Sagada Mountain Biking

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mountain biking

TheLoneRider on Deadman's Plunge March 18, 2007

Bangaan Ridge Ride

36 Talas RC2 Fox Fork
It was slated as a virgin ride for Joey's state-of-the-art 36 Talas RC2 Fox fork. Naturally, the ride defaulted to Bangaan Ridge. The ride packed enough uphill climbs to challenge any VO2 max and more importantly, it's home to the sweetest, technical single-track riding in Sagada. Getting off the ridge and into the village is single-track gravy...pure downhill hammering along extended winding tracks with drops, dives, ruts, pine needles...and yes, ravines left and right. As a tail-end bonus, there's the near-vertical log-shoot I fondly call Deadman's Plunge.

Bombs Away
A lot of barriers were broken on this particular ride. From the highest peak of the ridge, we normally portage our bikes going down a scary cliff-life descent on our way to reaching the fun section towards the village. The first time Steve said we were to carry our bikes down that precipice, I thought he was kidding. We joked that maybe...just maybe, Hans Rey might attempt to ride it down. On this ride, and to my disbelief (and Steve's), Josh and Joey started bombing down the full stretch of the descent...whoa! Are they nuts? They gotta be. I hope they have 9 lives. They came out of it unscathed...whew! If that had been a wipe-out...ugh...what a waste of a spankin' new Fox fork! (ha-ha).

Bangaan Crew

The Whole 9 Yards
Sunday ride is always good for me. Coming out of last night's pig-out from Log Cabin's dinner buffet, I was packed with energy. My steering was precise and I was just in the zone. Seeing what Josh and Joey (crazy dudes!) just did, I was pumped and stoked. There was one remaining section of the fun trail that I always bailed out of - a log lying alongside a deep rut, followed by 2 drops and then another drop on gnarly roots. This time I swallowed hard and pushed forward...timely feathering my brakes, putting my weight to my rear and following a line. I friggin' nailed it! a first! I wasn't about to celebrate yet. I rode the entire flow well into Deadman's Plunge. Whoa!!! Even though I've done this plunge a few times before, it still remains a daunting dive. At times, I totally bail out if the mind isn't there. But what a rush riding the full length of the trails in one fell swoop. It seemed like doing a poetic dance with rhythm and undulation in resonance with the living forest...a connection transcending the cerebral into the visceral. This beats Kiltepan's Disneyland...by a mile!

Ending Thoughts
The first time I rode Bangaan Ridge, I had to rest on the way up...I still do, but not as much and not as long. I remember having to dismount on a few racy sections. Some were genuinely difficult, some were easy but with disastrous consequences if you miscalculate, and some were serious head-games. I was equally petrified and stoked. Seeing how other riders have gone through it, the possibility was there. By cranking that extra pedal stroke and taking a chance, what used to be frightening is now pure fun. Nailing it didn't come overnight...it was earned with every climb and descent, each time, taking it a notch further. Bangaan Ridge rocks!

--- TheLoneRider

IMG_9650 IMG_9665 IMG_9667
IMG_9676 joey josh
March 18, 2007

Reader Comments:

Josh
(March 25, 2007) ...continue living the dream...roam, ride, rip...pura vida, bro!

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