The week-long vacation is every amateur cyclist's nightmare. Seven full days away from the stresses of work and the daily grind. Seven full days off the bike. While we always have the option to cross train by running, rowing, or swimming; these all feel like chores compared to a couple of hours sweating it out on the saddle.
I recently took a similarly long trip back to Manila for some downtime with the wife and daughter. As we had our hands full with baggage filled with infant milk and diapers, I had to, with a heavy heart, leave my road bike behind.
Nevertheless, after several such trips in the past that have left me bloated and unfit. I made arrangements to send my old aluminum rig to the shop and had it fitted with a fresh gruppo. Nothing like a "new" bike to welcome me back home. With a fresh bike waiting for me upon landing, I penned into my calendar an old favorite ride after getting permission from my boss-wife. Thankfully, she agreed, not knowing it would take longer than the usual hour and a half Kranji loop.
There are many ride routes in the Philippines, but this one holds a special place in my list as it was popular way back on the 80s when you could count the number of Manila roadies in one hand. It is still popular today, but one would come across fewer cyclists as most have gone to newer routes.
Meeting a friend at his house, the ride began at 7 am an hour after sunrise. The plan was to keep things moving at fast pace to avoid the expected heat wave that pours over the archipelago as noon closes in. Keeping a steady clip of 30kph to warm up within the city limits while every so often bunny hopping those pot holes so common inside the city we increased the speed slightly once outside the city and thanked our past presidents for doing a poor job and slowing down economic progress.
Just 10 kilometers of riding can get one out of the city and into rural areas and the much sought after national highways. These are well paved 2 lane roads with nary a hint of traffic. A dream for roadies anywhere in the world.