Rindu Alam track is always waiting for us with its smiles always on its beautiful panorama. That smile always haunt everybody whoever was there before. That’s because this famous track is well-known for its beauty and challenges. Its popular name is spread among the mountain bikers from mouth to mouth in Jakarta and West Java province.Some bikers said that this track can be assumed just like a Mecca for Muslim people, a biker will be certified as a true biker or a ‘Haj’ of biker if He/She has passed through this track. This was not my first trip. You can see my previous 2 trips on this track here and here.
The trip was set up by Om Mail and Om Edy, since they are the ones among the group who don’t have this trip before. Also the other initiator is Om Febby whose comeback for cycling after sometimes. They want to make their dream come true, and they set it up from weeks ago, including upgrading their gears and bikes….wow!..what a spirit!
The other bikers who joint this trip this time were Om Asep, Om Beny, Om Hendra, Om Dadung, Om Yusta, Om Eri, Om Kus, Om Agus, Om Teddy and Om Yono. Not forget to mention Mbak Ajeng and Mas Yudis, they are Om Eri’s kids. So there were 16 bikers of us who enjoyed the trip.
On Friday, I concerned for the weather condition at Puncak area within this month. and off course during this rainy season, we don’t expect too much for bright and clear weather. That’s why I suggested the group to prepare the gears properly to face the rain and muddy track, and just be ready for the worst. We should bring rain coat and another dry jersey (biker’s shirt). My prediction was right, when we arrived at Rindu Alam post on Saturday 06.30 am there was heavy rain and the track was so much full with fog. After 1 hour waiting, we decided to go on and we will observe the track condition on the spot, so we could decide later on whether we’ll continue this trip or not.
We started the trip at 08.00 am, after brief guide and the pray. I chose to become a sweeper, Om Teddy and Om Asep were the leader. We faced a foggy track at the beginning, and the fog was so thick and it obstructed our vision. Also the rain made our body so cold. From my handy talky I should remind the group not to split too far and concentrate on the bike handling, since track also was so muddy. We really concerned for the safety of the group. I remember when we had some accidents at previous trip. One of my friend fell down to the cliff at that time and left the scar on his face. Also I remember when Om Anto fell down on the steep-descend track, and his face smashed the rock so hard, and his lips were torn.
The track condition was really so bad, the rocks was so wet and slippery, and “the single-track” was so muddy.
We couldn’t pedaling the bike at this track. It’s really not “gowes-able”. Some bikers fell at this track and still we could laugh to each other after that. Seeing the mud all over the body was so exciting, proving that this trip was full of challenges.
The speed became so slow. We had to put our feet on the ground so many times, and squeeze the brake lever tightly. Our shoes became so wet and muddy, but still we didn’t care for the dirt and the anxiousness was still there. On the tea plantation we lost our way because we couldn’t keep our concentration on the direction of the track. We were so excited facing the mud and the fog, and since we lost our visibility in the fog we lost the way finally. We must turn back to the right way. The ‘downhill’ session was over after one and half hour. Everybody agreed to continue the trips since there was no rain anymore.
We entered Gunung Mas Plantation and we decided to have short rest there. We took some hot milk to warm our body. At this point I was so amazed with Om Eri’s daughter; Ajeng, who could cope the track successfully. It’s not an easy trip for a girl who doesn’t have a cycling experiences before. Om Eri!! you should proud of your kids.
At this rest area also we can find some really fresh vegetables from local farmers. I wish I had a basket I can fill in and bring it for souvenirs for my friend. I remember when my friend said one day before that she wanted a basket full with fresh vegetables as a souvenir from my trip.
After the rest, we came to the next track which full of ascent tracks. Up to this point we had passed a downhill session which is ‘technical’ track. The technical session for coping a difficult track, coping the mud, coping the slippery rocks, coping the steep descents, coping the roots crossing the track, and coping the holes trap on the track, so we could keep our butt on the saddle.
The first uphill challenge is Ngehe’ 1;
A funny name to express the long 30 degree ascent, the ascent which will make you run out of breath, your chess will be burn and your vision will be blur, and some times you’ll have seven stars circling your head. It’s nearly 700 meters uphill track. it really can make bikers to throw up, and spill the morning breakfast out. I had this track twice, so I can manage my pedaling and breath, and I can cope 75 percent of Ngehe’ 1 safely. For that achievement, I had a refreshment when I almost finishing it: a nice looking lady, wearing red jacket walked in front of me with a smile on her face…hahaha…I take that as a bonus for me!
The next funny thing was when I finished the Ngehe’ 1 along with Om Kus and Mas Yudis at the tea picker hut, there were no body! I had question repeatedly replay on my head: “Where is everybody?” As far as I knew, I was the sweeper, I supposed to be the last bikers in the queue. I tried to communicate with everybody wearing HT, but there was no answer. Another thought crossed in my mind: “May be all other bikers are so strong and they have left Ngehe’ 1 a while ago”. After sometimes, there were a sound from the radio calling my name, and saying that they were left behind. How come? The answer is that they have lost the way for the second time and this time they lost the way for a long distance…LOL. Finally, they showed their face one by one. According to the sound of their breath, they finished Ngehe’ 1 just like what I describe before….hahaha…bravo my friend!
Ngehe’ 1 took so many victims this time; some legs had muscle injured (cramps), some lungs were really burnt, and some faces became so pale.
But after seeing a beautiful panorama of tea plantation from the hut, those pale faces were shifted quickly to become a really happy faces, and they had so many smiles at that time. Just look at the smiles and optimistic faces below:
We had 10 minutes at Ngehe 1 station, and we decided to go further to Ngehe’ 2 and planned to have a longer rest there. We decided to do TTB (TunTun Bike – walk with your bike) on this track to save some energy for the next session. But that intention was not happen finally. We were attacked by the bee beetle. Everybody laid down and facing the ground for about 10 minutes. It just like soldiers in the battle field when they get the attacks from the enemy. Some of us ran so fast to get through “the bee’s area”, some succeed but some got injures at the head, face and hands. After some times, the bees were gone. Luckily I brought medicines to overcome the fever caused by the bee strike. We only stayed at Ngehe’ 2 station for only 15 minutes, and we decided to go on.
The tracks after Ngehe’ 2 was a mix of physical endurance and technical ability. There were some uphill track and downhill track.
We moved slowly, because the energy has gone already. Again, so many cramps and fallings were there, and again, so many pale faces were back. The sound of the bikers were slowly go away and finally only the sounds of dripping water and the whispering of the wind were passing trough the ear. The laugh were not so intense like before. Everybody was so tired already. But at this point I really enjoy the views and the smells of the nature. I could smell the grass and the wild flower fragrant.
But the laughs were back when we got the asphalt road, the sign of the ending session of this trip. And finally we arrived at Gadog and we finished the trip at 03.00 pm. Various menus were waiting for us at the restaurant just beside the finish point. We ate so much and we throw our biggest laugh there, we just got amazed by the wonderful and unforgotten 7 hours trip we just had. We all back home in one piece. Thanks Bro!!!
You can see the other photographs here