August 16, 2015
Hot on the heels of last week’s metric century is this bike ride to Tagaytay City. This is another special ride for me because it’s my first imperial century!
I was down with the sickness a couple of days before the ride (I biked in the rain), but on the morning itself, I was feeling a bit better and most of all, I was feeling determined.
Now I know my mother won’t let me ride my bike since I was still recovering, so I told her that I would only be biking to MoA, a solid 20km away from our place. She was already telling me not to go, but I finally persuaded her to let me. (Sorry Mama)
After discovering a way towards MoA via BGC and Makati, I waited at the famous Jetti Gas Station, where bike riders flock together and ogle at bike paraphernalia being sold by vendors.
We passed through the cities of Las Piñas, Parañaque, Imus, Bacoor, Dasmariñas, and Silang.
The long road to Tagaytay is 60km of steady ascents and rolling hills. It was quite pleasant to not be constantly grinding uphill like my Daranak ride. The only problem was the intense heat bearing down on us, which also made us constantly stop for water every now and then. The whole time I was craving for buko juice and while the way was paved with buko stores, they only had fresh buko juice, not the iced ones.
Tagaytay welcomed us with a cool breeze and that gave us a fresh surge of energy. We took some pictures at Skyranch, arguably the most famous theme park in Tagaytay (also probably the only theme park in Tagaytay).
After a brief photoshoot, we hustled down to Bulalo Point, a place recommended by my friend for their (guess what) Bulalo… and Sisig.
It was here that I texted my mom that I was in Tagaytay, she didn’t get mad and was just surprised that I had already ridden very far. I assured her I was feeling fine and will be home in time for Sunday mass. (Sorry Mama)
We angrily ate everything placed in front of us and rested our weary legs. The bulalo was good and the broth was very tasty. The sisig was just the right amount of spicy and also very crunchy. Overall, it was a very pleasant experience.
Now my favorite part of the journey was the way back. This is because you spend the whole journey to Tagaytay climbing, and according to the laws of gravity, what goes up must come down. So most of the ride back to Manila was downhill! I coasted most of the time, barely pedaling and just avoiding the traffic and keeping my hands on the brakes.
On the long road down, I was able to pedal hard and reach the highest gears of my roadbike. It was a very adrenaline-pumping experience and according to Strava, I was reaching speeds of up to 60km/h.
However, it wasn’t all fun. One of our riders got hit by a swerving vehicle and had to be taken to a hospital for an x-ray. Fortunately, there was no serious damage to the rider AND his bike. Let this be a lesson to always be aware of our surroundings and a reminder that even when we’re very careful, other people on the road are not.
Finally, we were finally able to return back to Manila, and I separated from the herd, my home being in a different direction from the rest. I went straight to church and heard mass outside with my bike. After that, I pedaled home and rested my very weary but accomplished feet.
My mom was very concerned but she knows that I don’t do rash decisions unless I have weighed my options. So, thanks Mama for not getting angry at me. I promise not to ride too hard the next time I’m sick. (Sorry Mama)
This was a blissful ride and despite the challenges, it ended on a successful note. My legs are still a little numb, but having ridden my first imperial century made it all worth it.
Thanks to Godspeed Manila for indulging this biker’s goal to reach Tagaytay on his steed. Usually I just pass by Tagaytay on my way to the Batangas mountains while riding a bus, now I can say that I made it there on two wheels!
p.s. I don’t know why, but every time I was moving on my bike, my runny nose and cold would stop, and only come back when I step off or take a break. I don’t recommend taking a bike ride when you’re sick, especially a 160km bike ride, but I would like to thank this phenomenon for helping me get through the day.