Off-Road Fun in the City! — PinoyExchange

Off-Road Fun in the City!

OTEP R Admin
Originally from:


from Manila Times, Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Off-road fun in the city

If you own a pickup or a sport-ute, read this

By Brian Afuang, Art Director & Motoring Writer

WHILE many people may scoff at the idea of an off-road track in
Metro Manila-traversing Edsa already constitutes off-roading, they'd
say-this isn't the case here.

Officially starting its operations on April 7 is the 4WD
Adventure Track, a purpose-built obstacle course for stock 4WD pickups and
SUVs. There is also a more challenging course that is best suited for
extreme 4WD track action such as competitions and other national series
events that cater to highly modified extreme machines and drivers. The only
facility of its kind in the Metro, 4WD Adventure Track is located at
the Mahogany Place in Taguig City, off C-5 Avenue past Pamayanang Diego
Silang and what appears to be a vast industrial wasteland that is the
DMCI Compound. If you're familiar with the old Mac computer game 4x4
Evolution, the track's setting is similar to it.

Now proving yet again that "No Boundaries" isn't merely an ad
pitch, Ford vehicles were the chosen steeds at the track's launch.
Four-wheel-drive bone-stock Everest sport-utes and venerable Ranger pickups
were driven by the invited media folk, who romped through the course for
some four-wheeling fun.

Even with stock Fords managing to tackle it, the 4WD Adventure
Track can't be dismissed as just some Mickey Mouse course. Beginners or
those with absolutely no four-wheel driving experience need to take a
race clinic first (provided at the track) before going through the
course. To the uninitiated, four-wheel driving entails some skills and
techniques not normally-make that never-used in other driving situations.

For instance, how do you tackle a steep, near-vertical descent?
You shift to first gear, and against all your driving instincts, take
your foot off the gas, brake and clutch pedals, letting the vehicle crawl
its way down the slope. That's courtesy of your vehicle's
four-wheel-low mode, an ultra-low gear setting that allows the engine's torque to be
used as 'brakes'. Now why is the vehicle in four-wheel-low mode?
Because you wouldn't be able to drive through the course in another setting
since you need as much torque as possible for traction and powering
through inclines and mud pits.

But first things first: How do you engage four-wheel-low mode? In
posh SUVs, it simply takes a push of the 4L button on the dash. In most
cases, shift to 4L using the lever next to your gear shifter. Be
warned, however, that some vehicles are not shift-on-the-fly models, needing
to be stationary whenever you engage four-wheel settings. Driving an
all-time four-wheel-drive sport-ute? Forget about track action. These
vehicles provide traction in slippery conditions, not in simulated ravines
and mud pits.

At the 4WD Adventure Track, the trail begins with a sweeping
left-hander where the vehicle is perched at an angle that's enough for your
passenger to fall over you-which, in some cases, could actually be
good. Then comes a series of deep ruts that shake your insides to a gooey
mess and threatens to send your lunch back up and through the window.
And then comes the fun part: a 45-degree ascent with a 45-degree turn in
the middle toward the top of a narrow hill. Make a mistake here and
you, your vehicle and guts will be taking a nasty spill 20 feet down.

Then there's a couple of abysmal potholes that will send one of
your vehicle's wheels hanging in the air, followed by a figure-eight
turn on two boob-like mounds. The finale is a run through a knee-deep muck
known as a mud pit. Most vehicles get stuck here and need to be towed
to the finish line. If you do get stuck here, pretend you're either a
pro or a motoring writer and blame your vehicle's old tires for not
providing enough traction to get you out of the mess.

But never blame the Ford vehicles. We have taken the Ranger up to
Pinatubo in a narrow, twisty, mountain trail especially built by Ford
via the Pampanga route several years ago. Which means the trail passed
through every imaginable terrain: lahar, 10-foot cogon sprawls, thick
jungle foliage, and 60-degree inclines. The Ranger took everything with
aplomb, climbing up and back down Pinatubo. Hence, Ford sold a Pinatubo
Edition Ranger, which could be ordered in any color so long as it was
screaming yellow.

Now get the keys and take the 4WD Adventure Track challenge. Your
four-wheeler isn't merely for posing or sidewalk parking, you know.


  • OTEP R
    OTEP R Admin
    Tsikot peeps at the track:
  • NOKiE
    I've seen lots of them snorkel-equipped SUVs in Pinas. Do they also go in the water for kicks?
  • OTEP R
    OTEP R Admin
    That particular Safari has crossed hood deep waters in Jungle Base, Tanay already.

    The bullbar, side rails and rock skids have also been used to their full potentials.
  • elyserva
    elyserva Crazy Penguin
    You need a 4x4 if you live in Daraitan in Tanay. Last time we went there the only trip from Tanay town proper is using a WWII vintage weapons carrier.:D Although we got through using a military issue Toyota minicruiser.
  • OTEP R
    OTEP R Admin
    I think the Beast has also been to Daraitan. I was not able to come due to my work schedule.
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