Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Celebrating the First Year Anniversary of the Mindoro Bikepackers

I am celebrating the first year anniversary of our four-day Mindoro bike tour in an airport lounge waiting for our flight to Hong Kong rather than doing another epic ride to who-knows-where.

If you ask me, I'd rather be awake at this time of day, pedaling to some remote place in this country where I haven't been before. I long for the uncertainty on where we'll get our next meal, or not knowing the actual distance is to the town where we're spending the night.

But there's 2012 for that.

To Domeng, Eric and Ed who joined in the epic adventure of my life that is Mindoro, happy anniversary and thank you for being there. I'm looking forward to more epic rides with you guys next year.

On our anniversary, I actually edited the Mindoro Bikepackers movie and added excerpts of Ed's interview plus some of the videos Domeng and Eric took. I havne't uploaded it though. In the meantime, you can reminisce again by watching the old video.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

The Future is in Two Wheels

This entry is from our guest blogger, Missy Galang, of Buddybuilders

I have never been to an Auto Show in my life.

Yet this year, I was invited to go to the Manila Auto Salon 2011 held at the SMX Convention Center last November 24-27, 2011.

Having watched all The Fast and the Furious movies, I knew to expect crazy customized cars, booming stereos, out of this world paint jobs and skimpily clad girls.

Well, it was all that and more.

With this year’s theme as “Mad about styling and tuning”, the event promised to be a mind-blowing display of creatively customized cars. Indeed, the show exceeded all expectations with over 130 styled, modified, and tuned cars, trucks, and SUV's on display.

Some people went for the cars, some people went for the girls, some people went out of curiosity, but I went to look at bikes.

Yes. bicycles.

These days, the newest “toy” people are going crazy over don’t have four wheels; they have two.

More and more, we see Filipinos on bikes weaving their way through the city roads. Racing in two wheels is kicking in in high gear and many have caught the bug for customizing their bikes.

If you think about it, these bikes fit the theme perfectly. Joining the event are Dan’s Bike Shop and Bike Town Cyclery who brought in an exhibit from the Terry Larazabal Bike Festival.

Amid the booming sounds, racing games, sexy girls and trophies is a quiet little corner displaying the Terry Larrazabal Bike Festival exhibit.

It featured a stunning display of multi-discipline bicycles with everything from Triathlon bikes, MTB, Road BMX and more. Needless to say, there was much to ogle at.

Everything was impressive, but my personal favorites are the clean white Parlee TT, the Ibis Mojo HD and the classic beauty—the Sycip Crossdresser.

One wouldn’t think a bike would belong at an Auto Show, yet the presence at the Auto Salon was a sign that the cycling community getting bigger and more active.

There are countless races and social bike meets, yet I wait for the day when we can hold a full-on bike show. At the rate we’re going, I think we don’t have to wait too long.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Recovering from Vertigo

I've been suffering from vertigo the past few days that there was a point when I was almost running on Serc. I was planning on racing the cross country course in Nuvali, but I had to turn it down so that I can let my body recover.

Today's ride was nothing great. As a recovery ride, I did a point A to point B and back thing -- a 20-kilometer ride from Pioneer in Mandaluyong to my in-law's place in La Vista, Quezon City. It was a bit overcast but a bit windier than usual.I was not my usual self when I was climbing up the Katipunan flyover. I think my speed was a shameful 13 kilometers per hour, but then again that was with a headwind. After resting in La Vista for about 30 minutes, I was feeling better on the ride back.

I won't post my ride map in this entry since it's uneventful anyway.

Hope your ride this weekend was better.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Batangas City - Dao - Pinamucan Trail Ride

I think I have fully recovered from last week's bug based from how I felt in today's amazing trail ride with Onad, Eric and Melong.

We started the climb to Dao from Tabangao, similar to our ride with Davison last October 22, but instead of taking a left turn when we reached the Barangay Hall at the end of road, we took a right. After about a couple of kilometers of riding, we stopped by the corner by the Welcome Arc to Pinamucan and took a detour to the a very fun stretch of single track. In my opinion this is probably one of the best trails near the City. It was a good mix of singletracks, fireroads and backroads, and the view of the sea and the nearby mountains is spectacular. We rode next to a cliff with a magnificent view. This was all rolling terrain on farm lands and access roads. What made it so awesome is this downhill stretch going to Pinamucan proper. In a way I felt bad that I didn't bring the camera for this trip. The last part, when we were riding down near the houses, felt like we were riding in Brazil.

I can feel that I'm slowly getting fitter each time, and I think my bike buddies felt this as well. I was almost always climbing at the front of the group and I wasn't using my granny gear at all. I'm starting to practice what I learned during our Macabud via Pangarap ride -- that the smallest gear may not necessarily be the best one. Maybe those three climbs to Ultra in Pasig last Wednesday actually paid off.

I'm thinking of joining the cross country race in Nuvali next week just for fun. That is if my schedule permits it. We'll see.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Of Sore Throats and Pancit Guisados

Last weekend was another long one, but unfortunately I didn't get to ride much. I was supposed to join King and Winston for a Licao-Licao ride last Saturday, but I didn't get a lot of sleep the night before because of my sore throat. It was so painful despite gargling with oral antiseptics. Sunday was a bummer too because of the rain.

The group at Mang Onad's Lomian
As for Monday, I was able to drive all the way to Batangas to join, Onad, Eric and Melong for a ride to Rosario, but it was cut short because I wasn't feeling that well. I had to stop on a silly short climb just to recover. So after doing a Gulod-Paharang ride, we headed back to the city but took a detour to the nearest panciteria - Mang Onad's (not related to my bike buddy).

Aside from the steaming hot pancit guisado, probably the good side to this ride was our visit to the new bike shop along Pastor Avenue near Days Hotel. It's a branch of Lipa Bike Shop from Lipa City and they're calling it Lipa Bikes. I know it sounds weird at first, but just imagine how it was when they first opened Makati Supermarket in Alabang.

Lipa Bike Shop in Batangas City. Say whut?!
They don't have that much stuff yet, but I can see a lot of promise. Truth be told, I was actually thinking of setting up a bike shop in that same area, but I just didn't have the funds to make it happen. Now that they're there, I wish them all the best and hope they'll take care of the Batangas City cyclists.

I was back in Manila by twelve noon. It was that fast. It's so anti-climactic. I wished I rode some more but I didn't want to push my body further. Now I'm hoping that I can fully recover for more biking action next week.

Thanks for reading.

Here's te map of our ride:

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Oakley Jawbone Addict

Silver and Red Jawbone
What you're seeing is my third Oakley Jawbone, which I customized from their site and ordered from Benji of Joven Bike Shop. I know it's not right. Some people can't afford to buy one, let alone three. But isn't she a beauty? And don't you think she works well with my new color theme?

I can hear crickets.

And yet I don't care. I love their fit. I love their lenses. And I love how they're so freakin' cool.

Vanity will be the death of me.

Silver and Red Jawbone

Almost Licao-Licao

It's November 1 and I finished my cemetery duties yesterday. So today is a day for riding again.

The plan kept changing until the last minute. First it was Maarat, but none of us wanted to brave the traffic caused by the cemetery along the highway. Next we thought of riding at the Camp Aguinaldo trail, but we weren't sure if it was open. And so finally we decided that we'd go to Licao-Licao, but there's a slight twist. Instead of taking the Litex road and risk passing by a cemetery and get stuck, we would park our cars somewhere along Quirino Highway near La Mesa Nature Reserve and bike our way to Licao-Licao via the Pangarap Village. Now that's new for me!

Jonats was already at McDonald's when King and I arrived. After having breakfast, we sat off for La Mesa. I think this was already around 8:00 in the morning.

We parked the car at the Shell Station near the old entrance to La Mesa and pedaled to Pangarap. Basically, the whole trail was parallel to the walls of the nature reserve.

This is a ride I enjoyed a lot, except for the part where we chose the wrong way and entered a private road and got chased by about six dogs. It had a bit of everything - fireroads, climbs, downhills and singletracks. I'm thankful I installed the Nevegals last night because I never had any problems losing traction today. Those tires were amazing.

My chain broke on one of the climbs. This hasn't happened to me in a decade. Thankfully I had a lifesaver with me in the form of the Missing Link. After removing the broken chain link, installing this was such a breeze. I bought it at Trail Warriors Cyclery at Loyola Heights when we were doing our bike shop hopping last Holy Week with Domeng and Eric. It was a novelty for me then. Now, after the experience, I think I'm going buy a couple more.

Because we left late, we only biked till Macabud before we had to stop at a sari-sari store for some soda, turn back and ride to the parking area. We were a few meters away from reaching Licao-Licao and her wonderful network of trails, but that's OK. In a weird way, I was actually looking forward to the ride back. It was that fun.

We arrived at the Shell station at a little past 12 noon and had lunch at the nearby Chowking restaurant. Not a bad ride for the last day of the four-day break.

Check out the map of our ride:

Monday, October 31, 2011

Tubeless Conversion Fail

Tubeless Fail
I have a bottle of Stan's tire sealant that's gathering dust in my storage area. I also have a wheelset with Mavic X819 rims that's tubeless ready and a pair of Kenda Nevegals to go with them. I figured I should go for gold and do the tubeless conversion.

I've been trying to flirt with the conversion several times but this time was the first time I was serious. Because this time I had a pail of soapy water. And according to the Stan's site, that's the way to go.

Well, so how did it go? If you're reading the title, you'd know I failed. After pouring about two cups of sealant to the tire and getting the side all wet with the soapy water, I still couldn't get it to hold air. I was pumping like a madman, but I achieved nothing.

Maybe I really need an air compressor to make this happen.

Or maybe I can just take it to the shop and have it converted there.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Bike Fit: Flipping the Stem

Flipping the stem
Lately I've been having problems with my shoulders and back when I ride my bike. During our Timberland ride this morning, Agu and King suggested that I flip the stem from a negative to a positive rise.

Now I have to be honest. I'm not a big fan of an upright stem primarily because of the looks. A negative rise stem on a hardtail cross-country bike makes one seem like a bad-ass bike racer, while the opposite screams newbie.

Well, for the benefit of my back, I pulled out the allen wrench a couple of hours ago and flipped the stem to a positive five degree angle. Judging from the pictures, it doesn't look that bad at all.

We'll be riding in La Mesa tomorrow (I love this four-day weekend). I'll find out if my shoulders and back would thank me for valuing substance over style then.

Flipping the stem

Well, I didn't get to ride La Mesa today because King forgot to bring his bike shoes, but I took advantage of the situation and rode around the La Mesa parking area to try my bike's new stem position. Judging from this few minutes of riding from the car to the gate then back up to pavilion, I must say that there's a significant change in terms of my comfort. Of course the true outcome will reveal itself after a few hours on the saddle, but as of now it's very promising.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Maintenance: Servicing the Crank Brothers Eggbeater Pedals

Crank Brothers Egg Beater C - right pedal
When I turned the pedal after lubing the chain yesterday, I knew there was something wrong with them. Maybe it's from all the long rides that I did or from all the power hosing it endured or probably a mix of both. Whatever the reason may be, one thing's for sure -- my pedals weren't turning as smoothly as they should be.

I bought this pair a year ago after I discovered that the wings of my old Eggbeaters were broken during the Livestrong ride. Now, after hundreds of kilometers of riding, these babies are crying out for some lovin'.

Quickly, I searched the internet for a step-by-step way to basically revive my pedals, and stumbled upon Pedal! Damn it!'s Crank Brothers Servicing blog entry. After reading it, I had all the tools needed to do some basic relubing except for the 8mm socket wrench.

I couldn't sleep well last night knowing that I was just a tool away from getting my pedals fixed. I had to get up at around two in the morning to pull out an 8mm allen wrench and remove the pedal from the crank.

I was glad that I was able to pull the pedal out easily. My past pedals felt like they were bonded to the crank when I tried to remove them.

Today, right after work, I went to the mall and got myself an 8mm socket wrench. After treating myself to dinner at Pepper Lunch, I hurried home to start the operation.

After removing the dust cap with a flathead screwdriver, I managed to pull out the bolt that was keeping everything together with my brand new socket wrench. When that was through, pulling out the spindle was as easy as pie. I removed the old grease with a rug and some degreaser, and applied a fresh coat of grease right after. After that, I rebuilt the pedal and attached it back to the crank arms.

I was ecstatic with how smooth it was when I turned it. Maybe I was a bike mechanic in my past life.

Now it's time to ride again!

Love the photo? I took that from Earthmound of Flickr.

Biking in Batangas City: The Tabangao via Dao Malampaya Trail

After last Sunday's cancelled Batangas Ride which brought me to Maarat instead of the city of steaming pancit guisado, I was determined to make take two successful.

I woke up at 4:30 in the morning and left Pioneer at about 5:00 a.m. One hour and P306.00 poorer (can you believe that's how much I have to pay in toll fees for just one way?), I was in my hometown. I parked the car at Eric's Carwash at the corner of P. Herrera and Noble streets, geared up, and joined Onad and Davison for a nice morning ride.

After climbing up Tabangao, we made a left turn at the top to a dirt road for some more climbing. This is where our dear friend, Carlito Benoza, used to live. During our afternoon rides years ago, we would see him go down this road on his BMX on his way to work.

Monday, October 17, 2011

A Sunday Afternoon with Agu

The plan was to go to Batangas City last Sunday and do some trail riding with Onad and Eric. Since I haven't been there for some time, I guess I was a bit too excited that I wasn't able to sleep. You know how the feeling is the night before the race? It's the same thing. Well, because I was still up at four in the morning, I had no choice but to cancel the ride. Bummer!

At least I was able to salvage the day and managed to ride in Maarat in the afternoon. Actually, I would say that it was a blessing in disguise because the ride was awesome. Joined by Agu Paiso of www.mynextbike.com, we rode the green trail, then down Roxas Boulevard, up to Araneta and back to the parking lot via the main road.

Except for some muddy sections, the trail condition was perfect -- just the right amount of stickiness for your knobbies! Mix in with some sunshine and cool breeze and you've got heaven on earth right there.

On the not so good side, the road to Timberland is still under repair, which means that we had to pass the old way through the city market with all the traffic. That's a major turnoff. I hope they fix that pretty soon.

All the photos courtesy of Agu.

Map of the ride to be posted soon.

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Tour Divide: Pinoy Style

Thinking of a local bike race that's patterned after the Tour Divide.

We all start in Pagudpod and bike all the way down to Zamboanga City. We'll agree on the route, of course, and we all ride it with our bikes without any back-up or outside support. Maybe we can pattern the rules from here.

It'll be an honor system and there won't be any prizes nor marshals nor timing chips.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Bike Tour of Northern Luzon Initial Itinerary

With nothing to do on a rainy Saturday evening, I decided to plan the initial itinerary for the dream bike tour around northern Luzon. Using Google Earth as my tool, I did a more accurate measurement on how many days it will take me to do it. My initial calculation is ten days to do the whole trip, but when I did the initial dive I discovered that it's about 14 days on the bike without any rest days.

I'm more familiar with the western highways, which are relatively flat. What I'm not sure of is the eastern route going to Tuguegarao if it's the same or if it's more mountainous.

Below is the initial itinerary that I did. I would appreciate feedbacks on the road conditions, climbs and places to eat and sleep in these areas:

Day 1: Quezon City to Cabanatuan City
115.29 kilometers

Day 2: Cabanatuan City to Aritao
99.96 kilometers

Day 3: Aritao to Santiago
85.30 kilometers

Day 4: Santiago to Tuguegarao City
123.77 kilometers

Day 5: Tuguegarao City to Ballesteros
115.42 kilometers

Day 6: Ballesteros to Pagudpod
117.25 kilometers

Day 7: Pagudpod to Cabugao
125.63 kilometers

Day 8: Cabugao to Candon
83.20 kilometers

Day 9: Candon to San Fernando City
76.80 kilometers

Day 10: San Fernando City to Alaminos
114.44 kilometers

Day 11: Alaminos to Iba
108.72 kilometers

Day 12: Iba to Olongapo City
79.30 kilometers

Day 13: Olongapo City to Orani
94.02 kilometers

Day 14: Orani to Quezon City
111.05 kilometers

I just added it now. That's a total of 1,450.15 kilometers! This is definitely not a ride for newbies. If ever I'm going to push through with this, I'm going to need to train first and also get us some sponsors.


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Laguna de Bike: A two-day bike tour around the lake

We celebrated a three-day weekend the best way we know how - with a long ride. We biked around Laguna de Bay, starting from Mandaluyong, climbing up Antipolo, going down Teresa, suffering the 9-kilometer Pililia face of Bugarin, pedaling through the towns of Pangil, Pakil, Paete, Kalayaan and Lumban, slept at Pagsanjan, and finished the ride at Calamba.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

My Initial Thoughts on my Laguna de Bay Bike Ride

August 19 marks the birth date of Manuel Luis Quezon and a public holiday for people who work in Quezon City. For this three-day weekend, I'm planning to do another bike tour. This time, it'll be a tour around Laguna de Bay.

A lot of cyclists did the whole 180-kilometer (yet to be confirmed) route in a day, but I plan on doing it in two. I'll spend the night at Hotel La Corona in Pagsanjan so I have time to stop at each town and appreciate the sights.

I just want to share some of the items I'm thinking of right now:

  • I just checked AccuWeather now and it seems like it's going to be a wet trip. Also, of the four people I invited to join me, none have actually confirmed. Looks like this will be my first solo tour.

  • Since it's an overnight trip, I'm torn on wether I should bring the rack and trunk bag or just put everything in the Camelbak. I'll try to pack using the pack. If it's too heavy, I'll bring out the rack.

  • With these type of adventures, the more I need a digital camera. I know I have the Flip UltraHD but that can't take pictures.

  • Should I ride with the Slant Six or switch to the slicks? My obsession with tires is getting worse.

  • Sunday, August 14, 2011

    Fatty's Saturday Afternoon Sufferfest

    As my wife left for the Ateneo-FEU game in Araneta, I geared up for my own gimmick -- climb up to Antipolo to do some reconnaissance for the planned Laguna de Bay loop next week. It was two o' clock in the afternoon but it was overcast so the weather was perfect. It's also a nice opportunity to test run my new Camelbak MULE NV.

    I was actually thinking of climbing Antipolo via Sumulong, go down Teresa, make a u-turn somewhere to climb back up to Antipolo, and go down to Ortigas extension, but I thought this might be pushing myself too much.

    Yesterday's ride was a sufferfest for me. I haven't done a long ride since Subic so I experienced the consequence. I had to stop several times when I was climbing Sumulong. Before I would just be spinning to the top even if I'm riding at a snail's pace, but yesterday I stopped at the Caltex station at the foot of the climb, near the entrance to Valley Golf Club, and at the side of the road near the Alpadi Estate.

    When I was there at the side of the road catching my breath, I wouldn't say it was one of my finest moments. In my mind, it was nahahakiya. I can see it from the eyes of the kid at the back of the jeep - look at that fatty! But I'm glad I chose to saddle up and suffer some more. As Thomas Wayne said, "we fall so that we learn to pick ourselves up." You see, I always had the option of turning back and enjoy the downhill ride to Marikina. I just didn't do that. I was thinking, what was I going to do at home if get there early? Watch the game? Not really a good way to spend a nice Saturday afternoon.

    The climb took me 30 minutes. When I got to P. Oliveros street, I stopped for a while and then went down towards Ortigas Avenue Extension.

    The whole ride from Pioneer to Antipolo and back was 40 kilometers long, and my legs weren't prepared for it. On the last major climb at Ultra, both of them were cramping. I had to stop when I got to the top to do some stretching.

    I got home at 6:00 p.m. They're not showing the game on TV. I missed it, but that didn't matter to me anymore.

    Here's yesterday's route:

    Saturday, August 13, 2011

    The Camelbak MULE NV 2011: The Hydration Pack for a Packrat like Me

    After almost a decade of use, I'm finally retiring my Camelbak Blowfish. We've been through lots of wonderful adventures over the years. I even bought a new reservoir three years ago and a new bite valve last month, but it would take a number trips to Mr. Quickie to patch up the holes and fix the straps.
    The Old Camelbak Blowfish

    After extensive research in Camelbak's website, I managed to cut down the choices to just two packs: the Camelbak HAWG NV 2011 and the Camelbak MULE NV 2011. Being a packrat, I need to have lots of space to put the essential stuff when I ride (pump, tire levers, patch kit, extra tube, multi-tool) plus my additional stuff (small bottle of chain lube, zip ties, duct tape, first aid kit, and a Missing Link). I also drink a lot so I need the 100 oz water reservoir.

    I went to Extreme Bike Shop right after work and looked for the two models. Unfortunately (or should it be fortunately?), they don't have the HAWG NV so I ended up with the terrific MULE NV 2011.

    The Camelbak Mule NV 2011
    After seeing this pack in person, I knew this is the one. It was love at first sight! Check out the features after the break.

    Monday, August 08, 2011

    Why I'm wearing a Life Band (and why you should, too)

    I've been thinking of having some form of identification made that I can take with me whenever I bike - a way to inform another party of my identity and the right numbers to call in case of an accident. I know no one wants this to happen to him, but it's better to be prepared.

    I saw the ads on the web with Levi Leipheimer and Bob Roll, and so I was thinking of buying a RoadID. Problem is it's such a hassle to get one because they don't have any dealers in the Philippines (as far as I know). That means I have order online and have it shipped here. I have to deal with the wait, the customs, and who knows what other entities. Not that good.

    Next in line were dog tags. They're selling these at one of the stalls in our building's lobby. It's relatively cheap and I can even put a sonnet with all the space. Problem is I don't want the cold aluminum dangling from my neck and sticking to my sweaty chest when I ride.

    Then, on one of my visits in All Terra at Julia Vargas, I saw the Life Band on display. What is it? In a nutshell, it's a locally made RoadID! That means I can order one and have it ready in two weeks. Nice, huh?

    Made by Hydro-Anno Domini, the Life Band has a reflectorized strip to help you be seen when you're riding at night, and is available in black, red, green, blue, pink, yellow and orange.

    Interested in getting one? Contact Ron Fuentebella at +63 917 959 3096 or go to their Multiply site for more information. Tell them you were referred by Jovan.


    Sunday, August 07, 2011

    Pictures of my muddy bike

    Whenever I see a vehicle on the road with a dirty bike mounted on the rack, I feel happy for that person. I know that he will have to wash that eventually, but at least he rode it and maybe enjoyed it. I'd rather have that than a shiny new bike just mounted on the wall.









    Saturday, August 06, 2011

    To Giant (Store) and Back Again

    Enough of this "I'll bike tomorrow" excuses. This afternoon, I took the bull by the horns and went on a nice solo ride at Timberland. It was nothing out of the ordinary - just a ride going to the Giant store and then back again to the parking area.

    The weather was relatively OK for the rainy season. My 2:00 p.m. ride was nice and cool. There was a slight drizzle but that it didn't become a full downpour.

    The trail was muddy but not sticky. It's a bit slippery but it's nothing that your body language can't handle. I was even playing with the idea of entering the Green trail but I was alone. If something happens, I may not get help on time. I'll reserve that for another day.

    If you're planning to park at the Timberland Clubhouse, make sure you have P25.00 with you. They're charging for parking now. And don't lose the ticket. You need to present that to the guard when you exit.

    Here's today's GPS reading:

    Wednesday, July 06, 2011

    Lame Ride For Fitness

    I wasn't able to ride last Sunday. I was supposed to do a few loops around Aguinaldo but I woke up late and I can't squeeze in a ride anymore in the morning because I had to drive the bossing to Harrison Plaza for the Azkals match against Sri Lanka.

    I thought after driving her there that I could do a quick lunch and gear up for Timberland, but it rained hard so I watched the game on TV instead.

    In my desperate attempt to have a few kilometers in my legs, I did a pathetic loop - from Pioneer, I went down to C5, took a right turn to Kalayaan, took another right turn and ended up at J. P. Rizal. From there I went straight and took the new bridge on Estrella and ended up in Boni.

    That's roughly 10 kilometers, but I'm not exactly proud of it.

    Monday, June 27, 2011

    Hello saddle! I'm back!

    I broke my biking hiatus yesterday and did a nice short lap in Timberland's main trail. From the clubhouse parking area (This is the new parking area. They don't allow us to park on the main road anymore), I pedaled my way to the offroad section and took a left turn towards Roxas. Then it was all downhill from Roxas "boulevard" to the part that used to be called "Boy-Girl". Then I climbed up the cemented road up to Araneta and took a right turn back to the main trail straight to the parking area.

    Tuesday, June 07, 2011

    How about a bike trip from Manila to Northern Luzon?

    I've been toying with the idea of another bike trip that is more epic that what I did last year. This one will start from Manila to Pagudpod via the Maharlika highway in the east, passing by the provinces of Bulacan, Nueva Ecija and Nueva Viscaya, and then back to Manila, but this time taking the National Highway and passing by the provinces of Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Pangasinan and Tarlac.

    I think I should take about a three week leave for this so that I'll have more time to appreciate the views and get more immersed with the people I'll meet. I'm planning on traveling no more than a hundred kilometers every day and take a couple of days off whenever I feel like it.

    There's nothing like experiencing the countryside on a bicycle.

    I wonder if I can find companies who are willing to sponsor me on this adventure. Maybe I can do an exdeal with them - my stories for their moolah.

    Now wouldn't that be a great adventure?

    Saturday, May 28, 2011

    We've got stickers now!

    One day after work, I decided to go to SM Megamall to have some sample stickers made and get dinner afterwards. I don't know what made me do it. I've been planning on doing this for the longest time, but I've been putting it off. Now I finally did it.

    I had two stickers made - one for the car and one for the bike. What you're seeing here is the one for the bike, obviously. I'll take a picture of the one in the car and post it here.

    Thursday, May 19, 2011


    I haven't biked in two weeks. As my sister said, I should be ashame. That's right -- ASHAME!

    Friday, May 06, 2011

    Suffering in Subic

    For the longest time I've been dreaming of biking in Subic. I would imagine how awesome it would be like to be riding in its jungles and discover trails networks that haven't seen any mountain bikers before.

    Last Sunday I finally did it. And this time I was with King and Topher.

    Monday, May 02, 2011

    A Weekend of Suffering

    The plan was riding the Subic trails on Sunday. Biking in Maarat on Saturday wasn't part of it. Tired? You betcha! I was out at 10:30 p.m. last night - that's an early sleeping time for me. But boy did we enjoy it!

    I'll post separate entries for the Maarat trail ride (This time I rode the green trail + the blue trail) and yesterday's Subic suffer fest. This should be out today or tomorrow. I also took videos of the latter so you'll see the rewards that I got from the suffering. Of course I'll include the GPS maps!

    Sunday, April 24, 2011

    The Mandaluyong to Batangas City Bike Ride

    On April 21st at 5:00 in the morning, Domeng, Eric and I left Pioneer in Mandaluyong and pedaled 108 kilometers to Batangas City.

    Tuesday, April 19, 2011

    Packing for the Manila-Batangas City Ride

    I never realized how excited I was to do an epic ride again until I prepared my bike and started packing for the trip this evening. As I was changing the tires and installing the beam rack, I couldn't help but imagine how fun this trip is going to be, riding through the towns and municipalities that I've visited when I was a kid and seeing how they changed.

    Monday, April 18, 2011

    Trying out All Terra's Eco Trail (Blue Zone)

    We were intrigued by what we were hearing from the social networks and in the various forums - that they're building a new trail network somewhere in Timberland to rival La Mesa. It was apparently a partnership between the developers of Timberland and the All Terra bike shops. They even imported someone from IMBA to design it.

    Sunday, April 10, 2011

    Planning my Holy Week Ride

    The Batangas Mountain Bikers has an annual visita iglesia every Good Friday. It starts from Batangas City and goes to the churches of various cities and municipalities in the province on their bikes.

    This year I'm planning to do something a bit different. I'm thinking of biking from Mandaluyong to Batangas City on Maundy Thursday, doing the visita iglesia on Good Friday, and then bike back to Manila on Black Saturday. I told my bike buddies about this yesterday and they're thinking of meeting me somewhere in Calamba, Laguna or Sto. Tomas, Batangas.

    If you're interested in joining me, let me know.

    Friday, April 01, 2011

    Pictures from my Beijing Trip

    I went to Beijing last week and it was a blast. We went to the usual tourist places: Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, the Great Wall, the Bird's Nest, the Cube, the Temple of Heaven and the Summer Palace. They're all breathtaking. I really appreciate their rich culture and history.

    One thing that I love is the number of people who ride their bikes. They have dedicated bike lanes so citizens can pedal their way to almost everywhere they please.

    Check out the pictures I took.

    Friday, March 18, 2011

    Nothing to Report. For now.

    Hi guys!

    I don't have any new updates for the blog.

    Last Sunday's ride from Batangas City to San Pascual to Alitagtag and back is OK but it's nothing new. What's noteworthy with it is the long incline from Bauan to Alitagtag that I loved. The trail going back that snakes between rice fields and mango plantations is just OK.

    You can see the map here:

    I'll be leaving for Beijing this weekend so I won't be posting any rides. What I do hope though is if I can rent a bike there and go around the city to check out the sights.

    Thanks for reading!

    Saturday, March 12, 2011

    Bisikleta.ph's got mail!

    I finally have a Bisikleta.ph email address! Looks like doing these Saturday morning tech puzzles is beginning to pay off.

    It's powered by Google Apps and it's free (the magic word)! You will need to have access to your domain management tool and add a few MX entries and a CNAME entry. I also had to put a Google verification code in my site's code for them to verify my ownership of the domain. It was intimidating at first, knowing that one screw up could mess my blog's domain, but after mustering up some courage and reading the instructions thoroughly I emerged victorious.

    So now you can email me at jovan [at] bisikleta [d0t] ph. (Sorry, I can't write the email address straight here for fear of getting spammed.)

    Cool, huh?

    Sunday, March 06, 2011

    Today's Ride: Not My Day

    I didn't feel good in today's ride. I easily got tired and was at the back of the group most of the time. On the first climb, I had to sit down at the top to avoid getting lightheaded. It's so weird because my heart rate wasn't that high.

    Friday, March 04, 2011

    Instant Adrenaline Rush: Urban Downhill Race in Chile

    VCA 2010 RACE RUN from changoman on Vimeo.

    RJ just shared this video to me through Facebook and it gave me a huge adrenaline rush just watching it. It's an urban downhill race in Chile and the camera's point of view is from the racer. Seems like he has a GoPro camera mounted on his helmet. Watch! Watch! Watch!

    Want some more? Go to Changoman's Vimeo channel now!

    Wednesday, March 02, 2011

    The Fireflies need your help

    Got an email from Ricky Pineda of the Firefly Brigade asking for volunteers for this year's Tour of the Fireflies.

    For those of you who don't know, the Tour of the Fireflies is the oldest and biggest critical mass ride in the country, with the number of participants reaching well over 10,000. Try to imagine controlling that many cyclists and you'll know why they're in dire need of marshals.

    Driver tries to kill cyclists in a Critical Mass Ride in Porto Alegre, Brazil

    This video was shared on Facebook and in our PCN eGroup. When I watched it, I was just horrified as to how someone can just plow through a street packed with cyclists. It's sad that they haven't caught the driver of the car yet. It's also sad that even with all the videos taken, their police wasn't convinced that the driver was out to kill the cyclists. I hope this doesn't happen in any of our critical mass rides in the Philippines. My heart goes out to all the cyclists in Porto Alegre, Brazil.

    Monday, February 28, 2011

    An Oakley Slave

    Oakley Custom Jawbone
    Me playing around in the Oakley Custom site is a bad thing. It's like playing with fire and it can leave a big gaping hole in my wallet if I'm not careful enough. Thank God online ordering is not (yet) available for this country or I would've been in serious credit card debt. That picture of a blue Oakley Jawbone at the top is proof of how bad this can be. I bought it from Joven Bikes last year and I had to wait for several months before it was delivered.

    With my new color scheme (grey, red and white), I'm at it again. And it's another Jawbone. Again. If ever this pushes through, it'll be my third. I know I only a pair of eyes as opposed to the number of Oakley glasses that I have, but check this one out:

    Isn't it a beauty?

    Maybe I should get a job in Oakley.

    Sunday, February 27, 2011

    Happy New Gear: Bell Volt Helmet

    There comes a time in your life where you have to let go of something, no matter how painful this separation may be. After five long years of numerous cycling escapades in and around Manila, I'm retiring my beloved Giro Atmos helmet. I'm thanking this equipment for being there with me every step of the way. I'm thankful also that it didn't have to sacrifice its life to save mine.

    Sadly, helmets have a lifespan. Depending on the manufacturer, after three to five years, helmets need to be put out of commission. Exposure to the elements for that amount of time may compromise its ability to protect one's head in an impact.

    Being saved by a Giro helmet once when I was in high school, I was planning to get another one - a Giro Athlon to be exact, but I guess it wasn't meant to be. The first time, I ordered online through Bike Nashbar, but they said that they cannot ship it to the Johnny Air office in New York. It has to be straight to the Philippines, which costs more. So I scrapped that. The second time, I went to Velo City in Cartimar to get me one, but they don't have the size for the color that I like.

    So I got a Bell Volt instead. It's the same helmet used by Team BMC and Team CSC in last year's Tour de France. What makes it cool is it comes with a visor so I can take it both on and off road.

    This is my second Bell helmet. The first one was a Bell Razor with the Reebok Pump system. I got me a red and white one this time, which goes really well with my new Bisikleta.ph jersey. (Pretty soon, I need to get myself a pair of red Oakley Jawbones, too.)

    What do you think?

    By the way, a helmet is only designed to absorb one impact. After that you're supposed to replace it.
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