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Switching to a 29er Bike

 

29er Mountain Bike

29er Mountain Bike

Originally, I wanted to say “Upgrading to a 29er.” But I realized that that would be biased. It would suggest that 26er bikes were somehow inferior, which is hardly the case. There’s a whole bunch of reasons why 26 inch wheels have come to dominate the mountain bike world.

But first things first. For those new to mountain biking, a 29er is a bike that has wheels with a diameter of 29 inches. Standard mountain bikes have smaller 26 inch wheels. And no you can’t simply slap a 29 inch wheel into a standard mountain bike, they just won’t fit. You’ll need a new bike frame and a new fork as well. Read more [+]

Downhill Racing at Antenna Hill

Spyder Downhill Cup, Mountain Biking in the Philippines

Spyder Downhill Cup 2013

It was fast, furious and (from the look on the faces of the racers) extremely fun. Downhill racers maneuvered their heavy full-suspension rigs down a steep hill (45+ degree slopes?) at full speed, not minding the two to four foot drops on a narrow dirt track with trees and boulders thrown in.

As each biker flung himself down the track, the crowd hooted, cheered and some even clapped while contestants put all their skills on display. Such was the atmosphere at the Spyder Downhill Cup, held last February 24th at the “Antenna” in Binangonan, Rizal. Read more [+]

Trail Running in the Sierra Madre

Tanay Trail Run 2013 Love a Tree

A trail runner enjoys the hills, streams and fields of Tanay

Dawn broke around six. By that time I had already been running for about an hour. Normally, I would have already covered at least 10 kilometers, but when I checked the GPS app on my phone, it said that I had covered a paltry 7 kilometers.

My goal of finishing the trail run in 3 hours now appeared impossible as my legs seemed ready to burst battery acid if I kept up this pace. With my race goal now completely out of reach, there was nothing left to do… but enjoy the scenery, take lots of photos, and have fun on the trail. Read more [+]

Uphill Run to Caliraya Lake

Starting line for the Caliraya Uphill Challenge Level 2 2013

Pavement pounders can’t wait to test themselves against Caliraya’s punishing uphill road.

The road to Caliraya Lake is a bikers’ playground. The twisty, moderately ascending pavement is perfect for motocyclists who want to improve their skills with the twisties. Cyclists meanwhile are sure to get a better workout here than on Antipolo’s traffic-choked Sumulong highway.

But for runners, the 3-4 kilometer climb to Caliraya Lake will count as serious punishment. For road runners who are more used to the flat roads and gentle slopes of BGC, it would definitely be a sufferfest.

Read more [+]

Lance Armstrong, Doper

Lance Armstrong gets taken down by doping allegations. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Like so many of the people who believed him, who got inspired by his story, I tried to cling on to the idea that Lance Armstrong was one of the greatest cyclists ever. Even in the face of mounting evidence that there was something fishy about Armstrong’s superhuman feats in the Tour de France, I shrugged off the accusations as sourgraping by dope cheats and lowlife cynics who just can’t handle the idea that towering greatness does exist in the world.

But then came the USADA. Doubts began to surface and made me think if Armstrong was really the man he marketed himself to be. Read more [+]

Surfing in Baler

Surfers catching a wave in Baler

Catching a wave in Baler. Photo by Renato Ubay Jr.

This is a guest post from my friend Mick Ison, who divides his free time between motorcycling, wakeboarding and all sorts of other water sports.

 To Pinoy surfers, Baler needs no introduction. Along with La Union and Siargao, it is one of the most frequented surf spots in the Philippines. But being new to surfing, I had little idea of what to expect.

I had been hearing about Baler for the longest time. Unfortunately, I never really had a chance to visit the place. My luck changed when I reconnected with an old friend, Noel Lazaro, who invited me to tag along with their Surf Trip to Baler. And without any hesitation, I said yes. Read more [+]

Running in Daranak and Calinawan

Nature's Trail Discovery Run Final Leg 2012

Nature’s Trail Discovery Run Final Leg 2012

Hands down, this is the best run I’ve ever participated in. Nature’s Trail Discovery Run in Tanay held last November 25 took its participants through beautiful mountain trails, through a cave, across a river, up a 600 meter high peak, down a postcard-perfect waterfalls, and dared us to test the limits of what we could achieve.

Initially, I had some doubts about whether I should sign up for the 21k trail run. I had done only one 21k before this, and it was over the relatively flat urban terrain of Fort Bonifacio. Running up steep rocky slopes sounded like a great deal of punishment, and someone told me that all the ascents and descents of a trail run added a few extra kilometers to the official 21k length of the course, so that it was actually going to be more than 21k. I was wondering if I should enlist in the shorter 10k race instead. Read more [+]

Mountain Biking in Sagada

mountain biker in sagada

Sagada: one of the best places in the country to do mountain biking

Ever since I set foot in Sagada over a decade ago, I dreamed about exploring this beautiful mountain town on a bike. Last October I finally got to do this.

Unfortunately, I could not bring my own bike to Sagada. We could not risk taking the car and driving all the way through Cordillera’s twisty roads. I couldn’t find a cheap bike carrying case either which would have allowed me to lug my bike safely onto a bus.Thankfully, you can now rent decent enough mountain bikes for P100/hour from Sagada Mountain Bikes. Read more [+]

Rock Climbing in Sagada

Rock climbing in Sagada

Rock climbing in Sagada

Visitors come to Sagada for its cool climate, its beautiful pine-clad mountain slopes, its relaxing vibe, and its friendly locals. Travelers stay for a couple of days to enjoy Sagada’s caves, its waterfalls, its hiking trails, and its culture.

But besides these, I think this quaint little town up in the Cordilleras also deserves fame for one other thing—its beautiful cliffs that are just perfect for rock climbing. Read more [+]

Fun Run in Caramoan

Guest post and photos by Kara Santos/Travel Up

Sunrise over rice fields greets participants of the Fun Run in Caramoan.

You know that running has really taken off in the country when organized fun runs are held in remote towns like Caramoan. Though connected to the mainland Camarines Sur on a peninsula, the town of Caramoan remains relatively isolated on the eastern-most edge of the province due to rugged terrain surrounding it, which makes traveling there by land difficult. Sea travel is still the most preferred mode of transport.

In recent years, Caramoan has gained popularity as the site for several international franchises of reality show Survivor, including Serbia, Israel, Bulgaria and France. The U.S. version of Survivor (currently airing) was also filmed there earlier this year. In the teaser for the U.S. Version, the Philippines is described as one of their “most treacherous locations yet” where “the waters are teeming with ravenous sharks” and “deadly snakes rule the jungles” complete with dramatic shots of said sharks and snakes. Read more [+]