Adios, 2019: Crazy, Solo Rides
ALLEZ - Jose Vicente Araneta (The Freeman) - January 20, 2020 - 12:00am

These past few years or so, I intentionally try to end the year with a bang: either a difficult ride, or a long ride. This is also the second year that I joined www.strava.com’s Festive Ride, where I have to accumulate 500km in 8 days during the Christmas week. Doing one also meant that I could accomplish the other so it suited my objectives to a tee!

However, I was in danger of missing both objectives because of Tyhoon Tisoy. With three days to go for the Festive, I need to ride 250km more!

So December 29, I planned a ride to Toledo and accumulate about a little over 100km to my total. But upon reaching Naga, I wasn’t keen on going to Toledo anymore. I’ve been there a thousand times, I said to myself, so I decided to go to Barili, instead. I haven’t been there for a long time so it would be nice to see the place again. Upon reaching Carcar, I suddenly thought about going to Osmena Peak.

You see, I’ve been planning to ride to Osmena Peak a few months earlier but nothing came out of it. Either I didn’t have time or my training friends had something to do.

I have been studying the route and its about 190km out back from my place in Labangon. Osmena Peak is in Dalagute, and includes a 14km climb to the top. But before reaching the foot of the climb, there was this 80km of flats and rolling roads that I had to conquer. The other reason why I did this crazy ride solo was because of the weather- it was cool and cloudy and just perfect weather to do a long ride.

I got out of the house 6:30am and by 9:30, I was having my second breakfast in Dalaguete. I bought a 1 liter water and started my ascent. Into the first kilometer, I suddenly had doubts. The road was dead straight and unending, very steep (more than 10%) and exposed! Not a tree on the side and the cemented tarmac was reflecting the heat (the sun suddenly came out for a few minutes!) back to me and I still had 13km to go!

There was a respite after that but as I reached Brangay Obo, there was this steep hairpin. I stopped and took a photo souvenir. Fortunately for me, at that point on, the gradient became gentler and the ride more enjoyable. Trees appeared and the. Coolness of the air came back. The panorama was a beauty to behold. I passed by the Mantalongon Market and I thought it was Market Day because there were lots of people and vegetables for sale.

I reached a fork on the road and chose the newly-paved one. I was wondering where the road would end but it seems I was over my objective since my Garmin said I was more than 14Ks on this climb. So I turned back, had a hotdog at 7-11 while charging my phone.

I was still ok on the way home but my fatigue was killing me. The roads going back to Carcar isn’t the nicest and I could feel every pebble and pothole and rut along the way. It was painful.

I finally got home a quarter to five, not so tired but feeling that I had accomplished major for 2019.

FESTIVE RIDE
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