Posted by: Junker | 6 February , 2013

Bike Abuse Ride

I will never ever miss the feeling of cramps. Specially, double leg cramps.

I don’t usually hate anything or anyone. If there’s anything I hate, it’s cramps.

In 2005, while swimming across a short channel between two islands, I was attacked by cramps on both legs. To make the long story short, it ended my triathlon training for that year. I never trained for another triathlon again.

Last Saturday, I rode my bike for the second time in 3 months. The first time was the day before, Friday. It was a survey ride with the route setter of an off-road triathlon. The uphill rides are pretty much acceptable to me. I would’ve been disappointed if there were just a a few. What caught me were the downhill parts. Not only they are rutted and winding, the ground is made up of sharp corals.

It’s not surprising in this part of the world to see shells in the mountains. But, riding downhill on my hardtail, cross-country bike, on sharp corals is a complete nightmare. I brought a spare tube and thank God I never had a puncture. I tried riding those sketchy single-track, sharp, rutted trails, but i was so afraid I’d crash. I had to walk on some parts, reluctantly. Reluctantly, because I’m also concerned I might break my shoes walking on sharp rocks.

Several times my crank arms hit some sharp rocks. One time, it was my big chain ring that hit the ground.

Please, don’t get me wrong. I am enjoying this ride because it was the first time I’ve ridden that trail. It just so abused my bike. It’s not for a hardtail XC bike. More suited to AM (with tons of courage) or DH bikes.

After the downhill rides,I thought it would be time for chow. No, I was wrong. Cranking hard on flat grounds, we turned left on another uphill. On this trail I experienced the most crippling quadriceps cramps I ever had. I threw the bike and slumped in the middle of the trail. I didn’t know if I’d keep sitting or I’ll stand. The cramps are moving, damn!

After just a couple of minutes agonizing in the middle of the trails, I summoned my strength and walked the few meters to the top. There, my companion is waiting and yelling at me. Yeah, I’m ok!

We went inside another trail and were rewarded with fresh coconuts from a newly felled tree. And, a free lunch prepared by one of our friends.

On the way home, it rained. It was a heavy rain. Whew!

Well, what’s a mountain bike built for? ABUSE!

Before the scary downhill :-)

Before the scary downhill🙂

one of the tough (makunat) uphill climbs

one of the tough (makunat) uphill climbs

Posted by: Junker | 11 February , 2012

Dryland Exercise Index Triangle

I’m supposed to ride my bike early this morning, but for reasons unbeknown, I didn’t wake up. I’ll just put the inclement weather and the low noise my alarm made as an excuse.

After some chat with my supposed triathlon team mates over the phone yesterday, I am resolved to train even if there’re only 35 days left before the race. To replace time lost in the saddle, I copied the Dryland Exercise Index Triangle workout video from my notebook to my PSP for easy access. It would be a good indoor workout if I can’t go out to ride, or so I thought.

I reviewed the video twice and wrote down the 8 exercises i will do, thinking, this may not be a piece of cake, but it’s still a cake nonetheless. I was very wrong, again!

Ok, here it is. There are eight exercises to be completed within 30 seconds each and you can take all the time you need in between. Chicken feed, right? Wrong again! You will do one exercise in 30 seconds then you rest. You will do the same exercise again in 30 seconds, then follow it up with the second exercise also in 30 seconds then you rest. Take all the time in the world and proceed with your 3rd set. Doing the first and second exercises in 30 seconds each and follow them up with the 3rd exercise in? Correct, 30 seconds. Then rest. Doing the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and top them with the 4th exercise and so on and so forth till you die!

Midway in my 3rd set, thought to my self that the dude who invented this punishment must be tough. Well, if you can see the man in the video demonstrating these exercises, he looks like a cut between Sean Connery without the facial hair (even head hair) and Randy Couture. For sure, he’s older than me. But the man is chiseled!

Before getting to set number 4, told my self this will be a walk in the park, because it was the push-ups. Very wrong again! When i got to the push-ups, my torso is shaking like the Visayan quake last Monday and I couldn’t keep a straight plank. After doing 20 or so push-ups and in less than 30 seconds, I dropped to the floor, floored. Mind you, I made a conscious effort to breath throughout this ordeal. What more if I held my breath while punishing my self.

Oh well, I’m not tough and not yet bald. But, I will be chiseled. When? I have no idea. I got to sick to this workouts, top it with rides to the mountains and sprints in the island, guess I’ll be in a good shape during the race, if I’m not dead!

I’ll take tomorrow as rest day and resume training the day after. I’ll see what part of my body wouldn’t hurt.

Posted by: Junker | 6 February , 2012

Trip Up North

It’s been a while. Seven months ago. That’s the last I blogged. Ok, I’ll first write a little about my trip to Baguio last December.

Firstly, thanks to my bike buddies Jaymz and Nhan for bringing me to that ride after Christmas, 2011. T’was really a blast!

Last time I visited the Pine City was in 2005, for a rope access technician training and I stayed in John Hay. Yeah the hotel where Pacman stayed. I said to my self, “wow, the bus fare is so much higher now!”.

I still like to go to Baguio City, because of the climate and the laid back lifestyle, or so I thought. It wasn’t the same Baguio City I knew, tsk, tsk. The traffic jam is now as terrible as in any crowded cities in the Philippines. It is over-populated and became dirtier. We were in Baguio as a starting and exit point to our other destinations, but I felt sad about the state it’s in now.

In 1999, I worked a an engineer in Baguio and after my first 2 weeks, I already got bored. If only there was the SM mall back then, I wouldn’t have left prematurely.

Well, what’s important is it’s still cold up there. I would like to go back, but not stay there.

Posted by: Junker | 20 July , 2011

A Very Long Two Weeks

If I wrote that my last visit in the big city was very short and I resent it, now I’m also resenting my long stay here. I’m already on my 12th day here and I still have five more days before I go home to Cebu.

I was able to accomplish some of the purposes I came here for but I still have a lot of things to do. Homesickness is making me a zombie. I can’t seem to make my feet move. I’m getting disinterested with many things. I am limiting my interactions with other people. I’d rather stay in my mom’s home than go meet friends.

Like what I posted in my other blog, I wasn’t like this when I was younger and single and not yet a father. I don’t know how to be on my own for long time. Activities that used to make my palms sweat doesn’t excite me much anymore. I’m happy to be with friends and share good bike rides and climbs, though. However, it’s the ‘after’ the activities that I dread. When it’s time to part ways with them.

Two good friends who knew about how I feel told me, it’s now a completely different playing field when you’re already a husband and a father. I couldn’t agree more. My life took a 180 degree turn.

I am comfortable where my family is. I am no longer my old selfish person. I now care and yearn for care of my family.

Posted by: Junker | 6 July , 2011

Manila!

With valid reasons, I’ll be coming to Manila. However, that valid reason gave me the chance to be with my friends and do the things we always wanted to do; ride bikes, climb mountains and rocks, and just plain getting together. With drinks or without, doesn’t matter.

Some friends already set all the activities we’re going to immerse our selves into and I thank them for that. I made one for a friend as well, like a public invitation for a friend who will celebrate his birthday in November.

I’m setting my sights to long rides and climbs, seeing friends from far places and simply sitting and chatting with dear brothers and sisters. My visit to Manila would be very, very short even if I stay for 3 to 4 weeks. I would always try to pull each day, because I will be missing my baby Adie.

Posted by: Junker | 6 July , 2011

Hindi Ako Nahimatay, Hahahaha!

I went for a ride this overcast afternoon, hoping it will rain hard in the trails. I installed my mud-guards, put my phone in a waterproof case and brought a waterproof camera. I was able to use the phone, but not the camera.

Anyway, I beat my personal record in climbing from trail entrance to exit the Budlaan route by 68 seconds. I set a PR of 40 minutes when I was still training for a race. And now that I’m much less fitter because I only ride when I like, I beat it by that much?

My secret?! A chant. I utter the word “SPIN’ over and over when my sight is getting dark. I must be chanting that word a 100 times then, voila! I didn’t faint! I was able to tackle those saksakan ng kunat ascents.

By the way, I’m a sitting rider. I don’t stand on my bike.

Posted by: Junker | 6 July , 2011

Testing Positive For Growth

When it comes to spiritual maturity, we can’t simply take for granted that we’re growing. To evaluate personal progress, I’ve compiled a brief inventory of spiritual benchmarks. Check the list for an idea of how you’re doing. But remember, these items are just a place to start; see the Bible for a complete growth chart!

We know we’re growing spiritually when we become increasingly aware of our sinfulness and weakness. As I read biographies of godly saints, it’s clear that they don’t “get better” with age and spiritual maturity. Instead, they become ever more sensitive to their dependence upon the Lord. Moreover, progress is apparent when we respond to sin with quick repentance. Failure to deal with sin is rebellion against God. Growing believers turn away from wrongdoing and embrace righteousness. As we live with the good results of dependence and repentance, our desire to obey intensifies, and the attraction of sin lessens.

Growth is also marked by an increase in two things—joy and struggle. Faith is often developed through hardship because living out the principles of trust and endurance help us “get it.” So we’ll see maturity in our relationship with God when we view trials and temptations as opportunities for growth.

Paul, David, and Daniel prove that adversity can help form spiritual giants. These men recognized sovereign God as the gatekeeper of their lives. We are maturing when we perceive whatever comes our way as being from Him, which also means that He’s working it for good (Rom. 8:28).

Posted by: Junker | 6 July , 2011

Four Short Days In June

I just had a very brief visit to the big city where I used to live. I had the chance to see my long lost friends and the not so long lost ones. We had the chance to catch up on each others’ lives, relived the past and even play in a mall.

This is one of my visits where I didn’t just pass by the city and go to another, which what happened during my last visit in January and February. Though, this is also a work-related one, I just stayed in it.

I don’t know if they’ll be able to read this, but I’d like to thank the couple Caloy and Hazel Garcia for taking care of me every time I am in Manila. My brother and sister would always insist I stay with them. I love you guys! You make my heart melt. My prayers goes with you.

I enjoyed the night with another brother and sister, Jepoi and Ynna together with their children. Like when we were younger and all unmarried, we went to a mall and played with gusto at Timezone. When we’re together, we never noticed how time flies. Only, because the kids have classes the following day, that’s why we called it a night. I had great time and I already miss you. Hope to see you again soon.

Two guys I’m very happy to have seen again are Led and Ruel. It was 11 or 12 years ago when I last saw them. Now, we are determined to get together frequently when I’m in Manila. Guys, thanks for sharing your time with me, you’re still the sweet little kids I met in grade school. Don’t change, stay nice and kind!

And of course, the wild boys. My adventure gang; James, Allan and Nhan. We had a blast during my last night in Manila. reliving the climbs and rides we did. Planning our future adventures and drinking lots of beer. It was a happy night.

Allan (Lansky) remembered it was 20 years ago when we first met and I introduced him to mountain climbing. I thought it was just a couple of years ago. Nhan retold how we met in that fun mountain bike ride in the lahar of Clark in Pampanga. And James (Jaymz), the brother who reintroduced me to my former loves, mountain and rock climbing.

That four days I stayed in Manila gave me the chance to be with people very dear to me and be reconnected. We never get tired of retelling our stories over and over. It doesn’t matter if new ears will listen or not, we’re always happy with them. I think, that’s the glue that makes our friendship stick. I rarely see you guys, but it feels as if we’ve just seen each other yesterday. We know the next words that will come out off each other’s mouth. That’s how solid we are.

How I really wished we could always be together. No, it won’t happen. We belong to stronger teams now, our families. Even so, the friendship remains. The warm handshakes, sincere hugs, the true concerns and gentle advice, they make one’s heart melt.

We all promised we will get together again.

Love you guys…………..God bless us all!

Posted by: Junker | 15 June , 2011

In Your Face

I don’t know what is it in me why many security guards pick on me? Is it my looks? Just because I don’t drive the latest car model, dressed to kill in this torrid weather or my calm outward demeanor? I don’t understand why they don’t see the other guys around me?

I parked the car in an empty airport waiting area and waited for my mom to come out of the arrival area. Two more cars followed, the drivers got out of their vehicles, locked them and went near the exits. I stood beside the car with its door opened.

A security guard approached me and told me parking is not allowed in that area. Huh? It’s the waiting area, for Pete’s sake!

When I told him the person I’m waiting for has arrived, he replied that the airline from Manila hasn’t arrived yet and I shouldn’t be there waiting.

I told him, I already talked to my mom on the phone and she’s just waiting for her baggage from the carousel. The heroic guard, told me that PAL hasn’t arrived yet…..for the second time. Like a cobra ready to strike, I glared at him and in annoyed voice told him I wasn’t waiting for the fucking PAL. I asked him where those people waiting for their baggages came from. He couldn’t answer clearly. He’s a one-tracked mind, I noticed. All he wanted was to get rid of me in that waiting area.

I told him, “I will tell you where they came from and what airline carried them here”. I also told him “why picked on me?”. “Why don’t you talk to the owners of those two cars beside mine and ask them to leave?”. The Hijo de Putang guard is now turning green. He’s obviously a green horn among his peers, they were just looking at him. Watching how he’d react to this knuckle-dragger in brown car.

He left practically scratching his head in disbelief, that he in a clean, crisp uniform and with gun of authority is just flicked away by a barefooted asshole from his territory.

I felt sorry for him. He underestimated the opposition. Their security agency didn’t teach their guards never to step backwards when faced by formidable opponents. Much less courtesy. Either stand your ground or move forward, always. I should know, I taught it.

He would’ve have been more humiliated if he came to me face to face instead of standing on the other side of the car, talking as if in the verge of crying.

I’m doing my best to be polite and respectful to authority, but when I know I’m being bullied I can turn the table around and be the bully.

What if I return to my old obnoxious, abrasive and attitude-filled self again? An outright asshole dirtbag? I’m tempted, really because it’s so easy. Maybe no one will bother me?

Posted by: Junker | 11 June , 2011

Riding With My Self

Spent the day reading, ’cause I fell so down and depressed. Now, it’s time for me to write. Thanks to my long-lost friends who introduced me to love of reading and writing with gusto!

Reading introduces me to a lot of names, sends me to many places, teaches me things I don’t want to know. But, it teaches me anyway.

Now, writing liberates me. Gives me the freedom to express my thoughts, my frustrations and disappointments, my love and happiness…. I can say anything in writing.

I decided to ride my mountain bike yesterday in a mountain trail that I know will take me long to finish. I like that trail because of it’s remoteness; no vehicle passes through it, and very few people live in the area.

The trails are clean and the forest, really thick. It’s a watershed, why not? It must be protected. The dam that supplies water to the city is located inside this forest.

I no longer train for a race. I’m riding for the sake of riding itself. It is getting to be a passion for me. Well, i must admit, I’m getting stronger and healthier. That’s the plus I get from this hobby.

It has been a while since I rode in trails with other bikers. I am becoming more comfortable doing solos. It’s difficult to exchange talks while suffering on ascents, anyway. So, riding alone doesn’t pose a problem for me.

While on a serious climb, my front dérailleur failed to shift to the smallest chain ring, leaving me with just the middle and big rings to shift to. I have to harness tremendous concentration and energy in order to continue on. Otherwise, it would be very difficult for me to mount on the bike and pedal again if I suddenly stop mid-climb.

I gritted my teeth, drank my remaining water and continue on. I’m inside a forest. Great!

Not long and I reached the end of the arduous climbs and braced my self to a very long and winding down-hill ride. Heaven!

I’m getting closer to the dam, naturally the trees are getting thicker and the mid-day sun barely penetrates the forest floor. Tis is one cool place.

In all these, I really wished YOU were there with me. Enjoying everything I see and feel. I wished I’m following your every pedal stroke. Sharing small talks in-between rests and water stops. I wished we were sharing trail food and jokes. They were just wishes and only the Creator can grant them. Only Him can make our wishes come true.

Whenever I start to frequent a route, and it’s getting to be my favourite, somehow the route becomes shorter in time. Maybe because of familiarity to the place and muscle memory.

I am very sure, Buhisan trail will become my next favourite route in the days to come. I hope you could come.

 

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