There’s river crossings galore on this trail
There is a tale told in whispers about a mythical elixir that can only be found beyond the far mountains of Montalban. Those who have partaken of this substance swear that it imbued them with strength, stamina, well-being and a new powerful sense of purpose. But to get a taste of this arcane sustenance, you have to climb and descend towering mountains and make perilous river crossings in the legendary land of Bernardo Carpio. This magical mixture, made from some of the best fruits and ingredients, is sometimes referred to as Shimanong’s Halo Halo.
Anyway, this was a ride that should have happened a long time ago. I bike to Timberland almost every week. But despite Maarat’s proximity to Montalban, I had never taken the Casili road to Wawa Dam.
I had a vague idea of the route, thanks to Google Maps. But I wasn’t willing to go it solo because I knew that the place wasn’t exactly spitting distance from civilization and assistance, in case someone needed to bring my shattered bones back home. There are some destinations that you can go solo, and there are some where a buddy is a must. This ride belongs to the second category.
Thankfully last week, I was finally able to convince Montalban biker and die-hard Kapuso Jeff to lead the way. Read more [+]
Photo courtesy of Tomas Tirona of AttackMTB
Who is the greatest MMA fighter right now? Sorry, it ain’t some cokehead with long limbs. It’s none other than Ronda Rousey. Love her or hate her, she is the best right now in a field which used to be reserved for doped-up men. One can only hope that Rousey’s achievements in MMA will soon be repeated in another sport that I love–mountain biking.
The recently held All Female Enduro in Antipolo is a pedal stroke in the right direction. All too often, the first thing that pops into men’s heads when the words “girl” and “bike” come together is some model in revealing clothes holding a “girly” bike in a provocative pose. I guess it was the same thing years before when “girl” and “MMA” landed in the same sentence–the first thing we thought of was Arianny or Britney. But Ronda Rousey has pretty much changed all that already.
I doubt that there will be a Redbull Rampage female edition anytime soon. But who knows? We’re already having all-female Enduros today, maybe in a couple of years there will be female freeriders who can give Cam Zink a run for his money. Here’s a big kudos to all girl mountain bikers who took part in the 1st All Female Enduro, to the sponsors, and The Enduro Network for organizing the event.
I wasn’t there to cover the event myself, so for the full report on the race, click here.
The Dart Helmet: makes even a Sith Lord think about switching head gear
The Spyder Dart is one good looking helmet. When I posted its photo on Facebook, it immediately got dozens of likes. Bikers asked what model it was, asked if it was already available, and asked where they could buy it. If they could order it on the website, many of them would have probably done so. I have always been a fan of Spyder helmets, but they seem to have outdone themselves with this one.
The Dart is the latest in Spyder’s line of all-mountain lids that are becoming very popular these days. As more and more riders eschew familiar trails and easy rides for more challenging rough and tumble adventures, helmets are also evolving to deal with the increased risks entailed by these adventures.
Read more [+]
Steel is real. This is the battle cry of a lot of bikers who feel that bike manufacturers have been making bike frames that are way too complicated and expensive. Seems like it wasn’t too long ago when steel was the bike maker’s metal of choice. Nowadays though, steel bikes have become as rare as a competent and uncorrupted Pinoy politician, which is kinda sad because steel is such an excellent material for building bikes.
I had been looking to switch to a steel frame since late last year. While I love my aluminum Venzo, I just felt that I already needed something sturdier. The Venzo was a great lightweight alloy frame that helped me nab respectable finishes in duathlons and XC races. But it just didn’t seem like a well-suited weapon for fast descents on rock gardens and technical trails, which I found myself riding more and more often. I was longing for that strange alchemy of toughness and suppleness that could only come from that bastard spawn of carbon and iron more popularly known as (you guessed it) steel! Read more [+]