Lessons from a short ride to Nueva Ecija with the Long Riders

BY RICKY MONTECILLO

August 25-26 2018

Last weekend, I got back on the saddle to join the Long Riders adventure ride to Nueva Vizcaya where we were supposed to see some old churches and caves. I prepped my bike and packed for the long ride and even brought a sleeping bag and some trekking gear.

The weather was rainy as I set out to the meet up, first with Carlo Escover in Las Piñas and then proceed to the Caltex gas station in Balintawak Quezon, City. Carlo texted me and said he was running late and for me to just go ahead.

When I arrived in Caltex, Wernher Asprec, Doc Von Evangelio and Edwin Frondozo were already parked there and waiting. A few minutes after Col. Ed also arrived on his red BMW GS 1200, similar to my bike. Wern’s is the GSA model, the biggest and baddest BMW, Edwin also rode his GS 1200 while Doc Von brought an 06 KTM Baja 990 Adventure.

It was raining hard and the clouds were dark. I thought to myself that we were in for a wet ride.

After a while, Restie Renia, arrived on his trusty white GS.

As Restie started his briefing, Carlo sent me a text saying that his BM X-challenge stalled somehwere in Magallanes and apparently his battery was drained. Too bad he couldn’t join us.

The adventure ride was to go to Nueva Vizcaya via the North Luzon Expressway-Subic Clark Tarlac Expressway- Tarlac Pangasinan La Union Expressway. Exit in TPLEX Victoria and and make a first stop to have brunch at Kuya A Kambingan in Guimba, Nueva Ecija.

Enroute to the Kambingan, we made a stopover at a gas station because Doc Von needed to check his KTM. He was shaking the bike down, as it was seldom used by the previous owner. It was its maiden ride.

The Baja KTM has 2 huge gas tanks. But unfortunately the right side tank was leaking. Doc also said that the ABS brakes seemed to be fading.

We ate at the Kambingan, to have,well, goats. Papaitan, kaldereta, rice, and pork barbeque. Kuya’s Kambingan is our usual stopover resto whenever we ride this route. Food are fresh and the staff are friendly. Nothing like provincial traditional carinderia where food is home cooked and the people are neighborly.

Doc Von inspected his bike, and being a bike mechanic and a part time dentist, he figured that he could not go on the ride with the KTM acting up like this, leaking fuel and fading brakes.

We decided that we will just cut short the long ride, look for a resort nearby and just make the most of the day drinking ourselves silly. What the heck, there will be other days for long rides. In the meantime, rather than leave one of us behind, we just went for the short ride but long happy-happy!

The gracious lady at Kuya’s Kambingan suggested the Aloha Resort in Guimba. It was just about 10 minutes away. Aloha was not bad, with a big sprawling swimming pool, clean rooms and again, friendly staff.

Even for a short ride, we learned some lessons during the quick adventure.

  1. When preparing for a long ride, make sure to start your bike and take around the block to make sure it’s ready. Restie started his bike the day before the ride and discovered that the battery was weak. So he had time to charge it. He didn’t know that his bike had a cable connector for the Battery Tender, which Doc Von pointed out to him in Nueva Ecija Aleady. As for Carlo, he just learned about the condition of his battery somehwere in Magallanes.
  2. Do not wear a full rain coat when the others don’t. Before setting out to ride, I wore my rain coat, including its pants because the clouds were dark. Nobody else did as they all said “wala na yan.” I thought they were foolish and once the rains fell, I would have the last laugh. Well, all throughout the ride to Nueva Ecija, it was cool and cloudy but hell it never rained.
  3. Always remember that papaitan is bitter.
  4. Shake down your bike before a ride, not during. Haha joke only. Breakdowns are part of rides. What’s important is no one is left behind.
  5. The new Long Riders “tradition” according to Restie is to drink bottoms up on the first glass!
  6. When you drink bottoms up while shouting “Happy birthday!!” all night, you can lose all sense of civility and can become a karaoke singer too.
  7. Never sing after Ed. He is a Tawag ng Tanghalan Champion.
  8. Beatles Songs should not include “Back in the USSR”. Not good to the ears when sang via Karaoke.
  9. Hey Jude is a good Beatle’s song! I sang it.
  10. Even bashful riders can sing after several bottoms up glasses! Macho Guapito by doc and Diana by Wern! Edwin sang songs from the 60s too! Saya-saya!

The morning after, we took a stroll around the rice fields and discovered beautiful sceneries. And as is the Long Rider’s signature habit, we gave out some toys for the children of the bukid bringing joy and smiles to them.

The last lesson learned from this ride is when you come home before dinner, the wife is happy.

Till the next ride buddies!!

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