Sunday, July 24, 2016

Insane Adventure Ride to Malasya Brgy. Puray

Light trail.
Yes that was the plan all along. As our ragtag group is composed of many newbies and newbies-at-heart, I specifically requested for a light and easy trail track, for our riders to enjoy. Little did we know it was gonna be a baptism by fire for many.

Our venue was hosted and suggested by Mr. Roderick delos Reyes. He said that his group frequent Malasya and it’s an easy trail ride, needing only 2 hours one way, and another 2 for the return trip. Our group converged at Shell Pugon, the favourite riders’ meetup point for a weekend ride. We ate breakfast, said a prayer and off we went to meet with Roderick’s group in Rodriguez (formerly Montalban, if you didn’t get the memo) Rizal. There, we were treated to a hearty breakfast again by Roderick’s group and it was delicious as heck, a combination between the taste of Tagalog’s nilaga and tinola, needing no fish sauce to flavor up the soupy meal.

So, our stomachs were full to the brim, when we headed out to our destination, the mountainous regions of Rodriguez.
The first ascent was already steep and even treacherous. As we all were expecting a dried up, even a little muddy terrain, we didn’t expect it to be dangerously steep, and long! It was there that many bikes stalled midway to the apex of the first mountain, yes you read it right, FIRST mountain. There we witnessed the struggles of the riders and realized our adventurous error: we were ill-equipped to handle the situation! Lack of skills, wrong sprocket combinations and wrong tires, factors that made the mountain climbs very difficult. It wasn’t raining at that time but the road was a little muddy and slippery.

After a combined numerous crashes, stumbles and bike drops, with 2 or more so hours of punishing riding, we miraculous made it to the top of the last mountain, which overlooks the sleepy barrio of Puray. We rejoiced, sang kumbaya, and just for a minute enjoyed the scenic view of the majestic mountains around us, before going down the last descent to Sitio Malasya. It was still a dangerously steep road with deep ruts and there we reckoned we should get out as soon as possible before any rain could hamper our trek back home.

After the long road down, the last speed bump is a wide and knee-deep pristine river before reaching the townsfolk of Malasya. Of course, no river crossing is complete without me taking a refreshing dip in it.
The friends of Roderick rode ahead of us to begin cooking, so that when the main caravan arrives, we’d just feast. Unfortunately (or fortunately), they weren’t done cooking when we arrived and to while away the time, they led us to one of the best bathing place I’ve been in, since a dip in the lahar, the sparkly falls. We took our time, toop a dip and enjoyed and cool clean water. But something happened that made my hairs of the back stood; it rained. It was a little rain, but knowing enough, that little rain could be the difference wether we could ride back up to the civilization we were accustomed to, or stay the night in Sitio Malasya, where the people are friendly and the ambience peaceful, but no electricity. Yes it was a tempting deal, being the adventurous guys we all are, but reckoned we should head back home.

We ate good old home-cooked pork adobo and it was delectably yummy. No utensils, no problem. After a few chit chat, and instant 3-in-1 coffee, we geared up and pointed home. At this point, 2 motorcycles were already left behind because of worn clutch lining. After I passed the river, it was there that I noticed my clutched was giving up on me. Well, it was basically a relatively old bike and a battered bike at that, with 37,000+ kilometres, the linings were supposedly changed a long time ago. It caught up on me, and I had no choice but to leave my bike there and backride/walk the way back to town. All in all, 5 bikes lost lining and 4 of our bikes were left on the side of the street.

It was a very hard and tiring ascent. On the way back, I was able to hitch a ride with several riders. Hard rain poured and there our hellish ordeal really began. That’s the nice thing about trail riding, everybody helps everybody. We pushed each other’s bikes up, we took them out of the ruts, helped fallen riders get back up. It was a moment where I was proud I became a biker, witnessing the camaraderie of old and newly-met friends.
We were supposed to drop by at SM Fairview for Honda’s thanksgiving party scheduled at 5pm. But I knew we would never make it. Then it started to get dark, and we we’re just still a little more than halfway home. I was tired, so tired, that I slept in the middle of the muddy rut not minding all the dirt and flying and crawling critters and all the spooky sounds you hear when your alone in the mountain.

At about 9.30pm, I was told it was the last mountain and my spirits got a little upbeat. I was excited and ready to go home, and took all effort to climb the supposedly last hike. Until our last motorcycle, Roderick’s, lost the lining as well. Good thing, 2 riders returned for us, David Ponce and Joseph Torefiel and it was short of saying, it was a rescue. I was too weak to walk another climb, too thirsty and yes, I could eat a horse, in which the place runs aplenty of.
I rode with David up to the “7-11” of the mountain, a small dimly-lit hut, selling drinks and assortment of snacks, in the middle of nowhere. Unfortunately all the colas were gone but I got the last bottled water. It was the tastiest most satisfying water I drank my whole life! There also all the riders were patiently waiting for us, all beat, but with happy stories to tell.

As the “7-11” is still at the top of the last mountain, we had to do one final climb down, which was an hour’s walk. It was hard, like gravity pulling you down, but it wasn’t easy either. I silently screamed of joy when I saw the city lights from up above, after hours of walking in darkness.
Then, just then, I saw something in the dark that made my heart jumped up. It was almost an oasis, a nirvana. I saw asphalt! It seemed like a long time and I almost kissed it when I first stepped on it.

I did almost literally kissed it, unintentionally though. As I was backriding, we fell off the bike for one final time! Just when we were at the end of the ordeal! We laughed and shrugged it off.
Our last order of business was a late night dinner, pansit, pares and silog courtesy of Roderick. We said our goodbyes and each headed back home, tired, but safe and sound. I hitched with Mr. AJ Lim up to the office to get my other bike, the Honda CRF250L which I rode home. When I checked the time, it was 2:30am.
Our thanks goes to Ms. Jean Garcia of Honda for the wonderful jerseys, we painted the towns red! And to Spyder for the sponsored eyewear who will post the best photo of our adventure.

And a few more photos: