That’s the message I got from John. I verified if he was thinking of pedaling all the way to Tagaytay. He said yes. So I started wondering what the heck he has eaten.
I have my doubts as he has been saying how much he hates uphill climbs (as with any newcomer to biking), then this sudden invitation.
I asked for details like his chosen route, take-off time, other attendees, etc. Turns out it was just me and him.
After non-stop texting the night before until the morning of the ride we finally settled on an afternoon ride. We didn’t really have a choice. But the original plan of pedaling from Daang Hari to Tagaytay was scrapped. The macho bravado faded (haha, just kidding, John!) and he decided to just bring a car to Sta. Rosa and ride from there.
Lights were packed in pockets and bags as I knew we’d be riding in the dark later on.
Up until leaving the parking lot of Nuvali we were still undecided if we should just ride the Sta. Rosa trails or do the Reverse Palace route. Solution? A one-hit bato-bato-pick (Paper, Rock, Scissors) while pedaling to decide where we’ll ride.
“Kung ikaw manalo, saan tayo?” (“If you win, where are we riding?”) I asked John.
“EWAN KO!” (“I DON’T KNOW!”) John answered, exasperated but laughing.
“Kung ikaw, Sta. Rosa. Ako Reverse Palace,” (“If you win we’ll ride Sta. Rosa. If I win we’ll do Reverse Palace,”) I said.
My scissors beat the crap out of John’s paper.
Off we go, wondering what John’s reaction to the climbs will be. I found out before too long as we were starting the climb going to the Marcos Mansion.
“Put***ina ka! Kala ko ba sabi mo wala masyadong ahon?!” (“Son of a b**ch! I thought you said there won’t be much climbs?!”) I heard John shouting as I keep my pace steady during the very first (and one of two) steep climbs. I smile at the irony — HE wanted to pedal all the way UP to Tagaytay, then he doesn’t want to encounter uphill climbs? I just had to laugh.
Midway John started experiencing back pains. This slowed him down, and the fact it was his first time to climb this route. All that plus the late afternoon start nighttime has fallen before reaching the final and second steep climb (landslides covered the road but sections were already cleared for a one-vehicle track).
At a recovery point just before starting the final climb I stopped to wait for John and to start installing my lights. As I was waiting in front of a makeshift house the owner offered me the langka (jackfruit) he was eating. Not taking no for an answer I accepted and started eating a few bits. When John finally caught up I offered the langka but he declined. When we were ready to continue I returned the rest of the langka and we turned on our lights.
We reached the small store at the top around 7:00 P.M.
We started discussing and debating on our route going down as we rested. Will we pass via the route to Aling Pina’s or back track and go down the Reverse Palace route? The latter will be faster and safer for us.
John’s original plan of meeting up with his girlfriend Karla in Tagaytay for dinner was taken out of our options as it was too far to ride at that time.
Naturally, we opted for the safest and quickest route: go back down where we climbed.
Not much of a rush but going down this route at night was fun. Just stay alert for dogs, humans loitering, parked vehicles, and motorcycles. Speed control is necessary, too, so as not to startle the locals too much. If they get too annoyed it might not be safe for future bikers to ply this route at night.Did you like this story? Buy me a coffee!
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