6-hr Tour de Bulacan via Fireroads

9 06 2008

tour-de-bulacan

Remember my last story about my biking adventure in Tagaytay? Well, it turned out to be a great experience so I took another challenge. I texted the whole barangay as soon as I have reached the objective – Biak na Bato, Bulacan having a distance of 80km long from Valenzuela City.

03:00 AM. Oh no! Time to get up! And I have not rested my mind for even a minute or two. I came home almost 12am from a tree planting in Talamitam, Bulacan. And yet, there I was. No sleep. I kept on moving from one side to another. I was waiting for the alarm clock to strike 3AM. I didn’t want to be late for the bike appointment. I have not met any member of Karbike, the local biking community in Valenzuela. And it would be a big turn off if I will be late for the 4am rendezvous. I started fixing myself and started preparing Fort, the bike.

04:30AM. Peddling started from the MacArthur highway. All men were ready for the challenge. We were told to maintain a 20km/h speed. As a guest, I was second to the last biker. I expected this bike trail management since it would not be good to see me not having the same look as they were. Twenty three of them were all wearing the same jersey with black and red print and a Fox logo in front.

07:00AM. After almost three hours of peddling from Valenzuela, breakfast was served. Believe it or not! There was tuna sandwich sponsored by Felix, the Kaban ng Manaog. In addition, we also had overflowing cold water and iced tea, sponsored by Bossing Bebot, the bike trail master and owner of sandsworld business. I felt relieved when Bossing, stopped for a rest and told the whole flock to stop as well and declared “Breakfast”! Voila! The sandwich that I have eaten gave miracles to me. I got back my strength and peddled as much as I could. There was even one stretch that I didn’t notice I was leading the whole flock at more than 30km/h. My cateye odometer was accurate since I could no longer catch the revolution of my pedal. I then took the opportunity to stretch my right leg. Then the left leg followed. I told myself, “Hey girl, you are not supposed to be here, so go back to your bike trail position”. And so I did. I learned from this leg that biking is not about winning. Instead, it is about knowing how far you can go while enduring and enjoying the experience.

After two hours more, I was peddling with one of the sons of the bike trail master, Maverick. Then, suddenly, two other bikers went ahead of us and told us to stop. Maurice, the other son and Dominic, the seasoned mountaineer of Karbike also had to join the rest stop. They said that we should all stop once again since the gap between bikers has become tremendously stretched. Then I grasped the idea that my friend Bucopie was way ahead of us. In fact, he was all alone peddling in his Orange jersey and Conquer sleepers. So I texted him and said “Stop! You are dead! You will be post biked”. Meaning, he will be scolded to the max once we all reach the final destination. And the worst of all, there will never be a second time for both of us to join Karbike. All the while Bucopie thought that the brothers Maverick and Maurice were behind him.

10:30AM. The pressure that I might be a burden for all of them since they were all men bikers was already an agony. Yet, few hours before the final stop, I was peddling at 7km/h in a muddy road under construction just to avoid a muddy splash on my shirt. I was actually a nuisance to the men at work with their mini bulldozers on duty. Afterwards, we hit an off-road. This was the real daring part. I was peddling under a scourging sun and my physical exertion was put to a test. My forelegs wanted to cramp but I only ignored them. I kept on saying “Effort! Effort! Effort!”, with a smile. Then I told Fort that it was alright to have a hardtail. Together we could do it. We were a team. Euphoria dawned at me when we all reached the goal, Biak na Bato. Alvin, Karbike President and a franchisee of a petroleum company was busy documenting the whole experience. He was using his camera phone. Afterwards, lunch was served. This time, the lunch was sponsored by Boy, an owner of the 7 hectare mango farm where I had siesta in my hammock. We all had fun mango picking. Maverick and I even went up to a tree just to realize that all mangoes were all eaten up by birds.

During the socials, one of the bikers casually asked me “Where do you get your strength in peddling? We wanted to stop but you were still peddling. It seemed that pressing the brakes for you was a big mistake. So we still went on because it would be shameful if we will be outsmarted by a woman!”. Then, I told him instinctively that biking has nothing to do with gender. I just peddled since I know what my goal was. Deep inside my overall mantra was “Focus! Focus! Focus!” instead of “Effort! Effort! Effort!”.

11 May 2008, photos using Sony Ericsson 2 megapixel and photos of Bucopie with his Olympus camera.

*Valenzuela city is the northern gateway of Metro Manila. Bulacan province on the other hand is in the western and northern portion of the city. Moreover, Biak na Bato National Park in San Miguel, Bulacan was the mountain hideout of the revolutionary forces during the Spanish regime. Hence, we saw the marker where the Malolos Constitution was signed by Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo and Pedro Paterno for the renowned Biak-na-Bato Republic. We also had photo opt of the rock formations, hanging bridges and staircases connecting rivers and cases. hB2

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