Sagada Mountain Biking

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mountain biking

Kiltepan November 18, 2006 Saturday

Riding Kiltepan

Perfect Weather
There has been rains in the last couple of days. Now that the sun is back, I get an invite by Steve to ride Kiltepan with Joey and friend. To squeeze-in the Saturday market chores, we met later at 9:30 am and headed out.

No-Granny
With the recent ride to Besao with the UP Baguio Mountaineers, I couldn't help notice the brisk pace Steve was leading us. He climbed Danom Lake from Poblacion non-stop. Not only that, upon reaching the top, he self-deprecatingly quipped, "...no granny" (this means he never used the smallest chainring - the lowest gear). Self-deprecating on the outside, "I kick ass!" on the inside. Ha-ha. He's earned it. I was amazed and inspired. Why not?

Back to Kiltepan. Challenged by the new "no granny" mantra, I tried going up on the 2nd chainring (no granny). Yes, it was do-able...and not even as tough as I thought. It was a mind-game the whole time. At that point, it felt like the climbing benchmark has been kicked-up a notch.

Mushrooms
Insatiated by the recent mushroom find at Bangaan ridge, I stopped a few times along the ride to pick up some mushrooms when a patch presented itself. I was later told that this orange variety is the tasty one.

Dialed In
We rode along the now-familiar tracks of Kiltepan. The whole time, I felt a bloat on my energy reservoir. I was a strong rider that morning. Moreover, confidence was high and my steering was dialed-in. When Joey showed me a techical nose-dive track, a pre-conditioning to any future attempt at Deadman's Plunge on Bangaan ridge, I went for it and cleaned it nicely. Empowered, I took to riding the more techical sections or going faster on the usual runs. Everything was working like well-oiled machinery.

Disneyland
With the recent grooming of longer trails, Kiltepan seems to have taken a back seat. However, as soon as I finished the long continuous single-track from the water tank on the summit all the way down to street level, I'm reminded all over again how much fun Kiltepan is. Never have I riden Kiltepan without my smile extending from ear to ear. Add to that the winding fast run on the way home and you have a totally fun ride.

Ending Thoughts
My Dad once described that on good days, the moment he aligns his sight on the cue ball with his pool stick, he already knows it's a sure ball. That's pretty much how I felt about this ride - totally in the zone. Not all rides are like that. This one's a treat and I'm relieved to know that I've finally weened myself from psychological trauma of my crash in Besao. I'm back.

--- TheLoneRider

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