Friday, June 5, 2009

Manaoag, Pangasinan to Baguio via Kennon Road

The next day when we took pictures before leaving our house in Manaoag. My uncle who I discovered was into mountain biking joined us along with his friend. Wreachelle's bike which we thought was OK, was not OK pala and was starting to give us problems. It was my first time to reach La Union by bike so I had to take pictures. We met up with the other Pangasinan bikers, spearheaded by Chito aka Mangdugas/C5, at Caltex, Rosario La Union. To have met friends who you only exchanged ideas with online, also a fellow biker, is quite relieving and amazing at the same time. The hospitality of the people of the north is unparalleled as I've experienced over and over again. We were a bit behind schedule due to bike problems but Chito and the gang didn't complain, nor did they show off they were stronger or better equipped, the were just there to enjoy the bike ride with us.

Aside from Wifi's bike having problems, my gigicam also bonked out. :( I had no choice but to take shots using my cellphone, bummer!

Welcome to La Union!


Chito and Pangasinan bikers, Jon & Wifi

One biker left his bladder when were near the "Welcome to Benguet" arch. By the time he got back at Caltex, it was already gone tsk tsk. Two of the bikers bailed out, 1/4 of the way coz they still had appointments later this day. Chito and another biker accompanied us going to the Lion's head. 

For us mountain bikers, Kennon Road is a better alternative compared to Marcos hi-way as told by other bikers. First, its shorter, 2nd less bus pass take this route coz its narrower compared to Marcos Hi-way and lastly, half-way passed Lion's head its much steeper haha. Though some parts of Kennon are narrow, which keeps a lot of bus from passing here, there are still trucks and speeding vans/shuttles who speed their way up and down Kennon. 

Welcome to Benguet!


More of Kennon:



By the time we reached Lion's head it was mid afternoon already, Wreachelle's bike had major problems already. The group decided that Wifi take the jeep instead since its only 7-8 kms. uphill going to Baguio and also to prevent her bike from aggravating the problems. My uncle and his friend went up a bit passed Lion's head and later on went home back in Manaoag cause they also both had appointments. After 2-3 mins., just right after Wifi's jeep took off, came our biker friend from Baguio, Bakulaw (from on his van. Chito and Baks were insisting that we just ride the van. Jon and Me and Chito's friend were determined to bike to Baguio, Baks told us to take Loacan road instead of Kennon since the latter part of Kennon was congested due to construction which caused a major traffic jam. 

From Lion's head going to Baguio was pure uphill, and no recovery. Passing going to Loacan was much steeper but less vehicles pass it and half of the road was not passable due to road construction too. We even passed by the part of the downhill were Epoy Molina died. We reached Caltex Baguio (fronting Victory Liner) before dark and the Baguio bikers, Bakulaw & Eatsmudnrocks, welcomed us. Eatsmudnrocks aka Wrenolf even treated us for free Delmonte drinks, and paid for our first night at the Transient Inn, wow! Bakulaw treated us for dinner, and also food for the next 2 days.

At last! Lion's head!

Ashiong under the Lion's claw





More killer uphills at Loakan road.


Ashiong at Caltex Baguio, nice ride buddy!

Jon with Chito and Wrenolf (Eatsrocksnmud) at the back

We can't ask for more, the hospitality, friendship and generosity of the people up north are unparalleled. Baks, high-five pards! Wrenolf, thank you! Chito and company, salamat sir!

To our friends who asked on the status of our ride thank you guys! Tomorrow we will riding around Baguio. Whew!

Next: 2 days of Trail Riding at Baguio Semplang-University!

That's just our first night!





Jon knocked out by the Red Horse haha

Manila to Manaoag

Oblation aka Gene was the "promotor" of this ride. The original plan was to bike from QC to Manaoag. PMTB was planning a bike ride from Manila to Baguio, just like last year. Since Manaoag (Pangasinan), is just 67 kms. away from Baguio (approximately), I thought 'why not continue the ride to Baguio the next day. I also won't be able to join the Manila to Baguio bike ride scheduled on June 12-13, so I pushed thru with the ride to continue to Baguio. I also haven't biked around the trails in Baguio, the last time I biked in Burnham was when I was in 2nd grade. So there: visit relatives in Manaoag, meet biker friends in Pangasinan (who I've only met online) and bike with them going to Baguio, meet Baguio bikers and bike with them in and around Baguio.

I had the ride planned out and it was rescheduled twice. A few days before the scheduled ride, Gene bonked out and Mon was still tentative. I wasn't mad nor dissappointed, I was more of frustrated. So I posted the ride in pmtb and philmofo inviting anyone who could join me. Luckily, Jon and Wreachelle joined me. Bakulaw of philmofo ( invited us to Baguio and proposed that he be trailmaster if we ever decide to bike in Baguio, fortunately he also reserved our lodging in Baguio prior to our arrival. Happily we accepted the offer. Mangdugas/C5 aka Chito along with Pangasinan bikers also offered assistance in biking with us from Rosario, La Union to Baguio via Kennon Road.

So the plan was set, with 1 week notice only. I met Wifi (Wraych) near our house and Jon met us up in McDo MCU. We started pedalling around 5:30am, May 30, 2009. Again, I had no sleep the night before the ride (What's new? haha). We got lost around Guiguinto Bulacan and about 30 mins. was lost just so we could get back in McCarthur Malolos.

Calumpit Bulacan and Apalit Pampanga boundary

Chowking San Fernando, Pampanga

Still at San, Fernando

Capas Tarlac

It was cloudy most of the day, even before we met up with Jon it was already raining hard in Santolan corner Edsa. Then it rained hard again when we got to Capas and Concepcion Tarlac. We had lunch in Concepcion at Chowking Luisita Mall, had a break at Paniqui, Tarlac. The towns in Tarlac were quite looooooong! We biked via McArthur Hi-way and when you reach one town in Tarlac, let's say Moncada, after almost an hour of biking you can read the signs and you won't believe that you're still in Moncada. The roads also were getting narrow as we got near Pangasinan. The buses and other motorists have a hobby of overtaking in those areas and one beep means 'move aside'. We were obliged to bike on the side/shoulder.

Concepcion, Tarlac. Luisita Mall:


Pangasinan at last!

When we reached Urdaneta, it was raining hard again, we got lost and ended up in Mapandan. My uncle in Pangasinan said that we should have made a right fronting Urdaneta mall, but we instead went ahead and took Mapandan to Manaoag. We should have stopped and asked but we got too excited (or too hungry maybe), the rain got stronger when we were in Mapandan. Like my Polillo bike trip, we ended up biking at night again under the strong rain and dark roads of Pangasinan with scattered frogs (which Jon was trying to avoid haha). Wifi's bike was already having problems this time which also slowed us down.

We reached the Manaoag church around passed 7pm already and had no timed to take shots. We bought food and went straight to our house in Manaoag. My relatives in Pangasinan were surprised to see me visit them on bike and even got more surprised when I told them we came from Manila. The last time I had vacation in Manaoag was 2 years ago, I was very happy to see my lola, aunts, uncles and cousins.

To our friends who asked on the status of our ride thank you guys! Tomorrow we will be going to Baguio. 

Enjoying the Barbecue, Lechon Manok which we bought at Manaoag church

Relatives who thought I was doing Tour of Luzon haha.