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.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Reviving Bike to Work Day

I used to bike to work often before. Not every day, but it was as much as thrice a week. I would leave the house early and then take a shower at the small bathroom near the managing director's office. When we transferred to ELJ, I would take a shower at the 14th floor gym.

Then it slowly died down. I guess it's so much easier to ride a car. I guess because I didn't renew my gym membership and so there's no place for me to take a shower. I guess because I got married and my wife disapproves of me risking my life on the streets of Manila.

As we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution, I have no plans in being stuck in traffic for hours just to get to work and go back home. So today, I'm riding my bike. I'm reinstalling the Topeak beam rack and trunk bag that I used for our Mindoro trip last December. I packed my laptop, my toiletries, and my change of clothes. I'll be parking my bike at the basement and will take a shower at the men's locker room near the TOC. I brought my lights, blinkers and reflectors just in case I need to bike at night.

If this goes well, I would be biking to the office more often. And maybe lose some weight in the process.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Batangas Mountain Bikers takes on La Mesa Anew

See the new Bisikleta.ph jersey I'm wearing?
Last November, three boys from Batangas finally accepted our invitation to ride the La Mesa Nature Reserve. They are Eric, Domeng and Topher. They woke up and left Batangas Early so they could meet with us in a gas station along EDSA and do a convoy to La Mesa. They weren't disappointed at all. And they told their riding stories to the other riders from the area. (Read the story here and watch the video here.)

Yesterday, eleven mountain bikers from Batangas City made the journey to get a taste of what this mystical trail network has in store. They brought lunch, trail food and lots of water this time. Leaving Tower 11 a little past 7:30 in the morning, we hit the singletracks right from the start and visited the usual areas: the treehouse, the kubo, the lakeside, tower 8 and tower 5. We were supposed to ride till tower one, but I can that everyone's running on empty from all the riding. So we headed back to the parking area. In end, the whole trip was 28.99 kilometers long.

I thought I won't be able to join these guys. I was just recovering from a two-day flu bout. At first I was thinking that it could go back after the ride, but I figured I'd just play it by ear and ride depending on how I felt. Besides, how often do these boys actually visit Manila to ride?

Yesterday was also the debut of my Bisikleta.ph jersey. Made by the guys from Epic, I have to say that I absolutely love it! I find the full zip especially helpful when the weather was getting hot. The boys like the design, too, and a lot of them want to order. I think I'll come up with a sign-up sheet for the next batch.

Eric has the video of the ride. I hope Mr. Salamat Sa Panonood (a.k.a. Domeng) would still edit it despite him not being able to make it this time.

Here's the map of our route:

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Batangas - Ibaan Trail Ride

Just for kicks, I downloaded the video from Eric's GoPro helmet-mounted camera and edited it using iMovie. The result is this seven-minute video.

If you wanna know where this is, here's the map:

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Our Batangas City - Lobo - Batangas City Long Ride

I was longing for a long ride, and the Batangas City - Lobo - Batangas City delivered. After Mindoro, I can't help but be a bit of a bike snob. Yes, I do enjoy the trails that my dear friend Onad takes us, but somehow my legs were looking for something a bit more epic.

And so last week when Domeng messaged me on Facebook asking where do I want to ride, I replied "Lobo". We'll do the scenic route by the bay and then do the climbs on our way back. And that's exactly what happened.

We left Batangas City a little after seven in the morning and got back about two in the afternoon. I suffered on the way back with those climbs (check out the elevation profile here). My legs were cramping. I was the group's lantern rouge. But I don't care. I was enjoying every minute of it.

The weather was on our side as well. It was cloudy and it drizzled a bit, but that was it.

The whole trip was 77 kilometers with 899 meters of climbing. Awesome!

Check out our route:

Friday, February 04, 2011

The Change Mindoro Did

Mindoro has done something with my biking. After bringing the additional weight of my clothes and gear in my trunk bag for four days, it seems I'm a bit stronger now. I can stand up on climbs longer and can even ride with the stronger boys now.

Also, I'm becoming a bit of a bike snob. Short and unchallenging rides seem boring. Nowadays I look forward to longer rides that can probably last the whole day.

Oh no!
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