Tuesday, December 30, 2014

To Zambales and Back Again


Ride to Zambales & Back

So, Topher, Eli, Herman and I decided to bike to an awesome resort at Liwliwa, San Felipe, Zambales last 26 December.

All the pictures are here!

Took us around 14 hours to arrive at destination. Had to change a flat tire along the way.

Spent the whole day last 27 December swimming, surfing, drinking and having a blast.

Worth every pedal stroke getting here...
Me, Herman, Eli

Campfire near the beach at night is the shit!

I was already bent on biking back to Manila on the 28th. So, while I geared up in preparation for my solo bike ride back home, the rest of my buddies visited this waterfall spot nearby, and then they took the bus back to Manila in the evening. I wished I was there with them, but I had to leave early.

Anyway, off I went towards Olongapo at around 1 pm and arrived in the city 3 hours later, where I checked into a hotel for an overnight stay. Went around town in the evening...

Woke up late the following day. I wanted to leave at around 6 am, but ended up pedaling my way towards Manila at 8 am.

Encountered mechanical problems during the start of the uphill climb just outside of the city center. I was realigning my rear hydraulic disk brake when I accidentally turned the wheel while my finger was in between the rotor, so I suffered a nasty finger gash. Anyway, I managed to fix my bike (and my finger) and off I went.

Arrived back home in Marikina past 7 pm. Tired, grimy but with a big, stupid grin on my face.

Had fun riding with the guys, and had just as much fun riding back home solo. What an amazing way to end the year. Looking forward to more rides this 2015.

Next up...Luzon Loop in April 2015. Yeah!


What I Was Carrying
(Inventory of my stuff from the top of my head)

  • My Surly Troll, Deore 2014 Groupset (3x10), Larga Handlebar bag, Deuter rear rack bag, Deuter frame bag, Yanho top tube bag
  • Mac Air laptop (Yeah, since I still had to make sure I can attend to urgent work matters just in case, which I did)
  • Some generic 7-in tablet which I never got to use actually
  • My old-school Apple 120GB iPod & speaker
  • 2 power banks
  • 3 Camelback water bottles
  • Samsung Note
  • Small Sony video camera
  • Nokia Lumia to run my Endomondo app, GPS
  • Huawei portable wifi modem (Globe Tattoo) - Good thing I had this, was having difficulty getting connected from my Smart Nokia Lumia in Zambales
  • Patch kit, spare inner tube, allen wrench set
  • Swiss army knife
  • Bike helmet
  • An assortment of clothing
  • Blinkers, front and back
  • Police flashlight attached to handlebar
  • Cateye wireless cyclometer

Endomondo Map:

Marikina - Manila - Liwliwa, San Felipe, Zambales

Herman, Eli & Me at luneta KM 0 Marker
before heading out towards Zambales 
Checking into a hotel in Olongapo
for an overnight stay

Yep, flat tire...

Prepping my bike at home

Waiting for the guys at KM 0 at 4 am. Man, this place has become a dump.
Manila is a cesspool. Fuck this capital city.

My Mac Air and portable wifi modem. Getting work done
at Dinalupihan before having lunch...

Was already on my way to Olongapo by the time
they arrived at the waterfall.

Casualty of stupidity - my wounded finger after
I did something stupid fixing my bike. Oh, that's my
American Bulldog.

387 km
Marikina - Luneta - Zambales - Marikina

At the entrance to the hotel where I checked in

Lol surfer dude
War face!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

First Long Ride with my Surly Troll

Shurley on a dirt/gravel trail on our way to Minalungao Park

Bike & Gear:
- Surly CroMoly steel
- CroMoly stel fork tapered straight blade
- Kenda 26 x 1.95" tires
- Deore 3 x 9 groupset, disc brakes
- Upright handlebar

- 3 Camelback water bottles

- Topeak top tube bag
- Larga handlebar bag
- Wenger shoulder bag

- Brooks leather saddle (blue)

- 2 handlebar lights
- Rear light
- Helmet rear light

Geek Items
- iPod 320GB player
- X-Mini speaker
- Thumbox powerbank 7800 mAh
- Nokia Lumia 625 w/ GPS tracking, Endomondo app, Maps
- Charger

- 4 Neozep, 4 Imodium, 4 Biogesic, couph drops
- Wet wipes
- Sun screen
- toiletries
- Wallet, money, IDs

- Mini air pump
- Patch repair kit
- Multi-tool
- Wrench
- Spare tube

- Endomomondo GPS map


I bought my Surly Troll last Saturday (Aug 16th) at Bikezilla, and spent the next several days setting it up for our long ride to Nueva Ecija.

I gave her the name Shurley, because she's one sexy beast.

The trip to Minalungao Park was the perfect ride to put Shurley through her paces, since it would be several kilometers of road from Manila to Gapan, and then a couple more kilometers of dirt and loose gravel trails towards Minalungao.

She turned out to be one hell of a dependable and comfortable ride.

I was expecting my arms to be aching with all the bumps I'd be hitting along the way, but the steel frame was absorbing all the heavy impacts, and it held together very well. Didn't hear or notice any loose fittings or wayward gears and shifting throughout the grueling ride, and I wasn't worried about anything the entire time.

Uphill climbs were surprisingly smooth and easy. The bike just felt solid and responsive and I had a big stupid grin on my face for enjoying this lovely ride.

I was able to attack the loose gravel trail with relative ease. I knew I had to be more careful given my fixed fork situation but Shurley handled to trail well and kept me comfortable by absorbing a lot of the bumps along the way.

I have a small-size frame, so it was easy to stow Shurley in the bottom compartment of the bus on the bus ride back home. I just had to remove my front tire (quick release), and then shove the whole thing in there and that was that.


The Brooks saddle was just icing on the cake. I've never felt more comfortable. After more than 170 kilometers in 2 days, I have absolutely no saddle sore!


I didn't bother using the Larga seat bag because I bought previously because it turned out to be flimsy, sub-standard.

The Larga handlebar bag though was worth the money. It held together quite nicely and I didn't see any tear in its material or stitching.


Friday, July 4, 2014

Our Nueva Ecija Ride Youtube Video

Here's our bike ride to Nueva Ecija during the
Holy Week last 17-18 April 2014.

Our Kaybiang Tunnel Loop on Video

And here's a video of our epic Kaybiang Tunnel Loop last year.

Blog post.

Photo Gallery.

My First iMovie

Ok, so I've had this Macbook Air for a couple of years, and I know Mac has an iMovie program that would allow me to churn out my own videos.

So, I finally got around to tinkering around with iMovie today, and after a couple of minutes, I kinda grasped the basics. And voila! My first video! I just took a random selection of photos and came out with this.

And since I'm such a sucker for Fiona Apple, I chose Across the Universe for my soundtrack. Hope you like it!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Nuvali Loop | 1 June 2014

Nuvali GPS Route
My fellow riders and I started the month of June by pedaling our way to Nuvali, Sta. Rosa, Laguna and explored the trails and bird sanctuary within the expanse of posh villages and subdivisions there.

As usual, the heat was unrelentless.

I'm changing the way I prepare my gear for long rides. Since I'm essentially a century rider, I think I'd be better off getting myself a proper touring bike. I'm actually saving up to buy a Surly Troll. My dream ride is to go on bike tours cross-country lasting several days or weeks. I'm really itching to one day be able to travel like a rubber tramp, camping out, visiting far-flung locales and just enjoying life out there.

Check this out:

Ain't she a beauty?!

At the moment, I try to avoid using a backpack (with water bladder) on my long rides. Since my current MTB doesn't have water bottle holders, I make use of my Deuter rear rack bag to hold one water bottle, and hooking up another water bottle underneath my saddle somewhere.

Dumping all my gear on the bike itself so I can free myself the burden of a backpack.

I bought a Larga gas tank where I place my cellphone and multi-tools. I also hooked up a small bag on my handlebars where I keep my wallet, loose change, power bank and other small items. The Deuter bag at the rear carries a water bottle, spare tube, t-shirt, and a small towel.  If you look closer at the picture above, you'll see a another, smaller water bottle attached to my seatpost.