What’s your favorite training ride?
ALLEZ - JV Araneta (The Freeman) - May 6, 2019 - 12:00am

When I started cycling three decades ago, the best route was Cebu-Danao and back. This route was the minimum route that you do on a Sunday and fro beginners like, the distance was just perfect. We used to buy fish and grill it at the beach, the one in front of the Mitsumi Building, which doesn’t exist anymore. Except for the short and sweet climb at the now defunct Eveready in Canduman, this route was basically flat. There was no traffic back then so it was a short and quick training weekday rides for some.

As our legs got more training, the Sunday rides got farther and farther. It came to a point that the least we would ride was in Lugo, that’s about 69km from Cebu and I thought that this was the best training ride. The first 63km was flat and followed by a 6km ascent was the icing of that ride.

Then we moved to Labangon from Urgello, and even though it was just a stones throw away, it felt like I was moving to the moon. I eventually gravitated to do my Sunday training ride going south. Also at that time, the roads going south was widened and smoothened which helped a lot. I knew traffic was bad going south vs going north but I eventually got used to it. I just rode defensively.

At the start, we would just go to Mantalongon, then on days when the group felt good, we’d descend to Barili and have our brunch. If not we would just turn around and stop for the best caldereta I have ever tasted ever, in near that school just before you reach the rotunda.

And then the cars and motorbikes took over our roads. Cars were the first to really become affordable generally and then followed by the motorbikes. But then came another surge of motorbike use, this time not for transportation but for sports and leisure. With two-lanes roads going to Carcar, traffic got bad and that ended the ride to Mantalongon.

But just like what the legendary Kung Fu actor Bruce Lee said about water, cyclists are just like that, water. We don’t create, we become what the road gives us. “When water is poured into a teacup, it becomes the teacup.”

The next teacup and currently the best training route as far as I am concerned is the Cebu-Uling(Naga) ride. It’s just about 35k but there is this monster climb of about 4km to the peak. If you just start your ride 5am, as most of us do, traffic going to Naga is very manageable, and once you turn right heading towards Uling, traffic is a non-issue and the roads are just as smooth as butter.

On top of that, there are options as well. You can descend to the other side of the mountain to Landing and go back up via the Lutopan climb. Or you can ride further to Barangay Magdugo which is another 10k further or just proceed to Toledo City to make it a 56km ride. And on the way back, if you are adventurous, then you can take the Manipis road exiting the city of Talisay!

So hows that for a training ride? What’s you favorite?

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