Thursday, March 24, 2016

After-work Trail Ride at BASEKAMP Pit Stop, San Mateo, Rizal

Honestly this is the first time that I have ridden at Basekamp Pit Stop, an adventure and recreation place located on top of Mt. Maarat's mountainous area. Basekamp is operated by Sandugo, a local maker of outdoor gear from sports bags, sandals and shoes.

So after work I buzzed my friend, Carlos Colmenares (their trail builder and product designer) that I'll be dropping by at Basekamp yesterday afternoon. He said that he might be there to tend to the trails. And off I went to get there, with my Banshee racked on my trunk.

Carlo's pick-up truck and my car parked at Basekamp
Upon arrival... I noticed and was told that I was the only biker and guest there. The guard, told me that Carlos was in the middle of the trail system fixing the trail for an upcoming race that they'll be having.

So I took out my bike from the bike rack, saddled up and pedaled myself through the trails... and boy were they really technical. There were several switchbacks and four (4) feet drop just after a downhill section, that I wasn't prepared on executing. So in some of the unexpected turns on trail route, I had to get off my bike and walk.

One section of the trail. This is the place where they hold their quarterly races.
I'm not sure if this is the start or finish line. But it was near the pump track.

In one of the sections with a pump track, I heard a voice calling for me, it was Carlos. The good fella gave me an awesome welcome... by the trail with lots of twigs and leaves. He said he'll be touring me around the trails since it was my first time riding there... so he went back to his truck and got his bike.

And when he got back, he lead me around the area. There were lots of fast-paced sections with lots of switchbacks, berms and almost-rock garden... but what I enjoyed the most was the climb. It might sound weird since most trail riders enjoy the downhill, but the climb section also had tight turn and switchbacks. At the end of the long climb... a beautiful view of the mountains appear before you.

The beautiful view, overlooking the mountains of San Mateo, Montalban and Antipolo, Rizal
With my ride buddy, Carlos Colmenares of Sandugo.
He might be big, but he is darn fast on the trail, can't even keep up with him.
We spent most of our time resting after this climb... as I was nearly out of breath. This was literally my first ride after four months of no riding. The chats with Carlos were great. As the talk was mostly focused on trail building and the outdoors. 

After a good 20 minute of rest and the sun-setting, we decided to go down and take the downhill and return back at the camp. If I took and tackled the trail alone, I would have gone lost... the trail system of Basekamp Pit Stop had various routes and turns that it would lead you to other parts of the trail. Scarier as the sky slowly turned dark and singletracks became tighter and narrower. Getting back at the starting point has become a bother since we didn't bring any lights with us.

Tired Bikes

Nearing the end of the trail, we stopped over at a "kubo" to take a short rest. Everywhere was pitch-black, the mountains filled with darkness... with no signs of electricity... it was beautiful and calm.

Beautiful darkness, with the moon on the left. And Pit Stops on the right.

When we got back to the parking lot, and had loaded my bike on the rack, I had short dinner before driving back home. This after-work trail ride was an amazing experience... for a first timer on Basekamp Pit Stop. I'll surely come back to this awesome place.

The breath taking night sky and environment near Basekamp Pit Stop's club house and canteen.
Dinner was Corned Beef and Pasta on this humid and bright night.

Me with Carlos Colmenares,
Great Ride!

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