Bikers take over the streets to promote clean energy
I was able able to climb Antenna Hill without much issue, but each segment of Thunder Trail left me drained and panting like a fish out of water. The heat reached 38 degrees yesterday, which was probably the reason why I was feeling so sucked out and seared after doing each segment of Thunder Trail. But it’s also possible that my muscle fibers had atrophied and my aerobic capacity went back to ultra-wimp level in the previous days I slacked off. Whatever.
Despite being gassed out and fried, there were still gallons of joy pumping through my veins last Saturday. Why? Because I was able to do all of the technical sections of Thunder Trail without dismounting. As any biker knows, this is a very special kind of feeling. Verrry ssspecial.
Stoked. It’s the ecstasy of accomplishment. It’s when everything works better than intended and you bask in the sweet sweet afterglow of fulfillment. It’s visceral poetry. It’s like scoring 100 points on Flappy Bird. It’s like plugging a USB correctly on both ends on the first attempt! Read more [+]
Puray Falls really comes to life in the rainy season
Puray Falls is one of the best mountain biking destinations near Metro Manila. Getting there means riding up steep slopes, crossing clear flowing streams, hiking up huge boulders, and viewing beautiful mountain vistas. It is one of those rare places within riding distance of our smog-choked, rubbish-strewn megacity where a biker can reconnect with greenery and soak in some soul.
If you want someone to understand what mountain biking is all about, you should take him/her on a bike ride to Puray Falls. Challenging climbs, fast descents, and the thrill of exploration: a journey to Puray provides all of these.
Sadly though, the place is getting trashed little by little.
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Thunderbird Resorts in Binangonan Rizal is familiar to Metro Manila mountain bikers who frequent Antenna Hill and the Angono-Binangonan Petroglyphs.
Thunder Trail however does not seem to be as famous as either of these two biking destinations. This is a shame because this winding singletrack and fireroad which leads to a hilltop lagoon is one of the better MTB trails near Metro Manila.
Binangonan Rizal is my hometown. It makes me proud that the Angono-Binangonan Petroglyphs have now become part of the “must-visit” places among Metro Manila weekend warriors. Over the years, I’ve also seen Antenna Hill attain much deserved fame in the mountain biking community for its challenging climb (which offers great views of the Laguna de bay) and the excellent downhill track which was built there by gravity aficionados.
Thunder Trail complements these two destinations. This trail has got plenty of twists, fast flowy descents, and sections that require you to dip into your bag of technical tricks. Read more [+]
Two wheels, a camera, and a sense of wonder and adventure are all you need
If you’ve ever enjoyed the Tomb Raider games and movies, if you’re yearning for an adventure akin to that of Indiana Jones, and (last but definitely not the least) if you enjoy biking—then Cambodia should be part of your bucket list.
Cambodia’s ancient sites are beyond awesome. I’ve seen pictures of Cambodia’s temple ruins before. But to see these massive towers, pyramids, monuments, monasteries and stairways to heaven up close and personal is something else. For someone who enjoys snacking on Natgeo and the History Channel, this place is like one gigantic buffet.
It’s not that expensive either. Catch one of the cheap flights from the budget carriers and you’re good to go. Day to day expenses are comparable to living in Manila, sometimes even cheaper. If you can book a trip to Boracay, you can book a trip to Cambodia’s ancient sites. And the best part is that all of these ancient sites can be explored by bike.
I even think that the temples are best visited via bike. There’s a Zen element in going on a journey, moving on your own pace, reaching a sacred place, and moving on. Read more [+]
PIck your poison–29er, 27.5er or 26er
Buying a bike used to be easy. You just went to your friendly neighborhood bike shop and picked one you like. But today, with so many types of bikes to choose from, picking one that suits you seems to have become much harder.
This is especially true in the world of mountain biking where new stuff gets unveiled and marketed almost every day. 29ers used to be cool. 29ers were once the hipster anti-mainstream enfant terrible of the mountain biking universe. But nowadays bikes with 29-inch wheels are more often seen as “the establishment.” Like all rebellions that became all too successful, the 29er movement seems to have lost its aura of defiant nonconformism. It is now the mainstream.
Now it seems that 27.5 inch wheels or 650b is where the action’s at. Bike manufacturers are betting big on 27.5, with Giant even putting all its eggs in the 650b basket. So what’s the hype all about? Read more [+]