27 June 2006

Rediscovering Atlantic Bakery and the joys of motorbiking

EVER since my eldest (a high school sophomore) reported back to class at Camarines Sur National High School early this month, my morning routine also underwent a quiet makeover. The school's flag rites officially start at 5:50 am, although most of the times it stretches to 6. It meant dispensing with the usual home-made breakfast, and taking it instead at the centro, which is 10 kilometers away.

With my wife on leave, and fuel costs skyrocketing, taking the car is no longer practical. That's why I invested on a new motorbike, my 10-day old apple green-colored 97.1-cc Honda Wave 100R, whose specs can be seen here. It is actually my second underbone, succeeding the 125-cc Kawasaki Aura Classic acquired in 2000 and disposed of two years ago. Its odometer says we have covered 247 kms as of this morning—still within its break-in period where speed must be limited under 40 kph. So far I'm averaging around 50 kms to a liter, compared to the 10 km/liter fuel efficiency of my 10-year old Lancer.

What makes my morning nowadays after the daily 20-minute drive is having breakfast at Atlantic Bakery. Parking a bike there is never a problem, the cramped space notwithstanding. An institution in Naga that has recently expanded to other urban centers in Bicol, Atlantic is famous for its hot pandesal: a little crispy outside, succulent inside, but tasty and filling all throughout. Highly affordable too: a breakfast fare of four pandesals, a bowl of champorado and a cup of hot black coffee can be had for only P27. But it is enough to get me going for a long day ahead. Because by around 6:30 am, I would already be at the office, making me one of the earliest birds at City Hall.