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  • Writer's pictureMitch Metzger

DAY 1 of 7: Making a Christmas Memory Tour 2022

DAY 1 REPORT Mitch's "Making a Christmas Memory" 2022 Bicycle Tour --


Well, the day started off pretty good at 3:00 a.m. as I launched out from SM Masinag area in Antipolo heading down to EDSA Blvd. I did notice that the weather is a little bit cool but okay..


My first little incident was approaching SM Marikina in which I thought I ran over some kind of a metal object on the highway. As a continued, I began to reflect on, 'Did I really run over something, or did something fall off my bicycle? If something fell off my bicycle what could it have been? What could possibly make that kind of a sound when it hits the pavement?"

I thought, "I wonder if that was my keys to my house that fell out of my pouch?"

So, I pulled over near the bridge and realized it was my keys! "Oh NOOOO!!"

I parked the bike up on the sidewalk and walked back to the place where I heard the jingle rattle tingling sound and sure enough, there were my keys laying there right on the highway! Unbelievable!

As I picked up my keys and walked back to my bicycle, I thought, "Wow! I am so thankful and so glad I decided to go back and recheck that. I can't imagine losing my keys.'


So, continuing on my journey up Aurora Blvd, through Cubao, heading towards EDSA, eventually I arrived at Monumento where I have a favorite little breakfast place for about $1. You can eat beef noodles with a little bit of garlic and a little bit of chili and that was nice. The time must have been somewhere around 4:00 a.m.

After eating, I continued my journey taking a right from Monumento, which is MacArthur Highway, with no particular events all the way to my turning point at the junction where you either go left up towards Baguio or right up towards Cabanatuan.


Since it was Christmas morning the streets were pretty empty and quiet and it was also a Sunday, so that gives it extra quiet, but as the morning continued to roll on people started coming out of their houses and started their visitation from house to house visiting relatives. It is a tradition here in the Philippines.


As I would make my various stops at 7-Eleven to replenish drinks and snacks, I would run into a lot of these young kids with their brand new Christmas clothes on. They have new shirts, new jeans, new tennis shoes and wads of money in their hands that they're relatives and grandma's have been giving them.


I found myself giving a lot of my "evangelistic 'SUMUNOD KAY HESUS' stickers" to these types of young people and meeting a few adults, as well, curious about where I was going.

Often, whenever I took a break, as people get curious about where I'm going, it provides a natural bridge for giving them my stickers with a simple challenge to "Follow Jesus" and they always receive it. I've never, I don't think I've ever had anybody ever refuse taking a sticker.


I only have one anxiety about this trip and that's my rear wheel which has probably 50,000KM on it already (since 2018) with a little bit of corrosion in some of the spoke holes in which some of the nipples have gotten quite corroded themselves. I've had some trouble in the past with the spokes breaking and I've always replaced them and it's been holding out pretty well over all my training rides, but my training rides do not have all the extra weight that I have on this particular ride, so I'm keeping an eye on my wheel (not my tire), but the wheel, the rim, and the spokes, because once one spoke starts snapping then that's when trouble begins.

I do have six extra spokes with me, but it's really the rim that concerns me, and not the spokes. I hope to replace my rim and spokes, next March when I'm finished with my discipleship school responsibilities.


As the day progressed on, I did pretty well. I ended up with 136KMS and finished up in Talavera, Nueva Ecija. I found the same motel that I actually stayed in last year on my Christmas ride, going a different direction, which charges only 700 pesos for 12 hours, which is a good deal cuz you get a nice shower and a nice bed and it has an air conditioner.

Oh, two other situations I had today was -


Once, I was walking into the bushes to use nature's bathroom and it was a little bit hard stepping, hard walking, I couldn't really see what I was stepping on, and sure enough, I stepped down into a gutter like a rain gutter that goes along the side of the highway.

It was a big shocker, but, two good things good about it:

The first one is there's no mud or water at the bottom of the gutter, and I had no injury, but still, it's a big surprise stepping in a hole and going all the way up to your hips.


The second surprise I had today is my clamp for my GoPro camera holder, broke. So, in order to fix it, I had to take two zip ties, which I keep a supply, and was able to mount it onto my handlebar quite tightly and firmly. It's good. It's nice with the two zip ties. I'm pretty proud of that little 'fix me upper' I was able to problem solve and invent.


Well, tomorrow, December 26th is going to be a bigger, harder day, but not my biggest day. I have about 33KMS to get to San Jose and then after that we start going uphill on a massive long long uphill called Dalton's Pass to Aritao. I've heard it's a 76.5KMS climb. We'll see how that goes. Whoh! They call it a "false flat."

I don't think tomorrow is the day that I reach the highest point in Tinoc, Ifugao at 7,985 feet, but probably on December 27th, two days from now.

We'll save the [former] highest point (about 7,500 feet) for the 28th, and then progress onto Baguio City after that.


I should expect an arrival in Baguio City, still, on the 28th, probably.

I might have a few days off, for ministry and/or rest, in Baguio before preaching on January 1st, unless my team is still there?

I have a team of 10 in Baguio on their Outreach Trip. We may be together for 48 hours of ministry, before they transfer to higher point in Bontoc.

After I preach on the 1st, I will progress down the hill back to Manila early in the morning on January 2nd arriving in Manila on the 3rd. The team returns to Manila on the 4th.

We have a "two birds with one stone thingy" going on here, if you've noticed.

End. Go to Day 2 of 7.

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