Author name: HM

Tidak Apa-apa – the long way down

With the cobra garden half done in a ridable state. We shifted our work to the Black Cobra exit, the steep slope that we always wanted to armor and to serve as a show piece on how a rock downhill should look like.

We coined this section ‘tidak apa-apa’ means ‘no problem’ in Malay. Joey is definitely optimistic that this ride might looks scary but is definitely not a problem sooner or later. and we kinda agree is time to place some of these feature into trails around the region.

With Hwa excavator harvesting rocks for the past 3 days so we can start off this section, we work our way down by doing anchoring steps each time so to hold each subsection independently.

This ride contains nice filters all the way from 50metres back, where a rock choke will be placed to shoot question into the uncertain mountain bikers mind

‘am I really ready for this?”

Filter edge rocks is place and we work our way down against the weather. Is really pouring halfway and we are forced to scramble for shades in the site office.

The post rain rocks and mud slug ain’t the best place to be around. I skidded a few times too and rocks placement are roll into place instead of carried into.

with each step taking the ride steeper, and rock drops is strategically placed at the foot of the hill so you can hit it at the correct speed.

A piece of art indeed, suggest to hike the section before riding, and take your first ride on a dry day

Tidak Apa-apa – the long way down Read More »

Trail School – the making of cobra garden

We figured that playing with rocks and building trails is a fun thing and got invited our fellow trail builders and friends along.

We took the opportunity to ride the Ketam Mountain Bike Park as a whole once. Testing out every single lines and re test it again and again for the fun of it.

With the afternoon looming, we stop our ride at the ‘Black Cobra’ section.

What we are to build today is the cobra garden, a series of serious black diamond rock features one after another.

With the entrance into cobra garden being a steep difficult to climb slope, the traffic will be limited to the real deal adventure mountain bikers and hopefully the slope can serve as a qualifier too to stop the ride before any of them hitting the rock features.

Ling, William, Max, Karim, Me, Ming, Jason and camera man Joey

the rain came down just as we started and it certainly ain’t the best condition to move rocks.

it took William, Ming and Max 3 rock bars and a whole load of effort to get one of those big rocks moved 10metres, and they needed super Ling to placed the extra few ounce to roll the rocks almost every turn.

Jason and William collected rocks with their bonked stomach, slogging in the mud and displacing whatever they can find, while we left the rock paving to Ming.

The afternoon pass by quickly with the cobra garden forming a nice 5metres of easy rock ride, nicely paved and sunken in.

and everyone is glad that the work is sweet to ride through.



40 manhours today!

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Rock N Roll garden

This messy section at the ‘rock N roll’ portion of the ride doesn’t offer much flow after some great promising downhills and tree rides. The rocks are badly placed, shifted and trapping 90% of the riders except a the select few who do trail trials ride.

What we are here to fix is a black diamond section singletrack rock garden, and to place some interesting rock feature, ‘high skills low risk’ stuff, so to make it flow for the better half of the riders and endless funs and tries for those who are still trying to.

This section is design with a straight cut at the edge of the slope, placing around 20 big boulders to secure and anchor the smaller one.

We choose to collect and move most of the 50kg rocks by hand, some by pure manual lugging and hugging. and is definitely challenging for 4 of us (Joey, Kee, ’55’ and me) with Hwa operating the excavator in support with pushing those 200kg and above stuff.

The line is straight forward, with jagged lines all over so to displaced even the most experience rider, emphasizing on the correct torque and gear ratio and braking to get through.

So guys have fun trying, we certainly tried and cleared it once at least on the day of the build.

tally for 16th Nov

Sleepers – 6 man hour and a great excavator

Rock Garden – 30 manhours and alot more back massage session.

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The longest day!

Joey came in pretty much with a slight sickness, but that doesn’t stop him to reaching Ubin 2hours ahead of me.

We were to sort out Sleepers, the ‘B-rock’, a wonderful rock that offers a few ways to ride through.

The tip of the rock is made to be a rollable rock ride/launch, with the rest offering various variety of height to drop off from.

With the easy line sorted out,  we got the launch tip fix up easily with some excavator work, couple it with some good 20 bucket loads of aggregate and soil, a nice landing and fall zone is created and clean of stumps.

So dudes out there, do play around with this rock, there’s a good variety of ways to ride it, just make sure you inspect your line first before doing any of these double black diamond stuff.

Sleeper Read More »


today’s work involved building up another double diamond rock garden.

This section, called the ‘Straggler’, leads the ride from the top leg shortcutting the big loop through two trees and intercepting the bottom leg just after the great ficus tree.

Max, Joey and me got the stuff working with our one Burmese worker. We placed big anchor rocks around the various sections, and line the bigger ones on the side so to form the riding boundary.

We took a quick lesson on rock bars, and managed to move a 300kg rock some 10metres up slope bit by bit. This is practically our first mega rock experience. never before we imagine that we can move such stuff without any machinery.

After cleaning up the top leg, doing some 10ft of bench cut for a new line, we push on to do ride testing, with Max and Joey testing the new lines a few times.

certainly one sweet ride!

25 manhours.

Straggler Read More »


Rock work never been so fun.

We’ve tried rock/stone pitching at Bukit Timah MTB trail earlier this year.

We’ve certainly build a bunch of rock armor in Kent Ridge.

We’ve the entire Tampines hills rock armored.

But today is one of the first time we are doing rock work in such massive scale for such a small section of the trail.

In our previous discussion with Joey, we’ve always wanted the overshot to be a technical rock drops and at the same time build up a filter for the corridor to the black diamond section of the trail.

We got the exact thing done up today.

With 2 excavators lifting some of the ‘mega tons’ boulder from the surrounding, rocks and boulders are shifted so to form big steps for a cool ride down the overshot. with Hua’s excavator doing up the double black diamond approach and another excavator harvesting rocks for the pitching work, things happen twice as quick.

We started the stone pitching for the black diamond approach with the usual anchoring rocks and side filters rocks. work upwards mid size rocks get interlocks towards the top and like a giant jigsaw puzzle. rocks are meticulously place to form a smooth rocky path to the singletracks.

Is a beauty! nice sea scene, offering 3 alternative paths of different difficulties, nice filter to only allow the skilled to play the technical stuff, what else could be nicer for this junction.

Overshot! Read More »

Ketam Trails awaken

what we got here?

IMBA trail guru Joey Klein is in town again for two weeks visit, and he is here to see to our final touch up for Ketam Mountain Bike Park, in particulars to the in completed double black diamond obstacles.

Max and me caught a ride with him in the afternoon, he brought his own bike this round, and got us all checking on his gravity seat post in the first instance.

The day couldn’t be more perfect. nice overcast post rain cooling weather, and we check out every single lines and enjoy the flow of this beautiful trail.

Is a day of riding and planning for the weeks ahead. What we gonna do, and what we are to improve further.

A quick audit got us to 6 double black diamond obviously in need of completion, one existing fix on the bad rock garden and a new ‘tidak apa-apa’ rock garden coming up, some filters, one bad turn and one bad climb.

It’s going to be interesting

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the Valley

The Valley, one of the first section of Kent Ridge Trail that we dug up around a year ago, get into our fix priority list. The 3metres of slope is now rutted, easily ridable for the experience riders but a dangerous challenge for the rest.

The solution is to create an easy line to the left and re-open one of our first cut to the right with a 2 ft dropoff at the end. With this modification, the Valley should be safer for newbies yet offer a new challenge for the skilled.

the Valley – 12 man hours

the Valley Read More »

Armoring the Precious

A full day at Kent Ridge.

Monero and his helper got things going in the morning by getting our improvise old drainage slabs into the Precious descent. While they get barrow loads of slabs across, Wan Joo, the new park manager for Kent Ridge, and me got together for an overall plan discussion, and I made known the new plans on the map.

In hope that with a rolling contour trail the armor can be minimal, we choose to leave the DirT on the surface for compaction and selectively armor the critical braking zone and landings.

A bakau wood reinforced wall is erected for the partial bench cut mid section, and 3 barrow loads of armoring is placed onto this section so to stabilized the turn and grade changing, a place we expect novice to brake and scrape some dirt off.

We’ve a change in trail building doctrine for this bunch of crew. Monero and me share the same idea of not lining up future trails with wood as before. Firstly there’s no need to do so for a proper bench cut, secondly is ain’t that neat after seeing too much of this wood lining and thirdly it does trap dirt, sediment and water taking part of trail sustainability away.

William got himself to help with another small 5 metre fix at the top of the My Precious descent. we dug out 5 metres of new trails, took away 2 illegal path and a rutted drop in the process.

Is a fresh cut at the moment, and we are waiting for the next rain so to get it soak with water before we start doing compaction work.

14 manhour today.

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