Hans & Peaty’s Borneo Headhunt
The latest “Hans Rey Adventure Team” trip is on its way.
My partner for this trip is nobody less than British downhill legend Steve Peat. As you are reading this we’re in the jungles of Sarawak/Borneo/Malaysia, searching to find out if there is still any evidence ofheadhunters to be found in the remote rainforest.
We’ve already got to do some incredible riding, of headhunters technical downhills, killer hike&bikes, and the highlight so far was the traverse through a giant cave, which ended at a 160 feet cliff we had to rappel (abseil) with our bikes. This cave was definitely one of the most incredible locations I’ve ever ridden my bike ever. Yesterday we met some tribal people who told us the legend about “a head somewhere in a dwelling that hasn’t been taken, and has been there longer than mankind …”. We are trying to find out more about this legend in the up coming days, but first we need to find somebody with a boat who can take us further upriver into the heart of the jungle. We are accompanied by a film crew who is shooting a 1 hour TV documentary, German action sports photographer Stefan Eisend, as well as Malcolm and Eunice Jitam and John Koslosky for support and logistics. Malcolm and Eunice took us in a tiny, engine powered boat upriver into the wilderness. They dropped us off at a longhouse where we got to stay with some tribal people. They still live there fairly primitive in a traditional Iban longhouse. We received a very warm welcome from the 89 years old chief and got to be part in one of there dances, which ended with us showing them some “bike dance” after we had nearly finished off their entire rice-wine supply. From there we continued alone on the legendary “headhunters trail” into the jungles, to places where no bikes have been before. One particular section of the trip, which was only about 12 km long took us an entire day. The terrain was fairly flat but totally covered with roots, slippery rocks, and logs which were fallen over. It was an incredible workout, we were soaking wet for 3 days between the humidity, the rain, the endless water crossings, mud puddles and our sweat. A funny thing happened when we were carrying our bikes across this giant rotten log, which didn’t look as it were rotten, it spanned 15 feet across a 10 feet high water crossing. Half way across, smart as we are we were walking together at the same time, we heard this loud roar, before we knew it, the log had broken in half, and we landed in the water.
It was quite an experience being in the middle of this ancient rainforest, surrounded by noisy wildlife, gigantic trees, irritating insects and bloodsucking leeches. At first we didn’t gain much ground in terms of locating the head we were told about, although we found pieces of a human skull in a small cave, it didn’t seem to be what we were looking for. Finally we had to traverse a big divine on our way out of the jungle. Since we had been told about some shortcuts through caves which the tribal people of the past used as tunnels through the mountains. So we gave it a try, although we were expecting to carry our bikes most of the way, we couldn’t believe how big and rideable these caves were. Surrounded by millions of bats, Steve ended up finding the legendary head, the tribal people had told us about. The entrance silhouette of one of the caves, looks exactly like the profile of a head (it actually is almost identical with the profile of Abraham Lincoln!). Even cooler was that Steve finally found the ultimate freeriding/jumping location and we abused it to the max, catching air and doing extreme drop-offs. We just returned back to civilization, where we got to take overdue showers, tend to our scrapes and infected wounds and catch up on some brewskies.