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!
I know, I know: Thunder trail isn’t the most technical trail out there. There are no jumps where you can whip your tail for the camera. You have the nearby Antenna Hill for that. But what the heck?! Nailing those sections means I may just be improving as a biker. Stoked! …as shallow as my achievement may sound.
That was in the morning.
In the evening, I joined around 2,000 other bikers in a night ride around Marikina to mark Earth Hour. The critical mass ride was organized by Habagat Outdoor Equipment as part of its awareness campaign on climate change.
Honestly, I am not a fan of Earth Hour. Turning off your lights for sixty minutes doesn’t do diddly squat to rollback global warming. And recently, Earth Hour has been perverted by commercialism. There is something ironic (s’cuse the hipster word) in the fact that malls have turned this environmental campaign into an “event” where thousands ride their gas guzzling SUVs to massively airconditioned (but dimly lighted) halls of consumerism. It’s like going to a tree planting ceremony while carrying chainsaws.
But honestly too, I am a big fan of bikes. If there’s one thing that can turn back global warming, it’s probably pedal power. And to see thousands of people who share this same conviction riding busy streets at night makes me think that there’s probably still a pretty good chance this world won’t be suffering a faceplant sometime soon.
It’s a pretty awesome spectacle too–all those blinkers and headlights and bike bells ringing.
It’s like a fiesta for cause. Kudos to Habagat for cooking up this ride.
So I rode back home with plenty of good vibes from the trail ride in the morning and the critical mass ride in the evening.
Long live biking!