Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Off to Baguio this Nov 30

Really excited about our bike ride to Baguio this weekend. I'm already getting all my gear ready.

What I'll be carrying:

  1. Multi-tools, pliers, missing link, puncture repair kit
  2. Assorted blinkers, flashlight
  3. Spare batteries
  4. Mini-Laptop (Yes, I need to get some work done along the way)
  5. Blackberry phone (with mobile hotspot that my laptop can connect to)
  6. Samsung Note (for taking pictures, back-up Endomondo GPS app device)
  7. 7-inch tablet (primary Endomondo GPS app device)
  8. 1 (one) Spare tire
  9. 2 (two) spare tire interior
  10. Tire air pump
  11. 2 (two) extra dry-fit shirts
  12. Extra underwear, socks
  13. iPod and mini-speaker
  14. Face towel, bath towel
  15. Pau liniment for muscle pains
  16. Toothbrush, toothpaste

Meeting the rest of the Centurion team at the Kilometer 0 marker at Luneta on Saturday, 3 am.

I need to make sure I get a lot of sleep on Thursday-Friday. I didn't get much sleep before my last ride and I barely had energy left when I got home from Kaybiang.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Six months and over four thousand kilometers later

6 months ago, I was encouraged to buy a second-hand dirt-jump bike.

I did, and began this new hobby going around the metropolis and dirt trails nearby. I was on exploration mode, getting a feel for the bike and figuring out what I really wanted to do with it.

Off-road rides are fun, but I began to lean more towards the paved road. I gradually started the process of transforming my DJ bike into a cross-country machine, yearning for longer distances, more destinations to go to.

I have pedaled more than 4,000 kilometers since then. I have traveled to more places around this beautiful country of ours in 6 months that I have ever traveled in the decades prior.

Despite all the pressure and problems of life in general, I'm happy I am still healthy enough to ride.

Life is a lot like riding a bicycle...

Relish the journey. Treasure the sweat & pain & aches. Just go a little further. Don't stop. Grow strong in body, mind and spirit. The road is long and full of challenges. Look ahead. Rest. Wake up and do it all over again. Never give up.

Reverse Kaybiang Tunnel Loop | 243 km | 23 Nov 2013

Left to right: Me, Harry, Tats, Christopher, Nowie

Finally returned to Kaybiang Tunnel! It was just as grueling and fulfilling as the first time.

Here's the map (click on the image to view my endomondo GPS app recording the route):

I headed out from home at 4 am to meet Harry and Nowie at Robinson's Ermita. I arrived at around 5:15 am and then we pedaled our way towards MOA to meet Tats and Christopher.

We had breakfast at a McDonald's nearby and jumped off on our epic ride at around 6:30 am.

We had our first stop-over at a 7-11 in Naic.We encountered our first uphill challenge along Governor's Road as we pedaled our way towards the tunnel. It was only around 9 kilometers but it took a little less than 2 hours before we reached Kaybiang. When we passed by this area the first time, it was pitch black. Going through this same road again now, I relished the beautiful surroundings now revealed to us.

I was hungry and tired. There were a few more elevations to tackle after exiting the tunnel and couldn't wait to get into town to grab a bite to eat.
After conquering Kaybiang, we finally got into town and had lunch at a small eatery.

Headed off again, pedaling our way towards the Tagaytay-Nasugbu Highway. I remember this highway from our first ride - it was a long, pleasant, downhill stretch of road. Now, I dreaded the fact that we had to pedal uphill that same long, stretch of road, after already pedaling close to a hundred kilometers.

It already grew dark before we were even half-way to Tagaytay, I think. We all had our blinkers on and kept an eye on each other. Lots of trailer trucks and passenger buses zoomed past us. I was starting to get a really bad case of saddle sore. Made the ride all the more excruciating.

Had dinner at another eatery and the food was great! Couldn't rest too long since we still had a long journey ahead.

By the time I reached Manila, I was exhausted and my butt was in pain! When I parted ways with the rest of the team at NAIA Road, I had a hard time focusing. I still had around 20 kilometers to go to get back home in Marikina. I made a slight adjustment to my saddle and that helped lessen the saddle sore. But I was still very, very tired.

I started to grow concerned about my condition. I already had a car accident last year when I fell asleep on the wheel. My mind was wandering while I was pedaling and it really took a lot of effort to keep alert and awake. Heaven forbid I collapse along C5 and get run over by a 10-wheeler!

Somewhere along the way, a dog suddenly barked at me and that gave me a needed jolt to keep me alert. It didn't last long though and again, I began to lose focus on the ride.

Near the River Park in Marikina, I saw a crowd gathered up ahead and when I got closer, I saw what all the fuss was about - a car crashed into the road divider. So, that was another much-needed jolt to my senses.

A few more kilometers down the road, I again started to feel really tired. I needed another jolt. Soon enough, it started to rain! It was cold and I was relieved. That really woke me up and gave me enough energy to get back home safe and sound.

Of all the century rides I've been on so far, this ride has been my most difficult. But we survived and I loved each pedal stroke I did to get there and back.

I left at 4 am, and got home at 3:30 am the next day. 23 1/2 hour ride. 243 kilometers. Best ride so far. Next stop - BAGIUO!

Now for the photos: