Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Hardtail's Back!

I initially transformed the KHS to a touring bike and installed a touring handlebar, a Topeak BeamRack, and a Brooks B-17 saddle. After using it once in a leisurely ride around the Ultra area, and with no epic bike tour in sight (Domeng got sidelined because he suffered a minor stroke), I brought back the Truvativ flat bar, the Specialized Phenom saddle, and the Kenda Slant Six.

I've been riding for more than a year almost exclusively on the fully suspended Intense Tracer VP. I think it's time to go back to my roots and see how different the ride truly is.

Weather permitting, we're riding La Mesa Nature Reserve again this coming Saturday. I can't wait.

p.s., Feel free to join.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Biking in Manila: La Mesa Nature Reserve

Mawie Tadeo working one of the La Mesa climbs

I cannot do a Biking in Manila series without featuring the La Mesa Nature Reserve. This is one of the best places to ride your mountain bike in Metro Manila. Located northeast of Quezon City near SM City Fairview, this dense forest offers 52 kilometers* of singletracks, dirt roads, and fire roads. From beginners to more advanced riders, the La Mesa Nature Reserve has something for everyone.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Revisting Velo City

Revisting the Velo City Bike Shop always brings back a lot of memories. It was here where I bought my first branded frame in 1998 - a 16-inch mango-yellow Cannondale CAAD3 frame. A year after, I upgraded my fork from a RockShox Mag21 to a blue Marzocchi Z.2 BAM, which I got from here. Even my classic Onza titanium L-bend bar-ends was from this store.

Back then, when other bike shops were a dirty and dark hole-in-the-wall operation, Velo City stood out and offered something different - parts were high-end and the place was clean.

I went back to Velo City last Saturday after years of not visiting the area. I went there because of two things - to get myself a new pair of Giro shoes (the Terraduros, preferably), and have my Intense's seat tube fixed after the mecahnic at Extreme Bike Shop tried to use a 30.9 seatpost when it's supposed to be 31.6.

Some of the old stuff were there (the old helmets were displayed in a glass case in front of the store, exposed to the sun), but there were a lot of new ones. I saw the latest Giro and Bell all-mountain helmets, lots of Chris King goodies, weird-looking saddles, and the latest components from Crankbrothers.

The Giro Terraduros weren't available yet, so I got myself the Privateers while I wait. Check it out:

Aside from all the eye-candy, their wrench is, in my opinion, one of the best in the business. Hermie Nocum has been fixing my bike from way back, and he hasn't disappointed me yet. He was able to correct the seattube mistake and I was able to install the correct seatpost size.

If you're interested in going here, they're along Leveriza Street, Cartimar Shopping Center, in Pasay City. Here's the map:

Monday, March 03, 2014

Getting Lost and Finding My Way Back

For a while, I got lost in the trails of Timberland while making our way back to the main road coming from Ka Vergel. King was in front, and I didn't see him take a right turn so I went straight.

It was a relatively steep uphill so I was walking my bike. I blew my whistle several times trying to get any response from him to no avail. When I got to the top, he was not there, but I still rode and hoped that he would be waiting for me at the next shade.

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