Ondoy Anniversary Ride (a.k.a marshmallow ride)

Trend Mt. Bikers @ Roxas Trail, Mt. Maarat San Mateo Rizal  (Sept 26, 2010)

It all started from an email thread

Last Sept. 26, 2010 was  the first year anniversary of the Typhoon Ondoy(Int’l. Name: Ketsana)  onslaught. Prolly the one of the worst tropical typhoon depression that hit the Philippines. (some regions that is). A group of Trend Micro employees decided to organize a fun ride in remembrance  of  the said catastrophe.

Yes, it was fun indeed. Mixed with a few other emotions caused about by cramping legs and exhausted lungs.

The bikers met at around 0600H at the foot of  Maarat,  Aling Tinas.  It was there that we decided which trail we will assault.  The original plan was basic trail via “da wall”  and timberland.

@ aling tinas

It was a great day to bike, the weather was sunny and everyone was excited to meet and greet “the siko”.  There were a handful of “newbie” bikers that joined and few returning ones.

I may be biased when I say that there is no other place like “da  wall”. It is for me the best place  to bike or train or hurt yourself. You may not however enjoy it by yourself. We recommend getting a companion who will take pictures and document the ordeal.

Anyways, everyone were working on their own pace. There were those more experienced who arrived at the “timberland” gate earlier. For some, this was perfect time to enjoy “goto”.  Which I also advise to regain the burned calories climbing up.

surprisingly, these so called” newbies” were quite strong and fit. I vividly remember my first attempt at da wall.  I was accompanied by two very experienced mountain bikers who inspired or tricked me into believing that I could do it. Well I did, but it took us around two hours and several pit stops and rest and chit chat and picture taking.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  A lot of times, riding to Timberland for the first time is like a walk in the park. Literally.  At one point the biker will have to dismount and walk. Put in mind that it’s a mountain so expect some elevation.

The gate to basic trail is narrow

Anyone who wish to enter Timberland going to the trails needs to present an ID. Unfortunately, not everyone brought one.   There were those who brought several ID’s with them.  We were ready with our alibis, in case the guard asked. “Renato Joves, Renato Joves and Renato Joves are three different persons. The ride was a celebration of people who had the same names. “

We got in, no questions asked. Sigh of relief.h

jay and andy at the trailhead

The dilemma

Basic trail or Roxas trail. The volunteer trail master and the sweeper discussed for a while.  the votes casted . Roxas trail it is.  Roxas trail showcases an exquisite downhill rush,  exciting single tracks, panoramic view of valleys, slippery mudfest and nature at its finest. Perfect for new comers and old timers.

Roxas ends at Araneta, the gate that leads to “Giant”. At this point, we were faced with the second dilemma. time was  0900h’sh. Our sweeper Andoy had to leave for a wedding. As he reiterated, not his but a friends. A couple more decided to go home as they’ve had too much fun already. Do we call it  a day or pedal more?

view from roxas nearing araneta

As it appeaared,  most of us were still not satisfied with the pain we’ve already inflicted ourselves. The quest continues, off we go to “giant”. Another five or so kilometer ascend where we shall eat lucky me pancit canton.

The carbo load

@ the “giant” store

This is the most fun part. A group of tired  mountain bikers on a table waiting for food to be served. Stories flowing like an endless stream. Wave after wave of funny experiences about biking, weird officemates, bike parts, and mostly crazy thoughts. Too bad we forgot to come up with a “check in” question. Prolly next time.

The Ride out

We decided to roll back down around eleven thirtyish. This time we used  the basic trail which  was a combination of muddy, rocky, and a  couple of not so steep slopes.  By noon,  a few of us was at the gate. The scorching heat of the sun lead me,  my bike buddies (Mike and Father) and Ryan  to head home and not wait for the rest to arrive.  Understand that we will have to pedal back home for another good ten to fifteen kilometers along side jeepneys and cars on route a national highway. I arrived home at around one or one thirty. Just in time for the afternoon nap.

Thank God everyone  got home safe.

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