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Monday, November 29, 2010

Testing the Kenda Slant Six Tires

We had a wonderful ride yesterday in Batangas City with some of the Batangas Mountain Bikers. It started with a gradual climb on the Sto. Domingo route and then we turned right at the shed right after the welcome arc, which led us to a roller coaster ride to Conde, San Miguel and finally Sto. Nino.

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The weather was wonderful. It was drizzling but it's not pouring and so I wasn't overheating. I felt great. I was climbing without my heart rate going way up. I felt strong that I wasn't using the 22 x 34 granny gear combination much. That says a lot!

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It was also the ride where I fully tested the capabilities of my new Kenda Slant Six tires. The profile of these tires was rounder than my Nevegals, so they were rolling on cemented and asphalted roads really well. When the route turned rough, they surprisingly still had some grip -- not as much as the Nevegals, but I'm sure this has more traction than what the Small Block Eights have to offer.

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On wet and slightly mossy cemented climbs, I felt the rear tire slip several times. But it wasn't too much that I was out of control. Doing downhill on the same type of road was OK, but I was a bit cautious so I didn't push it.

They said that the design of this tire is a combination of the Nevegals and the Small Block Eights, and they weren't kidding. I am surely going to use this for the December Mindoro trip.

As for the ride, I had loads of fun. As usualy, it ended with a heaping plate of pancit guisado, this time in a new panciteria called Jocas.

Check out the map of our ride:

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Secure Bike Parking Available... Up There



Still not convinced that the Kryptonite New York lock will foil bike thieves? If you're looking for a perfect way to secure your bike when parking it in the streets, then I think you should watch this video. I'm just not sure if this is commercially available, though.

Black Friday Shopping: A New Giro Helmet


Damn you, Bike Nashbar! Why did you have to send me an email blast promoting your Black Friday deals? If it weren't for that, I wouldn't have discovered that you're selling the blue and white Giro Athlon for only $69.00! That's way cheaper than Performance Bikes' $89.00 and Amazon's $103.96! So now I have a new helmet coming in a few weeks. Hay! Bike Nashbara talaga. Tsk tsk tsk! :)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Antipolo- Nasugbu Bike Ride

Jack Narciso is thinking of doing an Antipolo-Nasugbu bike ride and he's looking for someone to join him. It's going to be an overnight stay in Tali Beach.

I'm actually interested but it seems it's on a weekday. If it was going to be on a weekend, I would seriously reconsider. I need to put some serious mileage into my legs and a long ride ought to do it.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Bucket List Item: Do a Self-Supported Trip on a Bike

I was searching for videos on YouTube on the Bob Ibex bike trailer when I stumbled upon this amazing video of a seven-day mountain bike journey through Jura, France.

This is one of my dreams - to actually go out on a self-supported ride across the country on a bicycle. Man, how I wish I can do this.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Stan's Sealant Applicator in the Muji Store?

Muji Bottle: Alternative Stan's Applicator

Look what I found in the Muji store! I have no idea what it's officially for but I bought it because I think it's a perfect way to put Stan's sealant in my inner tubes.

Well, I just tried it and it works!

Divirginizing the La Mesa Trail Virgins: The Batangas Boys' Video

It wouldn't be a nice ride without a video, right? Well, in the tradition of some of my other expeditions, I made a video (again) of the Batangas Boys' first time in the La Mesa Nature Reserve. For this one, I asked Ruben, our guide, to be our videographer. (If it was me, all you guys will be seeing are butts because I'm always at the back.) Check it out!

The Kenda Slant Six: The tire I'm using for the Mindoro trip

My Next Bike Tires

After our ride last Sunday in La Mesa with Topher, Eric, Domeng and Rommel, we went to Extreme Bike Shop along Panay Avenue in Quezon City to finally choose the winning tire that I'll use for my Mindoro trip. Except for the Short Tracker, all three were there: the Small Block 8, the Klimax Lite and the Slant Six. I checked them all out and even added the Kenda BBG model in the line-up.

The winning tire is the Kenda Slant Six. It seems like a perfect tire for Mindoro's long asphalted highways and rough roads. If my shoes are dry tomorrow, I'll give these boys a spin and see if my hunch is correct.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Batangas Boys tackle the La Mesa Nature Reserve

Yesterday was different. Instead of me waking up early to be in Batangas City by 7:00 a.m. for the ride, this time it was their turn. Topher, Domeng and Eric left Batangas City at 5:30 a.m. to finally pedal what Rommel and I are raving for a long time - the La Mesa Nature Reserve.

And they weren't disappointed.

This was the first time they rode singletracks this long. We stopped on many sections along the route to rest and take pictures. It was shorter than my usual La Mesa escapades, but that didn't matter. It was a nice Sunday ride. It was relaxed. There was no race pace. It was fun.

I think I'll be seeing them soon with more people in tow to try out the mystical La Mesa.

Check out the map of our ride:

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Choosing Tires for the Mindoro Trip: A Date with the Kendas



The trip is at least five days long. That's five long grueling days if I chose the wrong bike tire. What I need is a pair that has a low rolling resistance on highways but can still cut it when there's no more road available.

I currently have three pairs of tires with me: the Kenda Nevegal, the Kenda King of Traction, and the Continental Avenue. The Nevegal is an excellent cross country tire. I'm sure it can take me to the ups and downs of Mindoro's rough roads, but these will definitely stick like road tar when we're pedaling on the asphalt. The Kenda King of Traction are mud-specific tires. Ride them on the road and the knobs in the middle gets erased. As for the Continental Avenues, they're great slicks tires, but I'll be all over the trail with these. Plus, they've been with me for almost a decade so I think I should retire them.

Later, I have a date with the bike shop to get the tires for the trip. I researched online and came up with a handful of finalists. Since they're easy to find, these are all Kendas: the Small Block Eight, the Short Tracker, the Klimax Lite, and the new Slant Six.

I honestly don't know which pair I'd end up with but I'm leaning towards the Short Tracker and the Slant Six. I guess I'll see later.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Fabricating the Bob Bike Trailer


Researching on what's the best way to bring my stuff for the Mindoro bike tour this December, I stumbled upon an old item that's been in my wish list for so long - The Bob bike trailer. I know I just bought a Topeak beamrack and trunk bag set, but that can only carry a maximum of 20 pounds of gear. Just imagine how easier it would be if you have elbow room for up to 70 pounds? That's the Bob bike trailer.

I researched in Amazon.com as to how much these cost, and discovered that a Bob Ibex bike trailer with suspension costs $360. That's P15,777 in our currency. Amazon also says that they can only ship this within the US. For its weight, I don't think I can even afford having it brought here anyway. This whole thing weighs 17 pounds. That's equivalent to one lightweight road bike!

Since the nearest dealer is in Taiwan, I came up with this brilliant idea - why don't I just make one with the help of our local fabricators? I looked at the photos on Flickr and watched some videos on YouTube, and it seems very doable.

I posted an inquiry in our egroup, and was surprised to see that I wasn't the only one thinking of doing the same thing. There's this guy who thought of using bamboo while there are three more who are discussing about this.

Then I received an email this morning from Ar Mapagpalaya. Apparently he made the jump and had someone make him one without the suspension. According to him, he used 1" flatbar instead of tubular chromoly and 24 instead of a 16-inch wheel. The whole thing weighed 10 kilograms (22 pounds). He selling it to cover his cost (I don't know yet the reason why he is). I asked him to send pictures. I'll post it here as soon as I get them.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Epic Triathlon & Cycling Wear is making the PCN kit

I met finally with Andrew Chinalpan, Jr. of Epic Triathlon & Cycling Wear yesterday over lunch. Together with King Bernas, we discussed about the creation and production of the new Philippine Cycling Network jersey and shorts. I saw the quality of his work and I must say that they're pretty good.

We know that it's been quite some time since we had a jersey for the egroup. We're targeting this third generation design to be out by next month in time for the Holidays and it's going to be for a limited run only.

Andrew will be doing a sample run to show the design to everyone. I'll post the pictures once I have them. Based from our discussion yesterday he can have it ready before the week ends.

Watch out bisikleta.ph fans! I'm having a jersey designed for this blog as well! Let me know if you're interested.

For your cycling wear needs, get in touch Andrew. Here's his contact details:

Andrew Chinalpan Jr.
Epic Triathlon and Cycling Wear
5 Augustus Caesar Street
Kingsville Subdivision
Antipolo City
Telephone: +63 2 645-7331
Mobile: +63 918 942-8506
Fax: +63 2 250-1468
Email: a(underscore)chinalpan(at)yahoo(dot)com

What I plan to bring for the Mindoro Multi-day Bike Trip

I'm getting more and more excited every time I think about our multi-day Mindoro bike trip next month. I just finished watching videos on YouTube and other bike touring sites on the preparation. I was going through some of the articles on BicycleTouringPro.com, read reviews about my recently bought Topeak MTX BeamRack, fantasized about having the Bob Ibex bike trailer fabricated somewhere in Cainta, and even went to Johnny Air in SM Megamall to pick up the first of four items I bought at Amazon - the Topeak MTX Dual Side Frame.

If you remember from my last post, I promised you that I'll post my list of things I'm bringing for the trip. Well, I think I'm finished. Check it out and let me know if I left out anything:

The Tour of Mindoro Packing List

Medicines and First Aid

  • Aprovel
  • Puritabs
  • Alcohol
  • Cleaning Wipes
  • Bandages
  • Tape
  • Gauze
  • Biogesic
  • Alaxan
  • Imodium
  • Antihistamine
  • Drixine
  • Bonamine
  • Sunblock
  • Mosquito Repellant

Visibility

  • Headlights
  • Extra Batteries
  • Blinkers
  • Reflectors
  • Flashlight

Bike Wear

  • Cycling Jersey
  • Cycling Shorts
  • Helmet
  • Gloves
  • Oakley Jawbone
  • Soft Cleaning Bag
  • Clear Lens
  • Socks
  • Cycling Shoes
  • Watch
  • Jacket

Bike Repair Kit

  • Pump
  • Patch Kit
  • Inner Tube
  • Multi Tool
  • Zip Ties
  • Tire Lever
  • Duct Tape
  • Chain Lubricant

Hydration

  • Camelbak
  • Water Bottle

Nutrition

  • Bars
  • Gels

Other Bike Stuff

  • Bike Lock
  • Topeak QR MTX Beam Rack
  • Topeak MTX DXP Trunk Bag
  • Topeak Dual Size Pannier Frame
  • Topeak Rain Cover
  • Garmin GPS 
  • USB Charger

Electronics

  • iPhone
  • Charger
  • Phone Water Pack
  • Flip Video
  • Batteries

Off-Bike Clothes

  • Quick-dry Towel
  • Sleeping Shorts
  • Sleeping Shirt
  • Dri-Fit Shorts
  • Dri-Fit Shirt
  • Flip Flops
  • Dry Bag

Toiletries

  • Soap
  • Shampoo
  • Comb
  • Tissue Paper
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Hello Antipolo: my Sumulong-Ortigas Loop

I was at the middle of the climb when my butt started to hurt.

It has been several weeks since the last time I rode a bike and it wasn't this long. I've been riding mostly trails, so my longest distance on the saddle would've been about 20 kilometers. I think that was in Batangas with Nilo, Domeng and the others.

It was hurting but I know I just can't stop there. I have to finish the climb. It doesn't matter if I ride at 5 kilometers per hour. What's important is I conquer it without stopping. That was my goal.

And I did it.

You're probably wondering what the fuzz is about with this sudden long ride. I'm training, you see. I need to put some miles in these fatty legs for our multi-day ride in Mindoro this December. I don't want to be left behind.

I'm so excited with this trip that I bought a set of Topeak QR Beam Rack and trunk bag for my stuff from Amazon. (I'll show you these when they arrive.) After our Puerto Galera trip, I realized that it's not fun biking with all your stuff in the hydration pack.

I'll be making my Stuff to Bring list so you guys can see and comment if there's something I missed.

Today's ride was about 40 kilometers. I think I have to do 60 next week. Maybe that Laguna loop would be great.

Let me know if you want to join.

Here's the map for today's ride:
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