MAYDAY MAYDAY: A Biker’s Post-Traumatic Feels

It was a typical lazy afternoon that day, Nov.1,2016 and I’m pretty gearing up for tomorrow’s office day. Until later that afternoon around 5pm that me and my friend decided to eat Isaw at Isaw Haus – Cainta. I brought my Cannondale Trail 7 and my friend, her car.

Continue reading “MAYDAY MAYDAY: A Biker’s Post-Traumatic Feels”

Missing biking at the road.

I’ve been summarizing all my mile(ages) of my cannondale mountain bike and as of today, my distance will typically range to let’s say 40km’s per week with a total of approximately 80kms (40×2) for the second week of March. It fell based from my January and February records. 😦

Continue reading “Feels : Missing Rides”

Feels : Missing Rides

Shout Out: 7 Eleven

image

bike rack

Just a shout out post for 7 Eleven. They have become my run-to store especially during long rides or a training run around the metro. There are 7 Eleven stores almost every corner of the streets that provides every customer’s needs.

During training runs and long rides, an ice-cold water is truly the most satisfying gift! It quenches the thirst and helps to regain strength.

Whenever I enter a 7 Eleven store from a run or ride, I will just politely ask the cashier if ever I can have ice for my water (raise my squeeze bottle) and they will just “Nod” or say “Go ahead” or just “Okay”

I purposely buy other items to show some loyalty. 👍

PS:
Nice for them to have these bike racks 🚲

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BIKING: URBAN COMMUTING AROUND THE METRO (MNL,PH)

 

 

bulacan ride

Lunch Stop at Bulacan

 

 

I’ve been riding my bike for more than a year now and ever since I bought this mountain bike Cannondale Trail 7 (re-vamped) almost 60% of my commute life is now via this non-expensive-2-wheels-motor-less ride.

Well, to talk about commuting, I spend every weekdays going to and leaving the office thru my bike and my weekends in some of planned short / long rides around the metro.

Well, based from my biking experience, PH now is in current ‘adjustments’ in accepting the “bike culture.” Why? It is mainly because of the ff:

(1) not every city has that magical bike lane, a lane placed both at the rightmost and leftmost side of the road which is dedicated only for bike riders,

(2) not everyone is aware of the advantages of riding a bike,

(3) some people think that bikes are just like a ‘toy’ for kid,

(4) ‘why would I ride a bike instead of a car?’

(5) Health concerns and / or issues about human productivity,

(6) I do not know anything about bike/s

…… and many more! So, that is mainly the top reasons (I thought back) before buying my mtb-mountain bike. To chop the reasons one by one,

 

 

First, we do nobike lanet need to allocate a big chunk of our government’s budget to paint every city a bike lane. Yes, I am a biker that do not want a bike lane? I am being hypocrite, right??! Well, I think what Filipino drivers, both public and private, need is to be educated about the presence of the bike at the side of the road. As the Tag line of UFB(UNITED FOLDING BIKES) shouts “Share-the-Road.” When I got my Driver’s license, I do not remember anything or any phrase about bikes/bikers. If only 1 or 2 questions about biking is present in the 30-ish items on the written exam, at least a soon to be driver will be aware what to expect if he/she is behind/beside a biker on the road. In addition to, a definite distance between a biker and the car must be maintained inorder for the bike rider to avoid panic attacks especially if the car is approaching from behind. Filipinos are smart so I think including some bike pointers on its written exam / reviewers will have a big impact on the bike society. Some warning signs that reminds the drivers to pay more attention on the road.

 

cannondale sign

At Timberland Heights, San Mateo Rizal

 

 

Second, about the advantages of biking, it helps the rider to be physically active. Leg power thus stronger legs. Serves as cardio exercise, stress reliever, etcetera. Well, if you are enhancing the ‘physical’ part of your life it will be a win-win for you!

 

 

kids bike

Third,bikes are for kids! Yes it is! We all owned or at least try to ride a bike when we were kids, that’s it. Today, at the age of 23, after owning a beginner’s bike, I think biking is only for professionals who’s career is dedicated to biking. Why? Because in order for you to have a decent (fully upgraded) bike, you must stretch your wallet from P100k and up. Yes! I bought mine in just for the sake of “owning” a bike but a lot of upgrades must be done for me to be fully contented with the settings of my bike. Of course the more money you spend on your bike, the easier it is for the biker to ride his bike in different terrains.

 

 

Fourth, ride your bike or your car? Of course most of the people would chose to ride their car since its a CAR! Well, for me it depends on where to go and what to do. If you are going to a party with all of your formal clothes, get in your car! But for daily and short commutes, a bike ride would be fine. Especially around the metro, the traffic is almost everywhere and anytime. My travel time in my bike-to-work logs is averaging to 15minutes bike ride of 4.5kms. But it will take me atleast 30minutes if driving a car and maximum of 1 hour if I do the commute ride. See, biking can shorten my travel time not including the “no fare expense” if I use my Mountain Bike.

 

Fifth, in productivity concerns, that is a hoax. A lot of married-couple-bikers have their “own”children.

 

Sixth, lastly is the knowledge about bike. I chose this as a top deal breaker in buying a bike. Even after I decided that I will definitely buy a bike, still the knowledge of what to buy, expect, usage, safety and many more concerns me. After having my marked money (hahah), I studied all about bikes’ stuff for almost a month. What I have in mind is a mountain bike but what are the things I actually know about it? What will I do if I did not like biking? I did not think much of it because I know it myself that I want to ride a bike. I just joined bike groups and or [pages on facebook. The www.pinoymtbiker.org  really helped me a lot! If you are thinking on grabbing a bike, just scroll some of the beginners’ topic there.

 

What I gained as a biker:

I become exposed to different bikers. It was like entering a network of bikers thus connections to bike events, bike rides, trail ride, bike tips, riding techniques, and many more.

As a driver, I become aware of biker’s presence at the road. Just share the road, SERIOUSLY!

Bikers are all friendly so expect to have a load of new friends every ride!

Bragging rights. Everyone can go to baguio via private vehicle / van / bus, but a bike? Not everyone can do that.

Leg power, my legs are more flexible and stronger now compared before. Yay!

Hassle-free parking!

Ride pictures! Yey!

I use my bike in some of my errands.

No plans for a day? Just ride your bike and see where it can get you.

 

Rider’s Unforgettable Experience:

Along Eastbank Road – Floodway, I experienced this “walang hiyang taxi driver” on my way to office. I just passed a taxi (on my left) – nagmamabagal sya, nag hihintay siguro ng papara na pasahero (supposedly on the right side of the road). At may “potential passenger” sa right side ko at nakikita kong pinapara sya, so nag mabilis ako para malagpasan yung passenger, as I am just passing this “potential passenger” of the taxi, biglang nag mabilis yung taxi at ki-nut yung line ko (its my right of way, ako nasa harap, yung taxi nasa likod ko) just to attend dun sa passenger na katapat ko. I had to fully squeezed my breaks para hindi mag touch yung gulong ko sa taxi. Nag skid ang gulong ko for 5seconds. Sya pa galit! WTF! After maisakay si passenger nag harurot yung taxi, hinabol ko at alam kong may stop light sa dulo, binalibag ko yung (right) side mirror nya and I just pedalled my way papasok sa mga iskinita. Wala syang nagawa dahil sa traffic. Nag rush ang mga dugo ko dahil sa kaba good thing is nag revert back naman yung side mirror nya. LOL! What I did was wrong pero hindi malalaman ng taxi driver kung ano mali nya if I keep my silence. I trully believe that we need to re-educate our licensed drivers.

 

In Marcos Highway, tapat ng Robinson’s Metro East. Same incident happened on our ride with Tour Of The Fireflies – the BIG Ride 2015, isang lane na kami ng bikers (as in half ng road sakop namin) yet this stupid taxi driver insisted on cutting our lane just to attend at a passenger, ginawa nung kasabayan naming nag Bikers, may pumukpok sa trunk nya gamit pang bomba ng gulong, may nag pipina ng sobrang lakas, may nambalibag ng magkabilang side mirror, naghamunan pang bumaba sya ng taxi pero buti lumayo yung taxi away sa bikers dahil makukuyog sya. Yes, what we did was wrong but those idiot taxi drivers would not know what they did wrong. #ShareTheRoad #ReapectTheBikers

Trail Ride to Puray Falls, mmmm

 

Rider’s Note:

Use flashing front and rear lights when riding at night.

Wear your helmet at all times. As the LTO says “Ang helmet sa ulo, Hindi sa siko.”

Check the gears and brakes before and after riding your bike.

Buy a good Quality bike lock chains for your bike parking.

Avoid doors! Car doors, a lot of drivers do not look at the side mirror before opening their door.

To all the bikers, do our part, PLEASE do not maneuver your bike RECKLESSLY. SRSLY!! There are bikers that just turn their handle bar as their please! Look and signal before you turn!!

Do not use earphones when riding. Our sense of hearing serves as a balancer and side mirror to us!

In driving, keep a distance away from a biker, Bikes do not have “signal lights” whether they are slowing.down or not, just be attentive.

Biking X Shifting Gears

When I got my bike and tried it for just a quick ride, I don’t take seriously what shifting gears is for. When my rides gets farther that’s when I really appreciate my gears.
Well, just like shifting gears in cars, if its uphill keep your gear low for the machine not to kill itself since lower gear is specifically for low speed ascend. So keep in mind that if its uphill, you better shift to lower gear (smaller cogs) in your front and bigger cogs at the back. I’m practicing in lowering my front gear then followed by placing a larger cog at the back since they work inversely.Look at your front and back shifter and keep it in lower number in which you can pedal at ease in an uphill.

Shifting at Mountains
I’m using my cannondale mountainbike therefore after for how many rides, I adopt and learned how to shift without looking at my gears. In uphill, I first switch the front derailluer and will feel a drastic change in my pedalling followed by changing my back derailluer since it takes a lesser effect on jumping from gear 8 to gear 7 and so on than the front. Don’t shift simultaneously,just don’t. On an uphill trail, I just use the middle setting of gears and adjust it I find it hard and/or too easy to ascend. At the peak, my gears are on low (from uphill) thus making the downhill low gear. I shift at higher gear one at a time before hitting the flat road. There where times that Im changing to higher gears during a downhill when my speed starts to drop.

Shifting at Roads
Riding at flat road is just following the shifting mechanism when riding at Mountains. Mainly in flat road, I keep my gear in bigger cogs at the front and lower cogs at the back just to keep myself at higher speed but Im taking notes of the higher probability of stopping, due to jeepneys, crossings, pedestrians etc. Stopping from a high gear means a larger force you must exert just to start and keep your previous momentum (from higher gear). In practice, If I saw cars stopping ahead of me, I downshift just exacty 10 rotations (pedals) of my desired cogs so when I start to pedal again, it won’t be that hard compared to a high gear.

Shifting x Challenge
The real thrill about shifting is giving yourself a challenge and a chance to adjust and adopt to situations. You can keep at a high gear and exercise your legs to be familiarized with the starting and stoping from it. Im climbing a short-ascend bridge in 3×8 just to keep my legs in shape and if there are not much cars around. Yes, you will find it hard reaching the top but I just think of the downhill part. After conquering bridges without changing to lower gears is an achievement for me, just like a runner deserves a medal.

Additional Notes:
Just before the ascend starts, you must measure if you can or cannot reach the peak in your current gear then shift.
10 cog rotations utmost must the shifter to take effect. I count mine and got my latest upto 3-5 rotations.
Uphill – Shift to LOWER number.
Downhill – HIGHER, until reaching self satisfaction of your speed and a steady momentum.
Gears helps us to be efficient in our energy usage especially in long rides.
Currently using 9×3 Alivio Shifters