woke up early and after getting everything ready, headed to Putrajaya Challenge Park. However, mom didn't come with us. She had other plans.

We missed the exit and had to sort of double back a bit after the toll. We arrived at PCP around 11 and unloaded the bikes, geared up, etc. When we got arrived, there were A LOT of people! We were both happy and cautious. It was nice to see the trails being used rather than falling into disarray but we were worried about the number of riders that would be on the trails. However, we realized pretty much everyone was leaving, at his/her own pace. Yes, there were a number of female riders too which was nice to see. Mountain biking is far too nice a sport not to be enjoyed by everyone.

Anyway, we headed up to the trail and started.

1st leg; Starts with a rapid but short descent leading straight into a set up ascending switchbacks. Get ready to drop gears quickly and pedal to the top. Stop, and you won't be able to regain the momentum needed to pedal to the top. Once at the top, it's a relatively easy and fun track all the way to the exit where you meet some tarmac. Follow the cul de sac to get to the second leg of the core loop.

The 2nd leg is the longest and rather straightforward. No switchbacks here but a lot of climbs. And one gnarly descent. For some reason, the ground is very loose. Particularly at the climbs. Strange. Anyway, about halfway or so, you'll run into a junction. If you're inexperienced or just looking for an easier run, follow the green sign that says "1". After the junction there's a really steep descent. Here, you need to feather the brakes. My dad fell down here. He kind of shot down the descent, caught the earthen barricade and slid, scraping his elbow and knee. Exiting the 2nd leg, you end up on a pavement with a hut just by the exit.

The third leg is the really tough one. You'll encounter 4 climbs, packed quite close to each other. I'm not sure if it's just the weather or the trail is meant to be like that but the ground is so loose. It's difficult to pedal. The uphills are particularly bad. Anyway, the trail starts across the pavement after exiting the 2nd leg. It starts with a slight descent and a tiny wooden 'bridge'. After that is a lot of weaving around trees, between trees and sheer cliffs, and trying not to be too awestruck by the view. Ah yes, the 3rd leg has the best view. Sorry I forgot to mention that. It's short but the ascents aren't that easy. That said, all of us had to walk our bikes most of the way. Heh heh. After the quad ascents, there's a quick and easy descent to a wooden bridge leading the the look-out tower. Awesome place to take photos of Putrjaya.

After you've filled up your camera's memory and had enjoyed the view, it's time to hit the last, most fun -- for me at least -- yet skill-demanding leg of the core XC loop; the 4th leg. This leg requires a lot of skill, some guts, and, if possible, slack -- well, slack-er -- head tube angle Head tube is where the handlebars are attached to the bike, for those wondering "what the hell is a head tube??". Back to the story; it starts with a descent -- is it me or does every leg seem to start with a descent? -- and leads to a lot of weaving between trees. A lot of fun. After a bit, you'll encounter something new -- if you're inexperienced like I am; a switchback descent. Yup, just like your good ol' switchback but this time, you're heading the other way. This is trickier than uphill switchbacks but once you've mastered it, a hell of a lot more fun!! My dad and Akid has trouble with this one and found it almost undoable.

After finishing the loop, my dad took a break at the dirt ju
mp section's hut and I took his bike for a spin on the dirt jumps. That bike jumps like a charm!! It's a hardtail Specialized Hardrock. Mehehe. It's supposed to be a cross-country (XC) bike but it sure can jump.

me catching some hang-time

We took a quick break, ate our granola bars, I swapped out my XC kit for my downhill (DH) kit and we headed to the trail head for the DH track. It was my first time doing DH and I had a blast!! The trail was short -- short-lived, rather -- , tough, crazy and I only managed to complete half of it. The trail was practically impossible to ride. My tires kept slipping and sliding and I crashed. It wasn't a bad crash but I didn't think it was too wise to continue on with a sore knee. So I packed my gear and headed back to the car. Talk about baptism by fire, eh?

me before hitting the DH track

After that, we went to Subang Parade to join my mom for lunch and headed back home. So here am I, submitting this post for publication.

I only took about 41 pictures. Most of them were burst images. Sorry about the small amount of pictures. I've uploaded them to my Flickr so feel free to drop by and take a look.

I do have more than just mountain biking-related photos on my Flickr.

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