Oct 19, 2012
Bike + Hike = Build a School
I got an invite from Outback Greg to participate in his Tribal Adventure's fund raising project to help build a school in Cheey, Busuanga, Palawan. The event would consist of a mountain bike ride, hiking and some kayaking. Of course I was interested, but after just arriving Cebu after touring Dumaguete and Manila, I thought I'd hang my hat for a while. But then Cebu Pacific came up with a seat sale for Coron. That just about clinched it.
Upon arrival in Busuanga, I was picked-up by Outback Greg of Tribal Adventures and introduced to 2 other guests, Darcy and Dave, from his Boracay enterprise. Soon, a bike mechanic from Manila arrived. Apparently, Greg purchased 5 new additional mountain bikes for the charity ride the following day - Bike+Hike=Build a School. This sums up the bikes to about 10 with a kick-ass Giant Trance full-suspension on top of the food chain. I picked up one of the brand new bikes, a 16" Bianchi knock-off. There were better-fitting bikes but I wanted to hammer down on a squeaky clean new bike - big mistake.
We took on the brutal traverse from Salvacion on the western coast, cross the mountain all the way to Cheey on the eastern coast. Outback Greg and I tried this twice in December but failed - we got horribly lost. This time however, the trails have been marked - it was simply connecting the dots.
The Trail System
We had to go over roots, rocks, rivers, drops, portaging the bike if it gets too steep, or bomb down fast descents under a canopy or bamboo forest or under clear bright skies. This is the kind of ride you'd wish you were on full suspension with a comfy chamois padding on the Spandex.
Too Old to Rock en Roll, Too Young to Die
Just a few minutes into the ride, I already noticed how foolish my choice for an ill-fitting bike was - nothing wrong with the bike, the size was just too small for me. The cockpit was cramped and I felt I was too in-front of the bike which wreaked havoc on my body english and braking. Couple that with my being too long out of the saddle (10 months!) and I was in for sure punishment. I realized that self-image was not necessarily the reality. I thought I could blaze-on like I did back in Canada during my mtb racing days. I managed to pace with the pack, but with difficulty. What used to be fairly challenging proved to be extra-challenging now. By the end of the ride in Cheey, I was already cramping and couldn't even ride back to Camp Calauit - good thing the 4X4 was there.
We ended up at the high school in Cheey were I got a glimpse of the classrooms and talked to some of the students. It was good for me - at least I can attach faces and names to the charity bike ride the following day. I already had a better appreciation of what the fund-raising was all about.
The ride itself was brutal and sweetly familiar - call it bitter sweet. I got a doze of reality check when my fitness was put to the test. I made the grade but barely. My butt hurt for days, I didn't even want to look at a mountain bike after that. This ride also affirmed my resolve not to settle for less than the ideal bike - ideal fit, ideal parts for the job and yes, full suspension for that barca-lounger comfort. I'll keep those in mind when I finally get the moola to make a purchase. Mountain biking continues to provide that unpredictability and excitement.
|Location:||National Highway, Bancuang, Coron, Palawan, Philippines 5316
|Mobile:||Outback Greg +(63)917.819.3049
|Coconut Insider:||Tribal Adventures
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Busuanga, Palawan, Philippines
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- Traveling with Cheng Oct 31-Nov 8, 2016
- Tribal Adventures in Coron with Outback Greg Jan 13-17, 2016
- Chillingout in Coron Town, Busuanga Oct 23-29, 2012
- Camp Life in Camp Calauit Oct 18-23, 2012
- Mountain Biking Fund Raising Event in Cheey, Busuanga Oct 20, 2012
- Salvacion-Cheey Traverse Oct 19, 2012
- Into The Black Jan 31, 2012
- Blurring the Lines of Work and Play Jan 30, 2012
- Free-Diving Calumbuyan Reef, Coral Garden and Lusong Gunboat Jan 14, 2012
- Exploring Dive Link Resort Jan 13, 2012
- Coron Island Tour - Malcapuya, Banana and Bulog Islands Jan 10, 2012
- Wreck Diving in Coron with Rocksteady Dive Center Jan 8, 2012
- Diving Barracuda Lake and Kogyo Maru Jan 4, 2012
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- Coron Ultimate Island Tour by Calamianes Expeditions Ecotours Dec 24, 2011
- Life's a Beach at Camp Calauit Dec 17-31, 2011
- Traversing the Northern Coast of Busuanga Island Dec 14-16, 2011
- Skin Diving and Beach Camping at Calumbuyan Island Mar 10-12, 2010
- Sea Kayaking, Beach Camping and Skin Diving with Outback Greg on his Tribal Adventures Tour Mar 9-14, 2010
- Coron Skin Diving Mar 30, 2008
- Coron Kayaking Mar 31, 2008
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