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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.

Wow.

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)

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    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.



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    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.

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    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:
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