Thursday, December 17, 2009

University of Santo Tomas Grand Alumni Homecoming

Only a few days to go and its going to be Saturday!

The University of Santo Tomas Office of Alumni Relations is inviting all Thomasian Alumnus to come and attend the Grand Alumni Homecoming this coming Saturday, December 19, 2009 at the UST grounds.

Tickets are available at the UST Office of Alumni Relations for 600php... or you can get your ticket on the event grounds.


Well so far so good with the plugging... as I will also be attending the event together with other Thomasian Mountainbikers from the group UST Gruppo Tomasino... can't be absent since I'll be leading the group together with other members of the core group.

There's also a planned Urban Night Ride after the event... which will start at UST Campus grounds and head forth to the walled-city of Intramuros and back to UST. I bet it would be a great experience for all Thomasians to visit the centuries old Santo Tomas Manor at Intramuros.

I'll post photos of the ride and event after the event. Would be a great part of history... and memory of course.

A Father and Son's take on Mt. Maarat

I wasn't supposed to ride last Saturday to Mt.Maarat... I'm still a little fresh from that incident. I'll be ripe when 19 comes. That's only when I can go riding hard on the mountains and trails.

But I don't know with you guys, I bet a doctor's advise aren't always followed. I betcha ride it hard days after you get outta hospital. Ahahaha~

Anyhow last December 12, 2009... My father, Tony invited me to take on the local famed mountain, Mt. Maarat in San Mateo, Rizal... but the route was from the outskirts of Marikina City and not the usual route from Ampid, San Mateo. The route from Marikina connects to Monterey Phase I and II in San Mateo, Rizal. Compared to The Wall this is even a steeper climb that connects to AFP Housing.

And further more connects to the other side of Mt.Maarat which faces the west portion of the Metro... Pasig City, that is.

GoPro was equipped on my helmet, so I got to capture the great parts of the ride...

Father and Son Recovery ride to Giant via Mt.Maarat from Bunny de la Cruz on Vimeo.

I've been trying to figure out how Jeff Kerkove, makes em' rockin... his movies that is. I've been thinking of capturing more ride footage as well as a bystander's view of the ride. Mounting a digital camera on a small tripod situated beside the trail... something like that.

Well anyhow I'll be able to improve at editing and making awesome ride footage as time passes by. Learn and re-learn, that's how I'll be able to progress.

Anyhow there's a ride this Friday to La Mesa Water Shed... haven't been there for months already... I bet the trails have changed ever since Ondoy's wraith. I'm expecting lots of muddy single-track. As for Saturday, I'll be riding with Tony again to Mt. Maarat, but we'll take the mountain from the usual route... The Wall - Timberland then to Maarat Basic up to Giant. We were invited to attend a Family Day Ride with other local mountainbikers.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Experiencing Riding from a Rider's POV

Well ever since I saw riders with POV videos of their rides, that's when I realized that I wanted to view and review my own rides. I dreamt of owning one of those helmet mounted cameras.

Watching Team Topeak-Ergon's mtb vids even pushed me more to getting one. Just last month my folks came home from their trip to the US... while they were abroad they insisted on an iPod Touch, instead I asked them to get me something that's more useful, and they got me a GoPro Helmet Hero Wide (Wide Angle lens).

My first try with the camera mounted on my helmet was a month ago at Mount Maarat's basic trail. Well I wanted to go and ride on my own pace, but with a group. I had to go with the group's newbie pace:

11-02-2009 Maarat Basic to Giant MTB Ride from Bunny de la Cruz on Vimeo.

A week later I took the GoPro again for a spin in and around University of the Philippine's Diliman Campus' compound and its mild to moderate trails. I rode with Vito Hernandez (the clydesdale surly 1x1 guy) and fellow vintage bike lover. It was also when my first endo with the cam on, and sad that I didn't capture my crash. I regret having forgotten that I had clipless pedals, and forgotten how to disengage. My bike came flying with me clinged to it.

11-08-2009 Cool Down at UP Diliman from Bunny de la Cruz on Vimeo.

The third time I had it was outside the metro, and up to Bulacan, a province above Quezon City. Famous for the Angat Dam and old spanish heritage... well we didn't get to those places but had a view of Angat Dam. 110 riders from coming and joined this ride to Kandila coming from Angat Church and some coming from Dona Remedios Trinidad or DRT. The ride's a 48.43km ride coming from DRT to Kandila and back. Well the pace was slow because of the large group... and there were two handfuls of newbies who joined this ride... some who didn't make it to the peak and reach or touch the Kandila (wax-candle monument, located 1900m above sea level).

Well I was able to conquer Kandila with friends Ian Ong and Nina Caldona, James Guiab, Erick Yambao, and my father, Tony de la Cruz.

[11-14-09] Arriving at Kandila from Bunny de la Cruz on Vimeo.

I wasn't able to take a shot from DRT to Kandila... but I was able to record our descent from Kandila... and an unlucky crash that triggered a holocaust the next day.

[11-14-09] Going Down from Kandila from Bunny de la Cruz on Vimeo.

The holocaust was that I learned that I was bitten by a Mosquito carrying Dengue a week before the Kandila ride. And during the ride to and from Kandila exhausted me and made me weaker. I was brought and confined in the hospital two days later and was confined for a week.

Prayers gave me strength to comeback... but after weeks of hibernation I'm again weak physically. Last week I was able to do 26.44km road and mild trails at UP... this coming Saturday will be another thing record and experience when we tackle Monterey-AFP-Maarat-Giant-Maarat Basic-Timberland-Wall... oh I forgot to mention this'll be a fast-paced ride since its going to be a tandem with my father.

I just hope my health progresses...