It all started with an SMS message from my best friend asking me if I can still ride the bike. He asked me this a few days after I crashed at the McKinley Trail, leaving me with bruises on my left knee. Proud me would eventually reply with a “Yep, bruises lang naman. Nothing like the wounds i got from my Makiling crash.”
As it turned out, he asked me this because there is a bike ride being planned by the PinoyMTBikers from which we are both registered members (he an active member and me, simply a lurker). The ride is a newbie bike ride which aims to cover the Daang-Hari road and offroad trails. It is said that newbie bike rides at PMTB are really “newbie friendly” and one that is so much fun in all aspects.
So after checking out the thread about the said event and also armed with the promise that he will stay with me all throughout, I agreed and started psyching and preparing myself for the ride. I will be joining the Daang-Hari Newbie Pasyal Ride and yep, I will be ready for it.
meeting the Manila Riders at Macapagal
this time with Pol
Pol arrived at our home at 5 a.m. on the day of the ride and together we rode to the Diosdado Macapagal Ave. to meet the rest of the Manila Riders who will be joining the ride also. After converging at Jollibee, we proceeded to the general meeting place in Fulton’s Cafe in Daang Hari. It is there that I will be overwhelmed to see a huge turnout of mtbikers in all “shapes and sizes” but one thing is for sure, they were all one when it comes to love for mountain biking. I was then thinking though, what the hell it is there in the trails of Daang-Hari that will generate this kind of attendance? Boy, there were over a hundred of us there that the peloton will have to be divided into four color-coded groups.
large turn-out at the Daang-Hari meet-up point
ayun ako o sa pinakadulo, rightmost.. lol!
After we left the assembly point, we proceeded to ride our way to the Pasong Buaya trail. Pasong Buaya is 5kms of rough road in between rice fields and a small stream. People were friendly, always ready with a “Good Morning” greeting as we pass by. At this point I have already gained enough confidence that I can take on the trail, if only the next one will be almost the same as this.
pitstop at the Tubuhan trail head
face off: ace pintura-loop
But then after exiting the trail and taking the pit stop at Paliparan, I started to feel tired with my legs getting heavier making it so difficult to pedal. I am hungry and worst, I could not find Pol. I will be finding out later that Pol got separated from the group after making a wrong turn on the way to Pasong Buaya. Together with Kuya Toto and Ace, we waited for Pol before proceeding to the Tubuhan trail. It was a good opportunity to take on a longer rest, gobble up one bar of cloud nine and rehydrate, giving me recharged legs for the next trail ride.
pitstop inside the trail
chika galore while taking care of a flat tire
The Paliparan trail or Tubuhan trail is to be our last trail ride before we take on our much needed lunch break. It is composed of super rough roads in between vast sugarcane (tubuhan) fields with minor but exciting uphill and downhill tracks. Oh and single tracks too. As I was taking on the trail, I just keep on repeating what Pol has been saying to me – that I should be concentrating on having good bike handling skills especially on the handle bars, engaging the right brakes at the right time and of course that I should be confident that I can do it. The trail was a very bumpy ride but I was so happy to be able to come out of it unscathed.
what lies ahead
in the midst of the sugarcane field
easy lang dito pero maalikabok
We had a great lunch at G4, an eatery in front of the New Bilibid Prisons in Muntinglupa. From there, we are to divide into smaller sub-groups with the others planning to extend their ride to Tagaytay or to take on the Muntilupa trail while the rest of us deciding to ride back home. It is already almost two o’clock in the afternoon and my leg muscles are showing signs of leg cramps already.
lunch at G4, infront of NBP Muntinlupa
sa kabilang mesa naman
CGX (back to camera), coolace and ace pintura
We went home taking on the Paranaque-Macapagal route. And similar to one who is running a full marathon, I am already giving-up at this point. The muscles at my upper knee is already painful because of the cramps making it hard for me to pedal. I have also been having abdominal cramps but I did not dare say this to our group of four. I was thinking that I was having mentally-induced cramps all over my body already. And worse, the feeling that I am subjecting the group to a slow ride under the heat of the sun did not help in the situation. I vouched the idea of hailing a taxi for me but nobody agreed. We just did short pitstops every now and then until we finally were able to arrive home by 5pm. I must say that I was able to finish it only because of the support and push that I was getting from my friends. It is a sweet accomplishment. Way too sweet.
I was able to do a “century-ride” for my first mtbike ride with PMTB covering a distance of 101-kms (Pol did 113.5kms) with the route Pandacan-Macapagal-Dongalo-Sucat-BF-Daang Hari-Pasong Buwaya-Paliparan-Tubuhan Trail-Natl Bilibid Prison, Muntinlupa-Dongalo-Macapagal-UN Ave and back to Pandacan.
I still have a lot to learn with regards to mtbike riding, more confidence to build within me to know that with patience and presence of mind, I can do it but one thing I gained in this experience is the nice and friendly people I have met and been with for the first time. And of course, this was one experience that took me and Pol’s patience to a test. I am just glad we both passed with flying colors.
Lastly, very huge and warm thank yous are in order for all the PMTB peeps who were there ever ready to assist the newbies in this ride (eeerrrrmmm, i am a newbie!). Thank you and a hug for my best pal Pol for being my “mtbiking coach” and for being patient as always (kahit sinungitan ko sya to the max!). Kuya Ike, i owe you lots.
joanna, me and april
with PMTB veteran Papi Rocky
with PMTB Newmaws
kuya toto, pol and allan
near the trail end
pa-exit na sa trail
Filed under: Event, mtbiking | Tagged: daang-hari, loop, mtbiking, pmtb | 6 Comments »