The Patiis Downhill trail is only for the brave.
We were invited by Ginox to the new flowy line of Patiis last weekend. The group was hesitant to ride Patiis because memories of DOWN HELL came rushing back to us. The fifteen minute rock garden downhill was not fun if you were not a true blue downhill junkie. Ginox showed us a sample video of the NEW Patiis track and it got us itchy to ride it. So we gathered the Mountain Goats and rode.
It was a great Sunday morning, the weather was fine and we met up at the established Aling Tina’s Carinderia. Downhill riders usually meet up and park at Edong’s but we were old school and ate breakfast at Aling Tina’s. She cooked Kare-kare matched with bagoong so breakfast was awesome.
The route we know of Patiis is through Shotgun road. We had to climb all the way up to the store at the peak of Mt. Mataba and start the downhill from there. Ginox was in Timberland somewhere and we were waiting for him. We figured he would hire one of the motorcycles to pull him up Shotgun so we started our ascent up Shotgun. Living up to our jersey, the Mountain Goats climbed Shotgun. Downhillers and Freeriders were being pulled by underbone motorcyles because we had no ski lift here in the Philippines. Once we reached the Sari-sari store, other downhillers were there preparing their bikes, chatting and laughing.
There were two big jumps near the store. (very reminiscent of the jumps in Red Bull Rampage)
The vibe was laid back and friendly.
There was a jar in the middle of the table and one could donate money to the trail builders of Patiis.
Bans arrived as well as other hardcore riders and we observed what line they took. We watched them go really fast and confident down the dry, packed trail. There were some loose soil but the berms were all manicured and well made that going down the trail was so much fun.
CONFIDENCE is KEY
If you trust your bicycle to bring you down the steep drops, you can actually ride Patiis on a hardtail. Wearing knee pads, elbow guards and a full face helmet would greatly help your confidence. Just let go of the brakes and ride it. Point the front wheel where you want to go and hang on. If you hesitate, there will be room for more mistakes.
When going downhill, you have to lean back as far back as possible. Balance your bike and put your weight on the rear tire especially on the really steep drops. Modulate your braking (release, brake, release, brake) or else, if you lock the brakes, the rear wheel would just fishtail and sway from side to side making you loose control.
Ride the berm— try to roll your front tire on the hard berm, it would make the ride better and faster.
Everything else is focus and balls of steel. Gather your guts and remember to stand back up IF you fall…
Learn from your mistakes and try to laugh it off when you fall. Remember what happened and try not to do it again.
Here is the video by Mark More:
It is better to be padded than to have scars. Believe me, wounds are not fun when you take a bath. It hurts like hell.
NEW ENDURO/ DOWNHILL TRACK
When we rode Patiis years ago (in our hardtails), it was a rock garden downhill track which was very deadly during rainy days. There was moss on the rocks so the track was treacherous during the wet season. That is Patiis line A.
The Patiis riders paved a new track with awesome drops, jumps and berms. Patiis line B is now worthy for Youtube and the track is world standard.
Both lines still end up in the small village near Shotgun.