Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Log Your Cycling Workout Using Map My Tracks

Since I started using MyTracks to record my cycling activities, it made it easier for me to keep track of the distance and elevation gained per month. Extracting the data from Map My Tacks website is easy. Just click on explore --> hubs --> mountain biking and you will get a view similar to this:
Map My Tracks
You can then get your monthly cycling log and put it in excel:
Make a graph of your Cycling Activity
There are also other workout log sites available such as Map My Ride, Endomondo, explore them and use them all for your benefit.

Friday, December 27, 2013

2013 Year-ender

2013 is full of challenges, just like any other year. Call me superstitious, but there is something about the number 13 in 2013 that made me cringe. Maybe I have _Triskaidekaphobia_ or the fear of the number 13.
Climate Change
Twenty five storms and tropical depressions visited the country with Super Typhoon Yolanda severely battering Eastern Visayas last November 8. A total of 6100 deaths were reported with thousands more missing.
Tropical Storm Maring caused havoc in Southern Luzon and Metro Manila by intensifying the Southwest Monsoon. The Marikina River rose as high as 19 meters forcing the evacuation of residents living near the riverbank.
A different kind of storm brewed in both Upper and Lower Chambers of Philippine Congress. Janet Napoles was implicated by her former employee and relative Benhur Luy of siphoning funds from the Pork Barrel of Senators and Congressmen. Big names were dragged as well, with Senator Juan Ponce Enrile headlining the bunch.
Heads will roll, or so the President promised.
Earlier this year, the Sultanate of Sulu launched an invasion of Sabah, trying to reclaim what is rightfully theirs. Two hundred thirty five militants arrived by boats from Tawitawi on February 11, 2013. The resulting standoff caused 68 deaths.
In September, supporters of MNLF Chairman Nur Misuari entered Zamboanga and tried to raise the flag of the self proclaimed Bangsamoro Republik. Armed conflict ensued, resulting in the killing of 183 insurgents and 25 government troops.
The country enjoyed a robust economy despite the natural and manmade tragedies of the year. Stocks breached the 7400 mark in May. But gains are lost by the end of 2013.
There are critics who said that the economy is merely a 'mirage'. True economic strength is still very far as more than a third of the population live below the poverty line.
Ups and downs, this year is one heck of a ride. Riding my bicycle provides me an escape to what was happening in the world. I rode 8700kms this year, an average of 725kms per month.

Map My Ride Stats
I participated in the Million People March against Pork Barrel in August.
Million People March
At the center of the storm

Kudos to the crew of Alvin Banaag for letting me join the Panasonic Pedal for the Environment this September.
Panasonic Pedal for the Environment
My first time to set foot on the island of Boracay
Boracay Adventure
Been to Tagaytay dozens of times using my bike
Ghost in you
Going up Imelda's Mansion

I also did Laguna Loop part 2 last November 2

Laguna-Rizal Boundary

Who knows what's in store for me in 2014.
With the right attitude, I can make it better in 2014!
Happy New Year to all.
posted from Bloggeroid

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Bike Tech Review: GEAX Roadster 26x1.5 Road Tire

A cyclist who owns a mountain bike appreciates the rig's versatility when it comes to tackling various kinds of terrain. Usually, one uses a 1.9" or wider tire as standard tires for their MTB. If you wanted to convert your MTB to a hybrid commuter, the first thing you got to change is the tire. I bought a pair of GEAX Roadster tires for my bike just to try out the feel of it. The trails in Silang are slowly disappearing, which made me think of mounting slick tires.
Here is the tire specification:
Tire Diameter: 26"
Tire Width: 1.5"
Tire Weight: 650grams
Recommended Tire Pressure: 60psi
Maximum Tire Pressure: 75psi

black side wall tires

Image (c) GEAX
Performance: Low rolling resistance makes my rig go a little faster. I shaved off a few seconds off from my usual bike time. It rolls fast on pavement and dry packed foot paths. I haven't tested this on wet pavement and mud.
Overall: I like this tire. I would use this during the dry months and reserve my wider XC tires for the wet season.
Disclaimer: this is just comparing today and Nov 19 bike run. Non-scientific comparison, the conditions were not the same for the run. Course was the usual exercise route I take.

Course run with Panaracer Soar XC 26x2.1

Created by Google My Tracks on Android.

Name: 11/19/2013 6:52am
Activity type: cycling
Description: -
Total distance: 31.21 km (19.4 mi)
Total time: 1:56:29
Moving time: 1:50:26
Average speed: 16.07 km/h (10.0 mi/h)
Average moving speed: 16.95 km/h (10.5 mi/h)
Max speed: 54.40 km/h (33.8 mi/h)
Average pace: 3.73 min/km (6.0 min/mi)
Average moving pace: 3.54 min/km (5.7 min/mi)
Fastest pace: 1.10 min/km (1.8 min/mi)
Max elevation: 274 m (899 ft)
Min elevation: 44 m (143 ft)
Elevation gain: 766 m (2512 ft)
Max grade: 13 %
Min grade: -18 %
Recorded: 11/19/2013 6:52am

Course run with GEAX Roadster 26x1.5

Created by Google My Tracks on Android.

Name: 11/21/2013 6:18pm
Activity type: cycling
Description: -
Total distance: 31.46 km (19.5 mi)
Total time: 2:01:18
Moving time: 1:49:38
Average speed: 15.56 km/h (9.7 mi/h)
Average moving speed: 17.22 km/h (10.7 mi/h)
Max speed: 55.15 km/h (34.3 mi/h)
Average pace: 3.86 min/km (6.2 min/mi)
Average moving pace: 3.48 min/km (5.6 min/mi)
Fastest pace: 1.09 min/km (1.8 min/mi)
Max elevation: 270 m (887 ft)
Min elevation: 37 m (121 ft)
Elevation gain: 742 m (2436 ft)
Max grade: 20 %
Min grade: -26 %
Recorded: 11/21/2013 6:18pm

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A Bike Commuter's Open Letter to the Motorist

Dear Motorist,

How are you doing? I hope you are doing well, so is your family. I am writing you a letter because I wanted to let you know of a few things.
On owning cars
First off, we don't hate cars. Some of us own cars too. As a kid, I am fascinated by it, and wanted to own one someday. See, we don't hate cars, we use it as a tool, as a transport, as a means of getting around. We use them to haul big things that our bikes simply can't carry. We use it to get to places and events when we need to arrive clean and not sweaty. We, bike commuters, however, prefer to use our bicycles more than our cars for a variety of reasons. We wanted to save on money. You see, a majority of us earn incomes that simply could not afford to maintain a car-centric life. You may see us riding our bikes to and from work. You may know us as "Manong" who ride beat up bicycles, with tools of our trade hanging from our backpacks. Some of us, though earning a lot more, just wanted to exercise and prefer commuting by bicycle where parking is way much easy.
On Road Sharing
We appreciate your tolerance on the road. We are slow moving and you see us as road hazards. We thank you nonetheless for being tolerant and sharing the road with us. We appreciate you not blasting your horns to hard. You give us space when passing us. There are other motorists who hate us. They cut us off, splash rainwater at us, generally being discourteous. Thank you for not being one of them. Thank you also for bearing with discourteous bike commuters who do not follow road signs. We do not condone such acts.
On Pollution
We ride on roads and are exposed to the elements. Unlike you, the motorist, we are do not have airconditioning and a roof to protect our heads from rain and the harsh sun. We appreciate if you tune up your vehicles and make sure you don't belch smoke. You may scoff at this, but you air conditioner does not shield you completely from the six common pollutants. Gases, such as carbon monoxide, oxides of nitrogen and sulfur, pass through an air conditioner filter. Go easy on the accelerator pedal please.
On the Earth's Future
By default, a cyclist cares about the environment. We minimize greenhouse gas emissions simply by limiting the use of cars for short travel distances. We care not only for you, but for the future of your children too.
I hope you consider the points we want to convey. Again, we want to thank you for bearing with us.
We are human beings too. We maybe your father, husband, son, brother, mother, daughter, wife or sister.

Sincerely Yours,
Bike Commuter

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Laguna Lake Loop - Part 2

Why do mountain climbers climb mountains? Because the mountain is there. The same holds true, a cyclist will travel, because the road is there.
Last November 2, 2013, three avid cyclists went on a clockwise loop of Laguna Lake.
Off we went, starting from Binan.

Water break in Alabang
All smiles ... for now
Taytay - Angono border - Along the Laguna Lake Coastal Road

Less than one fourth the way
In the town of Morong, Rizal, they try to eliminate the letter "D" as much as possible. The sign says "Banayar" instead of "Banayad". In effect, they say "Rahan-rahan lang baka ikaw'y marisgrasya"
In Rizal, the roads turn to makeshift grain dryers
One third done, two thirds to go!
Cant smile no more. This is the start of the looong climb to Bugarin
You okay back there?
Dogs got nothing compared to me
These roadies make it look very easy
This is Bugarin
After a seemingly endless climb, you start becoming philosophical and ask "Why am I here?"
Ross, bike and the boundary
Second time around
What a relief
Doing 50 at Mabitac

Kalayaan, Laguna

Laguna Lake as seen in Lumban

Pagsanjan Church

Part 1 - Binan to Mabitac

Part 2 Mabitac to Victoria

Part 2 - Victoria to Binan

Create Maps or search from 80 million at MapMyRide

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Bicycle Anecdotes from Amsterdam

This is how they do it in Amsterdam. Will the Philippines follow? I hope so, all it takes is political will and few "connectors", "mavens", and "salesmen" to reach the tipping point.
Let's ride!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Low Light Shots

I love cycling, it makes me go places and exercise at the same time. It also made me appreciate nature a lot. Cycling gives me an opportunity to bring my point and shoot camera along and experiment on long exposure shots. I only used a low cost Canon PowerShot A2200 set at long exposure mode.
Here are some of those:

Palace in the Sky - DOST PAGASA RADAR - October 20, 2013 Dusk
View of the Western Sky as seen on Palace in the Sky - October 20, 2013 Dusk
Cabuyao - Sta Rosa on fire? - October 20, 2013 Early Evening

The Moon and Orion Constellation - Dawn Sept 29, 2013
Shall I buy a DSLR? probably not, as it will interfere with my biking. More shots to come!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Bike Commuting in New York City

Bike Commuting is widely accepted in developed cities like New York.

I can think of at least 3 reasons why:

  1. These cities have leaders who support cycling. The mayor of New York is a cycling advocate. Michael Bloomberg promotes cycling as a safe, environment-friendly transportation alternative. He even place pedestrians and cyclists on top priority
  2. Bike lanes and other cycling infrastructures are abundant in the city. Contrast this to Manila and you see why many people are turned off in the idea of cycling.
  3. New Yorkers have accepted and embraced cycling as an alternative transport. Many have ditched their cars in favor of the humble bicycle for a number of reasons. The main consideration is the cost of ownership and inconvenience of getting around the city.

My dream for Manila is to be like New York. It would be years for that to happen but eventually, we will get there.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Postscript: 43

"Better to be over the hill than buried under it."
"Count your life by smiles, not tears. Count your age by friends, not years."

Thank you dear friends for the greetings, we are all but transients in life on earth. Better spend the rest of our lives doing things we like as long as we don't interfere with other's happiness! The earth has revolved around the sun 4.54billion times. I have made it around only 40times. My journey is filled with excitement, joy, sorrow and pain but is one hell of a ride! See you in the next 30 or so revolutions around the sun! Unless by some stroke of luck, a meteorite strikes and ends my journey prematurely. God bless you all

posted from Bloggeroid

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Panasonic Pedal for the Environment

Panasonic Philippine's Corporate Social Responsibility Event

Panasonic Philippines held it's first bicycle ride event. Dubbed "Pedal for the Environment 2013" the event was organized to promote the company's environmental awareness program. The total number of participants were limited to 300 only for logistical reasons. It is difficult to control the number of cyclists travelling public roads. A number of marshals, traffic enforcers, security personnel were involved to make sure everything flows smoothly. The route is 19.5 km long with climbs that are challenging especially for newbies. The event was organized through SLY Tours and Events. I'm sure, this project was the brainchild of Panasonic Riders. Great job guys!

The long climb started at kilometer 6 and went on to kilometer 12 with some technical tracks that will surprise both newbies and intermediate riders. Since this is an advocacy ride, the event organizer had scheduled some stops to let the others catch up. The participants were also shown the pollution blanketing Metro Manila.

As early as 4:30am, cyclists started arriving inside the covered court of Panasonic

At around 5am, 75 percent of the participants arrived
Good ole Cookie was given the number 179
Ride out started at 6:00
First rendezvous point near 8km mark
With Rey Bernas
Muddy road
See Metro Manila? It's hidden inside that smog

Foothills of Sierra Madre
Rest  before climbing Antipolo
Finish Line. Waiting to get my Finisher's Medal
Photo op
Homeward bound