Pasko 2011: OVERLOADED!

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.

What happened?

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.

Mt Mayon (C) and Mt Masaraga (L) saying goodbye to me. I will miss the both of you too.

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)

The tree is said to be more than 2 kms from the highway but I just can’t leave Dhona by the roadside. This is somewhere in KM post 270.

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.

Vehicles obviously has to go around this barricade which allowed the moss to grow on that side of the road.

I coined a new phrase: “The road less not traveled grows moss.” Notice the undisturbed leaves on the road.

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?!

Still a long way to go…

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.

A racing bike has barely anything placed past the rear wheel. The weight (including the rider) is concentrated near the front wheel.

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.

Ha-Ha! very funny Petron.. now, OPEN THE FREAKIN DOOR!!

Relieved, I gave one last harrumph to the final leg of the ride and reached Sta Rosa before 5PM.

It was not raining in Laguna but the road was still wet. I still got the frequent spray of muddy, rainwater.

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!

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About Dom de la Torre

The rider is a 20-something Filipino that rides a Honda Wave 125cc underbone. He knows little about motorcycles yet loves the experience going places on two wheels. Rider Ako is a motorcycle-slash-travel blog. The rider not only shares to you travel destinations and what to see there but also the experience of getting there. You will read about the thrills and adventure when he rides solo, the romance of riding in tandem, the camaraderie riding with a group, the excitement participating in events, and anything that he thinks you might find interesting.When he's broke and the fuel's empty, he will share stories about motorcycling how he sees it through his helmet visor.
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One Response to Pasko 2011: OVERLOADED!

  1. Allan says:

    ill be trying the daet road… enough of the andaya road… the small bumps due to the fill of asphalt in between the cracks created this bums on that freakin road…

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