My 4-day vacation is already on it’s 5th day and I’m on my way headed back to Laguna. The weather has been a major issue on this vacation and it hasn’t been any different today. The rain has made the road slippery and the visibility poor. I was watching my speed closely to avoid any mishaps but also needed to go fast at times because I have to report to work in 14 hours.
I’m at the heart of Bicol National Park some 20 kms away from the nearest civilization when I suffered a spill.
It started as a fine day in Ligao City. I left just before sunrise packed with about 15 kilos of load which includes a 5-kilo pancit bato, packs of frozen pinangat, jars of balaw, and assorted pili treats. I usually carry this much load but not on wet rides.
I made it to Sipocot in 2 hours and refueled. Although a longer route, I decided to take the Daet roads once more to avoid Andaya Highway. Daet National Park is home to the largest and oldest tree in Bicol – Mother Tree. It is a Red Lauan which stands 27 meters and estimated to be 440 years old. (Source: voxbicol.com)
It has been raining constantly and even with my raincoat, I still feel the cold. It’s cold and uhmm.. I need to pee. Looking for a spot is not difficult at all since I am in a forest. I still decided to play it safe by stopping somewhere not very secluded. What could be safer than a ditch near a military camp! As I taxied to the other side of the road, I picked up speed because I was going downhill. I was about to go past the asphalted road and into the rocky shoulder. Naturally, I applied the brake. A soft, gentle squeeze of the brake then BLAAG! The front tire skidded and down went the rest of the bike in an instant. I landed on my right foot and managed to keep my balance. Even before I can regain my composure, I saw 5-7 soldiers running towards me.
The soldiers picked up Dhona as I checked myself for any fracture or injury. I was OK and so was Dhona. Apart from a few scratches, she looks and sounds fine. I decided to continue. Of course! Do I have a choice?!
The mishap wasn’t serious at all but I was rattled nonetheless. I kept my pacing below 60 kph. Besides, with the heavy load, I can’t lean lower into the corners. The thing with hard cases like my Givi is not really how its weight makes the bike heavier but how its weight affects the bike’s center of mass. That is the reason why these boxes has very little weight capacity rating even if you have proven the box and the frame can carry twice or thrice as much. A bike is more stable and easier to control when the center of mass is nearer the front wheel. Obviously, that’s not the way mine was setup.
Going back to my spill, the extra weight of my loads also gave an additional “push” to the bike that’s why I crashed. Oh yeah, the crash was because I needed to a pee. I forgot all about it until 5 hours after. I was somewhere in Sariaya and found a restroom but it was padlocked. I can’t help but chuckle at the sign on the door. I was doing exactly that.
Relieved, I gave one last harrumph to the final leg of the ride and reached Sta Rosa before 5PM.
I logged 11.5 hours over 450kms on this trip which clearly shows how much the extra weight and rain slowed me down. Anyway, it’s not a race and what’s important is I got home safely and on time for work. Safely you said? You slipped on a mossy road in the forest, dumbass!!
This trip concludes my Pasko 2011 vacation. It’s another memorable trip!