Sunday, April 29, 2012

Tips on Riding in This Extreme Heat

6 - Laurel

With temperatures reaching record levels, riding in this extreme heat is a serious thing. Old school riders will shrug it off and say that it's part of cycling, but you can dehydrate yourself and suffer from heatstroke if you're not careful. That's not fun at all.

I'm not saying that you should stay indoors and wait for the wet season. Just use your coconut shell (a.k.a. common sense) and ride intelligently.

Here are some of my tips to enjoy biking without the risk of injuring yourself:

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Having the Bike's Engine Checked

I've had blood work, ultrasound and 2D echo done, and aside from a fatty liver, everything turned out to be normal. There's one test that I need to undergo. Since the doctor couldn't figure what caused the irregular heartbeats (Don't know what happened? Watch the video), she wanted me to undergo a stress test. She also recommended that I go to the St. Luke's Weight Management Center and get some help in losing weight.

Until I have all my medical tests done, I won't be doing any long rides for now. Better make sure everything is in good condition before I torture myself again.

There's actually a blog entry before this, but I promised my friend that I won't be publishing that until his project is out. Just wait for it.

Monday, April 09, 2012

The Taal Lake Visita Iglesia

In celebration of Easter, I'm very proud to present to you the video of our Visita Iglesia around Taal Lake. I tried to keep it as short as I can so it won't be dragging too much. It's a little more than six minutes long and I hope you like it.

Aside from this, I'd also like to share some choice photos that Domeng took during the ride:

1 - Batangas
This was taken on our way from Batangas City to Cuenca. You may not see it, but it's quite a climb, with an elevation gain starting at 54 meters and ending at 293 meters in just 15 kilometers.

5 - Agoncillo
You've seen this already in the teaser entry. This is the bridge over the Pansipit river connecting the municipalities of San Nicolas and Agoncillo.

5 - Agoncillo
This was taken somewhere in Agoncillo. The road here is a mix of volcanic sand with patches of cement. This is bad news if you're riding on slick tires like me.

5 - Agoncillo
Despite being from Batangas, this is probably my closest encounter with the Taal volcano.

View more Taal Lake Visita Iglesia pictures here.

For those who'd like to get the GPS coordinates, check out the map below. If you're wondering why it only goes halfway, watch the video and find out:

Saturday, April 07, 2012

A Visita Iglesia Preview

Crossing over from San Nicolas to Agoncillo

I just love this picture so much that I just have to share it. This was taken on the bridge connecting the municipalities of San Nicolas and Agoncillo in the province of Batangas during our Good Friday Visita Iglesia around the lake.

I'll be writing more about that in the next entry. Until then, enjoy!

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

My Prayer for EQ

Dearest Lord,

Forgive me for I think I am about to sin. I learned from experience that one is not supposed to use any new stuff for long rides (I can still remember the pain my butt felt after that first day on the new Specialized saddle when we did our Mindoro trip), but I went to the bike shop after work today and bought new bike shoes. My Louis Garneaus are about to retire, you see. Now I'm so tempted to use the new shoes for our Good Friday Taal Lake loop. I even installed a fresh pair of Crank Brothers cleats.

Give me strength and enough EQ to hold the fort together.

This I humbly ask.


Carnac Atlas



Monday, April 02, 2012

This Year's Good Friday Ride: The Taal Lake Loop

View Larger Map

Since way back in 1997, we've always been doing the Visita Iglesia by bicycle around the various churches of Batangas. Except for some minor revisions over the years, the route has always been the same -- you start from Batangas City and you bike to San Jose, Ibaan, Rosario, Padre Garcia, Lipa, San Vicente de Ferrer, Cuenca, Alitagtag, Sta. Teresita, Bauan, and San Pascual before heading back to Batangas City.

This year, it's going to be a bit different for the Laguna de Bikers Team (our dear friend, Jack Narciso, is joining us this year) - we're going to do the Taal Lake loop for the first time. I don't know the exact locations as I'm unfamiliar with the territory, but it's going to be a clockwise loop that will start and end in Batangas City. We're planning to leave early morning and hope to be back before nightfall.

In this ride, we will reflect on Christ's passion and death by saying the Stations of the Cross, as well as celebrate his resurrection as we reach Batangas City through His grace.

With this, I encourage you to please pray for our safe trip.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

My Dream for Sale

UPDATE (15 April 2013): I'm no longer selling this. Since none of the negotiations pulled through, I took it as a sign that this bike is really for me. I just assembled it last Saturday with a Shimano XT gruppo, a Fox TALAS fork, and Easton Haven components.

For Sale: White Intense Tracer VP frame
Last December, I bought a second-hand mountain bike frame from my bike buddy, Mawie. It was a white, medium-sized Intense Tracer VP - one of my dream bike frames from way before (even at the time when they were still using Specialized's patented Horst link suspension).

I didn't plan it. Mawie just texted and asked if I know anyone who's interested with the frame because he's upgrading to the Tracer 2. I replied back and told him that that has been my dream frame ever since, but I know I couldn't afford it. He replied to me and asked me the payment terms I'm comfortable with. The rest is history.

Mawie's really good with his bikes. Judging from the condition I got the frame, it looked very much as if he only used it a few times before he got bitten by the upgrade bug again (which might actually be what happened). It was bathroom-taped all over, and there were no dents or anything of that sort. If I didn't see him use it in our La Mesa ride with the Batangas boys, I would easily mistake this as brand new.

My plan is actually pretty straightforward: slowly build it up into a very nice trail bike. I'm thinking of getting most of my wife's bike parts and put them to this beast (she's rarely uses the bike anyway).

I've finished paying the frame, so the next step was to buy the suspension fork. Being an Intense frame, I believe it's blasphemy to install any fork other than a Fox. Now any biker who has been to an above average bike shop in the Philippines must know how expensive these forks are. For the amount of travel required for this bike frame, the estimated damage would be in the neighborhood of P40,000. Ouch.

It doesn't stop there. The Intense Tracer VP has a headtube size bigger than most mountain bikes - 1.5 inches to be exact. For maximum fork options, I need a Chris King Devolution headset so that I can use the standard 1 1/8". That's about P8,000.

As they say in Battlestar Galactica, "So save we all." (or something like that.)

But as with anything in life, there are trials to see what you're made of. Personally, I don't think they're bad. In a way, it actually make it clearer on what you value the most.

Sadly, the dream of the Intense Tracer is the casualty for this test. It has to end for now to give way to more important matters.

Maybe you'd be interested in continuing this dream.

I'm selling the frame without any profit at all. Aside from the Fox Float RP23 shock installed, it also comes with a nice red Salsa seat collar and a Shimano XTR front derailleur. That's everything for P65,000.

Leave a message if you want to find out more.

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