Let’s rewind to last August 9, 2009; it was a Sunday.
I woke up early that day to meet up with Grace, Eloi, Revin, Sheila, Jojo, Ging, Jeff, Mike, Roschach, Enteng and Eric @ Shell UP Diliman. Of course that was a special day. It was Grace’s birthday ride to Pestano Farm.
(for those not familiar with Pestano farm, Its located before you reach Giant if you’re coming from Maarat… or check this map. The farm is eventually a retreat facility for those teambuilding activities, as well as a good place to stay to experience the wilderness, also a place for your air soft activities as well as trail riding.)
We all met up @ Shell at around 730am before loading our bikes to our respective vehicles (except mine which was loaded inside Mike’s Toyota Revo). Instead of climbing “The Wall” on saddle, Ma’am Grace decided to stop and unload @ Timberland’s Clubhouse. From there we rode on our all-terrain bikes from Maarat’s entrance down to Pestano Farm… but before reaching the farm, we had some fun @ Maarat and the road going to Giant.
Our group was separated into two: “us” the break-away pack composed of Grace the birthday gal, Revin and Sheila, Jeff, Mike, Eric and of course me. At first we don’t know why the others were left behind… while waiting for them we had some fun on the vacant lot beside the winding road. Trying out some trail techniques on the rough terrain. First Jeff tried it out, then I followed, Sheila was also fascinated in what we were doing that Eric joined in… then CRASH!
Unaware, there he fell into a canal. The bushes were keeping it from being visible to the naked eye. Good thing he wasn’t hurt nor was his bike.
The tail was able to catch up eventually after a few minutes and we regrouped. Upon knowing what happened, Eloi and the other riders with her told us that Ging almost collapsed riding the steep hills on this winding road to Giant and Pestano Farm. Good grief, it was her first time eventually.
So we rode again as a group, and finally reached Pestano Farm. We were greeted by the good hospitality of the farm’s employees. As well as fellow mountain bikers who were frequent the farm. Most of them there because of the place’s cool ambiance.
When we arrived at the Pestano’s residence, it was just about time for lunch, that we all decided to fill our stomachs first before taking on the numerous trails the farm has to offer.
An hour eating our orders, we were satisfied and pleased… that Eloi, Jojo, and Ging decided to doze-off and rest under the trees. And for us adventure frenzy riders, we went on to the farm’s trails.
To note, its 50 pesos per rider… yes it has an entrance fee, but you don’t have to worry since it’s a ride-all-you-can for 50 pesos. Of course the farm isn’t liable if you get into an accident.
I didn’t get any trail photos since everything was fast paced. Also to note the different trails each have their classifications such as DH, XC, AM… yes it depends on your discipline (since I’m more of a fast-paced XC rider, I’m practically a XC Marathon rider), although even though your riding an XC Bike you can still take the DH trail… and the DH biker can also take the XC trail… so it always depend on your trip and taste.
But unlikely after each trail, you’ll all end up climbing the steep 1km Cardiac Hill, a personal favorite of mine in which I’ve climbed thrice, during that afternoon.
Also make sure to bring tools, you’ll never know when your chain will snap or your brakes jam because of the moist and sticky brown and orange soil.
It was around 2 in the afternoon when we left Pestano Farm.
Experiencing Pestano’s trails as well as the food was a memorable experience… that riding back to the country-club was a breeze for our group. Imagine that I tackled the winding road at top-speed with much adrenaline, riding at close to 60km/h downhill. And also my trail speed back down Maarat was a blooming 40-45km/h on a rigid fork.
That was also the time when I noticed that I had to change my Innova MTB 26x1.95 front tire to a better tire that offer stable grip on hardpack to loose terrain with more speed. Since the Innova was a tire meant for dry surfaces.
We separated with the others (Ging and Jojo as well as Enteng and Roschach left after the ride), thus the remainder went on to a side trip to Jollibee for some merienda. It was bonding galore, even more when we stopped at Wilkie’s to have our bikes serviced.
It was supposed to be a day ride, that it eventually became a whole day and near night bonding with the birthday girl Grace Gregorio, Eloi Hernandez, Jeff Romano, Mike Donadilla, Revin Santos and Sheila, Eric Yambao, and of course me, Bunny de la Cruz.