Finally, I am officially joining the PETRON Sprint 4T ENDURANCE and ECONOMY RUN 2011 to be held on Feb. 5 which is a saturday.
After more than a month of Googling the routes and checking the roads and maps via Google Earth, the day is drawing nearer and nearer. Nervous? Yes! This ride is a 750 kilometer run for 20 hours starting at 12 AM. Mixed feelings and emotions lurk as the D-day comes.
Thursday, FEB. 3, I can’t sleep. Yes, I am excited and nervous. I finally managed to sleep at 2 AM and I woke up at 6AM. I have to go to PETRON Diego Silang for the pre-inspection of the motorcycles and fixing the paper works before the ride itself.
Friday, FEB. 4, 7 AM. A long line of riders are already on the site. Papers are being checked, ongoing pre-ride briefing is being held and motorcycle inspection is ongoing as well. I took a lot of photos with my DSLR camera.
FEB.4 | 12 PM. Cut-off. Everybody is ready or should be ready. You can go home and rest for a while and come back at night before 8 PM before the take-off. A lot of riders from faraway places, chose to stay and wait it out. I stayed too, so no rest for me.
Coffee, coffee and more coffee. Lipovitan too. I have to be awake. There is no turning back now because I know this will be one of the rides of a lifetime.
FEB. 5 | 12 AM After some short and encouraging words from our sponsors, organizers and the chief of police, we took -off. 100cc-115cc took-off first followed by 125s and so on with 15 minute intervals between them. Nice weather. Not so cold. No rain. Roads are clear.
WE RODE on, Monumento riding to the towns of Bulacan, Tarlac, Pampanga, Bataan. Nearing Bataan, there was a minor crash. A lot of riders stopped to help a fallen comrade. Not minding the competition anymore. At least at the moment.
A few seconds later,help immediately arrived.
Then there is the first PETRON checkpoint in Bagac.
On to Morong, Bataan. Twisty roads met us. We rode on until we finally entered Subic.
I got my GPS phone but there is really no time to look at it. We were traveling at 80-90 Kph.
We arrived at the PETRON Subic at around 6AM. After a short snack of hotdog and juice, we rode on to Castillejos, Zambales riding north up to Alaminos, pangasinan.
San Narciso, San Felipe, Botolan, Iba, Masinloc, Candelaria, Santa Cruz, Infanta, Burgos, Mabini and finally, Alaminos. The roads are nice, cemented. We encountered a little rain. I have to stop and gear up for rain because I am carrying an expensive electronic device.
If I see 2 or 3 riders together, I try to convoy with them. This is not a slow ride. Full throttle baby!
It is so encouraging to see marshals on every turn guiding the riders.
Alaminos, Pangasinan. We are supposed to take breakfast here at 10AM but it is already 12PM. I am late at this checkpoint but so are many others. I ate Tapsilog fast. I rested for a while, wanting to sleep for one hour. But NO! We have to ride on because the supposedly 12PM lunch must be in a restaurant in San Jose City Nueva Ecija which is very far from Alaminos.
We left Alaminos immediately. We have to be at a checkpoint in Urdaneta before 2PM. We rode on and on. Finally, Urdaneta. Quick checkpoint and 5 liters of gasoline. Ah, there is a Lipovitan here at PETRON Urdaneta.
Load up, “Let’s Ride!” shouted Kenneth, a guy riding a Honda CB150R. ” San Jose City is only 72 kilometers away from here.”, he added. We rode on.
Turn here, turn there. Ah, marshals… excellent.
Halfway, Kenneth stopped. ” I can’t go on.” He said. ” I’m too sleepy, I might crash, you go on.” I decided to stick with him, we rested for a while at a lonely waiting shed along the way.
We chose a perfect spot. The air is fresh and the views are stunning.
After a while, I heard thundering motorcycles coming from the road from which we came from. Ah, here comes the 150s and the TMAX 500s.
“Let’s Ride!” I shouted. ” It is going to get dark soon.”
We rode on to Marquez Restaurant, San Jose City at around 4PM.
We grabbed a quick meal that is supposed to be lunch.
“Let’s Ride! It is still a long way to Aritao.” Around 70 kilometers away, someone shouted.
I rode fast, Kenneth on a CB150R can’t keep up. I convoyed with 3 guys on 125 cc scoots riding as fast as hell. More twistys all the way to Aritao. Very nice backdrop as the sun sets on a Marlboro Country scene.
4:45 PM, we arrived at PETRON Aritao. There is still light. Checkpoint here. I still have gasoline in my big 8.5 liter tank. Better ride on.
I saw a sign. Baguio 109 kms. It is going to be a night ride.
I saw 3 bikes entering the route, I followed at full throttle.
Mountains and mountains. Super twisties. Left, right, left, right. I bet you can never count the bends. It is too much, flashing like a bad dream. 109 kilometers of super twisties. We crossed 3 to 4 mountains, 4 bridges, most if not all bends look alike. “Aren’t we being played by supernatural beings??” “We may be riding on these twisties forever….” There is only the 2 of us, another rider who stuck with me feeling the same fears as I did.
Good! Finally, we rode fast and hard. We finally caught up with other riders. We finally arrived at Baguio City. It is 8PM.
I sat down the sidewalk of PETRON Kisad Baguio. Tired and disoriented. I felt a sense of fulfillment. 750 kilometer ride in 20 hours. Another one in the books.
Tomorrow, awarding day.
Then, I rode back to Manila.
Total ride, 1000+ kilometers.
The PETRON Sprint 4T oil did an excellent job of keeping my engine cool.
Special thanks to Sir FRANCIS and PETRON for this unforgettable ride.
Time to prepare for the next ride.
THE GREAT NORTH LOOP RIDE anyone?
By Larry T. Herrera
FACEBOOK Larry T. Herrera | Pinoy Adventure Rider