Monday, May 26, 2008

Contador gains more time over Ricco on uphill time trial

Well, well, well. It seems the young spaniard still has power left in him after all. Alberto Contador, the 2007 Tour de France champion, finished fourth place in today's time trial. A mighty feat considering he's suffering from allergies and toothache and only had a week to prepare of this year's race.

Despite logging in 22 seconds slower than stage winner Franco Pellizotti, Alberto gained eight seconds over his nearest rival Ricardo Ricco and sits now on top with a 41-second advantage.

With the exception of him, it seems the rest of team Astana took it easy in today's stage. His co-captains Andreas Kloden and Levi Leipheimer are nowhere in the top 10. I'm sure they're preparing to support him as much as they can all the way to the finish.

The Moment of Truth: The 2008 Giro d' Italia Uphill Time Trial

The 16th stage of the 2008 Giro d' Italia is probably the shortest but probably one of the most important for this will determine who deserves to wear Maglia Rosa, the coveted leader's jersey of Italy's biggest tour.

Yesterday, 2007 Tour de France champion Alberto Contador claimed the jersey but only of the slightest of margins from his competitors. Today, with nothing but 12 kilometers of climbing ahead of them, we will know if he has the legs. The time trial is a race against the clock and there are no teammates nor team tactics that can directly help the leaders.

As I write, the fight is ongoing at http://www.steephill.tv/giro-d-italia. We'll find out the outcome very soon.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Giro d' Italia 2008: Finally the Mountains

Are we ready for the mountains? This is 2007 Tour de France winner Alberto Contador stocking up for the big climbs later. Love the photo? Check out GrahamWatson.com!

I'm really excited to see how Team Astana would fare in this year's Giro d' Italia. We'll finally see if they're truly not ready when they got the invite a week before the three-week stage race.

If you want to watch the Giro live and your cable company doesn't carry RAI anymore, you can log in to Steephill.tv's Giro page and choose from the list of sources.


The Answer to Rising Oil Prices: The Bicycle

I gassed up yesterday hoping to get an illusion of a discount from the weekly one Peso per liter increase in the price of gasoline. The last time I checked, my regular unleaded fuel costs P51.07 per liter. And if it did increase by P1.00 again this week, that price would now be P52.07 per liter. Now that is sick.

More and more, we should be looking for more efficient and more sustainable means of transportation. And I honestly believe the bicycle will play a central role. It makes the user fit, it brings you where you want to go, and it's very friendly to the environment.

Hey Bayani Fernando! Maybe it's time to take a second look at your failed Metro Bike Lane project.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Levi Leipheimer finally gets a Giro Ionos

I don't know if you noticed but in this year's Giro d' Italia, the reigning US National champion, Levi Leipheimer, finally lets go of his Giro Atmos for a brand new Giro Ionos helmet. He was using the Atmos because there was no Ionos available in the red, white and blue color scheme. Well not yet. I guess the guys rushed to give Levi some lovin' he deserves when he and his team finally got an invite to ride the Italian Tour.

Photo taken from Graham Watson.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mountain bike tickets to the Beijing Olympics, anyone?

I was googling for the mountain bike race course map of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, when I stumbled upon their official ticketing site. Hmmmm... now wouldn't it be nice to see all those nice for-race-only machines.

It's USD140 for the most expensive ticket. That's roughly P6,020. Not bad considering you're going to see the pros battle it out for the Olympic gold medal. And it's not that often that they're going to have the Olympics in Asia.


To read more on the race course, check out this entry from ChinaMTB.com.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

My First True Mountain Bike Ride of the Year: The La Mesa Nature Reserve

I've always loved the La Mesa Nature Reserve Trails. It's probably on top of my list as the best mountain bike rides I've done. Compared to the routes in my hometown where the roads are mostly cemented now, La Mesa's where your true mountain biking skills come into play. It's also quite accessible. It's just in Quezon City near SM City Novaliches so there's no need to wake up early to be at the trailhead by sunrise.

It's been more than a year since I last rode La Mesa. If I'm not mistaken, that was probably with Gary before he left for the States. After that, they closed it temporarily because of the MWSS Housing Case. During that time the rides were mostly in Licao-Licao and Maarat.

Yesterday was my first homecoming ride in La Mesa. And it was the bomb! With the new singletracks, I'm more in love with it than ever! There were lots of twisting and turning over rolling terrain with some planks and wooden bridges along the trail - really, really nice! What's so cool is they made us ride by the actual water reserve. It's beautiful!

The ride can be as long as 31 kilometers, depending on how much you can handle.

For those who are planning to bike inside the reserve, please bring lots of food and water as there are no sari-sari stores inside. I filled up my Camelbak and I still ran out of water. It's a good idea to bring an extra bottle of water just in case.

Check out some of the pictures:
GaryDSC00126DSC00123DSC00118Agu"That's my boy" pose

The other photos as here in my Flickr album.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Mountain BIking in the La Mesa Nature Reserve

Finally, I'm going to be mountain biking tomorrow! It's the first time for the year, would you believe, and I'm glad that it's going to be no less than the La Mesa Nature Reserve.

For those of you who don't know, the La Mesa Nature Reserve is just in the outskirts of Quezon City near the province of Bulacan. To ride there, you will need to book with ABS-CBN Foundation's Bantay Kalikasan.

I haven't been there since last year. If what I hear is right, there's a new singletrack network in the area that's aching to be explored. Yeah baby! And what's better than mapping it out on my brand new Garmin 305 Edge.

Oh yeah! I'm really excited.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

The Test: Flip Video Action Mount and Garmin 305 Edge

I didn't get to go around to test the Flip Video Action Mount and the Garmin 305 Edge yesterday afternoon because of the bad weather, so I woke up early today to try it out.

With my Flip Video Ultra, the Flip Video Action Mount isn't stable. This is probably because they used velcro straps to secure it on the handlebar. It's something that I'd consider to take with me on a road trip but would make me think twice in bringing to my usual trail riding. The quality of the video is too shaky - it maybe good for a Blair Witch Project-type movie but not if you want to view your ride on your widescreen TV with your friends. I think this can be addressed by switching from a handlebar mount to a helmet mount.

As for the Garmin 305 Edge, it was the bomb! With the cadence sensor installed and the heart rate monitor strapped to my chest, it offered a new window of data to a gadget geek like me. Not only did it offer me the usual speed, time and distance data, it also gave me gave me my cadence, heart rate, total elevation, plus it mapped out my ride and layered it on Google Maps! Really Cool!

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Shimano Custom-Fit Cycling Shoes

Last year, Shimano came up with this neat idea of molding their cycling shoes to the exact shape of their customer's feet, and it's been getting rave reviews since.

From what I read in CyclingNews, they bake the shoe to mold it to the contours of your feet. Being based in a developing country, I haven't had the luxury of seeing the process in how they do it. (Well, maybe now they do. I just don't have the time to go to Cycle Options in Greenhills to check out if they already have the facility.)

So I'm so happy when I stumbled upon this video on YouTube illustrating the step by step process on how this is done on a Shimano SH-R300 shoe.

The Toys are Here!

My two new bike toys are here, courtesy of my in-laws who just arrived from the States this morning!

The Garmin 305 Edge with Cadence and Heart Rate

The Flip Video Action Mount

I installed them to my bike as soon as we got home. Now I can't wait for the weather to cool down a bit so I can road/trail test my new babies.

If successful, you'll probably see a video of my ride in the next entry.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Clark Off-Road Duathlon 2008

I've been running (again) since the start of this year. Blame it on the Nike Plus Sports Kit that I bought from the Nike store in Trinoma. That, and the Nike Air Structure Triax 10+ that I got from Sports Warehouse in Club 650 because it was on sale.

To be quite honest, my longest bike ride for the year was the Tour of the Fireflies. That was about 50 kilometers - about the total distance I run in less than two weeks. Yeah, I should be ashamed. There was a point when I was thinking where would all this running take me. And voila, along comes Thumbie's email:

REGISTRATION FEE: P400.00 (With lunch and T-shirt)
PRIZES (Cash and medals for the top 3 finishers of all the categories)
Under 23
Age Groups 23-30, 31-40, 41-50 & 50-above



So I guess I now have a target. Coolness!
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