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Thursday, April 27, 2006

Last Minute Preparations

I made a trip to Extreme bikeshop this afternoon with Dan to get some last minute stuff I need in preparation for our Saturday ride. Armed with a little more than a thousand bucks in my pocket, I bought two pairs of Shimano V-Brake cartridges, two pairs of cycling socks, a Cateye rear blinker and a Discovery Channel-knockoff water bottle. The damage is just P1,300.

Because I went to the office early, I was able to go home early, too! As soon as I arrived, I started working on the bike. I changed to my Continental Avenue slick tires and installed the new brake pads and rear blinkers. After a couple of runs from the house to Ateneo (we have a gate going into the campus, you see), the brakes felt like new.

Another good news is after a week of looking for a driver to drive our support vehicle, we finally found one. That means two things: (1) Charo can join and support us, and (2) we don't have to bring all our stuff in our Camelbaks! Yeahbah!

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Tour of the Fireflies Flaker

I'm a Tour of the Fireflies Flaker. I was supposed to go today but backed out last night after I arrived from the Cecon 24-Hour Mountain Bike Race at around 11:15 in the evening. I figured going through the Metro at this heat is not worth it.

This is the 8th year of this annual earth day event. With participants numbering over five thousand, the Tour of the Fireflies is the biggest cycling gathering in the country. It aims to promote the use of the bicycle as a transportation alternative to stop vehicle emissions from further polluting our air.

Joining one of their Marshal Rides a few weeks back, this year's Tour will start at the Tiendesitas compound and will go to Ortigas Avenue, Gilmore, E. Rodriguez, Espana, Intramuros, Roxas Boulevard, the CCP Complex, Macapagal Avenue, EDSA, South Super Highway, Buendia, Makati Avenue, Mandaluyong Rotunda, Nueve de Pebrero, Shaw Boulevard, EDSA, Ortigas Avenue and back to Tiendesitas.

For more info about the Firefly Brigade and their other cool projects, login to their website at www.fireflybrigade.org.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Getting cold feet from the Cecon race

My group from Batangas will be joining the Cecon 24-hour mountain bike race in the La Mesa Nature Reserve. After much prodding, they'll finally be "mountain biking".

They have set-up a monthly uphill time trial event in Batangas City and it's been ongoing for more than two years now. But when I checked it out, it was all pavement. Now where's the mountain biking there? In fairness, the climb is quite a killer.

As far as I know, this is the first time in a long while that they'll be racing without the hometown advantage. The last time they went out of their hole was in the 1999 Mountain Bike Challenge series held at Tagaytay and Pasig City.

I woke up at four in the morning today. I don't know why. Probably excited about the race and see where they stand against the other racers. Will those uphill time trials pay off? Do they still know how to ride the dirt? These questions will be answered as soon as race starts at 12 noon.

I charged the batteries of the camera last night, removed the slicks and installed the IRC Seracs this morning. I'm planning to go around the course and take pictures. Hopefully Thumbie and the organizers would let me.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Cycling Philippines: The First Biking Book about the Philippines

The first time I heard of this book was with a Firefly during one of their Tiendesitas meetings. Actually it was more like a rumor -- that there's this book about mountain bike trails in the Visayas that's only being sold in the Terry Larrazabal Bike Festival in Ormoc. Goyo had a copy so the Firefly got to read some parts and it was good and very detailed.

Fast forward to yesterday. Lo and behond, while browsing through the Bike Room's website for their new stuff, I found the book as one of their featured items.

If you're interested, you can buy your copy from these areas:

Cebu
Island Souvenirs (Ayala, Airport, Robinsons, Pasalubong Center, SM) ● YKK Bikeshop ● Habagat (SM) ● Sandtrap (Banilad) ● Turtles Nest ● Kukuks Nest ● The Wineshop ● Drop-Off Point (near Turtles Nest) ● Rudy Project (Ayala, SM)

Bohol
Island Souvenirs (Island City Mall)

Manila
Island Souvenirs ● Habagat (both in MegaMall) ● Bikeroom ● Rudy Project (Ayala Center, Rustans Mall- Makati) ● Muntinlupa Rudy Project (Alabang Town Center)

Davao
Habagat(SM) ● Boondocks Bikes ● Rudy Project (SM)

General Santos
Rudy Project (KCC Mall)

Tacloban
Rudy Project (Salazar St.)

Boracay
Rudy Project (D'Mall)

Bacolod
Negros Island Tourism (Bacolod Convention Plaza Hotel)

For more information on the book and where to get it, check out their website by clicking here.

Fr. Picx's Mindanao Bike Tour for Life & Peace

Based from Davao City, Fr. Amado Picardal or, as we fondly call him, Fr. Picx, started Monday his 21-day Bike Tour of Mindanao for Life and Peace. He will be covering a distance of more than 2,000 kilometers and will be preaching along the way the Gospel of Life amidst the culture of death and violence.

You can read his itinerary and more at his post in the PCN. You can also read his story in yesterday's issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The Plan

All day I've been thinking about doing my first long ride. I'm thinking of just using my mountain bike but I would have to use thinner slick tires, a rigid fork and panniers. That would be ideal. Otherwise I would have to stick with my Cannondale CAAD3 slapped with my old 1.5 Continental Avenues and my Camelbak Blowfish on my back.

First day would be on Saturday, 28 April 2006. We'll leave Quezon City at around 5:00 in the morning and take the CYCAD route passing through C5, the service road, Muntinlupa, Binan, Sta. Rosa, Tagaytay, Nasugbu, Lian and finally Calatagan. That's roughly 150 kilometers of biking. We'll just spend the night in a nice room there.

The following day, Sunday, 29 April 2006, We'll leave Calatagan, Batangas at around 5:00 in the morning and bike to Laiya Coco Grove in San Juan, Batangas. We'll be riding through Balayan, Calaca and Lemery, and climb to Taal, Sta. Teresita, Alitagtag, Cuenca and Lipa. From there it's pretty much flat going through Padre Garcia, Rosario and San Juan. We'll spend the night there and leave for Manila on a car on Monday, May 1, 2006.

The Manila to Bicol Inspiration

I'm now inspired to do the adventure rides after reading Raul Angeles' two-day Manila to Bicol ride.

Their first day was a 245-kilometer trip from Manila to Calauag. They left Malabon at 6:00 in the morning and passed through Antipolo, Bugarin, Pagsanjan, Luisiana, Atimonan, Gumaca and Pagbilao before arriving at Calauag at 5:30 in the afternoon.

The two cyclists left Calauag at 5:30 in the morning the following day and tortured themselves further on their way to Legaspi City. They passed the Quirino junction, Tagkawayan, Sipocot, Naga, Pili and Guinobatan before arriving at Legaspi City at 5:30 in the afternoon.

Talk about a real Amazing Race with the whole trip totalling a whopping 497 kilometers.

We're now planning on training for this type of trips starting with some not-so-epic rides. Yesterday over dinner, after King texted us that he wants to do a Manila to Calatagan trip then spend the night there, Mike and I are talking about doing a Manila to Calatagan, Batangas trip then do a Calatagan to San Juan, Batangas the following day. When that pushes through, we can probably do a Manila to Baguio or a Baguio to Sagada trip.

How I wish there's a sabbatical leave in the office to do all these things.
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