Last Sunday, the community group TGTR organised a public touge session for both experienced and newbie drivers alike. It was an opportunity those familiar with the culture to get together (no pun intended) for the very first time in 2016, and for the greenhorns to get a taste of the thrill of driving thru mountain passes.
I arrived at the Route B rendezvous point far a little early and when the area was still vacant, but as the sun began to rise more drivers and their rides started turning up; from the common to the exotic, in all forms, shapes and sizes – from bone stock, to subtly tuned, to downright race-ready. It was certainly a sight to behold!
With public events like these, there’s always bound to have first-timers; myself included! Aswan, a member of #MTHRFKNWIN and also TGTR took the newbies aside for a detailed briefing – reiterating to respect common courtesy, explained signal cues for safe overtaking and stop-points along the Ulu Yam route.
I was made sweeper for the first batch (which means to be the last car in the group to keep members contained within the convoy) – one might think that being last in line might not seem to be much fun, but I can assure you that it wasn’t the case once the convoy started taking on the twisty bends and straight stretches thru the forest.
Somewhere along the outskirts of the village (and out of respect for the residents nearby, we slowed down the pace) we parked by the side where the convoy could take a quick break. We then continued through the Jalan Batang Kali – Genting Highlands route, where steep roads marked the ascent to Gohtong Jaya, a mid-point before the Genting Highlands resort at the peak.
At this point, things were getting increasingly challenging with the single-lane roads and blind corners, and the sharp incline didn’t help either! Luckily, I had Waze turned on to assist in negotiating corners, as I was unfamiliar with the route. Just at the cable car pass, we stopped at the long wide stretch where drivers regrouped before departing for the final rendezvous point at Gohtong Jaya. As we waited for the rest, some drivers took the opportunity to check out the other members’ rides, while others got some fresh air alongside nice shots with the scenic backdrop of the Pahang forest’s lush greenery.
Some time later, after everyone had caught up, we continued to cruise up to Gohtong Jaya and ran into other groups – this was clearly a popular spot for car and motorbike meets. With all cars and two-wheelers trying to find a parking spot it turned out to be one massive meet where everyone could openly mingle and admire the rides. Some even indulged with their hoods lifted and shared their stories to those who turned an ear; I was certainly one of them!
And so there it was – my maiden Ulu Yam run with the TGTR group. This was certainly a fresh experience, and one that I’m keen to explore further. Yes, I’m looking forward to my next run up the hills!