Monday, January 2, 2012

Looking Back at 14 Years in Biking

Ever since I started biking as a recreation, it changed my lifestyle. I had forgone using cars as personal transport except on dire emergencies. I first started into this activity way back 1998, I bought a steel rigid 26" MTB from Joven's in Marikina and rode it stock until I had an Aluminum Hardtail a bootleg Schwinn Moab built in 2000. I consistently rode the bike then, climbing up "The Wall" almost every weekend, building up my strength and lung capacity. Back then, we don't call it the Wall, there is no name for it. Locals in San Mateo know it only as the road going to Maarat. Back then, it was not paved, only 4X4 enthusiasts, motocrossers, daredevil jeepney drivers, joggers, and us MTBikers tread the road. It offered us pure mountain air.
View of Ortigas Area at the Top where today stands the Clubhouse of Timberland
Unpaved Road going to Maarat, San Mateo Rizal - Taken January 20, 2002
Spectacular view of Manila Pasig Mandaluyong Area. Where this picture was taken, now stands a subdivision
With my good friend Edwin Tamayo. We rested at a store somewhere near the end of Maarat basic trail. Ready to head home

I did not foresee that a week later, something will happen that will never be forgotten.
February 2, 2002. A beautiful day to head out to the wall and hit the trails. I was done climbing to the gate of Timberland when I decided to climb again. On the way down the infamous "Siko" I had a terrible spill. I was going down a good 30kph when I hit a pocket of loose gravel, I did not have time to react. The result was a split ulna, sprained ankle, 6 months of rehab and one messed up spirit. It took me a year to recover and 2 years more before I had the courage to ride my bike again.
My Schwinn Moab got stolen in 2007, prompting me to stop the sport for a while because of lack of money to buy a new bike.
But in 2010, I got bitten by the biking bug again. A good friend generously gave me a generic aluminum hardtail with decent parts. I started riding again as a form of therapy to get away from loneliness brought about by my separation from my family.
The Voyager started to ride again! First it was the Silang Santa rosa trails. Then to countless climbs in Tagaytay. I did my first 100plus mile ride in a single day when I did the Laguna Loop last December 17, 2011.
Self Shot before going down the infamous "Siko" where ten years before, I had an accident. Taken January 1, 2012
I really enjoyed biking as a hobby. It introduced me to some changes in my lifestyle that I really appreciate. You could try this hobby, who knows, you might enjoy it too. Happy New Year!

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