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mountain biking

Seedling Ride with Ondabag February 12, 2006 Sunday

Ondabag Ride to Baras, Rizal

It was a weekend of choices: riding with Eboy's Bataan Killer Loop, riding with Dip and Kram to Lucena, Quezon or joining the Ondabag riders to Baras, Rizal. My body's need to recover that Saturday from Friday's yoga and rope skipping made it academic to choose the Sunday ride with the Ondabag guys.

Destination: Baras, Rizal
The abbreviated ride the last time due to the Pacquio fight was made up by the long-haul ride from Marikina to Cogeo to Boso Boso, Paenaan and finally to Seedling, in Baras, Rizal. It was mostly along paved roads but the final leg took us to some sweet technical singletrack with deeply gutted ruts. This was made possible by a military map available to the group. It pointed out footpaths, dirt passages and other topographical features not available in commercially bought maps.

Sari-sari Store Base Camp
Our basecamp was a mundane sari-sari store that accomodated all our bikes and gave us the use of a nipa hut where lunch was served. From there, we left our packs and headed out to the single-track area and the bathing pool area.

Pine Trees
We went to a section that climbed up and took us to a pine tree area, reminiscent of Baguio. The climb was steep even our grannies didn't do it for us. We chilled there for a while shooting the breeze and exchanging derailleur talks. Since most of our time together was on the saddle cranking out mileage from the road, this was as good as it gets to bonding. The extended downhill ride from there was extra sweet - single-track, tall gear, ruts and a few minor drops.

The Pool
We went to a different area with a landscaped terrain. It seemed bizarre that a manicured structure would just emanate from such an isolated place. It boasted of a natural pool that was further refined by its sculpted rock formation. After a gruelling ride in the heat, nothing comes better than a dip in cold mountain stream.

The Long And Lonely Road
On the way back, instead of retracing our steps, we took a detour that gave us more rough roads and trails. We came upon a mined pit full of water that served as another stop. Later, we found ourselves pedalling on a continuous upgrade through a long and lonely road that provided neither shade nor scene. It was a wide gravely road we shared with trucks hauling rocks from the mining pit. It didn't seem like we were in a group but individuals that have become sparsely distanced from the other and now sucked into the inner workings of our minds as we marinated in the heat and dust of that stretch. That's the kind of isolation this road gave me.

When we finally reached the main road, it was though we came out from another world.

Ending Thoughts
This ride had a few dimensions going for it - the varied terrain, lunching together by the nipa hut, the heat and the distance covered, more bike talks, etc. It's also my 2nd ride with them and I was getting to acclimatize a bit more this time. These guys know how to ride and they know how to have fun. I wonder what's in store for the next ride. I like surprises.

--- TheLoneRider

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