• NH and friends NoktahHitam is my alter ego. I am a nocturnal Web Developer at Laman7. Part time innovator, full time procrastinator.

  • “The only good is knowledge; the only evil is ignorance.”- Socrates

I Never Thought Jungle Trekking Was Hard, Until I Tried SkyTrex

I am big fan of outdoor activity, jungle trekking is nothing more than a stroll in park for me. #SkyTrex hit me, how hard can it be? It turns out, it was really hard.

Few months back I PM-ed Azlan, the marketing manager for SkyTrex and asked him to accommodate bloggers. In return we will blog about SkyTrex. So he agreed to give SalamMedia (my marketing startup) some free passes to the Extreme challenge, the most difficult route. I did call in last minute to downgrade to Big Thrill, but Azlan insist we have ‘fun’. His definition of fun is definitely messed up.

Here’s some pictures of the awesome activity.

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Safety first! The harness does hold up the sack really well.

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I went first. Flying fox looked easy, yeah because this is the practice version.

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There’s a limit to number of people per platform. 1 monkey per tree.

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This is about 20m from the ground and we had to climb that!

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Flying into nothingness. I did imagine what if I stopped half way. That’s my fault for having a fat lazy bum. Thankfully it was one of the most memorable flying fox I have ever done in life.

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or what if I missed the platform, slipped and fell?  I can feel the movement in my bladder when I saw this picture taken by Abdus

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One of my favorite route, I call this the hammock. Reminds me of Sara’s baby hammock.

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Monkey bar, only for the weak. I took the easier route, glide on the ropes. Haha

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This V shaped string requires a lot of balancing. I did mess this up while trying to do too much in a single leap. I ended up almost loosing my head when the rope strangled my neck. Thankfully a hero doesn’t give up easily. I pulled myself up and retraced the step. For the moment, it did feel like defusing a timed bomb.

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Ammar decided to sleep, programmers sleeps at dawn. Can’t blame him for being sleepy all the time, their sleeping habits is all over the place!

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This was the easiest, if you know your way around the ropes. Noticed one glove? Yeah, I dropped one while trying to fart.

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The pulley is made in France, land of Peugeot and Zidane, it’s very sturdy for flying fox. The carabiner is also solid.

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Some camwhoring with ‘le wife.

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Every time I took a challenge, I enjoyed the scenery. It was breathtaking and downright beautiful. The guys at SkyTrex really planned the route well.

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Aisyah nearing the finishing line. I was a bit sad to see end. I really wanted another hour.

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The monkey swing was the last challenge and it almost broke my back!

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They even provided a hashtag for SkyTrex.

If there’s one complain from me is the plastic pipes which are being used extensively in the challenge. I guess because it’s cheap and strong hence the extensive iterations of it. Those pipes are slippery and sometimes too big to hold. It does require and additional effort just to grip it properly. Despite that, I am still giving SkyTrex a 5 star.

The SkyTrex Brochures

Conclusion

Overall, SkyTrex nothing but awesome. I could feel my adrenaline rushing up and down my veins while writing this blog post though it happened sometime last March. The greenery was perfect, the staff were really helpful and playful, which was good. They gave moral support and never wanted us to quit half way (but some participant did, age is really a factor).

My best recollection of #SkyTrex was the flying fox. It was the only avenue for me to be lazy, to enjoy the scene and for the first time, it felt like I kicked my acrophobia in the nuts that day (fear of height). I walked out a taller person, knowing that I’ve conquered my fear. If there was a stress meter, I’m sure it was down to zero.

Who is this for? Young executive, students, family, couples, Ranjits, Kumars, Chins, Alis or whoever wants quick escape, nerve wrecking, eyes squirming, lose bladder control or scream your lungs out, this my friend is for you. My advise, do wear long pants to avoid blister, bring your own gloves for better grip, and seriously, take your time doing the challenge, enjoy the scenery and don’t focus on completing it soonest.

If you want more information, check out the official site.

I Wish I Knew the Price of Kawasaki ER6N Tyre Before Owning One

Before I bought my Kawasaki ER6N (nick name “Mutu”), I never bothered about the total cost of ownership of the bike. I did ask around, mostly responded it would cost as much as maintaining a car, I told myself I can live with that, I was wrong.

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The tyre that came with the bike is worn out. I can feel it twitching when I try to give it a little torque. On dry days, riding to and from office is easy. It got worst when it rains. Pakcik going to mosque laps quicker than Mutu.

I deliberately delay the change because a MICHELIN PILOT ROAD 2 set of wheel costs RM980. Yes, That’s enough to change all 4 tyres on Jenny (my Gen2). But that’s not all, through wear and tear, a car tyre can potentially last 2-3 years, motorcycle tyre last about a year. Mutu is about 15,000km (not really far).

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MICHELIN PILOT ROAD 2 – ER6N size is front: 120/60/17 and rear tyre: 160/60/17

Why is it expensive? Well, a motorcycle tyre is made of 3 to 5 compound, soft-medium-hard. Soft gives you grip but wears out quickly. Hard gives you the endurance but lacks the grip. Mixing this compound is only natural. Normally, hard is place in the center and softer by the side. The shape of the thread also plays an important role for wet or dry.

I did search at Mudah.my just to familiarize with other options. Due to the nature of Mudah, some tyre are not longer displayed. So I Googled, it was very specific, thus making it harder to find. To be honest, I didn’t know what exactly to find, I just keyed in “Tayar ER6N”, a lot of links selling the bike instead of the tyre. I also didn’t know the size of my tyre nor the brand (I couldn’t see on Mutu’s tyre). So I went to Facebook and found a nearby shop.

(Note: for brick and mortar shops, it is really important to have Facebook page or Mudah Niaga.)

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I went there with my car for two reasons, 1. I didn’t want to be conned/pushed to purchase. 2. I wanted to see how they treated the bike and customer. The staff was really helpful, explaining stuff I didn’t even consider. I got the price for MICHELIN PILOT ROAD 2 brand new for RM950 after bargaining but it proves to be to steep for me. Hey man, I can buy an iPad with that money (what an iFag!).

I walked around the shop (they were pretty happy to see me exploring the shop) and my eyes were fixed on used tyre. I was really surprised to see the condition of these tyre. The kid told me, sometimes bikers change tyre because they hated how it handles, some wants better grip. Well, one mans trash is another man’s treasure. It did feel like I found a unicorn. After negotiating, I got the  MICHELIN PILOT ROAD 2  for RM 690.

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They carefully put on paddock stand and extract the old tyre.

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The front tyre was wobbly and the wear is uneven making it harder to control during raining season.

Personally, it didn’t really matter whether is new or used, I just need one soonest before I go crazy getting stuck in traffic jam commuting to work.

How does MICHELIN PILOT ROAD 2 handle? Well, as a noob biker, I say it does take a while to adjusting to the new one. Because the tyre is so round, it felt unbalanced when it is slightly tipped to the side. On straight line, better grip. Giving additional torque does make it feeling doing a little wheelie. Corners are fantastic, entrance is easy and exit is the best. I have rode the ER6N for 2 years, I have never done anything above 70kmh while cornering, on MICHELIN PILOT ROAD 2, I did 85kmh and it felt natural.

I would to reemphasize that I am a relatively new biker and comparison was made against the OEM tyre.

So to those who are still dreaming of owning big bikes, I seriously urge you to consider this, the tyre cost change annually RM 1k, Road tax and insurance about RM 1.5 k, maintenance RM 600 (every 4 months or mileage). Now, you need an additional RM 3,100 per year just to maintain the bike. For starters go for 250cc bikes.

Hence the reason of buying a big bike is critical. The parts aren’t exactly cheap, the oil change isn’t too, accessories costs your pinky finger, helmet maybe a bomb, safety and yara-yara. If there’s any advise I can give to fellow riders or aspiring rider and this has been passed on to me by other riders is, “Ride within your means”. Budget, speed, guts, safety and reason. I ride to escape the traffic, therefore I don’t have to ride like a maniac :)

Manager Baru

“Esok aku nak tengok slides tu”..

“Slides apa?” aku tanya semula.

“Kita ada diskusi hari tu”. Dalam hati ini berapi bagai lava meleleh keluar volcano, sungguh mudah kau outsource kerja-kerja. Mentang-mentang manager baru.

Aku korek lebih mendalam, “untuk apa proposal ni?” Yara-yara, ringkas dan merata-rata ungkapan keluar. Aku bukan tidak suka membantu orang, tetapi kalau sembang kemas, tetapi tiada arah, sama macam penjual kereta terpakai yg serba serbi tahu dan kenal satu Malaysia.

Aku cukup pantang buat perkara yang tidak bermanfaat, ibarat menembak dengan senapang patah, peluru berserpihan, semua kena tetapi satu pun tak mati. Aku lebih suka menjadi snipper, tilik dalam diam dan tembak bila perlu.

Kau manager baru, aku orang lama. Dipisah pangkat dan darjat, aku pak turut sahaja.

#PrayforMH370 or More?

It’s been 14 days since  flight MH370 went missing. It’s as if the whole world is trying to look for it. This is indeed a plausible joint effort by all, but the question is, is that all that we have to care about? No.

The plane is still considered safe until debris are found. This means 239 people are still alive until proven otherwise. This may be insensitive, but why are trying so hard to manage perception of the foreigners? Why are we allocating a lot of resources to find a missing plane? Why continue looking for the missing 239 people when 50 accidents daily on the way to work/home?

50 dies daily

Harian Metro – 15 Mac 2014

Now if 50 happens daily, then within the span of 2 weeks, 700 cases has been reported.

So, is the government trying to tell me, that 239 people (local + foreign) is more valuable than 700 of our own? Can this 700 accidents be prevented? Maybe not, but we can reduce it. We can actually study why our roads are lousy (not as spec), bumpy (poor workmanship), incompetent drivers (retrain everyone) and it goes a long way.

Personally, I think Malaysian are so obsessed with misfortune. Anytime of day, no matter where, when there’s a road accident, there’s bound to be slow drive by just to get a glimpse of the dismembered body parts and this causes massive traffic jam.

We pray for MH370 safety, perhaps we should also pray for these 5o accidents daily should never happen in the first place. So pray more.

ps: I mean no disrespect to the 239 families involved. While I do understand you are mourning, this does mean the 50 other families daily safety should be taken for granted.

Find Yourself Sara!

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Sara,

You have loads of cousin around your age. We predict you will be best bud with Hana on your left. So let me set some guidelines for you.

  • As you get older, you will quarrel but I hope it won’t last long.
  • Always share your toys, nobody likes to play with snobbish kids.
  • When you encounter a bully, you can run, but I suggest you stand up when this happens to your friends/family.
  • Be kind to others. No matter what happens, you do not get to be selfish.
  • Acknowledge differences. Understand and take into consideration other’s opinion.
  • Love others. Even when they hate you.

If all else fail, just know it in you, we’ll always have your back and catch your fall.

-Love, Abah