Freeman Cebu Sports

Bucket List

ALLEZ - JV Araneta - The Freeman

I don't know about you but my bucket list is in a state of flux. Especially with what has happened to the world, and the fact that I'm not getting any younger, our priorities changed. Some good and some bad. But whatever the priorities are, it's time to reach out for them and not wait for, “someday”. One writer said that someday or one day is not any day of the week, so it's about time to do something about the to-do list that you have. Here are  rides that I have to do before kicking the bucket.

1- Paris-Roubaix (France). If there is a race that can really give me (and a few million more) a cycling orgasm, it's the Queen of the Classics, aka, “Enfer the Nord” or the Hell of the North. This race is actually a throwback and of the 250-plus kilometers, approximately 50 km of it is ridden in cobblestones laid down during the medieval times. It is so hard because the chances of crashing on the rough cobbles is not something to sneeze at. And if you don't crash, the shaking, the abuse that you get from the cobbles can leave you with a temporary sensation of arthritis.

So how can an old fart ride the cobbles of Paris-Roubaix? Well, there is an event a day before the race (which will start in 98 days!) called the Paris-Roubaix Challenge, where anyone can ride the course for a fee. I’m not really sure if this is a race or just a ride but I don't care, I want to go over the cobbles like the legends of the past. I’d probably have goose bumps when that day comes.

2- Taiwan KOM Challenge. Now, this is a proper race. The KOM, which is held annually in Wuling, is “just” 105km long, but it rises to 3500 meters to the top (TOPS in Busay is 10k long, altitude is 630 meters). The first 20km is flattish but the remainder of the route tarmac is all climb. Some friends of mine, like Mike Flores, Lex Diaz, James Kho, Kristiane Lim- all have finished this race and I want my medal, too. There is a cut-off of about 5 hours, meaning if you don't reach the top within that time frame, you won’t get a medal. It was on my schedule last year but some germ got in the way.

3- Bessang Pass (Ilocos Region). I dont think you’ve heard of the Bessang Pass but if you’re a history buff, the Bessang Pass is the place where the Japanese forces, led by Gen Tomoyuki Yamashita, fell into the hands of the combined US and Philippine Farmed Forces in 1945, hastening the liberation of the Philippines. But while I love its history, the reason this route is on my list is because of its amazing panorama and isolation. It is a 17km climb that rises just a shade under 1500 meters. Well, you may say that’s easy but remember that there are three climbs you have to do in this route- Cervantes and another ascent whose name I forgot. The total distance is just 163km but the total altitude is about 4500 meters. My plan is this summer and there is a company called “Rideout Manila” that will help you facilitate this scenic and challenging route.

What’s in your list?

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