It was a memorable adventure that I experienced in Borneo and Kuala Lumpur with Bike and Tours. I was privileged to have been one of the first to join their cycling tours both in Kuala Lumpur and Borneo. Bike and Tours, run by Swiss homeboy Simon and Malaysian girl Tisha are both passionate about what they do and I was rest assured that I got their 101% undivided attention towards my needs and hunger for outdoor adventure.
KL was not their area of concentration, but since I was in KL first before Borneo (and so were they during that point), I personally requested to get a bit of practice in KL before I attempted the Borneo jungles! They accepted my request without any hesitation! And before I know it, I was already riding the bike at the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia and the jungle at Taman Tar, Ampang! Riding in the jungle on mostly single trails was simply amazing. It was hot at the car park but as soon as we entered the jungle, it was simply pleasant with all the trees giving natural shades to us. Simon gave me some tips on the gears and how to maneuver the bike as it had been a while since I last rode a bike.
The cycling experience was enriched with simple things they did such as reminding me to drink and to keep hydrated that won the show. They were very organized and thought ahead as to what I would need before, during and after the cycling trip. Isotonic drinks and healthy snacks such as fruit and muesli bars were made available during our short breaks. And the fact that they gave me enough time to cycle and appreciate my new surrounding was some of the points that gave me the confidence to do their tour in Sabah.
I could not stay long enough in Sabah to do their 10 days. So I told Simon and Tisha what was important for me and based on these requirements they managed to tweak the itinerary to suit my preference.
I did a 4 days and 3 nights tour to journey to Danum Valley. On the first day I was transferred on a 4WD from Lahad Datu to the Danum Valley junction. Had I travelled with a group of 2 to 4 people, Simon mentioned that I could have taken the boat to Silam instead as it was more scenic. However, since it was just me on this trip, the cost to take the boat would be a bit too high for me to absorb on my own. Nevertheless, the 4WD to the junction gave a lovely sight to the hilly area towards Danum. I started my cycling journey with a lovely downhill on tarred road. Tisha took over to drive the 4WD behind Simon and I. At the back of the 4WD was a sign that says “Awas, cyclist ahead”. It was a lovely downhill that was followed by a small village that sells their local produce such as bananas and rambutans. Yes we made a quick stop for rambutan! And right after the village came the tropical rainforest. It was so serene, different shades of green! The sound of chirping birds or maybe crickets was very intense. There were hardly any cars. It was as if the jungle trail was only available for us! The trail was on gravel road but the roads were broad for us to maneuver the bike. We took it easy for the first day to cycle about 20+km and made a stop to camp at Taliwas. It was by the river and after a few uphill, I jumped straight in the clear cold river water! At night I had bbq dinner which was prepared by both Simon and Tisha and slept under thousands of stars!
The next morning, my shoulders and butt was aching from the cycling! It was painful to hop on the bike once again but the body adjusted to the new activity after a while. Today was a tough day as I needed to cycle about 60+km. The trail was beautiful, lots of green surroundings and no one at sight. We came across a few elephant dunks but not lucky to sight one during my pedaling journey. Having done this trail, I can now understand why Bike and Tours speaks highly of this natural trail. I am proud to say that with their encouragement, I managed to cycle the whole way to Danum Valley Field Center. I was definitely tired and there were times where I could easily hop on the 4WD which was readily available. But this was a personal challenge that I needed to do for myself. And I did it! The tour I did included accommodation in Lahad Datu, Taliwas and Danum Valley Field Center, well maintained MTB, entry fees, tips, food, abundance of snack and valuable advice. I would definitely recommend a tour with Bike and Tours for those who are looking for a good eco adventure and nature. But you need to keep your expectations right, you are not paying for a five star hotel, but you are paying for a 5 star experience.
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