Done with 2016 looking forward to a better 2017
The meaning of life is not to be discovered only after death in some hidden, mysterious realm but on the contrary, it can be found by eating the succulent fruit of the Tree of Life and by living in the here and now fully and creatively as we can. - Paul Kutz
The Tree of Life forever immortalized in LOCK ITs
As early as September, I was already scouting for a bike race to join before the end of the year. Then I came upon the Gran Fondo Baler event organized by my friend, Patrick Joson. I had been to Baler only once before in 2013 so taking part in this race gave me a chance to revisit this amazing place. I haven't joined much bike races so I didn't really know what to expect. At first, choosing which distance to sign up for proved to be a dilemma. My heart said go for the 160km but my head was more cautious telling me to stick to 120kms. However, months of training (averaging about 300kms a week on the bike) made me feel ready enough to tackle 160kms.
It was a beautiful morning on the day of the race with a bit of December chill in the air. I estimate there were about 70 bikers who joined. I was excited, anxious and nervous all at the same time. Race started at 4:30 am right before daybreak while still under the stars. As expected, Baler proved to be a beautiful backdrop for this race. We biked along the coastline that provided endless beach views and mountains ranges dotted by coconut trees and lots of green. Some portions though presented killer uphills stretching about a kilometer long. Some hills were so steep that I had to dismount my bike a few times and just walk it. A group of us eager beavers, myself included, over shot the course and was forced to turn back all because we overtook the lead car that was designated to guide the bikers along the race route. With food and water running low, I had to stop several times to buy from a sari-sari store along the road and fuel up. We finished before noon pretty much exhausted with skin burnt after spending hours under the scorching sun. Nevertheless, I still cherished every minute of it. This has to be one of the best bike rides I have ever done in my life thus far. I can't wait to do this again next year!
Thank you Patrick Joson and Ige Lopez for giving this novice useful pointers on how to tackle Baler, to survive the route and enjoy at the same time.
The 3 " Patrick's "
Toasted under the Sun
Reconnecting with my First Love ..... Running
I registered for the BGC - 40 km Race as preparation for an upcoming long distance cycling race scheduled before the end of the year.
This event gave me the chance to not only rack up the mileage but also improve my speed and endurance. The route consisted of a double loop from BGC to MOA and back. Though I originally thought it would be an easy ride, it seemed everyone was pushing each other to go really fast...so fast in fact that my tools and spare tire kit flew off my bike and is now lost somewhere in MOA.
It was a fun race especially since most of the main roads where closed and the Cyclists had full command of the road. The only time we did stop during the race was when the PNR Train was crossing at SLEX and Buendia Avenue. ha ha !