30 January 2007

twenty four

dang its friggin' cold. manila, 5:30 in the morning: 24 degrees celcius.

for a tropical country, that's cold.

28 January 2007

project fixie: intro

i've been thinking a heap about putting together a fixie. seriously. the catch here is i have to do it with very, very little money because i have almost nil to spare. haarrr!

why a fixed gear? trend? fashion? maybe but i don't think so. simple fascination, most likely. i mean, look at that picture above. no shifters. no brake levers. so very basic. you pedal, you go. you stop pedaling, you stop. so simple.

edit: the pictured bikes are not mine. they're there to show what a fixie is. i wouldn't mind having those bikes but they're on the high side of the cost bell curve and i'm staying on looow side.

but i do imagine that it does take time to get used to the fact that you're constantly going through the motion of pedaling even when slowing down. no coasting on this one. and i can also imagine that it will also take a while to master stopping a fixie.

i already have a picture in my head of how the bike would look. nothing really brand names or anything fancy — a road frame, 700c x 25 tires, eggbeater, flip-flops on the rear, the usual seatpost, '7' road stem, road bike saddle, pedals with straps, bullhorn handlebars and a front brake. yes, a front brake. ideally, one would rely on the "foot brake" to stop but do you really think a fixie noob would know how to stop on the first try without getting hurt?

i already have a few items in the project pot that i could probably use. they were all set aside as a result of upgrades to my current bike. they're hidden somewhere so i still have to find them:
  • shimano 105 bb; cone and cup
  • shimano 105 cranks with biopace rings; i forget if its 52/39 or 52/42 or how long the cranks are
  • steel cage pedals; is that the correct name for it?; i have to get straps though
the next step is to try getting the rest of the stuff for free or for a minimal cost or in exchange for services (me computer guy). i'd rather get them for free even if they're second hand or third hand.

anybody care to donate their throwaways to me? i'll link back you. promise. please?

photos are from kalavinka

funny stuff

robin had to wear a tie for a 3:00 pm procession. here's what happens after...

have you ever seen yours? tonsil !!!

27 January 2007

new habits

i've noticed a couple of habits that has been slowly and semi-conciously developing since last december.

first, i have been turning the computer on after 7:30 in the morning and off before 10:30 in the evening everyday. of course on sundays it has a much shorter "on" time. i feel that, for me, this is good. a handful of you might say that 13 hours of using the 'puter is still a long time. and i would not argue with you on that point but i used to turn it on at 5:00 in the morning and shut it down around 12:00 midnight. almost automatically. everyday. even on sundays. that's about 17 hours of computer time right there. everyday. even on sundays. for about two years.

second, i've been wanting to go out and ride my bicycle. my bicycle is 87 kilometers away in san pablo and i want to go out and ride. i'll be bringing her to manila soon along with the clothes and gadgets that come with cycling. i just have to figure out where to store her here. that's a dilemma. and i've been nearly obssessed (i think) with anything related to road bikes. i don't know why this is but i think its good.

third, and most importantly, i think i am spending more quality time with my girlfriend and son. and i think i have been more patient with robin for the past few months. that is definitely good.

20 January 2007

i like lugs

bicycle lugs. i don't exactly know why. besides liking riding a bicycle, i am also facinated with that mechanical side of cycling where everything works together. i like how they look and i like how they feel.

when i decided to have a frame custom made it simply because the frames available at the shops then were too big for my stature of 5' 3". there were some frames for my size made of, then still exotic, titanium or carbon but they were super expensive.

a steed of italian steel assembled in the philippines fit my purpose and more importantly would not encourage me to rob a bank.

it was only after years of riding and reading volume after volume of bicycle magazines that i have come to really appreciate my steel frame and the effort and talent that goes into making it. i will not dive into that "this is better than that one" discussion because in the end, it all depends on the purpose and the preferences of the rider.

titanium, aluminum and carbon bikes are the norm these days and i have to admit that they have some really beautiful models out. and i would probably lust after one or two if i see them in front of me but that's not really my thing.

i will be getting another bike one day but i think it will still be made of steel. maybe because its my age. this time i will make the effort of customizing the lugs myself.

photo is from richard sachs cycles

18 January 2007

cleaner cogs

one of my hard disks (actually two) is acting up. it doesn't show in the bios but it was there yesterday. i messed around with the connections but it still would not come up.

i want to go for a ride but i only have the rear wheel of my bike. the rest is in san pablo.


so instead of getting frustrated with failing computer hardware or not being able to scratch an itch, i decided to just clean the cogs in my cassette.

kikay's rear derailleur
now they're a bit cleaner and shinier than the picture above. i probably have to get a new chain though.

16 January 2007

riding in the rain

this is purely from my experience, post a comment if you have a tip:

1. deflate the tires a little. this will increase the contact patch between the road and your tires and help prevent sliding/gliding on slippery roads.

2. ride slow. i know its frustrating and irritating to some to ride in the rain but try to enjoy it. be a masochist once in a while. this will also help prevent your tires from planing — sliding/gliding on water and get you home in one piece.

3. on the road, be mindful of the things and specially the vehicles around you. if you're riding slow they will pass you.

4. be patient. spashes from other vehicles will eventually find you. its part of riding in the rain.

5. if the rain or wind gets too strong, seek shelter. let it pass and when things get manageable, ride on.

6. before taking that ride in the rain, think wether you can wait for the rain to stop.

7. when you finally get home, take a quick bath. you stink.

8. dry your steed. be it steel, aluminum, titatnium or carbon, some part of a component or another is bound to rust. besides, it got you home right?

stay safe.

15 January 2007

hare hare

we went out to walk around the town a bit. the first stop was the park near the lake. with sampaloc lake and mount banahaw as a backdrop, i saw these hare krishna folks chanting/singing and dancing about. its been a while since i saw one or two.

14 January 2007


my bike of more than 10 years. made of columbus tubing. framed by ave maldea (i only knew of this fact a few days ago). campy dropouts. a sprinkling of dura ace and ultegra parts but started life with 105s. do you remember the biopace? i had one but i had it replaced with what you see here.

the wheelset is new except for the hubs. vetta sl saddle with ti rails. she still has 7 speeds. oldie, i know. i'll be replacing that with 10-speed components if/when i get the extra money. the components that need to be replaced would be the read derailleur and hub, the brake levers and downtube shifters. the rear dropout spacing is already 130mm so i don't need to cold set the frame. thank god for small mercies. i do not have any immediate plans of replacing the cinelli stem and handlebar. in the meantime, she's riding pretty well so i have no real complaints.

she has patiently brought me up to tagaytay and back. we've been to a pretty fast paceline at qc circle at one time but got dropped just as quickly. not her fault.we've been in baguio just to bike around but the thin air and my lungs just went as far as two kilometers. i even got lost going back to the hotel. no. i didn't climb up to baguio. we rode a van going to and from. i've ridden her to work from espaƱa/makati for a couple of years also. and once in a while we just hung around picc or cartimar.

lately, we've been trying to tackle some hills and we've slowly improved. she's still willing and able to go up those hills but my thighs and knees are, at times, simply not up to it.

i want to give her a new coat of paint though. have the old coats stripped to metal but i'd still choose black. that's the way she started and that's the way she's going to be. but maybe some chrome in some parts. that would be nice.

next purchase would probably be a new speedometer. a simple one. i basically just want to know how far we've ridden. let's see within the next few months.

11 January 2007


i got to visit cartimar today to look at some bike shops. cartimar, located in pasay city, is a known haven of sorts to the cyclist. there are lots of cycling shops there carrying a wide variety of brands at relatively low prices.

i was able to visit ballistic to say hello. that's where i got most of the components in my bike but that was years and years ago. i was able to visit the bike room and beng was in her lively self. lots of kwento. and lastly, i visited the ever popular christie's bike shop.

christy was there and in a good mood. i was told that she can give you nice discounts if she's in a good mood but unfortunately my wallet wasn't in a good mood. so i just looked at items in my list of bike needs. i'll eventually get them soon but i'm giving priority to the helmet and the cyclo computer. someone over at pinoy roadies recommended getting a wireless speedometer and i found a cat eye vectra that goes for pesos 1450. good enough for my purposes.

one surprise was i found out that jun (my old bike mech) is now working for christy. he was the one who convinced me to get a custom frame made and he had some nice columbus tubing to go with it. i got to ask him who was the framemaker and it turned out to be ave maldea. this means that ave has been at it for more than 10 years.

my custom bike is still in pretty good shape and it still rides pretty well. steel rules baby!

i'll try to take good pictures of kikay when i get to san pablo this weekend and post them here or on flickr.

photo of cartimar from staff1

10 January 2007

pump goes out. again.

it was exactly this time last year that i replaced the water pump. that pump gave out today. this sucks. i had to do a mcgyver and jig it up to supply water at least to the first floor of the house. i'd probably do more tomorrow to increase the pressure a bit.

life's is inherently not fair.

09 January 2007

itching to ride

i've been itching to ride eversince i got of the bike about a week ago. the thing is my bike is 87 kilometers away in san pablo and i'm in manila -- problems with storage space, you see. a friend of mine has kindly offered to store (and caress) my bike at his place near libis if i decide to bring it over. i'm seriously thinking about it.

anyway, to tide the urge over i decided to just surf the net for some local cycling stuff. i found a couple of sites that's worth a look see:
it really depends on your poison. i'm a roadie so i lean more for the 2nd and 3rd links.

i'm going back to san pablo this weekend and i'll try to see if i can get some more time on the saddle without blowing up.

08 January 2007


robin: "mom, if i swallow toothpaste will i die?"

mom: "ummm..."

me: "no. your stomach will just grow teeth."

07 January 2007

it was nice but...

we went to one night of competition to the pyrotechnics olympics at the mall of asia last night. although it didn't start on time, the fireworks display from the united states and spain was absolutely fantastic! we were on the top floor of one of the parking areas. if you want to see more, then look over my flickr thingy.

the only major letdown last night was trying to get home. the queue to the parking exit of the south wing of the mall was too long. we were parked on the 5th level. it took around 30 minutes just to move 10 meters. we finally gave up and parked again. we waited for another 30 minutes to see if the cars will move — nothing moved. we we decided to just go back down and sit somewhere. all in all, it took about 2 and a half hours just to get out of the south parking facility. that's from 10:30 pm (after the last fireworks display) to around 1:10 am. that's a big "duh!" to the parking management of sm. really bad. it shouldn't have happened. if it was an emergency situation, heads would be rolling by now.

no. we're not going to the mall of asia anytime soon. and if anyone of you are planning to go there for the fireworks, park outside on the north end. it would be safer.

05 January 2007

bike needs

after that first ride i realized i needed a few things to add to my cycling "war chest".
  • a new helmet. i have an old, old bell that's more than 10 years old. it desperately seeks retirement.
  • a new pair of gloves. my girlfriend was nice enough to lend me hers but if we bike together i don't have any to use.
  • spare tires and interiors. i'm praning (paranoid).
  • cycle computer. mine went south a looong time ago. i need a new one that's cheap. maybe a cateye.
  • re-read the maintenance tips of the magazines. especially the one about truing a wheel.
  • practice. i know i'm out of it when my tongue hangs out after two kilometers.
  • and more practice.

02 January 2007

riding again

i'm on it again. after a couple of years. finally.

i'm riding kikay (my bike) again.

a couple of years ago i had a small accident which sent me flying a couple of meters and my bicycle wheels taco'd. minor scrapes and bruises, as they say.

last christmas, my girlfriend gave me a new set of rims. its not those high-tech, expensive, in-your-face kind of road rims. its just the simple kind. 700c. light. araya. enough to get me on that excited-like-a-little-boy state of mind and on the bike again. i am grateful to her. i had the wheelset assembled and ready to go. everything else was new except for the hubs. old 105s but they're still painfully and usefully smooth.

i recently spent a handful of days in san pablo and i went on short rides. the wheels are really nice. it felt absolutely great riding again even its for short hops.

i'm back in manila now and i'm trying to figure out where to store kikay if ever i decide to bring her here.


a merry and peaceful new year to you!

... now i'm going to sleep...