Friday, October 19, 2007

ATV (All Terrain Vehicle)

Every year, each department in the company have to have their own BHPT (Building High Performance Team). It is compulsory as the objective is to build bonding among peers and subordinate. Every department were given a same amount of budget, it is up to us to get concensus and think what we wanna do. Since our department is quite small and most of us are quite adventerous we opt to do something different then last year. Last year we all did a 7-rope course and flying fox in Swiss Garden Lumut.

This year, our department decided to do 2 challenging activities but we also do not want to travel far. I have to cut short my raya celebration to join the wagon.

Yes, we decided to try our hands on quad bike or ATV (All Terrain Vehicle). It is a machine with four wheels that can be used on all sorts of terrains. It’s something of a 4WD vehicle but as a bike. We found about the ATV through the internet and decided to give it a try.

On the 17th Oct 07, ME, LL, SH, JJ, MO, IE and myself (7 girls) and AW (our boss) hopped into a 12 seater coach. Took a leisurely drive to Kg Kemensah, Ulu Kelang. You must take the road that turns into Zoo Negara and drive straight on until you see yellow signs on the trees that say “ATV for rental. As your drive along the narrow road, you will notice arrows to Kemensah Chalets & Waterfalls. It is about 3km from the Zoo Negara junction. Along the way you will passed by green nature and river view.

We were greeted by owner Mas Faizil Khan and his cute assistant Pete.

All of us were first-timers. Our sessions began with a full briefing on the various functions of the ATV, like how to change the manual gears, how to use the brakes and reverse gear. Mas also briefed us on the safety procedures of riding an ATV and stressed that no matter what, we should not put our feet down and always use the brakes or handbrakes. Since they only have 1 automatic ATV, me, being very bad at manuals, get to ride on auto. Thanks to the rest who willingly took the manual ATV, thanks guys!! No doubt using auto is so easy, all you have to do is press on the throttle. While the rest have to use certain gears. All of us get to ride one each except IE, she is a volunteered pillion rider and she get to ride with our boss...hehehe.. Our boss get to ride a 2 seater red colour ATV, how cool is that!! But i can tell you, its not easy cos the machine is quite heavy.

After the briefing session, Mas told us to hop on and go around a huge rock several times. When he felt we were ready, he directed us to the training track behind the camp – basically a small route with obstacles. We had to learn how to manoeuvre our bikes around sharp corners, go uphill and downhill, negotiate a rocky path and muddy waters. Mas also mentioned that safety is important to them.

Luckily all of us passed the test and assembled to start the journey into the jungle. But i can tell you i'm nervous as hell man!! I've never done terrain before. Maybe when Mas saw my tense, he asked me to go first, hehehe.. We all have to tail his bike. Ah boss was last.

Mas led the pack while his assistant brought up the rear to ensure that no one got into difficulty.
As we approached a really steep hill – our first obstacle – Mas instructed us to use the first gear and reminded us not to put our foot down. We managed to climb the hill but not without first getting stuck in a few rocky places. No worries, though, as Mas and his assistant were always on hand to help us. Hats off to our boss too cos he was the only guy in our group who helped out the rest of us who 'terkandas' along the way. He also helped in riding the bike up hill when some of us could not ride it up. Thank you ah boss.

Unfortunately, while i went up the first hill, i think my bike lost power (or maybe i didn't full throttle) and it sort of slide down. I can tell you, the rest of my life flashes over me!! For awhile i thot i'm gonna topple, alhamdulilah, i didn't. As i was going up, my right thumb got stung by horde of thornes, hence i cannot full throttle for power. I panicked but managed to brake. I couldn't do it and went down from the bike. So Pete had to bring the bike up hill for me. I hurt my right thumb as it bled. You need to use your thumb to press the throttle and i can tell you, you better have a strong thumb!

The rest of the ride was really enjoyable as we learned how to control the bike through rough terrain and sharp corners. It was quite tiring at first as the steering was slightly heavy but we soon got used to it and breezed through the jungle. Your muscle become cramp but your objective is to reach the waterfall.

Mas was very knowledgeable and explained to us what happens if leeches get to our skin. He said do not panicked, instead get him to pick up the leeches and he will dispose it. And yes, altho there were sun on that day, leeches were so attracted to people like SH, LL, IE, AW and me!! And there were screams!!

It was supposed to be a 40 minutes of challenging jungle tracks, but we all were way behind time. As i mentioned earlier, we were all first timers, furtheremore, majority of us are girls, so you know what i mean. We had few stops as some of us are still not used to start the engine, few stop to take pics, etc. Instead of 40 mins, it became 2-3 hours!!

We reached to a stop but before that we have to turn back our ATV because we will use the same trail to go back. After the stop, we had to do a bit of jungle trekking, about 10 minutes to Khamisah Waterfalls, a beautiful seven-tier waterfall that was relatively free of rubbish since its a forest reserve. Mas told us that the water is safe to drink. I know i did!! And it taste like spring water!! We had our sandwhich while enjoying the pollution free environment.

Did I mentioned that i was a pillion rider when i hurt my thumb? Yeah, Pete had to ride and i get to enjoy the jungle-view more as i had a driver, hehehe. The ride back was equally enjoyable. Once we reached the 'tar' road, Pete became my pillion rider. Since its a short ride to the base, i ride the bike with my 'injured' thumb!!

Everyone of us enjoyed the adventure. Hmm...I will definitely do this again.

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