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Saturday, September 29, 2007

Rain, Rain

Rain, Rain Go Away
Come Again Another Day


Yes, the ride didn't push through. Everyone was all set and excited but at six o' clock this morning we had to call it off. Unlike yesterday's sunny morning, it was dark and drizzling today. Apparently there's a typhoon and it's signal number one in Manila.

Oh well. I guess our muddy adventures with the roadies will have to be moved to another date.

If you're interested in joining, leave a message in the comment box below.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Mountain Biking for Roadies

It seems odd that a good number of roadies are a bit hesitant to try out mountain biking. Talking to Toots a week ago, he said that they're scared of the technical sections of the trail. According to him, road biking doesn't require that much bike handling skills compared to mountain biking.

As part of our demystification process, we're doing a Mountain Biking for Roadies trail ride tomorrow morning at Licao Licao. The place is perfect for them to try out their off-road steeds that are gathering dust in their garages - lots of singletrack without technical climbs and descents. They can familiarize themselves to their suspension and gears.

I just hope the weather cooperates. It's been raining everyday the whole week. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

If you're interested in joining, meeting place is at the Shell Station next to Ever in Commonwealth Avenue at 7:00 a.m. We then drive to the trailhead and gear up there.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Now it fits

I've been toying with the idea of booking a bike fitting session since they started the service more than a year ago but it just didn't materialize. It's in the realm of those Oh! I 'll definitely do that! kind of stuff that you forget after a while or just plain too lazy to do. Well, after all the fuzz, I'm proud to say that I finally did it.

Thursday last week at 3:00 p.m., I was in Joven Bike Shop with my bag of required gear - spandex cycling shorts, sleeveless shirt, socks, cycling shoes and slippers. I also brought my bike so I could make immediate adjustments.

After changing to the required attire, Toots made me stand on his bike measuring tool that looks like an old-school weighing scale. First, he made me stand up straight with my feet following the guide and measured my height and inseam. He also put a small mark on the upper center part of my chest. I don't know exactly what that was for. After he wrote the measurements down on his form, he asked me to go down the measuring device and spread my arms. He then put a mark on the edge of my shoulder at the tip of the shoulder bone. When this was through, he made me go back to the measuring device. Instead of facing forward like the first time, he asked me to face the left side and hold the bar with my hand. When everything was through, he went to his PC to input the data.

Now the exciting part of the bike fitting session begins. Toots came back from his PC and did some adjustments on the mock bike. After a few adjustments here and there, he made me ride it for three minutes to validate the recommended fit. Whee! Hehehehe! Then his assistant asked me to change to my "normal" clothes as Toots printed the results.

When he came back, he gave me three printed recommended bike measurements for a mountain, road and time trial bike and explained the steps in reaching the optimal fit. As he does that, we shift from paper to my bike and do some adjustments.

It was about two to three hours total and I had fun the whole time.

If you're unsure of your bike fit, consider booking a bike fitting session. It's held at Joven Bike Shop every Thursday and costs only P1,000. That's cheap considering it takes out the guess work in figuring out the correct stem and seatpost length for your rig. It's by appointment only (no walk-ins) amd the time slots are 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Joven Bike Shop is located at 78 Amang Rodriguez Avenue, Santolan, Pasig. For more information and for booking, call (02) 645-6029 or (02) 645-0637.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Maarat Mudfest

It was a spur of the moment kind of thing. I just texted the Globe boys yesterday to see if they're interested in doing a short Maarat ride and Mike T took the bait. "Game" was what he replied back.

We met this morning at around seven for a fun spin to "Giant". The mud was thick that we had to take a reverse chapel-nursery detour because an L300 got stuck and was blocking the road.

The ride was cool and it was fun getting all muddy. After some snacks we biked back to the parking area.

It was in today's ride that I really noticed the performance of the Crank Brothers Eggbeater pedals. In my old Shimanos clipless pedals, it becomes difficult to engage and disengage once they're caked up with mud. It's a total revelation with the Eggbeaters. It doesn't matter if you can't find the cleats anymore. You clip in and it's there in a snap. Twist your ankle outwards and you're out. It was amazing. It really built up my confidence.

With all the mud building up in my IRC tires, I wasn't afraid of losing any braking power. Before, with my V-Brakes, it would be my concern. I would have a small stick stashed in my jersey pocket and stop and now and then to remove the build up of mud in the brakes and clean the rims. It's not the case anymore with the Avid Mechanical BB7's. I was cutting through puddles this morning without worrying about the getting ourt of control. For an upgrade, this definitely gets my seal of approval.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Village Biking

It's like starting all over again. I've already logged only a few crank revolutions as I leave the driveway of my house and I know it's not the same as before.

I was planning to do a few laps around UP but decided not to when I was about to exit Marymount. I turned right instead and discovered a nice, quiet place to start training and build up my form all over again. I'm talking of La Vista.

The roads were immaculately paved and the short three-kilometer course was not flat at all. Cars were rare, and most importantly, no unleashed dogs. Actually, this could be a great roadie circuit if not for the bunny-hop-to-the-sidewalk section that I do near the Grand Villas gate.

I only did a couple spins before it started to drizzle. I would've continued a few more laps if the iPod was in a waterproof case. (Yeah, right.)

Anyway, I'm sure this won't be the last time. At least now I have another alternative to the usual Ateneo or UP loops.
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