Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Mountain Biking

Have you been in an uphill climb with a bicycle? Eking it out by engulfing more air to reach the top? Trying to expend all your energy, sweating it out to pull yourself up a few more meters and seems you will not last long to conquer the great height? But in just three paces … you’re there! Draining all the fluids in you and … at last all the excitements and sense of fulfillment realizing that you are in the top of the world! The great joy one must enjoy anyone can afford!

I have been in mountain biking this summer and in the last five weeks I can feel the great improvement on my health. Before, I’m easily get tired, with aching joints, unsound sleep, heavy weight, and great mark exhaustion as the result of aging process. Now, I’m full of energy like a rampaging bull ready to dominate in the arena of less capable competing players –ready to charge against all odds!

Mountain biking is my medicine. I realized this when I was having a short jog on a well-paved uphill road near my barangay residence. I observed that when I get tired, I just simply stop and squat beside the road. Then in a few more walks I go back home with something still lacking in my exertion. In cycling, you can’t just stop. You will fall. While on the road moreover, I noticed several cyclists pedaling uphill passed by me and it brought to my mind, why can’t I join them; see more views and breath fresh air while exercising?

When I got home, I fixed an aging bike of my son –a BMX Carraro by brand or by patch- instead of buying a new one. Seeing the bicycle frame is still good, I decided to install a Shimano gear transmission system, replaced the 26 x2.10 worn-out tire to 26 x 1.95 sizes to lessen the appearance of bulky and heavy type inasmuch as I’ll be using it in a smooth and well-paved road. I replaced the screeching bearing and applied the necessary lubrication and then found myself pedaling on the level road. On the first few days, I biked only up to the foot of the mountain road. The next week, to a quarter climb, then to the half climb level. On this stage, I’ve been meeting new friends with remarkable health recovery experiences and encouraged me to stretch more and go to the higher level. I said: “This is enough for me, I’m only a newbie, a neophyte; and I’m satisfied with the great improvement on my health.” However, I tried to keep on although I’m having an aching muscle legs and signs of weariness. But later, I increased my stamina and resistance to fatigue and then preparing for the challenge.

I do the biking daily, 2-3 hours a day and maintain a high gear on an uphill grind to strengthen my leg muscles. One day, I met an old man biking up and down the hill while we are taking a rest with Rene –my cycling buddy and an old hand cycling aficionado. Likewise, he encouraged me to go up the mountain, the same way the old man did. Rene told me that this man we met, was already 63 years of age, have a heart trouble and undergone a by-pass operation. But now, this man is already very strong and he can go back and forth to the mountain six rounds before taking a rest. We had the chance to talk to him and he said he now seldom see his doctor after spending thousand of dollars in his heart operation. His blood pressure which he regularly monitors is normal. He also no longer takes medicine but keep a daily sustenance of vitamins and mineral supplements.

With the endurance of this man which served me an inspiration, I steadily improved myself and now am ready to challenge the great height.

I am planning and eager to reach the famed “Daanghari” via the treacherous Victoria Hills road. Daanghari is a cyclists’ haven. Cyclists from Alabang, Muntinlupa City; Metro-Manila; Cavite; and Laguna converge everyday in an early morning work-out. Oh! Such a prominent road track! (I will describe further the natural amenities of the place on my next blog issue.)

Meanwhile, I met again the heart-bypassed-old-man in my daily work-out. He has a hearing aide on his right ear and although he did not clearly understood my greetings, he just yelled: “I’m now in my third lap and getting stronger.”

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