A couple of weeks ago, I emailed We are Sole Sisters on the off-chance that were still slots in the sisterhood. Lois, the editor-in-chief of the site (who was really nice and friendly), emailed back to tell me that she had just completed the roster of six women. I was a bit disappointed but she was very nice about it and even told me that she had visited my site, which did cheer me up. So it came as a surprise when she emailed me again a few days later to ask if I was willing to go on assignment for them. It was for a Travel Factor Bike Tour, and she needed someone to go on the trip and write about the experience. Of course, I didn’t think twice about saying yes. I was thrilled, but at the same time I was scared because I’ve never biked on a trail before – I was scared I would make a complete fool of myself. But everything turned out okay in the end. Actually it was more than okay – here’s a preview of the article, along with some of my favorite photos from the trip:
I hear the wind rush past my ears, like the sound an airplane makes when taking off, as I gain momentum, zipping by open fields and the hazy outline of Mount Makiling in the distance. A few of the bikers whiz past me, laughing and spreading their arms wide open à la Meg Ryan in City of the Angels, sans the truck of logs backing out into their path. They move swiftly on their red mountain bikes and disappear behind turns and slopes, leaving trails of dried mud on the smooth, chalky road.
We are on our way back and I have fallen behind – again. But I didn’t mind. After three hours of bumpy roads and slippery paths, this was a dream. I relish the rest of the downhill descent, imagining myself to be as fast as the wind.
I am not a Biker.
The last bicycle I rode was a utility bicycle, the kind that had curved handlebars and a steel basket in front. I biked from my home to the parish church, pedaling comfortably along the streets of my village which took under fifteen minutes.
Other than that, the only cycling I did was on a stationary bike in the gym.
So it might seem a little crazy to participate in Travel Factor’s Bike Nuvali, having had no experience in trail biking whatsoever. When I said yes to the trip, I knew I was saying yes to biking under the heat, through uneven roads, up rocky slopes (oh dear Lord!), and falling onto puddles of mud. But I was also saying yes to challenge, adventure, and the possibility of meeting new people. I know I’m not a biker but I knew that if I didn’t say yes, I would regret it.