It was a warm Sunday noon a few days before Christmas in the municipality of Binangonan, Rizal when I visited my godfather for a simple family day. Upon entering their nice bungalow I saw Muddy Fox hanging on a wall, rusted, aged, as if it hasn’t been used for years. Muddy Fox is an old mountain bike and I played with it during the late 90s.
My godfather loves to cook and I think he got that trait from our nanay who is also fond of cooking, yet impatient in sharing her unique skill. Instead of lectures and steps, if you want to learn something from nanay, she will just exclaimed, “Just watch and you will learn!”.
The smorgasbord is truly sumptuous. They prepared adobo (a form of Filipino dish wherein the chicken meat or pork is marinated with soy sauce, laurel leaves, pepper and garlic), steamed fish (which is a common staple in Binangonan since the municipality is located adjacent to Laguna de Bay), pancit canton (a Filipino-style stir fried noodle dish) and the list goes on.
Out of spontaneity during our lunch, I asked my godfather if I could have Muddy Fox back. He told me that I can have it if I will pay a certain price. I hate him for it and he always asked for money in return, but without any hesitation I accepted his deal and told him that I will pay him two-grand by Christmas day.
It’s been years since the last time I saw Muddy Fox, the bike frame is still in its optimal condition. My godfather bought Muddy Fox during the 90s and when he bought his first motorcycle he seldomly use the mountain bike anymore; which made me used it more often while he was at work. Around early 2000s my godfather decided to move in Binangonan, Rizal together with his family thus bringing also our mighty fox. After that, I never touched and rode Muddy Fox again.
Not until this Sunday afternoon, I was able to hold Muddy Fox again, as if I am reuniting with an old friend. The only problem was, the last time I rode a bike was like decades ago. My relatives were a little bit worried if I’m going to ride this bike home in Taytay, Rizal, which is around 10 miles, without any experience in road biking before. Nevertheless, I started cranking the gear and pedaled on the way home.
I was almost hit by a tricycle coming out from a blind spot, I shouted my apologies to the driver and remained poised. The driver retorted sarcastically “Ang gwapo mo ha!? (You’re so handsome kid!)”. Filipinos love to reply sarcastically in situations like this. Yet I never fret and kept my eyes on the road, focusing on my breathing as I pedaled to ease exhaustion and preserve energy.
After 30 minutes of biking, I reached my destination; but I wasn’t satisfied. There’s an area in our village where I haven’t explored yet. Another wisp of internal combustion had kept me going. I pedaled all the way uphill to a shortcut leading to Havila, an area with clusters of exclusive villages positioned near the mountain edges of Antipolo City.
It was my first time to do an uphill bike ride. I thought it was easy but it wasn’t. I tested the power of this mighty fox and the strengths of my quads as I pushed the pedals upwards. It was exhausting and there were times I am almost out of breath. I played mind games while pushing to distract myself from the negative thoughts emblazoned inside my brain. I kept going and going until snap! I almost fell from the bike and saw that the bike chain was cut from excessive pressure of vigorous uphill ride. I felt disappointed yet I decided to carry the bike and walk.
My heart was beating fast and my quads were cramping a bit yet I reached the top of the hill. It was my first time to visit this place. As I pulled the bike stand and turned my back, I saw the rewards of my effort. The majestic skyline of Manila.
Keeping the Bike Up
While savoring the beautiful hilltop view of Manila and the cool wintry winds, I reflected on some thoughts. I was a dedicated blogger before and I felt my career as a nurse was drifting away since I was so focused on blogging. I was an inconsistent blogger and I kept on renewing and replacing my concepts. I always dreamed of being a well-known blogger and all I wanted was to gain myriad of followers and earn money. But because of wrong decisions and poor strategies, I failed. Both taking care of the sick and blogging are my passions and I have to push the other away in order to build the other. Thus, I decided to stop blogging and enhance my nursing skills and gain clinical experience.
Five years of hiatus and now I decided to come back with a fresh start. This will be my last blog. I love photography, traveling and blogging but I kept these passions of mine stuck on a wall for years like old Muddy Fox. My good old bike is like our passions in life, or your skills or capabilities. If you are not using it, it will rust and decay up to a point wherein it will become futile. Well, a bike is created to move not to be hanged on a wall. In order for things to work, we have to keep on pushing and pedaling to keep the bike up. Like our passions, dreams and goals, we have to work for it with diligence and patience. Though there will be times that we might fall, like what happened to my mountain bike, we still have to keep going until we reach the top.
There is nothing easy in this world, I was out of breath, my quads were cramping yet the top of the hill gave me a rewarding view. It opened my eyes once again and I think it’s time for me to return with a new perspective. All I want this time is to travel, take photos, write, share and that’s it. If I will gain many followers, fame or earn money from this then it will be just a bonus. My main focus now is to share and that’s it.
Old muddy fox had a stressful day but it was memorable. I rolled the broken chain on the frame to secure it and held Muddy Fox once more. Now, where to find the nearest bike shop for repair?