Of Travel and Biking: My First (Epic) Ride

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Of Travel and Biking

After years of dreaming of having a bike, my dream came to reality. I finally got my own, thanks to a very good friend, fellow lakwatsero and now my bike buddy slash biking mentor Kenneth Paulino of Las Piñas.

It is a Trek 4300 series previously owned by a friend of Harley, Ken’s friend and orgmate at Las Piñas Environmental Development Awareness League (LPedal). An eye candy green mountain bike which I got in a real good deal. Still in great condition and look, I felt our connection the first time I saw it. I know at once that the bike is for me. We were meant to be 🙂

Of Travel and Biking
My new best friend, help me give him a name 🙂

Excitement enveloped me as I saw my new best friend so I asked Ken for a test ride around Las Piñas and Parañaque the night before my first official ride to Tagaytay, which was an epic one (well for newbie like me) for mountain biking community of Metro Manila. A very challenging Las Piñas-Tagaytay-Manila route via Daang Hari-Molino-Paliparan-Silang in Cavite.

We started from Las Piñas by 8 o’clock in the morning, Sunday, November 13th, under an overcast weather which we found very conducive for biking. Before noon we were already in Silang, Cavite having lunch at Aling Pina’s Eatery, a favorite stopover (or destination) for mountain bikers. After our meal and short rest, we decided to proceed to Tagaytay which is approximately six kilometers away of uphill slopes.

Of Travel and Biking
With Aling Pina and Ken at Aling Pina’s Eatery in Silang, a favorite stop for mountain bikers

In less than an hour from Silang we made it to Tagaytay, with the last stretch being around 150 meters of 40 degrees slope. It was a very tiring yet fulfilling moment. Never did I imagine that I would or could ever do such, but I did and I am very proud.

The cool breeze of the highland sent a relaxing aura down to my joints, I was tired but I could take more. We were thankful that the weather was very nice to us, it wasn’t raining and not sunny, a big boost for a first time biker like me. The sun hid behind the clouds the entire day, Taal Volcano too as we arrived. But as if a grand welcome, the cloud slowly moved away from the volcano and Taal showed up in all its glory in less than half-an-hour. Before we head back home, the striking backdrop of the smallest active volcano in the world was already in display, as if all the universe conspired and made that day perfect for biking.

Of Travel and Biking
The fog cleared in half-an-hour and before we leave Taal showed up in all its glory 🙂

The ride back from Tagaytay was supposed to be a joy ride with long stretches of downhill and the cool breeze of the highland. But accidents happen in biking, and a newbie like me is vulnerable to such. Everything happened so fast in the steep downhill slope and a sharp blind curve. My fast moving bike hit a concrete block and I was thrown with great force to a pineapple farm.

When all the dust settled, I had a numb and deeply wounded left knee and scratches all over my arms, legs and chest. Some concerned bypassers stopped and asked if I was okey. I guess I was so I nodded in affirmation albeit I was a bit concerned with the badly bleeding wound on my knee.

Of Travel and Biking
Accidents do happen.

In difficult times like this that Good Samaritans show up. Here it was Kuya Eli Creus and his family. They opened their home for us and provided me first aid kit to nurse my wounds. Kuya Eli helped made the mood lighter with his stories while I was attending to my injuries and while Ken was fixing my bike. They made sure that everything was okay before allowing us to leave and we were very touched by their kindness.

Of Travel and Biking
With the good Samaritan Kuya Eli 🙂 Thanks po!

When we felt that we were good to go, we said our thanks and goodbyes with a promise that we will return one day.

Though my bike also suffered a bad fate – a busted interior, dent on the wheel set and bent fork (that I had to replace), my newly acquired bike still managed the 49 kilometers ride back home. Despite everything, I was still lucky, my bike could still be used and I incurred no serious injury.

It was a total of 10 hours (including all the stops) of epic mountain biking, 103 kilometers from Las Piñas to Tagaytay and back to Manila. My very first ride, where every uphill is a test of strength, will and endurance; and every down slope is a reward.

Of Travel and Biking
Las Piñas to Tagaytay Junction, 45.43 kilometers.

For a newbie in biking, I wanted to believe that I fared well on my first ride despite the accident. I will take Kenneth’s word that I did good since he is my mentor 😛 Thanks Padi!

It is still a long or perhaps an endless road for me in mountain biking, but this early I already feel very much happy. I can travel the cheapest, healthy and environment friendly way with my new friends, new group and new journeys. The horizon looks bright and promising, and my dream of biking the entire Philippines has just started with this small leap. Thanks Ken for all the help and words of encouragement and to the rest of LPedal for opening your door to me (even if I am not from Las Piñas :P), you guys really rock!

Crank and roll brothers! Ride on!

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31 thoughts on “Of Travel and Biking: My First (Epic) Ride

  1. I am planning to go all the way to tagaytay using my folding bike. Is that possible? it has a front derailleur, 7 gears, brakes still working.
    I am open to advice. Thanks.

  2. I felt the same with you lakwatsero, I am a newbie in mountain biking and also want to share my first accident, It was happen when i join in NUVALI DIRTH WEEK END 2012 Cross Country Event, When my front wheel was busted After the first trail in Cross Country When i hit the gutter, I did not notice that because when i felt my bike become too heavy i just think that its because of the mud that stock on my wheel but the truth is my front wheel already touch the fork, After around 50m on the road me and my bike is arguing, I want to go left but my bike wanted to go on the right and after that I fell down on my bike somewhere down the road and suddenly my chest scrape the cement while my left hand twisted and my right hand stretch like flying super man. Thanks be to god because nothing seriously bad happen to me. I just ask my father to HILOT my left arm and its now OK.

  3. ouch. My first accident after 6 months of biking was when i hit a pickup truck that crossed my path and suddenly stopped. I dented its tail part but nothing happened to my bike. Ü i never leave the house without a helmet on.

    1. I felt the same with you lakwatsero, I am a newbie in mountain biking and also want to share my first accident, It was happen when i join in NUVALI DIRTH WEEK END 2012 Cross Country Event, When my front wheel was busted After the first trail in Cross Country When i hit the gutter, I did not notice that because when i felt my bike become too heavy i just think that its because of the mud that stock on my wheel but the truth is my front wheel already touch the fork, After around 50m on the road me and my bike is arguing, I want to go left but my bike wanted to go on the right and after that I fell down on my bike somewhere down the road and suddenly my chest scrape the cement while my left hand twisted and my right hand stretch like flying super man. Thanks be to god because nothing seriously bad happen to me. I just ask my father to HILOT my left arm and its now OK.

  4. What kind of surfaces were you riding on? Mostly paved roads with cars, or dirt roads, or any single track? Thanks for sharing your story.

  5. naks ako rin, i will never forget my first ever ride sa bike sa kalsada, hahaha! 2nd year college na ako natuto magbike at sobrang naaliw ako, yung bike was assembled by my younger brother, tapos wala na ngayon kaya gusto ko bumili na rin…

  6. Pangarap ko talaga mkarating nang malayo nang ngbabike lang. Naisip ko nga minsan nagbike hanggang pagudpud eh haha ano kaya feeling nun… Sana makasama rin ako sa inyo! 😀

    1. Next year ha! Pag ipunan na yan, hehe! Masaya magbike! Sakto puro taga south kayo ni Jerome, tapos mga taga south din ang group ko (Las Pinas), pwede kayo sumali dun 🙂 Masaya magbike pag marami tapos mga epic destinations 🙂

    1. Hehe! Thanks kapatid! Sya nga pala, kasa-kasama ko si Edwin ng Black Pencil magbike, doon ako sa grupo nila napasama eh 🙂 Balak namin magbike papuntang Cordillera at kung saan saan pa sa Pinas, sama ka!!!! See you soon Ga-el 🙂

  7. Okay, your bike should be named “Lagawan” which means lakwatsero in Hiligaynon, dialect of Iloilo and Negros Occidental.

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