Was a really good day to ride. Weather was cold. Sky was overcast. But still you can see patches of blue skies. It’s another weekend spent intimately with the trail they call ‘Killer Loop’ in Mariveles, Bataan. This is my third time to ride Killer Loop, and remains to be one of my favotire rides, no matter how wasted I am afterwards.
Apparently the story behind the name Killer Loop is that, several years back (circa 2002 or 2003), some ‘classic’ members of Pinoy Mt. Biker (PMTB) rode this trail in Bataan which passed through several barangays starting from Liyang. Initially, it was called Death March Trail by the local bikers. After the ride, the PMTB folks just had to say, ‘This is not Death March. This is a Killer Loop’. And so the name stuck since!
Blood, sweat, and tears. Killer Loop tests the endurance of both man and machine. Though morbid, I like this photo as it somehow captures the spirit of mountainbiking. Blood and guts. We ride no matter what.
Lester’s chainstay broke (the tube between the crank and the rear wheel). Some trail side repair shown here. Using combined technical knowledge in physics, mech engineering, and medicine, he was able to repair his bike. Not a perfect fix, but at least it will help him finish the ride.
There’s a tweezer inside the tube, wrapped with some heavy duty medical tape, reinforced by a wrench (like a splint), further reinforced by a climbing rope. Don’t ask why Troy was carrying a set of wrenches on a bike ride. But good thing he did.
We were lucky that the weather was really really nice. I carried about 2.5 liters in my pack, 500ml on my water bottle mounted on the bike, plus another bottle of Real Leaf Green Tea stowed in my pack just to be sure. This time, this lasted me until we got down. Last time, I had to drink from the stream up top.
Group got lost a bit through the web of tracks going down (and at one point even once group was going down a trail and the other going up!)
Yes boys and girls. That’s my new bike. A Chumba VF2, mix of aluminum and carbon fiber goodies. She can ride right through anything as long as you have the courage (going downhill) and the power (going uphill). Point and shoot.
Got a bit of history lesson as well, as Eboy described for us how the Battle of Bataan went. Nothing like being in the middle of the mountain to make history really come alive. Apparently the trail we rode was the old artillery road. And we were complaining about pushing a 30lbs bike up the mountain. Imagine the soldiers back then!
Went down via the lovely Joyce Trail, but Eboy took us beyond that and into what Arnel now calls Captain America hehehe. Basically very fast, very smooth singletracks all the way down. Pretty surreal, since the sun was fading, the wind was howling, and you were just flying down (to the tune of Defying Gravity from Wicked ).
Alas, not a lot of pictures on the other side, going down. It’s just too much fun to ride vs. stopping from time to time to take pictures.
So just imagine with me . . .
Imagine the sun slowly fading, soft light washing over the mountain
Imagine nothing but the breeze of the wind flowing over the mountain
Imagine riding on top of the rideline, flowing left, right, hearing nothing but your tires and the wind
Imagine going like this for about 30 mins.
Nothing else exists except you, the bike, and the trail . . .
Surreal, like a dream.
And so another history lesson of the Battle of Bataan is over. It’s time we learn something new – the Death March! Planning to ride with what the Bataan Trail Riders call Lakbay 44, an epic 50+kms ride from Mariveles to Bagac, passing through some spectacular sceneries. Ride starts from Zero (0) km of the famed World War II Death March Marker in Mariveles to the 0 km marker in Bagac.
Now just have to find other riders crazy enough to go along with me (and look for a place that Mrs. Rono can hang out (maybe Anvaya Cove in Subic?) while I do another epic ride in Bataan. But first, need to get that helmet cam so I can capture more!
Special thanks to the Bataan Trail Riders Eboy and Lester!