WJxc Ride#31 – GRATISAN#3 – Sanggabuana, East Java – Ngurilingan Sanggabuana
This is a very very long awaited and one of the most wanted trip in my mountain biking list. Not only because part by part trip already done in the past; #1 Cikarang to Curug Cigeuntis, #2 Cikarang to Quiling… but also beautiful track done by friends which I have not got chance to try #3 Quiling Uphill offroad by Ardian_nas. The other part which also making this trip very special was the distance, the long 80+km with many parts are offroad track.
Being planned for long time, and five mountain biker planned to join the trip, actual only three made the ride. Lebaran holiday is very tricky to take a mountain biking trip. How to manage our time availability while most of family members gather was the big challenge for joining this trip. So that morning 3am, three mountain biker load their mountain bikes to the car and heading to the starting point, Pangkalan, Kab Karawang.
That morning just 2km ride getting out of Pangkalan, we exposed by a breath-taking sunrise view. Although expecting to get the sunrise moment since we start ride at 0530am in the morning, I did not expect to get such a view, when the sun just come out from behind pinnacles of Sanggabuana Mountains. An unexpected bonus. Another un-expected bonus was the gravel-macadam double track from Pangkalan to Curug Ciomas, beautiful track inside a teakwoods followed up by a beautiful Curug Ciomas. The track after Ciomas is full of uphill with pinnacles view of Antajaya… all the way up to Quiling Cemetery.
This track is really full of beautiful scenery, the background of combination macadam, hard soil and broken cement road will never be harder, high density slope. Oh man, when reach a small village Cibeureum we feel like winning a war. The uphill is really really steep, in some area just impossible to keep pedaling. The track also worsened (or made more interesting?) by landslides. The uphill to Kampung Cibeureum been hard and brutal make us spent more than an hour recovering by drink ‘teh manis’.
Ruthless uphill to Cibeureum, it’s only an opener for more steep off-road hike to ‘Desa Talaga’. This hike was a complete deals with off-road singletrack, un-ride-able, no-habitation, land slides sites, and endless… Bikemap.com said that this hike was to the top of Balukbuk Hill, which is ‘only’ 700m above sea level.
Luckily the ending part of this hike was a beautiful pine woods. Pine woods always giving me some kind of new spirit, not only a specific scent come out of the trees, but pine woods always make a beautiful pictures, sometimes dramatic. And after countless pitstops, deep breaths, despair and high tension muscles, we reach Desa Talaga, which uniquely placed just at the top of the hike. Surprising since all the way of long hike we did not find habitation, nearly no human activities, but at the peak of the hike we found a village.
We take another long break in this village. A little bit celebration for our strong will… I event take a short 15 minutes nap after taking a pray. This is also the end of this trip in the track of Kuiling-Talaga-Sukamaju then we will continue with circling Mount Sanggabuana to Ciririp. Track to Ciririp was a long long macadam downhill. Combination of kampung ride and woods singletracks. Beautiful, technical, long and was really a payback after the hard and ruthless uphill to Kampung Talaga. Look back to the map, just realized while writing this notes that the downhill lines was 7km. No wonder it feels endless.
A long downhill, technical XC tracks, mostly doubletrack inside kampung and singletrack inside the woods ended when slowly the view changed from mountains to a big lake, actually Jatiluhur Dam, biggest dam built in the country. The track then changed from a long and feels like never ending downhills to hard and also never ending rolling by the side of the lake.
This rolling lines from Ciririp to Kertamanah, another nightmare route, was 13km or rolling by the side of the lake. In some places we found a big bridge but without any roads. It seems like the government prepare a round road, including building bridges but the road not actually being materialized. We struggling through a very bad condition lines, sometimes double-track sometimes single-track with useless bridges without roads.
While we see useless bridges, the track condition was terrible. Terrible for normal ride but very adventurous for us. Looks like regularly being used by motorcycles, which will be a very challenging task for them to do. For three of us use bicycle was not an easy journey, since like macadam tracks with no access from cars/four wheel-er, the track become very random and irregular yet in-expectable mood. The track just tear you down, especially when you already physically exhausted and the sunset already looking behind the hills. Out of Ciririp, the track was a rough ruthless line inside a natural bamboo deep forest. It will be not nice situation if we caught in by sunset before passing this part. We are lucky that we reach Kertamanah, when Azan Maghrib heard.
We took another long rest in Kertamanah. Feeling relieved by again found a ‘regular’ road, combination of asphalt and concrete. According to track plan we still 30km to go to finish line. It was really feel like long long way to go. This is also the first time since Quiling, we found a ‘warung’ (small shop) equipped with refrigerator full of cool drinks… It has been more than 9 hours in the wild and finally we found the regular habitation area.
Now we coming to the last part of this trip, the last 30km with more acceptable track condition. The track was ok, smooth and off-course still give us hike to hills and down to bridges, like what we usually taken when we circling a mountain. My own physical condition was on a big big challenge. It was drop so bad compared to my two colleagues. Although track condition maybe one of the best of the trip, but this condition also make me feel boring. This in my weak point, I just cannot handle this kind of on-road touring track.
In this part of track many times I choose to just push my bike on uphills. Really exhausted! This is what actually means with what I called GRATISAN ride. The ride push our endurance to the limit. The trip combination of on-road and off-road usually taking 60-100km distance, a mountain bike marathon distance. The GRATISAN ride usually also taking a very long nearly all day ride. Like this ride we load the bike at 3am, start ride at 530am and finish ride at 8pm, unload back our mountain bikes at 10pm. All day, exhaustive, long distance, new track…
A night ride for the closer of the trip. Reaching the starting point at 8pm, found my GPS shown nearly 1500m inclination total the trip!!! This is really the highest inclination off-road trip I ever have in one day!!!
More pictures in my facebook account…
Riding Specialized Carve 29″ hardtail
tyres: Continental X-King 2.2
landscape view: 9/10
Short YouTube video clip… Kurilingan Sanggabuana Trailer