It’s an early Sunday morning. I’m at an industrial park whose location I can’t share, with a married couple in their 30s whose identities I can’t reveal. Let’s call them “Max” and “Claire”. After stashing away their dirt bikes for safekeeping in a motorbike workshop, Max passes me a helmet. I clamber onto the back of his bike and off we go. The roads are wide and gloriously empty, the cool breeze gentle on the skin, not a single soul in sight. Pure joy washes over me. En-route to a flyover, we spot some police walking around a car that has broken down in the middle of the road. I sense Max’s wariness. Their modified bikes, with off-road tyres and more powerful exhausts, may invite scrutiny from law enforcement. 

Heng ah,” Max laughs, after passing the scene. Twenty minutes later, we reach the periphery of a verdant, largely hidden forest. We ride into its depths through an unmarked trail, ascending hilly terrain. “Hang on tight,” warns Max.

This is when the real adventure begins.

The snarl of the engine throttle is so loud that I can barely hear anything. We narrowly dodge protruding tree branches and leaves. I see remnants of tiles on the ground, presumably from an old farming and fishing village. Just ahead, there’s a long stretch of mud pools. I hear Claire whooping gleefully as she races ahead, splashing through the puddles with abandon. Speeding through the forest with this band of rebels, I feel my blood pumping, heart racing, a surge of heady exhilaration. The forest is our playground, and I’ve never felt more alive.

Derived from the word ‘endurance’, hard enduro riding is considered one of the most brutal forms of motorcycling racing. It involves riding dirt bikes on challenging terrain, such as rocky hills and steep inclines. It tests one’s technical prowess, physical fitness, and mental toughness.

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