Monday, March 10, 2014

4th Annual Kawasaki Road Tour

Our route from the Kawasaki plant in Alabang to The Oriental Hotel in Legaspi City, Albay

It was another successful "roadgasmic" tour (March 7 to 9, 2014) sponsored annually by Kawasaki for the benefit of its Leisure Bike customers (i.e., those who purchased Kawasaki motorcyles with displacements of 250 cc and above). Past destinations included: Lucban, Quezon (2010); Bolinao, Pangasinan (2011): Anilao, Batangas (2012); and Tacloban, Leyte for the 1st National Meet of Kawasaki Leisure Bike Owners, also in 2012. The 2013 annual road tour to Tacloban, Leyte was canceled due to the devastation brought about by Typhoon Yolanda.

This year (2014), we were nearly 120 riders with about 90 riders coming from Luzon and the rest from the Visayas and Mindanao--the highest number of riders (including, for the very first time, three female riders) in a roadgasmic tour to date. Those of us from Metro Manila converged at the Kawasaki plant in Alabang and commenced our trip at the crack of dawn (Friday, March 7). Most of us arrived at our hotel in Legaspi City by nightfall with travel times ranging from 12 to 15 hours, covering a distance of almost 500 kilometers. I rode with fellow Vulcan owners with Manoy leading the pack at a leisurely pace. We were one of the last to arrive but that's OK. We were probably one of the least stressed as well. I had my fill of riding for the day along with a pair of real sore buttocks.

The following morning (Saturday, March 8), we cruised around Mayon Volcano, stopping at the planetarium (see the "A" marker below) about one-third up the peak of Mayon. I have a sneaking suspicion this would be a great site for paragliding and hang gliding with a little incremental investment on a take-off platform by the government and the cooperation of some landowners for several landing sites.

The road around Mayon Volcano

Most of us spent the afternoon resting, still exhausted from the ride of the previous day. A few (like myself) took a dip in the swimming pool on the second floor while enjoying the breathtaking view of Mayon. This was followed by a hearty dinner and an evening of entertainment, graced by the Governor of Albay, Joey Salceda.

Our view from the swimming pool of The Oriental Hotel, Legaspi City

The last day (Sunday, March 9) was the return trip. Given our leisurely pace, our group decided to leave at the crack of dawn, ahead of most of the riders. We wanted to be in the vicinity of Metro Manila before dark. We were at the Calamba exit of SLEX before 5 p.m. I decided to have dinner and to take a dip in one of the hot springs resorts of Pansol--a reinvigorating break that enabled me to enjoy the last leg of my ride home.

Many thanks again to the brilliant marketing team of Kawasaki Leisure Bikes, headed by Inoue San, Teench and Arnel. Their vision of the Philippine Islands as a world-class touring venue for Kawasaki Leisure Bikes will provide much adventure and enjoyment to many boys and girls in the country today and in the years to come!

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