Twilight Chase: Electro 2019

The only night enduro race in Malaysia, Twilight Chase: Electro returns for another year on June 1st 2019! A staple go to on the local MTB calendar, it is traditionally held during the Ramadhan fasting month. There will be three categories, namely Men Supernatural (Elite, sponsored riders), Men Mortal (Weekend warriors, casual riders, newbies), and Superwoman. This highly anticipated annual enduro event will be split into two stages at Bukit Kiara, namely *Stage 1* (Twinpeak-TNT-Dirty Deeds-Barracuda-Pondok Sungai) and *Stage 2* (Exit Snakes n ladder-Reverse to 4cross-2k-Horse Stable).

Race director Izzat Mustaffa says most of the participants will recognise these trails very well. “Honestly speaking, it doesn’t differ much from previous races as Bukit Kiara is not that big,” he admits. “However, the route/trail sequence are never the same. The ever-changing condition of the trails will always be challenging nevertheless.” There is however a tiny change, one of his favourites. “I think it would be TNT trail. As I recall, we haven’t used this trail yet for our Twilight Chase. Even in the daytime, the trail is already challenging, let see how the riders fare at night.”

Indeed, the Bukit Kiara trails are a favourite for many budding and veteran MTB enthusiasts, thanks to the many different features you can find there. It has a great mix of flowy trails, technical climbs and descents, steep drops, rock gardens, switchbacks, and a combination of each on different routes. Could the race ever move from its current location? Izzat admits that it is a possibility, if they can manage it. “A few races back, we indeed tried to move to another MTB area around Klang Valley, but due to restrictions in trail access at night, we had to contend with what we have here at the moment. But hey, the possibilities are there, maybe one day we can do one in KDCF?”

While this is a race, it is ultimately all about having a blast on great trails and riding with your mates, with the added twist of racing in the dark. This is essentially the aim of the Twilight Chase, to bring buddies who want to ride together. Go Enduro’s Rafeq Ramli confirms that the race actually started out from a dare. “Actually the dare was ‘berani ke buat race enduro malam hari?’,” he laughs. “I think at the time no one did it before.”

“Apart from the Burung Hantu jamboree event, we can’t think of any night MTB events including any that cater to the gravity segment of MTB. Twilight Chase started with a few friends, riding against each other at night. Over the years, it started gaining attention amongst MTB enthusiasts and from there, it was gaining momentum until to the point of people asking, "Hey, when is the next Twilight Chase??" That’s how we know how big it grew!”

While it is generally held during the fasting month this seems to be more of an accidental thing more than anything else. It is however quite timely, considering a lot of the local Muslim cyclists generally shift their riding hours to the evenings after they break their fast or after they are done with the nighttime Terawikh prayers. It’s quite interesting to note that Kiara Park, the local haunts of many MTB enthusiasts, is actually right nearby several major mosques in the general Ttdi neighbourhood. Convenient indeed.

This will be the 5th time in 6 years that Go Enduro have run the event. The 2018 edition was more of a charity night race as a tribute for a friend and local MTB rider who lost his battle to cancer. It’s still unclear whether there will be a philanthropic element to the event this year. Compared to road cycling events, the MTB side of things tends to feel a bit more chaotic and ad hoc, with more of a sense of community pitching in than a proper organised event with road marshalls, water stops, prize giving podiums and the like.

This was something that Rafeq couldn’t exactly deny either. “We were equally excited for all those past Twilight Chase events, but this in particular, is a funny story,” he laughs. “One of our committee members said out of nowhere, "Hey guys, let’s do another twilight chase!" Funny part was, nobody objected and we straight away agreed. We agreed to this just two weeks ago.” When asked if this could be expanded to be held during the normal months of the year, he admitted that this could be a possibility too. However, there is still a catch.

The race has traditionally been capped at a small number of participants only, and there is a very real reason for this. “We have to do this because of time restraints and crowd control,” Rafeq explains. “In the GoEnduro community we have about 20 dedicated volunteers who are the crew. For the love of the sport, these guys come together from various backgrounds to help us hold the race. They’re doctors, business owners, engineers, pilots, mainly proper working professionals.”

With Shimano as the main sponsor of the event, you can surely expect some good prizes for the winners. This is the best time to note that Twilight Chase: Electro is always capped at 100 participants, and at the time of this article being written, less than half of the slots are still available. For the RM100 entry fee, participants will receive a jersey and a meal. The official event venue will be at SEDAP TTDI Foodtruck Ground, the open air dining area that is only a short ride and one traffic light away from Bukit Kiara.

Online registration will be open (if slots are still up for grabs, remember that the event sells out fast every year!) until 11.59pm, May 19th 2019. You can register here: https://www.mountainbiker.my/v1/event/twilight_chase_electro