Category Archives: Cycling 101

Cycling Chronicles: BFF Bike Buddies

{Wow! It’s been MONTHS since I’ve last posted! So many things have happened but I had so little time to spare to share about it. So I’m clumping this one all together.}

My BFF Toffee has returned to our hometown (for good, so she says) and I’m one happy camper knowing she’s decided to come home. One of her targets upon returning home is… to buy a bicycle. November 2013 came when we started scouting out possible bicycle options when it was just plain love-at-first-sight with one particular ensemble that got caught her attention. Here are some photos of that eventful weekend.

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This is it!!!

Toffee opted to bring her new ride home the next day (November 3, 2013). So we met up again the next day to seal the deal. 🙂

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The pick-up crew!

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Ready for pick-up!

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And it’s all set! {I dub thee Mischief!}

Just in time to join the Fun Ride sponsored by Marco Polo Hotel Davao on their 15th year anniversary.

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In preparation for the fun ride Toffee and I went for a test ride the day before just to stretch up our muscles and have a feel of taking long rides. For me it was to practice my pace once again with my bff by my side. From their home, we rode for about 19.9kms (based on the Runtastic app I had) at just a slow pace. It was a two-hour ride around town before heading back. {Good to know we could survive 20kms without pulling a muscle or two.}

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Practice Ride

November 10, 2013: Fun Ride Day

The front wheel of my bike encountered a problem at the start of the ride. I removed a thumbtack that was lodged in my wheel which caused the puncture to become more pronounced and air started seeping out of my wheel. Darn! Thank God it survived the 20km ride though. City road inclines turned out to be a challenge but… nailed it nonetheless!

We didn’t win during the raffles but the food was quite sumptuous and knowing that this would be the first of many bff cycling chronicles was reward enough.

So after the fun, I got my inner tubes replaced and so far, they’re good!

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I Turned Another One!

November 15 when my other bff Cphinx and I went out for dinner and consequently had a chance to have a l0ok-see on prospective bicycle options for her. It was another l0ve-at-first-sight moment for my bff. Basing on looks, specs, and overall gut-feel. Toffee wasn’t around to witness it that time though so the photos would have to do.

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I dub thee “Roku” {BFF would NEVER agree on that name. lol} This is Red.

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Night Ride Test Ride

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Red’s overnight at home. {Told Cphinx not to ride out at night especially for the first time}

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Our first early morning ride together!

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A quick “hello”

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Heading home (with a few pit stops along the way)

BFF Bike Buddies and Rogue Riders

Joining a cycling group is easy. A number of bikers would invite us to join biking groups but on a personal level, I held back. I still consider myself as a newbie and being in a group of well-experienced bikers may tend to intimidate me. Sure their sparks of wisdom would be welcomed, but the pressure of being part of a group can sometimes take its toll… especially on upgrading. So I’m well and good with my bffs as my bike buddies. We 3 are what you may call “Rogue Riders”. Thankfully, we’ve met a few experts who help us in maintaining our rides {special thanks to Kuya Mads of Ridea, and “Champ” of Racing Edge}.

The last two months of 2013 was a whirlwind of bike rides both long and short within the city limits (and 1 very long intercity ride between me and my bloodred sister Cphinx).

November 23, 2013 {1st BFF Bike Ride}

November 23, 2013 {1st BFF Bike Ride}

December 1, 2013 {1st Intercity Ride}

December 1, 2013 {1st Intercity Ride}

December 8, 2013 {Following a New Route}

December 8, 2013 {Following a New Route}

December 15, 2013 {Sun City... Conquered!}

December 15, 2013 {Sun City… Conquered!}

December 28, 2013 {With a new Rogue Rider!}

December 28, 2013 {With a new Rogue Rider!}

Waking up early morning, plotting out routes, weaving through city traffic, conquering inclined elevations, and facing the heat of the sun during our weekend rides have become a steady routine for the past weekends. Most of which have become the highlight of my weekend and a means of bonding with my best buddies.

My cycling mileage has steadily accelerated for the past few weeks. The cycling bug has gotten into me that – for the duration of our Christmas break – I’ve often found myself engaging in short rides in travelling. Especially in places that I can securely park my bike. Being the occasional navigator in our group has made me all the more careful in cycling and in guiding my bffs. When roles get reversed and I’m the sweeper, it becomes more humbling to be the cheerleader of the group most especially during long rides and uphill climbs.

There are still a number of things I have to learn in managing my ride. But I’m truly grateful that there are people that I’ve come to know who are very eager to be of help and have always thought of the rider’s safety first and foremost. My ride is now Stark 3.1 and it still has a long way to go before I’ll start easing up on the upgrade. But so far, Stark has been just a breeze.

My 2013 Cycling Chronicles were filled with many adventures with Stark {my bike}. Rides with different bike buddies, conquering inclines and plotted routes, various bike upgrades, almost accidents, moments of weaknesses and desperation, and trips full of lessons in life. I’d like to believe I’ve become quite confident in my rides (proud of the fact that I can pedal with “no hands” for more than just a few seconds) which helps in plotting out routes and in “cheerleading”.

So I’m looking forward to my 2014 Cycling Chronicles filled with more adventures and memorable moments!

Hopefully soon enough I’d get to have this versatile casing installed in my ride:

Armor-X ipx7 iPod Holder

How about you dear readers? Any chronicles you’d like to share? Thoughts perhaps? 🙂


The Cycling Chronicles: Biker Buddies

As I mentioned in my previous post, me and 2 other officemates have become bike enthusiasts as part of our wellness program in the office. So here are some snippets of what happened last May 11, 2013.
















The Cycling Chronicles: Upgrade Phase 2.1

It’s been more than a year since I had my mountain bike for a phase 1 upgrade. (Click here for my bike upgrade post) I remember telling kuya ROCKY (the person/mechanic who assemble my bike) that my next target for upgrading would be changing my gears to newer ones – particularly the rear gears or cassettes and the crank. In addition, I planned on upgrading my handlebar and stem (for a longer space in putting in accessories such as night light or ipod/mobile phone mount). But since I took a short sabbatical on my cycling, and financial constraints, I wasn’t able to follow through with my plan nor fully upgrade the targeted bike parts.

It was only recently that I returned to cycling and started riding my bike to work (only on Saturdays) last May 3, 2013). After having the inner tube of my rear wheel changed to a new one, I was geared to go. But when I encountered problems in shifting gears and constricting break pads, I started to worry. It was difficult to fine-tune your own bike if you’re not too familiar with what you should look out for. So rather than force on my inability, it was better to leave it be for the moment have those who are more knowledgeable check it out.

Last Saturday (May 11, 2013), my officemates and I planned on going for an afternoon bike ride at the same time fix Lesley’s bike. So off we went to an adventure – an adventure which I will post soon. I was shocked (to say the last) that one bike shop was charging Php250 just for adjusting my gears. So scratch that. When we passed by TYK along Sales St., we dropped by and had my bike checked there instead. They offered a more affordable price (plus the place was air-conditioned and had a bike stand for parking).

While browsing along their aisles of bike displays and spare parts, I came across their cassette display which were quite affordable and would fit my upgrade plan and set my mind at ease for safely riding my bike. Thus, I present to you my upgraded cassettes.


I know, I know… quite a lengthy introduction for just a piece of upgrade. But it was just very timely that the removable piece that was giving me great concern was one of the spare parts I fully intended to upgrade. So there are a couple more parts before I reach my mountain bike’s STARK 3.0 phase but it’s a slow but steady process.

Looking forward to more Saturday afternoon bike runs that are fun, exhilarating, and safe with my new biker buddies!

P.S. Wondering about the “STARK” thing? Well I have this app in my iTouch called Bike Repair that lets you input details on your bike – including what’s your bike name. So rather than using my “Name’s bike”, I thought Stark would do. (And yes, I am SOOOO into Iron Man too! That’s why!) 🙂

The Cycling Chronicles: Reflections in Time

I was thinking of writing something funny, witty, and smart during my bike ride earlier.  However, cycling and deep thinking is a combination quite risky for one’s safety.  I pushed my luck with the absence of my helmet already so it wasn’t nice to tempt fate.

My last chronicle has been a few months back, and I haven’t been cycling as much as I had wanted too.  I still haven’t made a program that I’d be willing to stick to for an exercise routine, nor have I been to any recreational bike riding.  With the changes in my activities and the physical exhaustion (or oftentimes known as my lazy mode), I have neglected my duty to my bicycle.

It felt good to go around the block alternating from relaxing to speeding along the neighborhood streets.  The wind whipping my hair and the cool breeze buffeting my face softly has its calming effect.  The lazy street traffic and falling tree leaves seemed like a painted backdrop for my thoughts.  That was an impromptu decision to take my bike for a spin.  But perhaps, subconsciously, I knew I needed to go out and take my mind off of things… to let my thoughts flow… away from the four corners that seem to block me.

My thoughts have been making me restless.  Jumping from one idea, to another concern, and then some has caused a slight haywire in my system.  I just wished I had more… TIME.

That’s it!  Time.   I’ve been info overloading myself and pushed back and giving only a limited amount in my processing moments for much later.  Biking has always had a cathartic effect on me.  The joy of seeing my surroundings may seem dramatized but is very soothing.  Speeding along the highway (alternating from the fast and slow lane) unlatches the floodgates holding my escaping thoughts that always seem to evade me when I need them the most.  Life’s like that. You weave through both lanes trying to get by on your own pace sometimes you see an opening and you take it, other times you don’t.  And during other times you fail to see what’s been in front of you the whole time.

Time runs by so fast.

20 minutes of cycling and my arms were getting sore.  Need to ride more.

A month working in my new job and it’s already August.  My favorite month.  MY month.  I’ll be turning a year older and it seems the dates in the calendar appear, quite frankly, closer than you’d think.  Even workdays seem too pass by quickly.  Like zipping along the roads in life.

The journey ahead is still uncertain, the road still extensive.  For now my journey has brought me home and time has given me the opportunity to appreciate what it has to offer.  Time – it is either your greatest ally or your formidable foe, whichever way you choose to view it.  I choose the former.  Rather than be concerned with limits, I prefer the freedom in making the most out of my time… and more biking sessions for more chronicles.

How about you?  Any reflections in time?  Or have you gone cycling lately?




The Cycling Chronicles: Upgrade Phase 1

Just to share a few photos of what happened to my old bike before transforming it to look like something newer.

You should never attempt to disassemble your bike if you have no idea about how to reassemble it. Lest you suffer the fate of having spare parts for your ride rather than the whole deal.


spare parts

Nothing left but the wheel

Done by twilight!


Phase 1 almost complete!

Again, thanks to kuya ROCKY for making this possible! 🙂

The Cycling Chronicles: Thoughts on Upgrading

I have been meaning to upgrade my bicycle since I started using it during my night cycling and going to work.  Not because it wasn’t functioning well.  It’s still in good condition and has been serving it’s purpose since day one.

Mountain Bike Parts (Photo taken from here)

So why upgrade?

If you’ve had your fair share in riding bicycles for a certain period of time, I think this word would make sense: SHOCKS.  Suspension or for other bike terminologies – Telescopic.  Ok.  I don’t do any off-road cycling (yet).  But riding your bike over small bumps and rocky patches on the road are very bothersome, to say the least!  The aftershocks that course through your body is quite manageable… but the body pains afterwards are a different story.

Moral of the story?  Always stretch before mounting your bike.  LOL.

Anyway, back to upgrading.  One common problem I’ve encountered so far is the limited bike shops in my hometown.  Okay, scratch that.  There are a number of bike shops around, but all places that I seem to go to after work and during Sundays are closed.  Ugh…  I’ve contemplated in buying for parts online but I have a few hesitations… especially since I’m not familiar with bike parts and stuff.  What would happen if I buy the wrong piece?  In addition, I don’t have easy access in discussing with anyone on bicycle upgrade.


Speaking of luck…  As luck would have it, there was one Saturday that I saw a bike shop still open after 5pm.  Since I was in a rush to go home, I thought I’d just return after a few minutes.  But when I got back, the store was closed.  So last week, I decided to go there and thankfully the store was just starting to close up.  So I asked the attendant if I could take a look around.  He gave his thumbs up then after a couple of minutes of looking around, it was time to close.  He offered that their main branch was open (half-day) on Sundays.  And that they had more choices there.


So last Sunday, I was able to get to the store and have a look around.  There was one attendant who was kind enough to approach me (probably saw the confused look in my face) and chatted me up.  He understood where I was coming from and willingly offered his help in slowly upgrading my bike.  I showed him a couple of photos of spare parts I was considering buying through an online seller, then he gave me advise in the parts I needed to look out for.  He showed me a couple of choices for my bike frame (BLUE!) and options for shocks.  Since it was nearing closing time, kuya Rocky wanted to see my bike up close and personal to give a full recap on what I needed to purchase first.

(Online Spare Parts from Bikestuff Unltd)


Handle bars and stems (pretty colors!)

And his verdict?

Since I’m still a new biker, I should just take it slow in upgrading.  I think this is to safekeep my wallet as well since I might not make this  much of a habit.  He agreed however that my target in upgrading my fork to shocks and change my frame was a good start.  So we agreed he’d help me in looking for a good set of frames made of alloy, and shocks to cushion me during those bumpy rides.

I still have a lot to learn but this new venture seems promising.  In addition, I was given an invitation to join their cycling group.  I’d like that!  But I think I need more practice first.  I don’t think I can have an average speed of 40kph anytime soon.  So I need to practice first!

Wish me luck!

The Cycling Chronicles: Service Vehicle

I bought my bike for the primary purpose in having my own service vehicle in going to the office, returning home, and running errands. The added exercise I get is a BIG BONUS in keeping fit. Due to some hesitations (and having my half-brother dropping me off to work), I never made it a daily habit. Saturdays and holidays were my ride-my-bike-to-work day.

On a whim, I decided to ride my bike for work yesterday. Good thing my slacks were stretchy enough to accommodate movement. It was the perfect time to try my cycling app on my iTouch in heading off to work – The Runtastic Roadbike. It’s an app that an individual can use for cycling, running, and race cycling.

Here’s a screenshot of my session in heading off to work (a bit longer than my usual period of 13 to 15 minutes):


Going home was another story though. With the weather inconsistencies, I ended up braving the rain in getting home. Half-expecting that the rain wouldn’t pour too much, I sped up going home.

Unfortunately, the rain had other plans. In reaching my 5th minute (the in-ear coach of Runtastic Roadbike informs the user of the elapsed time and number of kilometers) the rain poured… HARD and FAST. Rather than take shelter, I continued on to my destination. No point waiting out for the rain to stop. I was too rain-drenched anyway! Better to be home than waiting in the rain, too soaked up to dry with the wind blowing around.

After 14 minutes of cycling in the rain, I finally got home to dry myself off.


So I braved my first rainy bike cycling. But I had to take a half-day leave to fully rest my body.

Lesson learned: Always bring jacket!

The Cycling Chronicles: Conquering the Highways

It’s been quite a while since my last night cycling. With the threat for ones safety hanging around every corner regardless the time of day/night, I could only ride my back on Saturdays and holidays in going to and from work. Just imagine the excess fats I’ve accumulated so far. Depressing.

After a tiring and stressful day, cycling sounded like a good idea.

I’ve been meaning to try cycling along one of the highways in town (JP Laurel-Lanang). Half expecting my nerves to get the best of me, I was surprised that I had enough presence of mind in keeping safe while cycling alongside private and public vehicles AND TRUCKS!


It was only a leisurely ride but having the moments in free-cycling (?) was FUN and VERY EXHILIRATING!

Though I doubt losing weight by cycling might take a LONG time (do you guys have any cycling exercise tips I could use?), at least I’m conquering a few of my fears along the way and gain confidence in the choices I make.

Cycling is definitely a start!

The Cycling Chronicles: Sick Day

I missed out in my cycling today.  I think I caught something yesterday when I went biking with my mom (who went on a walk).  It was drizzling by the time we were done buying fruits in the marketplace.  I hurriedly cycling home but I guess being sweaty while biking under the rain can do havoc in your immune system.

Darn!  But then again, I guess I needed to ease up for a while.

Hopefully I’ll feel better tomorrow… no more colds, sore throat, and chills.

Meanwhile, my workmate finally did her tutorial here at home on my new project: small-scale business of … ICE SCRAMBLE!  We had our product “launching” and taste test earlier.  No reviews yet! But this looks promising!  And I plan on earning back my capital.  Anyway, that’s for another post. 🙂

How was your day guys?

The Cycling Chronicles: The Morning After Rush

I rode my bike to work today.  I’m still rehashing it in my head if it was a good idea or a crazy one.  It was a good idea because I’d be able to adjust to a new schedule of cycling (late night bike runs are a bit… hazardous to one’s safety and health.  Not that I would avoid night cycling totally though!).  Crazy because I haven’t plotted out my proper route, and the weather seems to be erratic at its best.  LOL.

Nevertheless, I’ll live.

Once again I forgot to do some stretching exercises and my legs started to complain when I got to the highway.  The strain last night must have resurfaced adding to the pressure on my aching muscles.  But then again, I bask in the feeling of muscle pains after fitness activities.  It gives me proof that I’m really putting effort in keeping fit.  But I think I need to rest up a bit in the evenings to have more “firepower” in cycling during mornings.

My front wheels must have hit something sharp a few nights ago making it flat while heading off to work.  Good thing there was a vulcanizing shop nearby to cater to it.  Well… so far so good.  I’m not keen in buying a new set of wheels yet so I think a complete check-up is in order for my bike.  Plus!  I need to have a crash course in dismantling, assembling, and fixing a bicycle.  Time to get dirty!

Wish me luck!

Cycling Lesson #5: Always conduct a complete review and check-up (applicable in life too).


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