The Kampung Koloi road, at about 18 kilometers, and going from 1300 feet above see level to approximately 4600 feet is usually a challenge for even veteran drivers. It has deep ruts (75 profile tires on 16-inch rims won’t save you here) and drastic drops and sharp turns with deep ravines at the sides. You’ll also encounter steep inclines (and declines) up to 20-plus degrees. At some point, when the mud and ruts end, you’ll have a bit of a rock-crawling adventure that if you’re not careful, you might shred a tire. Landslides also are a threat at all times. Unfortunately, circumstances prevented me from having a professional media crew along for this trip so you’ll end up seeing my iPhone photos and only when I could stop or slow down. Texting or talking on the phone can be done (illegally of course) while you’re driving but NEVER do it when you’re off-road!
And here are some tips when going off the beaten path…
1. Keep your thumbs in the air â€“ right off the steering wheel. Otherwise, if one of your front wheels hits a snag â€“ and it will do of course â€“ your steering wheel will rote at a heck of a lick, and if your thumb is in the way of a rotating spoke or wheel strut, it hurts!
2. Use engine braking to slow your descent down a hill not the brakes. I usually “walk-down” a slope in 1st gear. If the back end starts to slide around then ACCELERATE slightly to re-gain control. If you brake when driving down a hill and a skid develops EASE OFF THE BRAKE. It goes against your instincts but you will gain traction again and therefore be able to steer. Wheels must be turning to be steerable.
3. Don’t fight your steering. When driving through demanding terrain, avoid the tendency to hold the steering wheel in a death grip â€” let the wheel move around and gently guide the vehicle.
4. Be aware of your vehicles ground clearance and location of its lowest points. Allow wheels to follow their own route inside a deep rut and avoid over steering.
5. Check the water depth before fording a river!
* The generally acceptable maximum for a highway or road gradient is about 6-7 degrees.
Another few years and life hits another cross-road. Options, paths and most of all decisions. Do wish I have a GPS for this journey of life. If I do, then how would I know how to rely on my master navigator, the Lord of my life, my God, my savior?
Tuesday for me felt very much like a Monday since I worked from home on the Monday which was good thing too since there was a massive police cordon around the Parliment area that caused an unprecedented KL-wide gridlock. I drove off to work, leaving my iPod at home so of course I missed my morning worship songs. Never mind that, my iPhone came to the rescue… I hooked up the over-priced iPod cable from my Alpine and was greeted with the following screens. No one called me in the morning anyway so I don’t know if the phone will still ring but I’ll try it out some day. Kudos to Apple for making the compatibility degrade gracefully — manufacturers cannot anticipate the future but software should degrade to the common denominator gracefully when future devices show up.
The Don’t Do List
• 1 ignoring wheel cheat
(Tires are good friends – treat them well)
• 2 using too much speed or power
(Many times, faster than too slow is too fast)
• 3 steering at standstill
(Power steering is a wonderful tool to break tie rods etc)
• 4 using the clutch the same way as on pavement
(If you don’t know what “starting in gear” means and you still use the clutch to regulate speed)
• 5 following one’s gut feeling
(Most likely it’ll be wrong – humans have no genetic imprint for driving cars yet)
• 6 straddling obstructions
(Men should know – they would not take anything high between their legs either)
• 7 rushing through water
(Humans want to rush away from danger and get in trouble in the process)
• 8 keeping thumbs in steering wheel
(Bruised or broken thumbs really hurt)
• 9 hanging head out of window
(Makes you “feel” you are in control – but you’ll miss potential danger on the other side)
• 10 using 4WD after getting stuck
(now that is really stupid!)
An early morning start with just coffee, a long drive to Sentul and back to section 17, a rapid excursion to Sungai Buloh and throw in two trips from SS2 to Desa Sri Hartamas!