Friday, October 14, 2011

Ronda Pilipinas - Baguio

I wonder how anyone with bionic legs could endure so much pain. The finish line is a contrast of relief and apprehension. “The race would end in a while, just don’t let numbness of your legs make you forget that you have to pedal.” But then again, someone at the tail might be more eager than you to win. “Don’t look back, it slows you down.” I would just hope that nobody would pull out some bloody sprint. Hope. There is no will anymore. Will has faded at the first strike of pain, obliterated by exhaustion. Pump up music only work few hours before the race. At the starting line, it’s all about jitters—and twenty urinations before it.

At the final climb, I could only close my eyes. The forty yards remaining is just too ugly to see. I never had the knack for sprinting. Slow start, consistent high-tempo climbs: my formula for clinching a win. The stronger ones burst at the starting line. Clicking their clipless pedals in, they are air unleashed from a pressurized can. Some get dropped then fire up again. They lack mercy. They slow down and give you hope than you can catch up, only for them to speed up after showing the radish at the end of the stick. The stronger ones are better in that respect. They drop you for good so you would not have to worry about catching up.

Like a habitual gambler, I had my occasional chance of winning, too. But always at the lower category—the category for beginners. Many of these “beginners” have been racing for at least four years. It’s the athletic version of academic retention. Stay at the same place for a while, you can eventually bully everyone.

October 7, Baguio, Stage 9 of Ronda Pilipinas. I saw the fiercest legs ever to be attached to the human body. My mind found a U-turn slot and I was suddenly brought back to those times I was still competing. A year ago, that was my last race in cross-country. It was a second-place finish. After that, I joined downhill in beginner’s Cat (beginner, as always) and got third. I miss the competition, but I do not miss the pain. I will settle to taking photos of greater cyclists.

The route was from Agoo, Ilocos Sur to Baguio City. It is a 56-kilometer stretch of leg-cramping uphills and suicidal descents. The cyclists reached a speed of 85kph on a moody weather. At some point, the visibility was nearly reduced to zero by the fog. A race organizer described it as the best stage of the tour.

Two minutes ahead of the trail. Man, you have the right to feel handsome.

Fierce battle for second place. Kung pwede pa lang magka-sabunotan...

A chill finish at a chilly Burnham Park.

The super first place finish goes to The Boss, who has been bossy as ever.

Cebu's team vehicle, sponsored by Oz Racing, among others. That's my boss planning her next assault to me

7/11 clutches first and second place.


Chyrel Gomez said...

The only good thing in Baguio was Ronda Pilipinas. Anything else, can be forgotten.

Or maybe, we weren't completely sold with the place. The weather's chilly and the people were not the kind of chill I was expecting. Too crowded, still love Cebu over Baguio.

Chyrel Gomez said...

The Team Cebu photo was more of a winner. The last one reminded me of Bacolod, only that I'm wearing a sweater. Wait. Okaaaaay, this is about you, not me.

Haha! Loser.

Bal Marsius said...

yeah i'm updating my blog. i was about to sleep but you are so samukan

Chyrel Gomez said...

aw, that's really sweet of you. haha!

Bal Marsius said...


Chyrel Gomez said...

like what i said, signing up was the easy part.

Bal Marsius