For the April 2018 roundup, the Manila Coffee Cycling Club recognized the call for a longer ride. Setting out from Toby’s Estate in Bonifacio Global City, our target this time was Rizal Park in Manila.
Due to a couple of riders suffering punctures before leaving BGC, the group split in half. We spent a few minutes parked beside Philamlife Tower along Paseo de Roxas waiting to regroup, but apparently they had gone on ahead.
Cutting through the streets of Makati and Manila, we made a short stop along the Roxas Boulevard boardwalk for a quick photo opportunity.
We set off to close the remaining short distance to Rizal Park, where we met up with the rest of the group who had actually arrived earlier.
After that, it was back to Bonifacio Global City by way of Gil Puyat Avenue and Kalayaan Flyover. This was the point where what was supposed to be an easy ride degenerated into a sprint-fest, especially on the run up to the Kalayaan Flyover on-ramp. I’ve written before that even on Sunday mornings, Gil Puyat Avenue remains ridiculously busy, and the urban bike commuter in me won out…so perhaps some of it was my fault.
Bums off saddles and on chairs, we reconvened at Toby’s Estate BGC, and gathered round for coffee, breakfast, and friendly conversation.
As with previous roundups, this bunch brought out their “Sunday best” bicycles.
Personally, though, my eyes gravitated toward Elbert Cuenca’s custom SyCip gravel bike.
The white steel frame, built by Fil-Am frame builder Jeremy SyCip, is paired with a carbon fork and runs a SRAM Force transmission motivated by a White Industries VBC crankset. The cockpit has interrupter brake levers on the tops, and white brake hoods on the SRAM DoubleTap main levers, which then pull on Avid BB7 mechanical disc brake calipers.
All the brown you see comes from a Brooks leather saddle, leather bar tape, and tan-wall Soma Cazadero 700C x 38 mm tires, made for Soma in small-batch manufacture by Panaracer. They match the brown logos on the frame too.
The top-tube cable routing is taken right out of old-school cyclocross race bikes – right down to the pulley on the seat tube, which redirects the shift cable to work with the bottom-pull actuation of road bike front derailleurs.
For discerning bike nerds like me, this is an impressive machine.
Good riding, great coffee, and gregarious company. All told, this was a good day.