We spent last Sunday with the Ducati Diavel. It was the first time we would be taking the mistress out for a longish ride. The route would take us from Bacolod City through the back twisty roads towards the east to Canlaon where we would have breakfast then on to San Carlos City for lunch. A 240km ride. The original route that is.
The actual route we took. 320km.
A group of 14 bikers, members of the Thunderbugs met up at 8am for a group ride. I was the only pillion rider. I confess I had an ulterior motive for tagging along with O. It has been 5 years since I had been to Canlaon and we were thinking of opening a branch in that town.
Off we went. At first it was a good ride. Not much traffic and good cement roads. I loved it. I was close to O, unlike the GS1200 where the pillion seemed to be in a different world from the driver. We made good time and was having breakfast of chicken soup, rice and noodles (this is Asia after all). I had enough time to see the place and the group met up with a rider from a nearby city. He convinced the group to do a sidetrip to this 400yr old Balete (Banyan) tree. So off we went after breakfast with him leading the way in his pick-up.
Wow, rough roads galore, and some mud too. But magnificent views. We rode slowly. It wasn’t so bad. But of course I felt every rock and pothole we passed unlike the GS1200 where we would probably have coasted through with nary an ouch. Unspoiled nature, green rice fields, a small lake – it was nice weather too. All in all it was a good side trip.
On the way back to the main road, the guys suggested I ride the pick-up so that 1. primarily for O to have a lighter load while going through the rough roads and 2. for me to protect my behind. I think number 2 was just an afterthought. We were crammed in that pick-up with our gear, I think I was more comfy riding pillion with O. There were 4 other guys who had left their bikes at the breakfast place and had decided to go with the pick-up. I didn’t know that. I thought everyone was on their bikes. So yeah, it wasn’t that comfy a ride in the pick-up.
Next stop was supposed to be San Carlos just an hour away. The guys had a quick huddle. They wanted to check out a new beach resort in another city several kilometers away. Everyone agreed, so a change of plan.
The several kilometers turned out to be almost 35kms one way. What was bad was that the rough roads were in between really good ones. So you have O at more than 100kph when suddenly uh-oh, unpaved roads ahead. I flew off the seat several times there. As in my feet were off the pegs and not a few times the pegs flipped up and I had to feel around with my feet to redeploy them. By the time we got to the resort, we were all hungry and my knees were in pain I could not support my body on one leg to dismount. My knees on the Diavel were slightly higher than my hips plus I was leaning forward, it put quite a strain on the knees. My goodness, I felt so old as I had to put the other leg on the seat and slowly slide down to dismount. Kind of embarrassing.
Close to an hour of rest and a pizza meal (that was the fastest meal to prepare) had me almost as good as new. Doubling back towards the original San Carlos destination, I was better prepared and supported my body on the pegs every time we got to a bridge approach or to what I think are rough patches. That eliminated flying off the seat. I had more control. But then I didn’t expect the next hurdle, bumpy roads. There I was rapidly bouncing on the seat and almost vibrated off to one side. I had to hold on to O and haul myself back to the center of the seat. That was bad. During that time I certainly missed our GS1200, which we have chirstened Bruni, short for Brunhilde.
When we had our gasoline stop at San Carlos, at least I was able to dismount properly. The knees weren’t so bad. But I told O that I hope we take the last leg of the journey leisurely – as in below 100kph. Funny Benji jokingly asked if my libido had increased with all that vibration. I told him that even with the increased libido, the body most certainly will not cooperate what with the soreness on the butt, the shoulders (from holding on to O) and the knees.
And when there was no pressure to keep up on the way back home, the ride was again enjoyable.
I must say I love the Diavel on the turns, some almost 180 degrees. There was none of the trepidation that I had while riding pillion on Bruni. It is a good ride even on rough roads, if riding alone, without a group to keep up. It is an exciting ride. Fun. Exhilirating. But for long rides, I guess I would have to stick with our Bruni.
As O would reiterate, the GS1200 feeds his hunger. The Diavel feeds his soul.