AskMen story: ‘Exploring the Sabahan Countryside with Bike Borneo’ – August 2014

A travel story for AskMen. Check out the excerpt below or hit the link at the bottom of the page for the full story.

Bike Borneo header

I’m not sure I’ve ever been this hot in my life. It’s the kind of rare day you might experience in the middle of an Australian summer, one where everyone stays inside. Only we’re not in Australia. We’re in western Sabah. On the Malaysian island of Borneo. And we’re outside, on mountain bikes, grinding our way up a dusty hill.

I look up from my handlebars. Mike is kicking my arse. Again. I’m an experienced mountain biker, but it’s been years since I rode daily up the access trail for Queenstown’s Skyline Gondola (incidentally, with this Canadian dude named Giles who smoked weed before every ride just to dull the burn of lactic acid in his muscles. Shit was intense). Now, in 2014, I’m out of shape. And — Jesus! — my backside is killing me.

As a bunch of guys riding around the middle of nowhere — or more specifically the provinces of Tuaran and Tamparuli — Bike Borneo’s full and multi-day rides are custom made not just for sightseeing and education, but some serious one-upmanship. When our guide, Dan, isn’t telling us about the rubber plantations we’re zigzagging through — 5,000 hectares of carefully contoured terraces privately owned but guaranteed a set price by the government-owned processing centre — we’re making breaks, pushing each other up the craggy dirt roads, or daring each other down the other side in clouds of dust and gravel. There’s not another tourist in sight. Actually, now that I think about it, there’s not another human being in sight.

Earlier that morning we were collected from our hotel by Christian, another of the Bike Borneo tour leaders. A couple of us had been pestering the bartender the night before and probably right then, at 8:30am, looked a little green. But Christian was kind enough not to notice. Besides, a day out mountain biking through the Sabah countryside? We weren’t going to miss this.

For the full story, visit AskMen.

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