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The best of times

ALLEZ - JV Araneta (The Freeman) - January 11, 2021 - 12:00am

This pandemic has really thrown us off our daily routine. Some good and some bad. And it may take a long time for the researchers to know the effect of lockdowns, stay at home, avoidance of groups of people, etc.

Fortunately for me, it has affected me in a positive way- in my work and what I do in my free time. And I got a lot more free time than the pre-pandemic times. While other learned to cook, bake and practice their green thumbs, I learned how to spray paint my shoes. It looked easy on youtube but, as Malcolm Gladwell said, I need a bout 9,980 hours more to be an expert.

Since March of 2020, I don’t need to get up early for work, I get up later than usual to ride my bicycle. I’m not in a hurry to take my shower, because I’m not going anywhere except in front of my laptop.

Since the travel rules around Cebu was loosened up a few months ago, I was riding more and farther. I’ve been to Manipis mo more than ten times. In fact, the last time I was there, it was 2015 and the roads was still dirt. Today, I ascend the peak at least once a week.  My usual mileage on weekend rides was about 90km, which I thought was ok. But it wasn’t really ok since I wasn’t losing weight. In fact, I was putting on weight!!!

One Sunday morning, a good friend of mine, Jardix Soriba, invited me to join a ride: CC-Naga- Toledo, Pinamungahan-San Fernando-CC. I was a little bit apprehensive since when I looked it up at googlemaps.com, it was about 120km and lots of climbs. Besides, I hated the traffic on the mid0eastern side of Cebu. (The roads are good, though!). It turned out to be more than an OK ride. In fact, I learn to “explore” the roads of Cebu which I can only see on the Strava accounts of others.

The following weeks were routes that I have never been before: the climb to Single Resort, To Lamac and some place in Toledo where we not only got lost but was also stuck in mud! I loved it and I wanted more!

So the following weekend, I went to Carcar and when I got there, I took the Valencia to Aloguinsan route. I’ve been on this route before, but ti was in the opposite direction. In the Aloguinsoan Market, I met two good friends riding opposite my way- Don Ber and Ryan Ocañada. Wow! Of all places!

Then me and some friends went to the mountains of Talamban just before Christmas. A few days alter, I went to Toledo and an on that intersection going north and south, I decided to go home via the Transcentral Highway! I didn’t know if I was thinking well or not but after a painful back, I made it home and promised never to do it again. But a few days later, well…

On the first Sunday of January, I went to Dumajug via Sibonga. It’s an amazing route- zero traffic!!! But all of those rides, I never crossed the 200ok mark. So last weekend, I finally did- CC- Lugo-Tabuelan-Toledo-Naga-CC!!! That’s 205km, my biggest in 30 years.

I don’t live in boring times. In my mind, I live in the best of times.

PANDEMIC
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