A WEEKEND RESPITE AT JABEKA DOWNHILL TRACK (KARIMUN)
Posted 3 years ago
A WEEKEND RESPITE AT JABEKA
DOWNHILL TRACK (KARIMUN)
Jabeka downhill track. It's become something of a common-place name to throw around for a quick weekend getaway into the grit with just the right amount of oomph and speed behind it. "Affordable", "relaxed", "downright enjoyable", are just some of the words one could use to describe a trip to Karimun in the Riau Islands, with the intent of getting it on in the saddle.
With that said, some of the guys at Bikezilla, and a whole host of friends besides, decided to take a weekend off and head down to the sunnier (and surprisingly haze-clear) region of Karimun to sample, or re-sample as the case seemed to be, some Indonesian bike-friendly, DH-oriented dirt. It was my first time on the ground with these guys, and the sick track at Jabeka (Note: I didn't ride. Still off the saddle for injury related reasons), photo-ops and overall experience was only made awesome-er by the vibrant company.
With that said, here's a photo trail of our weekend out.
We were at the ferry terminal pretty early, with Melvin and Jeff getting all the logistics in order. Of course, some waiting was involved. Note Brandon taking it a little too easy behind Melvin.
Darren: "1 hour plus ferry ride leh. You warm up now? "
Jeff: "Young man don't know. This is what makes a fast rider... Watch my Shaolin shadow speed"
This was a welcome sight to eventually see, after going through the brief hassle of loading up the ferry with gear and bikes, all under the watchful gaze of generally patient crew and passengers.
Taking in the sights and sounds of the somewhat crowded ferry's top deck, and enjoying both the ocean breeze and cool company.
The vast expanse of ocean that greeted us enroute to Karimun's port. It was about 1.5 hours of this, but I wouldn't call it a bad journey out. Can't really get bored of this view.
There wasn't much of an interlude. With boots on the ground, we quickly exchanged worn out tarmac for well-worn track dirt. There was rain the night before, so track conditions were semi-loose and tacky in places. Some of the guys were telling me that's probably the best combination around, and they later rode like that was the case.
Track walk! Poch Maui and Nick taking me on a quick tour of the final drop before the steep straight near the final portions of the track. Steep is definitely a word overused in describing the whole stretch of tyre-grinding track, but that's probably the best word out there. Was thanking my good senses for engaging the dirt with fully prepped boots.
The view from the top of the drop. As Poch constantly reminds me, it looks steeper in reality than what our cameras could capture.
Jeff Wee getting his hype on. Like the rest of the guys, he brought that sick vibe that makes even short weekend getaways a concentrated blast of kaleidoscopic unicorn dust.
Sean hitting that first corner on his first run of Day 1. Barely had time to register him passing.
Darren blasting through the stepped sections. On a bike just right for him to throw around, he looked like he had the most two-wheeled fun the whole weekend.
Poch Maui coming in low and ready over this small drop, prepped to take on the massive and steep corner right up ahead. Poch looked more confident with each passing run.
Darren again, with some hyper-flexing-airborne action. Showing everyone at home how it's done, even though you have elbows that go past everyone's comfort zones.
Jeff attacking the big drop with all the confidence and patience of a long drawn veteran of the sport.
Brendon (Shy B) taking the drop. One of the sickest riders I've ever shot. He seemed to take this particular feature with almost reckless abandon. Looking confident and dialled all weekend long, despite his little mishap
Brendon again. Popping his shoulder out at the top of the track. Guy is a goddamned Spartan though. Took it like a champ. Thankfully, Jeff was on hand to pop that bugger back in, though that was the end of the weekend for Brendon.
Joseph coming in low over the drop. One can only say "fast" in so many languages, before the word itself loses meaning.
Nick "The Bossman" Ho skirting through to the bottom of the hill.
Joseph again, coming in low and fast, as usual.
Nick was trailing just behind Joseph at the same feature. He was a little skittish on Day 1, but warmed up to the track like everyone else. Came into this drop looking, and probably, feeling just right.
Melvin shaving time down the hill by coming in calm and composed into this steep corner just before a steeper straight.
Ending the day righteously by cooling off at the waterfall adjacent to the track. Very disturbing cooling off, but rewarding nonetheless.
No number of pictures, or words, could even begin to describe how awesome a trip it was. Small trip, easy trip. A whole load of laughs, and a whole load of trail. That's how it's done right.
Jerome Tan is part of the Bikezilla Editorial Team. He is currently off the saddle nursing some broken bones from a bad crash on the trail. When he is not writing about his passion, he is mugging his way to be a lawyer or enjoying his freedom somewhere in the trails. He enjoys spending time in the green rather than in urban jungles. Some may mistake him for a random homeless person living off the land in the depths of Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. With all that said and done, Jerome enjoys wanton mee, and excessive amounts of laksa with equally excessive amounts of chilli just before a day out riding. You know, just to make things interesting.
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