Riding Dirt Bike for Ladies

You would think a biker you see on a trail is a male, but don’t be surprised to see a pretty face beneath the helmet. Girls ride dirt bikes too and petite hijabi Nazura Ramli is one of them.

Nazura  suits up in Nashata yellow Salasa Pants  and takes her yellow bike for a spin behind her backyard.

She is a bike lover and loves to ride since a kid. An owner of a vespa and now, a dirt bike, she and her husband spend their free time during weekends riding dirt bikes with friends. She enjoys dirt biking as it burns a lot of calories, fun, exploratory and challenging. Here are some useful information if you are exploring this extreme sports.

Nazura and friends at Kemensah Trail

Enroll yourself in a Class or find a Teacher

Learn how to ride from a professional. In Klang Valley, you can explore motorcross providers like HoleShotMotorWear in Shah Alam, Most Fun Gym in Sungai Penchala or MotorManiac in Rawang. You can take classes without gears and motorbike – just rent. You will learn balancing, how to control the bike and turning.

ride and Train

Once you know how to ride, you need to train. If you do not have a bike, you can rent the gears and bike for RM250 only. She recommends to consider a provider in Kemensah, Ampang where you can rent and practice for 3 hours with a guide.

As a bike lover, purchasing a bike is a better option. With a budget of about RM7,000, she has all the gears and a used bike suitable for beginners.

  • Gears (Budget RM2,000)
    • Knee protection
    • Hand guard
    • Chest protector
    • Goggles
    • Riding boots
    • Motorcross Helmet

      The couple biker helmets and boots

  • Bike – Typically, a beginner lady rides a smaller cc bike. She chose a used 150cc Kawasaki bike as her first dirt bike.
  • You can wear moisture wicking long sleeves shirt like the Ultra Top I or II, motocross pants or hiking pants and super lightweight headgear / hijab like the Raazglove.
  • Put on your sunblock!

Since she has the gears and a bike, she practices for 2 hours at open dirt area that is close to where she lives. She trains with her husband and friends, so they typically ride in a group of five in Cyberjaya and Bukit Unggul Dengkil track. Falling off the bike is part of the training, and as long as you are geared well, you should be ok, she says. Other than improving balancing and enjoying the trail, she hopes to do wheelie soon.

A friend who falls off the bike

Why Dirt Biking?

Other than the fun and adventure it has to offer, dirt biking also serves as a passage to motorrace and enduro race. Dirt biking is cheaper and safer compared to superbike. Furthermore, you can also ride these bikes on the road.

The adventure awaits you – Kemensah

She checks the bike every two weeks and typically to change the motor oil.

She finds dirt biking is fun in all weather. She has ridden on different tracks, in the rain, windy and hot weather and even when it gets muddy and dirty, it is super fun and super tiring.

She is one Pretty Hijabi Rider.

 

Shady and Hilly Trail Southern of Klang Valley

If you are looking for a hill to hike close to Putrajaya, Cyberjaya, Bangi, Kajang or Sepang area, you can consider Melati Hill in Nilai. It is approximately 30 minutes drive  from these areas.

I spend my Saturday evening there with Fazu and hike for about 3 km. At Melati Hill, there are four peaks named Centipede Hill, Monkey Hill, Mosquito Hill and Mosquito Hill.

Kudos to the Residents and Community for making the trail fun and hiking-friendly. Photo taken at Monkey Hill

Melati Hill is located next to a residential area (google map) , and I was made to understand the trail is maintained by the community. You can park along the road and walk to the entrance and start your hike.

The trail is mild – you can easily hike up the trail until you reach Centipede Hill. It takes 5-10 minutes to get there. Once you you reach Centipede Hill, you will see a signboard with directions to subsequent hills. Just follow the direction to get to Monkey Hill. You can stop for a few minutes to enjoy the view of Nilai before continuing your hike. There are many hikers from various ages, from a 4 year old child to 60+ year old lady. Some regular and a few, like me – new to the trail.

The hike from Centipede to Monkey Hill is longer and you’d go down and up hill. The canopy of trees gives good shade throughout the hike. You’d go through a trail surrounded by rubber and palm oil trees and pass a small pond.  Before you reach Monkey Hill, you’d need to climb pretty steep steps.

The landing area at Monkey Hill is pretty spacious. Don’t be deceived by the name. There is no sight of monkeys when I was there. You could take a rest, enjoy the view or continue your hike to either Cobra or Mosquito Hill. If you want to cut your hike short, follow directions to Mosquito Hill.

Continue your hike and if you want to find your way out, just follow the “OUT” signs.  Watch your steps as you go down the hill.

The trail gets easier as you reach the exit. Your hike ends once you reach the roadside. You could see areas where the community put up tents for shade and to sell recreational items. Apparently, items are put on sale there on Sunday morning.

I would definitely continue the hike to Cobra Hill the next time I go to Melati Hill. It is also a  good place to do hill training.  It takes us 1.5 hours to go through the three hills and we stop many times to enjoy the 3 km hike. It is family friendly, well-maintained by a friendly community.  Don’t forget to bring water and put on visible sportswear and a good pair of hiking shoes. I wear Nashata white hoodie gen and the red riada salasa pants.

7 Tips on How to Avoid Sports Bra Chafing

Chafing is not new to active ladies. It is a scratch mark caused by repetitive rubbing, not only between sweaty or salty skin and clothes, but also in between folds or sagging skin. Often times, you only realise when you shower after activities as you scream in pain. They are painful and not pretty.

You can call it warrior scar or sports tattoo, but here are some tips that can save you the pain :

  1. Wear a sports bra with a good fit and provides the right support. Just like your feet swells during a long run, so does other parts of your body. Give some allowances for your chest area for long hour workout.

2. Wear good quality sports bra that is made of sweat-wicking fabric and dries fast. Replenish sports bra when you have to. Sports bra worn out too, just like your shoes.

3. Remove any tags or labels on your sports bra. The more seamless, the better.

Remove tag and labels on bra

4. Apply sports lubricant on sports bra line. This includes underneath your breast, back, and around the arms.

Areas prone to bra chafing

5. Hydrate body well to avoid crystal salt build-up when you sweat. Crystal salt on certain areas can cause chafing too.

6. Get out of soaky sports bra fast.

7. Rinse and clean your body fast during and after workout. When you have too much salt on your body, rinse it off fast to avoid salt rubbing onto skin.

Other than bra area, other areas prone to chafing for women are in between thigh, crotch and armpit. Whether it is in a cold or hot weather, you can apply the same tips as above for those area.

Chafing can be avoided, so when you are planning to sweat a lot and have a long hour workout, be prepared!

 

Sharing is contributed by Nashata Runners

Fun In The Sun: Stop Being Bored

Salam to all my beautiful ladies.
I pray this blog finds you in your best forms of health and wellness.

Many people are trying to live a healthy lifestyle now more than ever before. Many are looking for that circle of friends that will support this healthy lifestyle. As you know, if we want to build a healthy community and have more health aware circles then we should start with raising healthy children.

As a physical education teacher, I have been searching for the right way to approach my students and encourage them into living a healthy lifestyle and learn how to make healthy choices. The best way I have found is to make fun videos for them and it has done wonders in my teaching so far.

Here is a little fun video I made for my students.
Of course, I never do sports without Nashata being involved. The ultimate meaning if comfort.
In this video I wore the following for the two different characters presented.
– Athleisure and Azza topletics Modest Sports Shirts.
– Hooda Ellipse and Raazglove Sports Hijbs

Enjoooooy

3 Highlights from the 7th International Working Group Conference on Women & Sports

Nashata is blessed to participate in the 7th IWG on Women & Sports held on the 17th-20th May in Gaborone, Botswana. Nura Arabi, Nashata Ambassador and I were there for the first time to present a paper and to participate in dialogues pertaining to women in sports. It was a great experience, a good platform not only to share your work, but to  network, have conversations and understand topic of interests in other market.

Nura Arabi presenting her paper at IWG

Nura Arabi presenting her paper at IWG

The conference brought together academicians, media, policy makers from sports federation, United Nations and several countries, as well as private sectors. Finland, being the last IWG host brought most participants after Botswana. Other representatives came from the UAE, Kuwait, Japan, Korea, Bangladesh, Israel, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Namibia, Uganda and South Africa.

1.  Lead the Change
The former President of Finland, HE Tarja Halonen, graced the event with an important reminder about having women leaders in sports. Birgitta Kervinen, the President of European Non-Government Sports Organization (ENGSO) supported the message : Dream, Speak up & Act. Be the leader & lead the change. A few other key speakers echoed the theme with strong emphasis on leading by efficient and effective example and to act with integrity.

Keynote Session 7th INTERNATIONAL WORKING GROUP ON WOMEN AND SPORT

Keynote Session 7th INTERNATIONAL WORKING GROUP ON WOMEN AND SPORT

The suggestions and sharing covered promoting and grooming female coaches, world class female athletes and sports media – inspire female athletes to progress further in sports. Female athletes should be given equal pay, just as men’s.

Although not highlighted at the conference, I find parents, especially mother play an important role in supporting girls in sports. Active or athletic parents have strong inclination to support children’s interests in sports, and they are good inspiration for children.

2. Safety for Women in Sports

Be it training or competition, it is important to provide adequate equipment, safe environment and space for athletes. In certain societies, due to cultural or religious belief, there could be constrain for a female athlete to travel without a family member or mahram. More conversations and awareness can help parents and organizations to understand safety protocols can be developed to ensure female athletes are safe while travel.

Asian Women and Sport Network

The International Olympic Committee has put together a kit on safe sports, available for public at https://www.olympic.org/athlete365/library/safe-sport/. You can find e-learning courses from their site.

3. Sports without Borders

I believe sports is a good way to bring people together. At the conference, a few examples were shared on how private sectors have helped marginalized community to participate in sports. It could be through donation, providing training, equipment and facilities and many more.

It is through programs by Sports  Outreach  and Sports Gift, athletes like Phiona Mutesi get to shine both in sports and academically.

Contact us if you are interested to participate in the next IWG in 2022!

Nashata sponsored a paper, titled The role of physical education in social integration, authored by Nura Arabi, Nashata Ambassador, echoed the spirit of diversity and respect. You can go through her slides here.

The 8th IWG World Conference on Women & Sports in 2022 in New Zealand. So please share the words around so that we have papers and thoughts shared at the conference. For the next IWG World Conference, Nashata is happy to sponsor accepted papers, authored by ASEAN scholars. We need more conversations and awareness so that our concerns and work can be understood and shared.

It’s Not Where I Go, But Who I Meet
Lastly, Gaborone is such a lovely city. The food was good, people are super friendly and hospitable. Every night, the organiser arranged lovely dinner followed by colorful performances. Here are some pictures of the colorful ladies from Africa!

Traditional Custom – Bostwana

Traditional Custome – Zambia

Sir Bani Yas Challenge (29-30 March 2018)

Marwa Al Wadhahi, a young Omani lady who is enthusiastic about sports and adventure shares her experience at the Sir Bani Yas Challenge 2018. She loves challenges, pushing her limits and experiencing new things. She works in the Oil & Gas industry during the day and passionately practices sports in the evening and holidays. 

Marwa Al Wadhahi

I was very excited when I saw the announcement of Sir Bani Yas Challenge which was originally consisting of 3 km of kayaking, 10 km of trail running and 37 km of cycling. I was excited because I never cycled and kayaked these distances, I’ve never been to Sir Bani Yas and I’ve never done a 50 km challenge in single day. Basically the challenge had a variety of activities and in a unique and exciting venue.

Wildlife at Sir Bani Yas

Sir Bani Yas Island in the Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, was the venue of the challenge. The island was one of the first “Greening of the Desert” projects established by Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan in 1971. Over the years it became one of the UAE largest animal reserves and is home to over 15,000 free roaming animals and birds.

Due to circumstances out of control, the cycling was cancelled and the challenge was modified to become a total of +33 km of an amazing hike on & between mountains, fun kayaking and a long trail run.

The challenge was tough, we started at 6.30 am where the weather was foggy and nice then it got hotter as time passed approaching noon. I personally absolutely loved the hike and the kayaking, I found the trail run (which was the majority of the race) fun at the beginning but then it was really torturous due to the heat, strong pulsing cramps and trail that felt like infinity as the long distance was new to me.

I pushed myself hard, I felt like crying, I felt like giving up, I thought to myself “What made me do this? What was I thinking” I literally felt physically and mentally exhausted. However, because I signed up for the challenge with a mindset and goal to finish as a minimum and despite all the pain and torture I felt, I was absolutely determined to finish, I limped, I walked, I jogged with pain until the finish line.

Husaak Support Stations

On the other hand, the organisers, Husaak Adventures, and fellow participants along the way were very supportive which injected me with positive energy amid the suffering, I smiled to them, felt positive and said to myself that I can do it and I should not give up even though I felt like it! Giving up was just not an option for me. I had fun chatting with some participants along the way and cheering others to continue as well which really makes a difference and pushes people further. Organizers were at the water/food stations and also driving back and forth with cars cheering, checking on us and supplying water

Hiking Trail Views

With a few hundred people participating, Alhamdulillah I’m proud to finish 4th out of more than a 100 female participants, and 33th Overall out of almost 300 male & female participants 🏁 I really pushed myself that day. I haven’t had specific training for this event, just my regular gym training. So I was basically fit but not really trained for this kind of long distance running.

Trail Run

I believe if I hydrated more in the weeks leading to the event and practiced long runs, it would have went even better. Maybe I wasn’t trained enough or ready to go at the pace I was going at but the experience was definitely enriching. The feeling of true struggle that I haven’t felt in a long time, but pushing hard and fighting pain & fatigue to reach the finish line was priceless.

SCKLM: Suraus for Muslim Runners

Standard Chartered KL Marathon is only a few days left and we want you to go through the smoothest experience you’ve ever had. This time round we would like to help all the muslims to feel at ease performing prayers during the running period.

Here are the routes provided by the organizer:

Half Marathon Route Map

For half marathon, the suggested prayer area is located at the side road of the Lebuhraya Duta – Ulu Kelang (DUKE) when you’ve reached 11km, slightly after you pass the water station. Though there is only one surau suggested here, there are also few mosque along the road.

The first mosque you’ll pass through is the Masjid Jamek before you hit 1km running. After 14km running, you’ll meet another mosque Masjid Wilayah Persekutuan. If you can make it on time, at the end of the route, you’ll see the last mosque which is Masjid Negara.

 

Full Marathon Route Map

As for Full Marathon, more suraus are suggested here. The first surau you’re going to pass is at 14km running (close to Tabung Haji & water station). Then, you’ll see a surau by the road side of Jalan Ampang after 15km run. After Kompleks Sukan Datuk Keramat and LRT Jelatek you’ll find another surau located at the road side of Jalan Jelatek. At 19km run, the surau is located close to the checkpoint by the road of Jalan Setiawangsa. The last surau that is suggested for marathoner is close to the checkpoint is at the DUKE road, that is after 26km running.

Just to inform, the mosque available near the route is the same as what the half marathoner will pass: Masjid Jamek, Masjid Wilayah Persekutuan and Masjid Negara.

Few tips on prayer guidance:

  1. Don’t forget your prayers even when you’re running
  2. Jangan lupa solat walaupun bersukan berjam-jam! (in bahasa Malaysia)

Hope this helps! Share it with others so they can also schedule their prayers early before the run! 🙂

Weight Loss – Muscles vs Fat Mass

If you are trying to lose weight and you are not sure about what to exercise for, cardio or muscles, then this video is for you.
This quick video will help you determine how much cardio and how much strength training your body needs according to your body type. It gives a quick insight into what you should do to help your body with the weight loss process.

Good luck,
Nura

The Color Run Malaysia 2017

Are you a fan of colors? If you are, then I hope you managed to attend The Color Run last Sunday (13 August) at Padang Merbok, Kuala Lumpur.

If you’ve never heard of The Color Run, it’s a run where fist-full of colors would be thrown at you throughout the whole 5 kilometres. It first began in Phoenix, Arizona five years ago and slowly expanded across the globe.

The race kit was collected at eCurve, Mutiara Damansara the week before. Needless to say, they were pretty cool. The white t-shirt was a soft cotton fabric, unlike most of the other t-shirts I own. There were a few other things too, including a goodie bag and a headband with the words “THE COLOR RUN” printed in bright yellow.

Race kit – a white t-shirt for colors to be thrown at and a goodie bag containing facial products, sticker tattoos, and a headband.

On the event day, I got up at 5:40 a.m. and made my way (with my uncle) to the designated location. The sky was still dark, and the roads were exceptionally empty. Without the usual heavy traffic present during the day, it took a short 30 minutes to get there.

Upon arriving the field (Padang Merbok means Merbok Field, so the event was set up on a field), we were astonished to see the wave of people in identical white t-shirts. There were at least 500 people warming up, lead by the event hosts who were already onstage with two unicorns dancing about.

Took a bite of a giant doughnut before the run.

After a few stretches here and there, we were lead into a pathway towards the starting line like a massive herd of sheep plus we were all wearing white, so we were all human sheep. There were at least three drones flying high up above our heads, recording the whole thing.

Participants were released in waves, each one starting off with a sprinkle of color over their heads. We were the lucky enough to be at the second wave, which started a little after 7:15 a.m. Participants who started later had to run under the eight to nine o’clock sun.

It was a cool and lovely run, thanks to the ample shade the tall trees provided for us. It was like running in a forest. At first, we thought there would be color stations every kilometre, which should add up to five stations. To our surprise, the distance between the first station and the second was less than a kilometre, probably as short as 500 metres.

The first station threw yellow, green, and purple at us. I was lucky my aunt advised us to bring a scarf or a cloth to cover our faces while running through the stations beforehand. The colors were made of powder, in which the event crew threw fist-full of colored powder at us. Since they were made of powder, it caused irritation to the eyes and the mouth. There were a few times where we ran past families, their young children complaining of the powder in their eyes or their color powdered shoes.

After running blindly through stations of blue, orange, neon green, and red, we reached the finish line at 8:30 a.m., our clothes and hair stained with color. At the finishing line, we were given a packet of colored powder each, including a bottle of water and a can of energy drink.

Thoroughly stained with color.

Nashata Sweatpants splattered with paint.

My uncle’s red mane after the run.

Overall, it was a fantastic event. Though it wasn’t your typical run-and-go marathon, it was definitely a fun run. Not recommended for children 10 and below because they may not be able to handle the irritation. If you’re in Rhode Island or Portland (and many more places in the United States and around the world), you still have a chance to participate in the fun. Who knows, maybe you’ll join the run next year.

– Nukey

Throw Them Off With Taekwondo

Tired of feeling weak and helpless? Scared of walking home alone? Is there someone you want to tell off but don’t know how?

No need to fear, martial arts is here!

There’s karate, judo, aikido, taekwondo, boxing, wushu, and a whole lot more you can learn about just by a click of your mouse. But simply learning from a book or a website and playing it out a couple times won’t cut it. You have to get up and train for at least half an hour per week. After all, self-defense is a skill. And skills are not perfected in a blink of an eye, but by sheer sweat and determined practice.

Self-defense does not just ward off unwanted creepers, but could also potentially save your life. Places like Texas, where women are being targeted and attacked, strongly encourage Muslims to take up self-defense and learn how to protect themselves. With the current Islamophobia and hate against Muslims, it is essential that you, as a Muslim woman (especially if you wear hijab), know how to fend for yourself when encountered by any sort of threat – big or small.

In some middle eastern countries like Jordan, harassment is not uncommon. Despite women covering themselves modestly and wearing hijabs and headscarves, they are still targeted and attacked without hesitation. According to islam.ru, an islamic information portal based in Russia, some women in England are even attacked by muggers taking the pins off their hijab and stabbing their heads with it. So as we can see from here, how we dress is not the issue. It’s how we protect ourselves and how we deal with the ambiguous jaws of the world.

Among all self-defense techniques and martial arts, let’s zoom into one particular art: Taekwondo.

Kick as high as the sky. Reference: Edward Lim, (2016), Wallace Lai Yen Theng [ONLINE]. Available at: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10210164033279633&set=pb.1302833662.-2207520000.1499930670.&type=3&theater [Accessed 13 July 2017].

Kick high to the sky.
Reference: Edward Lim, (2016), Wallace Lai Yen Theng [ONLINE]. [Accessed 13 July 2017].

Taekwondo, as the name distinctly provides, is a Korean martial art. The word can be broken down into three: “tae”, “kwon”, and “do”. The definition of “tae” is foot, “kwon” is hand, and “do” is art. It generally can be broken down into two categories: poomsae, and sparring. Poomsae is a series of moves – both defense and attack – put together in one. On the other hand, sparring is your typical two-minute fight on the training mat.

This martial art consists of many moves and techniques. The few basic ones are kicks, blocks, and strikes.

Here are a few examples:

The basic kick in Taekwondo: front kick.

 

Basic blocks and strikes: punch, higher-section block, lower-section block, inner block, outer block, ridge hand strike, and knife hand strike.

Sparring technique: Chopping kick.

 

There are some centres available in Malaysia:

Other places to learn self-defense around the world:

Don’t be afraid because you are small and frail or physically unfit. With determination, comes great results. Remember: we are not inferior to men, but a sole equal. And sometimes, we may be even better.

– Nukey