Sunday, November 9, 2014

Grilled Salmon

Sharing with you a simple Grilled Salmon Recipe

One 250g slice Salmon
Ground pepper
Margarine or butter

How to Prepare
Rub salt, pepper, sage, and paprika to the salmon slice.
Preheat oven toaster
Rub Margarine or butter on pan
Place salmon on pan.
Grill for 10 to 12 minutes or until done.
Garnish with sliced tomatoes, salsa or parsley.

posted from Bloggeroid

Monday, October 6, 2014

Do One Thing Everyday That Scares You: Riding Solo

There is this song that I listen to whenever I face challenges or if I needed a quick picker-upper. "Wear Sunscreen" was an essay written by Mary Schmich. Published in June 1997 in the Chicago Tribune, it was adapted into a spoken word song by Baz Luhrmann "Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen)".
The third stanza of the song goes like this:
"Don't worry about the future
Or know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum
The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind
The kind that blindsides you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday
Do one thing every day that scares you."

Do one thing every day that scares you. This statement particularly stuck in my mind as a kind of rally cry. It commands you to dare yourself to be scared, everyday. They say courage is not the absence of fear, but the ability to act despite being scared.

Is there a need to dare ourselves? Yes! It actually trains your mind to think, to act, in the presence of fear. I ride my bicycle a great deal of time. There is a sense of fear when you ride alone because of a myriad of things that could go wrong as you ride. You could get hit by motor vehicles, suffer a flat tire, experience mechanical trouble and a host of other things. You've got to train and prepare yourself every time you ride out. Fear of getting hit by a car? Sharpen your senses by being constantly aware of your surroundings. Fear of getting a flat tire? Train beforehand on how to fix a flat tire on the go. Fearing that your bicycle may breakdown? Maintenance is key, also learn how to fix common mechanical problems. A nice portable tool is also handy.

Riding in the dark. Now that is scary, let alone riding solo. The dark can make your mind work overtime, you brain is constantly feeding itself with thoughts of ghosts, goblins, elementals, and muggers. The only way to combat this fear is to ride fast enough but safe. Remember, faith is trusting that your headlights will show you the way, 100 meters at a time.

Dare to be scared but be safe always!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Thank you for the Journey

Birthdays are abhorred by many, loved by some, and welcomed by none of the celebrants. It adds numbers to your age and as it increases, so does the magnitude of reality that time is running out. It was as if only yesterday that I was 24 years old, a new engineer in a Japanese multinational firm. Very naïve, idealistic and determined to be a millionaire at 40. I hatched up plans to earn and save money. Dreaming and scheming on how to achieve that 'Plan'.
But alas, after two decades, a bike accident, several jobs, and multiple global financial crises later, I've not achieved that elusive Millionaire status.
So I decided not to focus on becoming a Millionaire, but instead to search for something more meaningful than accumulating financial wealth.
Don't get me wrong, I do not hate money nor do I love it. I view it as a mere tool to achieve my goal.
And my goal? To help preserve this planet not only for my kid bit also for the children of other parents.
In my youth, like any green horn, I defined success as having the biggest house, the most expensive car and the most amount of money in my bank account. Who wouldn't want it? Like everyone who dreams of such things, we set out to earn much. Working for companies, working for ourselves through business. Some resort to illegal activities to fast track the 'dream'
But as the years go by, I watched in frustration how painful it was and how unachievable financial wealth could be if you only worked honestly. I am not the kind of person who would resort to illegal means just to achieve financial wealth. I saw friends and relatives die, unable to take wealth with them. I felt awful inside. What if I'm chasing the wrong goal? What if there's something more worth achieving for?
Then I started chasing a different kind of wealth, the one thing that is more important than money. And that is the sustainability of life.
What would benefit you and your future generation if the means today of accumulating money would destroy this planet eventually?
I started caring for the environment. I chose a different path to wealth, I chose sustainable living.
As I embark in the last half of my short journey in life, I ask you to do the same, stop joining the rat race and start living a sustainable life.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Eighty Five Kilometers, Three Provinces, One Endurance Ride

Once in a while you got to throw yourself off from routine and follow the road to wherever it leads you. "Do one thing everyday that scares you", so a song goes. 
Sunday September 7, 2014.
Instead of going my usual route of Nuvali - Casile - Palace in the Sky - Silang and back home, I did a detour and found myself a little bit of exploring. I descended Sungay and went back Tagaytay via Sampaloc - Leynes.
A photo posted by Gerald V (@chroniclesofthevoyager) on

A photo posted by Gerald V (@chroniclesofthevoyager) on

A photo posted by Gerald V (@chroniclesofthevoyager) on

A photo posted by Gerald V (@chroniclesofthevoyager) on

A photo posted by Gerald V (@chroniclesofthevoyager) on

A photo posted by Gerald V (@chroniclesofthevoyager) on
A photo posted by Gerald V (@chroniclesofthevoyager) on

A photo posted by Gerald V (@chroniclesofthevoyager) on

A photo posted by Gerald V (@chroniclesofthevoyager) on

Create Maps or search from 80 million at MapMyRide

Rediscover Manila

If you think you know your neighborhood very well because you have lived there all you life, you are mistaken. A city evolves, grows and changes just like the people living in it. In the spirit of adventure, my office mates and I explored Manila once more and experienced the rich culture and sights this awesome capital city.

Rizal Park

First stop: the famous Rizal Park. This park is frequented by local and foreign tourists for its history. Locally known as Luneta, Rizal Park's history goes way back in the Spanish Colonial times when Paseo de Luneta was built in 1820s. Since then it has evolved, gradually adding features like the Rizal Monument in the early 20th century. The latest addition is the photo-bomber building that sticks like a sore thumb.
The famous Rizal Monument, Flag and the scene-stealing photobomber building
Photo bombers
Alvin enjoys biking at the park does Hubert

Tamaraw sculpture at Kilometer Zero


Next stop: Intramuros, the oldest district in Manila. Its history goes way before the Spanish Colonization period when native traders exchange goods with Chinese and Malay merchants. We visited Manila Cathedral and San Agustin Church while we are inside Intramuros

Entering the Walled City
Historic Manila Cathedral

Worm's eye view
San Agustin Church
San Agustin Convent


To top off our adventure, we went to Binondo, the oldest Chinatown in the world. Here, we explored Ongpin Street, where the CNN-must-visit Cafe Mezzanine is located. We stopped to eat and savored Maki-mi, a noodle plus meat treat smothered in thick soup.

The oldest Chinatown in the world... for real man!

Maki mi

So, explore Manila and rediscover the rich history and cuisine it offers. We will be back next time!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Of Light and Darkness - Night Riding Experience

"I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness because it shows me the stars" -
Og Mandino

I do night rides, most of the time alone. I time my night rides so that when I go home, it is still early evening and the road I take is relatively busy with traffic. When Bike Laguna Ph sent out an invite to a night ride, I joined to experience riding in familiar routes, but blanketed in darkness. Add to that the endless stories of ghost encounters especially for tail end charlies like me.

Here are some tips to get the most out of your night ride experience:

  1. Bring bar mounted or helmet mounted LED lamps. The importance of lamps cannot be downplayed when going on night rides. It will let you see the road you're going through. Invest on quality LED lamps while you are at it. Look for balance of light intensity and battery life (minimum 3 hours operating time). I bring two sets of lights: a Lezyne Zecto Pro and a flashlight with two spares of lithium rechargeable batteries.
  2. Bring tools like spare tubes, pocket tool, tire lever, air pump, patchkit. You'll never know when they will come handy.
  3. Bring a saddle bag or backpack to store your tools
  4. Bring a hydration bag or water bottles. Depending on your route, bring enough water to last through the ride. I bring 2 water bottles (1liter each) for a 50km loop around Tagaytay.
  5. A phone with load credits and fully charged is handy during night rides as it can be useful if you get separated from the group and want to contact your buddies.
  6. Cloud 9 candy bar or Snickers. Needed if your blood sugar drops and you need a quick picker-upper.
  7. Medicine kit that includes band aid, alcohol and betadine are a minumum.
  8. Optional: Camera with low light capability. Twilight can give you lots of photo opportunities to shoot nature. 
  9. Slow down. Be wary of pedestrians and motorists while riding. Darkness hides things from you and you don't want to be surprised with people suddenly appearing from nowhere.
  10. Speak in a low voice. Dogs are very testy during night time. A little noise will alarm them and could attack you.
  11. Enjoy and cherish the cooler air at night. That is the essence of night riding.

Nuvali, while waiting for the ride to start
Thunderstorm clouds in the west

Top of Cardiac Hill

Frozen ice crystals high above the atmosphere
I have been to this place countless times but it is never the same every time I pass by.
Photo opportunity
To Bukohan
Getting darker, you need lights to pierce through the darkness
Orbs orbs orbs, some say that orbs are wandering souls
Lights pierce the darkness like swords piercing thin armor

Group riding is fun

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Saturday, July 5, 2014

Bike Tech: Shimano 10 Speed System Review

When I repainted my old frame and fork into an Iron Man Bicycle, the logical thing to do is to build it with a new drive train. The Shimano 10-speed system is the most logical choice since I have tried 9-speed system in my other bicycle.

Drive Train:
Shifter: Shimano SLX 
The Shimano M660 SLX Shifter system is chosen because of good user reviews. The good thing about the SLX is that you can select the front shifter to 2 chainring option.
Crank: Shimano Deore 3 ring
Deore is an entry level MTB marque, suited for my style. I have used a Mega 9 Deore crank and I have no complaints about it.
Cogs: Shimano SLX 10 speed.
The XT version is unavailable thus my choice is the SLX. The ten speed cogs comes in 11-13-15-17-19-21-24-28-32-36 teeth configuration. Since I will be running 2x10 setup, I opted for the larger 36 tooth version.
Chain: Shimano SLX
It was said that the SLX is a better choice due to resistance to rust. I have never used an SLX chain before.
Rear Derailleur: Shimano XT Dynasis
The XT rear derailleur got great reviews, that is why I will use it again.
Front Derailleur: Shimano Deore
Bang for the buck, the Deore front derailleur is a good choice for budget riders like me.

Testing the performance.
Tagaytay - Casile is a good test route to evaluate the performance of the set up. Climbs and flats will test the shifting of the derailleurs as well as how the drive train reacts under load.
On climbs: from kilometer 16 to kilometer 27, the drivetrain shows no signs of stress. It is easier to pedal thus making the use of granny gear unnecessary.
On flats: the crank and cog gear ratio is optimized to run on flats.

Overall impression:
Great performance and works well. Balancing cost with good functionality.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Project bike: Iron Man

An old frame, an old fork, both given a new leash in life by repainting them. Re-imagining it as something unique. Instead of painting your bike frame a dull color or restoring it to its original paint, you could make it into a Marvel superhero. Enter Iron Man. Iron Man is cool, Iron Man is Tech.

Started off with an old frame, sanded, and stripped to bare metal
Generic Frame

Stripsol, Scraper, Paintbrush and a lot of patience
From this... this
Sent the frame to an airbrush artist. Iron man was selected as a theme
Frame painted a silver base that turned into...


Prepping the bike

Road Testing

Reuse Reduce Recycle - Old Fork Repainted
Suntour EPICON 'Iron Man' Edition

Mixed Components

Ready to pound the pavement
Update: Tested the bike up Tagaytay via Casile Road. Let the bike run through various types of terrain and riding conditions.

Brakes needed bleeding as I experienced brake fade and lock when negotiating the downhill run.

Component list:

Frame: Unknown brand - styled ala KHS Alite Frame
Fork: SR Suntour Epicon 2011
Headset: FSA Zero Stack

Drive Train:
Shifter: Shimano SLX
Crank: Shimano Deore 3 ring
Cogs: Shimano SLX 10 speed
Chain: Shimano SLX
Rear Derailleur: Shimano XT Dynasis
Front Derailleur: Shimano Deore

Brakes: Shimano Deore
Front rotor: Shimano 7" Center lock
Rear rotor: Shimano 6" Center lock

Handle bar, Seat post, Stem: Truvativ Team Stylo

Saddle: Strace
Pedals: MKS MTE Ezy

Monday, June 2, 2014

Timberland - Casile - Wawa Dam Adventure

May 31, 2014 - The last day of May. I got invited by one of my bike buddies to a river crossing adventure. I was told this would involve traversing Marikina River.

Off to Timberland

The trip will make you climb up Wall 1 and 2 in Timberland. Prepare yourself to climb 390 meters in 5 kilometers of road.
Information Billboard near Green zone

More Mud, More fun

Downhill to Marikina River

From a maximum elevation of 447 meters, you will descend to 79 meters ASL in a distance of 5.8 kilometers

Downhill Fun

Rock Garden
The crew
Single Track
At elevation 79 meters

Traversing the Marikina River

After resting for 2 hours, we traversed Marikina River, crossing it 6 times. 
Marikina River at 14.702127, 121.209442

River Crossing at 14°42'05.5"N 121°11'58.6"E

Sixth River Crossing at 14°43'51.1"N 121°11'10.4"E
Wawa Dam

After an hour of hiking, river crossing and cycling, we reached Wawa dam.

Spider bike
At Wawa Dam
Spillover Dam