Sunday April 14, 2024 EDT 
a nomad in search of...
HOME PAGE About TheLoneRider Contact TheLoneRider Web      
Cambodia Canada France Hong Kong India Indonesia Italy Laos Malaysia Monaco Myanmar Nepal Philippines Singapore Switzerland Thailand Vietnam USA
Astral Projection Caving Fitness Freediving Kayaking Meditation Mountain Biking Mountaineering Rafting Rock Climbing Scuba Diving Snowboarding Surfing Traveling Yoga
Book Review Gear Review Hotel Review Movie Review Show Review Restaurant Review
Art Chilling Out Cool Sites Community Counter Culture Food Odyssey best food recipes Lucid Thoughts Peoplescape Politics Print Media Quantum Mechanics Random Lives Showbiz Snapshot Slice of Life Thought Bubble Teaching Verbatim Wealth Building
SEO Services Web Design Services Advertising Here

mountain biking

Riding Taal Lake by Chance Oct 18, 2009

Riding Taal Lake by Chance

A La Eh Mountain Bike Race
I stumbled upon a race event called A La Eh Mountain Bike Race by a Batangas-based mtb group called Team Ganit. I didn't know anyone from that side of Luzon but wanted to check out the scene. I offered to cover the race for this site and Andres, the organizer,!

Lubing It
Saturday night, instead of parying with the climbing crew at Power Up for the gym's anniversary, I opted to take it easy in preparation for the race. Lubing the bike brought back fond memories of my race-days back in Canada.

Open Road to Batangas
On Sunday morning, I was off to Batangas for the 1.5 hour bus trip. It used to be a pain going to Batangas back in the day...but now, with paved roads, new highways and comfortable coach buses, it's a breeze.

A DUH Moment
At the race site, while I was talking to Ariel of the San Jose MTB Club, I was informed that the race was on the 25th...not the 18th! HUUUWAT? I misssed it by a week? It was embarrassing to say the least. DUH! I know...there's no medicine for such oversight. Things changed when they said I could take the road straight up and I'll be going down about 7 kms until I hit Taal Lake. Really? Cool!

Lomi, Bulalo, atbp.
No longer pumped by the spectre of an adrenaline gush, I just took it easy, riding slow and leisurely, minding the views and taking advantage of food offerings Batangas is known for...lomi, bread, bulalo. Riding to the lake was a downhill run, some road sections more zig-zag than others. I couldn't help it...I hammered down and banked on tight turns hoping my tires would hold their grip...whoa! I loved it.

Before I knew it, I was at Balete...the lakeside town of Taal Lake. It was quaint, rural and friendly. Curious, I followed the coastal road passing through a few towns. I didn't really know where I was, but it was great just exploring the coastal towns and watching locals catch fish by the breakwater. This is really the fun part...just riding and not knowing where you are, or where you're headed....just riding, admiring the local scene, open to any surprise along the way. Balete, not exactly a tourist mecca like Tagaytay, charges much lower for a boat ride to the volcano...P350.

All Uphill
The ride back to the main highway was all uphill...payback time. With about 15 lbs of weight on my backpack, it was a butt issue after a while, but it was all good. Going slower this time, I noticed a few fortress-like gates that seemed like private farms by landed locals...wonder what goes on behind those walls.

Sinking on the Race Course
Reaching the race site again, which is really a housing subdivision site where the roads will be, I finally met Andres and some members of Team Ganit. We took a once-over on the race course. While the trails were road-wide and only 2-km short, it was rolling with the soil spongy and damp on some sections. It would prove challenging even to intermediate riders. Think: riding on semi sand. There was a constant cool breeze coming from the lake which made for a funner ride.

Team Ganit
Casual chat with Andres revealed the origins of the team name, their vision for the mtb communities within the adjacent towns and future projects with local government. With that, I was off on my saddle again for the next bus to Manila.

Ending Thoughts
This episode gave me a chance to do something I've always wanted to do but never really took seriously...riding the rural backroads, losing myself to forks on the road and just riding, not knowing where the road takes me. The journey promises one of spontaneity, surprises, and discovery. Now, ride ideas come to mind...maybe I can just load my bike on any provincial bus, get off at any point that looks interesting and ride my bike from that point, not knowing where I end up. Cool! Really...totally cool!

Additionally, it's been a while since I last strayed into a new mtb crew to check out their scene. One great thing about mountain biking is, it's not territorial. Any bike crew anywhere in the country is a refuge to anyone on a saddle...for trail talk, for a chain tool or an air pump, mountain biking is just one long chain with all its riders as links, transcending dialect or bike brand.

I'm grateful to Andres and Team Ganit for their Batangas-style hospitality, and to the San Jose MTB Club for helping out. I look forward to joining you guys on the trail at some point. When I lose myself in Batangas, I know you guys are just around the bend. Ala eh!

--- TheLoneRider

Comments? Email

Reader Comments:

Andres (Team Ganit)
(Nov 13, 2009) We hope that you could go back here and ride again. You're most welcome !! Salamat ulit..

»» next story: Serving at Vipassana Meditation Course
»» next Mountain Biking story: Binondo Tour on Folding Bikes via LRT

»» back to Mountain Biking
»» back to Homepage

PA180280 PA180288 PA180290 PA180291
PA180292 PA180293 PA180296 PA180304
PA180305 PA180307 PA180308 PA180309
PA180313 PA180315 PA180316 PA180320
PA180322 PA180325 PA180327 PA180328
PA180333 PA180334 PA180335 PA180336
PA180337 PA180339 PA180340 PA180344
PA180345 PA180348 PA180349 PA180352

search engine optimization

Padyak Project

Pedala Bike Messengers