Monday, February 6, 2017

Muntinlupa to Soloviento Ride


The one word that described our weekend biking trip to Caliraya.

Could be positive or negative but yeah, it was a motherfucking ride.

I'm pretending I'm writing for The Rolling Stones so I'm going to swear whenever I want to. Fuck that.

Anyway, back to the motherfucking ride.

Maoi being Maoi.

It was a smooth and rather uneventful ride for the first 60 or so kilometers from Muntinlupa until after Pagsanjan. Then this motherfucker of a climb appeared. All 6 kilometers of hugging mountains of it. Oh, Lumban.

Our plan of "biking" turned to "walking". Again. All 6 kilometers of it. Uphill. With our bikes. With our stomachs. With our egos nowhere to be found. We were so tired already from the 60 kilometers or so ride that we weren't able to pedal anymore.

Okay, we're newbies and couldn't do it but shit, the uphill was again (say it with me)...a motherfucker.

My officemate (okay, friend -- guys, we're only friends no matter what you see in the videos) Maoi biked all the way from BF Paranaque to our village in Muntinlupa so he had a 10 kilometer head start on me. Solid guy. Hard. Firm. Anyway.

The plan was to ride all the way to Caliraya, spend the night there then bike back to Manila the next day. We weren't crazy enough. We had to rest our legs. And our asses.

So following the Strava route of a co-Bikepacking Philippines Facebook Page member (thanks again sir JT!), we were off.

The route said to just go straight on the National Highway.

Just straight all the way. How can we fuck this up, right?

Nilagang Buto. Pfft.

Well, aside from Maoi forgetting his slippers and us eating Nilagang Buto (the attendant said it was spare ribs) in one of the many carinderias we passed by, we actually didn't fuck it up. Again, we didn't die! Thank you, Lord!

Follow the map!

Maoi being Maoi (he's old school -- well, because he's actually old), we actually didn't need the Strava route. He wrote landmarks on paper. Yup, just like how we used to do it before Waze and Google Maps. And we weren't afraid to ask people if we were going the right way (Filipinos are so helpful by nature -- most are anyway). People were curious and amazed at what we were doing when they found out where we came from. Some people probably thought we were idiots. We are.

After zooming past those colorful and smoke-belching jeepneys, cars-disguised-as-buses and millions of unruly motorcycles along the National Road, we were feeling pretty good about this trip.

Me, personally, I had my mind set on our destination already. I was excited to see Soloviento. My legs were more excited, I think. If they had buses for just body parts, my legs would have been first in line -- well, after my butt.

The ride was pretty smooth. We couldn't believe it almost didn't have uphill. It was all straight. As straight as Maoi and me. Yeah, okay, there were some "kembots" (again, like Maoi and myself).

Maoi enjoying his Yumburger courtesy of Smart Perks.

We stopped several times along the way for "map check" time and for BJ's (buko juice!) and even for some Jollibee care of my Smart Perks Loyalty Points (please text POINTS to 9800 if you're a Smart subscriber to know how many points you can use to get those Jollibee, Red Ribbon and Family Mart items, among others). Shameless plugging. Hi boss! Hehe.

So after munching on my Chickenjoy and Maoi on his Yumburger, we started pedaling again.

We left Muntinlupa around 6:30am and by the time we got past Los Banos, it was maybe around 9 or 9:30am already.

The very light saddle (from Larga) and manibela (from Pac Gear) bags were also very sturdy and didn't cause any problems. It was like we weren't carrying anything on our bikes aside from our balls (also not heavy, by the way). The bags also accommodated (yes, people, its double "m") all of our stuff for the overnight voyage, and then some.

The ride was also mostly against the wind so there was a bit of difficulty but it was manageable all in all.

It was also great seeing several bike shops along the way. For peace of mind, at least. Good thing we never needed to visit one although I had some issues with my front gears. No biggie though.

We also stopped and said our Thank You's at the Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Pagsanjan. Thank you again Lord for keeping us safe!

So the uphill was several kilometers after the church. We should have prayed harder.

The residents by the road who saw us had amusing smiles upon seeing us pushing our bikes uphill.

I wanted a glimmer of hope so everytime I saw a resident hanging their clothes or just sitting by the roadside (I love life in the province!), I would ask them if we were near the top already. All of them smiled or shook their heads.

"Nakow, malayong malayo pa kayo!"

Every. Single. Person.

I was wishing one of them would lie already.

Smiling but really cursing inside.

The climb itself took us around an hour-and-a-half to two hours. Motherfucker, right?

The thought of turning around and saying "Sayonara" to Soloviento probably came up even more than the times we pedalled the climb. But we were determined. And we already paid a downpayment. So we were determined. Haha.

The cool breeze and the chill vibe when we finally reached the top was very much appreciated. After the almost 6-kilometer fucker of an uphill was a maybe two kilometer downhill before it gets flat again.

Better Lake Than Never

When we finally got to Soloviento, after almost 9 hours of being on the road (six hours on our bikes), our legs were ready to  give in. If they had power to still kick someone, I figured it would kick myself.

After syncing Garmin with Strava.

Weird but Strava only registered around 70 kilometers. Maybe it paused during our pushing session? Good thing Garmin was there to record maybe a more accurate ride. All 82 kilometers of it.

The wind was so relaxing, I could have slept right then and there by the entrance of the resort. Instead, Maoi and I ate one whole pizza each!

I'll post a separate (and a more PG 13) entry about Soloviento soon.

Bingo! Soloviento's Guest Relations Officer.

For now, allow us to revel in the fact that we pushed (literally) ourselves to our present limits and more or less succeeded.

Happy Campers!

Oh, we just biked some 18 kilometers on our way back (we had to take revenge on the uphill by going downhill of course!) and rode a bus to Alabang. Egos packed safely in our saddle bags but knees, back and thighs safer.

We know this is just nothing compared to more seasoned bikers out there (taas kamay kame sa inyong lahat!) but this is an achievement in our books.

So here's to pushing (not literally anymore, hopefully) ourselves even more in the future!


That was one motherfucker of a bike ride.

Please watch the video of the Motherfucking Ride here:

Ride safe, everyone!

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