Bike Climb Training in Pasig

My old Batangas Mountain Biker friends are planning to do something crazy this December - go around the whole island of Mindoro on a bike. I've been reading the blog of Mark Watson on their biking adventure in the Philippines, and something stuck to my head. Why can't a local do this, I asked myself. That's what we're planning to do this December.

We figure this will be something like a 5 to 6-day tour. This was what Ka Dante of Puerto Galera told us when we mentioned the plan to him. But even if it's still in December, I should start and build my fitness level for these long days in the saddle. Hence the training this afternoon.

I was thinking of actually going to Camp Aguinaldo again and do some laps, but I think I need to put some climbing on my legs first.

Now that I'm living in Mandaluyong, it's a bit of a hassle pedaling all the way to La Vista-Loyola Grand Villas to do my climbing loops. So I plotted a route near home that would be excellent in waking up my legs.

Coming from Pioneer, I rode all the way to Ortigas Avenue via Shaw-Meralco Avenue and took a right turn towards C5. From C5, I was supposed to take a right turn near the Shell Station to Julia Vargas but I was a bit scared of that area knowing how bad "courteous" Metro Manila drivers are, so I took a detour via Tiendesitas instead.

The Julia Vargas climb isn't too steep and it comes right after the Valle Verde stoplight, so there's still time to spin and warm up the legs. When I hit the climb this afternoon, I knew that I was going to be slow. So instead of biking on the road, I used the sidewalk instead. In that way I can pedal at my own pace without bothering the cars. When I got to Meralco Avenue, I took a u-turn, went doing Julia Vargas Avenue again and turned right at Lanuza Avenue.

The next climb is the killer - going up St. Martin Street, which is also known as the Ultra Climb. From Lanuza, I shifted to a lighter gear and turned right to St. Martin Street. I knew the climb is steeper than the first one so I got into a rhythm and tried to maintain it. I was wearing my heart rate monitor, and during this climb I was over my max heart rate for about three times. During these moments, I managed to lower it by relaxing and doing some breathing exercises. Getting to the top was exhausting and exhilarating at the same time. I was glad the traffic was light.

For recovery, I took a left at Capt. Henry P. Javier Street and took another left for a fast downhill at Canley Road. When I got to the corner, I took a right turn at C5 and climbed the last hill for the session - Pasig Boulevard. This isn't as steep as the Ultra climb but it's not as relaxed as the Julia Vargas Climb. It's actually a good mix of the two, and it's here where I actually rediscovered my climbing legs. I wasn't pedaling smoothly during the first two climbs, but during this climb, my body "remembered" how to pedal in circles.

I felt bit bad that another cyclist overtook me on the last climb but I had to stop myself from chasing him. At that time, only three things are important to me: to stick with my pace, not blow up and get some climbing kilometers in my legs. And that's just what happened.

Got other routes in the area that you'd like to share? Please feel free to post them in the comments section below.


Anonymous said…
Hmm...can i tag along for the Mindoro ride? hehe.. : )
Jovan Puyo said…
Sure! But you have to be ready for anything. We are not even sure if there are decent accommodations for our stopovers.

By the way, it would be great to know your name. :)