Ride. Rest. Repeat.

Back on the Saddle Again

Vespinoy Highest Point 2012

It’s been a long time but finally I’ve got my fix in.

I’ve gone nearly a year between rides and my body felt every day of it. We left manila at around 3am to give us enough time to traverse the Magilas Trail shortcut, which bypasses the Tarlac roads which were under construction as well as the always traffic logged Pangasinan towns. The timing was pretty much spot on since we did need the extra time because of a major breakdown of one of our riders (which forced him and another one to stay behind and finish their own epic ride).

Breakfast was at a really busy fastfood joint along Marcos Highway right before the climb towards Baguio City via the famed Kennon Road. As expected Baguio City was a pain to pass through because of the ridiculous traffic jam in the city. I had always loved Baguio but the unchecked development of the city has destroyed the small, old city charm it once held. It’s just another Manila, with just slightly colder weather. It’s really a shame.

Once on the main highway (Halsema Highway) towards Mt. Data, Benguet, the weather became much cooler. As the big city gave way to small towns then to mountain passes and small vegetable plots beside the road, the rush of being on the road again came back. This is the life. Slippery roads and dirts passes notwithstanding, our small group reached our destination, Mt. Data Hotel around 12 hours after take off. Drinks, dinner and a well deserved rest followed.

Mt. Data Hotel

The following morning greeted us quite harshly. Having retired a tad early the night before we were up at the crack of dawn, just in time to feel the full effect of Mt. Data’s cold weather. The guard on duty unlocked the main door and a gust of freezing air blew in and almost made me want to go back in bed. He checked the thermostat on the wall and declared it was just 9 degrees Celsius. Hogwash, if that was 9 degrees then I’m Raoul and my friend is the King of Spain. It felt waaaaay cooler than 9. After several freezing moments of trying to start the bike and trying to get circulation going we finally were served breakfast. Hot Cocoa did the trick and everyone was back up fixing up their gear for our trip down the mountain.

Saying goodbye to the cold mountain air we made our way down towards La Union. The ride down was fun, there was less traffic since it was still early and the weather was fantastic. Passing through the same mountain passes without fog, the sight truly is one to behold. Too bad you could really appreciate it lest you want to be part of the scenery. After managing to find the main road which will lead us down to more twisties, hot weather and the beach, we spent the next hour running through the majestic turns of Naguilian Road. Hot asphalt finally met hot rubber and the speed picked up as we did good time on our way to Caba, La Union. As one of the riders said after the chase, “So after all the hardship of going up yesterday, this is the reward!”. Yes and what a reward it was. It felt good to run like that again.

Arriving at our destination, just a smidgen late of lunch time, we were advised that our pre arranged lunch of pure seafood was being prepared as we were led to our rooms. After all the post ride ceremonies the group got together and had lunch on the viewing deck which overlooked the sea. Great food, great company, great stories. This is why you ride. Everyone knew that the ride home is going to be long and tedious, but the 2 days we’ve had more than made up for that thought. It feels good to be back. We’re already planning a longer trip in the following months, I don’t think it’ll take a year before you hear from me again, that I promise you.

8 Responses to “Back on the Saddle Again”

  1. Abet Rana says:

    may singit pang komentaryo sa kalagayan ng Lungsod Baguio. Parang AM radio lang. LIKE! 🙂

  2. Bimbo says:

    Lam mo namang mejo me pagka aktibista ako eh haha

  3. Jong D. says:

    ride na ulit :-p

  4. Gestapo says:

    The North awaits us!

  5. pal punla says:

    nice ride account chang.
    nice photos too hehehe…

    let’s go na again!

  6. Ted says:

    Great write-up. I’m being attacked with pangs of nostalgia and pleasant memories as I have done that somewhat similar route many yrs ago with my wife/friend.

    On pic #2, I see an mp3 500 or Fuoco and another mp3 in the background. How many Piaggio mp3’s are there in Metro Mla? Just curious. Anyway, regards to my fellow scooterists and kabayans.

  7. Bimbo says:

    Hey Ted, the MP3 400 is mine and the red Fuoco 500 is owned by ex-VCOP (Vespa Club of the Philippines) president Uriel Protomartir, or Green Bug in the forum.

    As far as I know there are 2 active MP3 400s roaming the streets of Manila, mine and another one owned by a German expat. These units were brought in by 2211 Works in 2008 and were priced quite well that all the MP3s were sold in less than a week (2 400s and 3 250s).

    I have seen 3 or 4 other Fuocos on the road as well as 250s from the new distributor MotoItalia. These babies are now priced so high they hardly move from the showroom. Blame inflation for that. It would be nice to have all these scoots together in one get together. Hmmmmmm I might just arrange something like that……..**evil grin**

  8. Mitch Estella says:

    Hi Bimbo! i still have a dream to ride some day. Love reading your post and seeing those smiles! ride safe!

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