Sunday, March 28, 2004
Fat Boys Can't Climb
I am nowhere near Lance Armstrong. Hello! I was never near his level! So I swallowed my pride, put Cheez Whiz on Chai's roof rack, picked up King at Jollibee San Mateo, and skipped entirely the killer two-kilometer cemented road climb up to the trailhead.
Shame on me. I am one of those people who shout "sakyan mo ang bike mo" to those who refuse to suffer the killer climb and opt to drive their pick-up trucks and SUV's to the trailhead. But now I have to admit to myself that I won't last the trails if I start from the climb at the bottom.
We rode our bikes as soon as we unloaded them from the rack and put on our gear. The first kilometers were hard for me. I shouldn't have drank iced tea because it made my tummy weird. We had to stop at the first crossroad to eat something and drink water to make it better.
We rode around 20 kilometers total. Not bad for someone with a zero fitness level.
Some tips for mountain bike newbies:
1. Get ice-cold water in your hydration pack. In the evening before your ride, fill 1/4 of your hydration pack bladder with water, seal it, blow air into it until it's like a balloon, then put it inside your freezer. In the morning, take it out of the freezer and put drinking water. Cool!
2. Whenever you go out in trail riding, make sure that you have your "basic survival stuff" with you and know how to use them. A short list of this would be extra food, a patch kit, spare tube, tire levers, a pump, a set of allen wrenches, chain cutter, extra money and a cellphone. Of course don't forget standard stuff: your helmet, a pair of gloves, your eyewear, and a water bottle or hydration pack.
3. When attacking downhills, remember to relax, stay loose, and put your weight at the back. Learn to feather your brakes (similar to a car's ABS system) rather than skidding. When you skid, you lose control (plus you destroy the trail).
For more stuff, join the Philippine Cycling Network by sending a blank email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by logging in to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/philippinecyclingnetwork
This is just the beginning of the ride and I'm already suffering
Hey! Knowing your limits is a macho thing, 'di ba?