Ready to get into biking? Here are some tips and advice from long-time riders

May 23, 2021 0 comments



With the pandemic looking like it has no plans of slowing down anytime soon, “open air” seems to be the magic word these days. You want to dine in a restaurant? Make sure they have an open air space. You wanna play tourist in your own city? You can only go to open-air tourist spots. You want to exercise? No gyms allowed, but you can do open air exercises and activities.


Read6 ways to keep yourself healthy and safe while at home


It’s no surprise then that quite a number of Filipinos have taken up biking either as a hobby or exercise. It’s outdoor, it helps you stay healthy, and it’s also the perfect solution to your worsening cabin fever. 


Many of you out there are probably considering getting into biking. To help you out, we’ve asked some of our friends who’s already into biking for their tips and advice for newbie bikers out there!


The Riders and Their Bikes


One of the first things we asked our avid bikers is, of course, the bike they use. For Luigi, 27, who has been biking for seven months, he uses a Mountainpeak Everest II-Mountain Bike and a GTS Road Bike. For Aguirre, 24, he’s been biking for 16 years and his choice is the Bianchi Veloce Reparto Corse. 


Read: Amp up your sneaker game with these 3 upcoming cool-aborations


25-year-old Anton, on the other hand, has been a biker for around 15 years and prefers Cannondale road bikes and Cinelli track bikes, while Tala, 27, goes for Trinx. She’s been a long-time biker since she was in grade school, but only ventured outside her village when biking became a thing during the pandemic. 


Where They Bike


The Diliman campus of the University of the Philippines seems to be Luigi, Aguirre, and Anton’s favorite place to bike. Luigi describes it as “good for a daily route” while Anton singles out UP’s Academic Oval for its accessibility and ambiance. 


UP overall is a great setting for biking due to its environment, attracting other bikers, joggers, and other outdoor enthusiasts alike,” says Anton. 


For Tala, “BGC is fine too because of all the bike lanes” but likewise prefers to go out of town because “no traffic!” Luigi counts San Mateo and Antipolo as his favorite out-of-town biking destinations. San Mateo, he says, is a bit more extreme while Antipolo is “the best way to gauge your capabilities as a cyclist.”


Where Newbies Should Go


But as far as newbie bikers are concerned, Aguirre doesn’t recommend starting out on biking trails just yet. “I wouldn’t suggest trails insomuch as if they were actively pursuing getting into mountain biking,” he says. 


BGC and UP Diliman once again emerged as the top picks for these cyclists. Tala describes BGC as “pretty safe” while Aguirre calls it an “ideal [place] to practice if you’re new” thanks to the “properly paved roads, lack of cars or other dangerous obstacles, a decent enough bike lane, and a good biking community (both working class and recreationally).”


As for UP, Anton calls it a “great starting location for newbie riders. Newbies can ride along the academic oval for a simpler route when biking, or explore the campus streets to get a more explorative feel.”


If neither tickles your fancy, Luigi also suggests Marikina (“Marikina has a bit of everything! Plus biking along the river is always an option.”), Antipolo (“So worth it to get to the top and rest plus food! Great view!”), and even Wawa Dam in Montalban. 


A Rider’s Must Haves


For Luigi, every bike should have a helmet (“if you want to live,” he quips), basic tools such as allen keys and screwdrivers, hand pump, spare inner tube, and chain lube to “always keep your chain and gears nice and clean!”


Anton’s must-have list is almost the same as Luigi’s: helmet, bike lights, cycling shorts, water bottles, spare inner tubes/flat repair kits, tire pump, allen keys. 


Tala emphasizes the need for investing in a quality helmet as a must have for every biker, plus bike lights (front and back), endurance, and “lakas ng loob!”


Aguirre, for his part, keeps it short, sweet, and rather blunt: a helmet and common sense. 


Tips and Advice


Tala’s advice for newbie bikers is to enjoy the ride and to mind your own business. “Don’t judge others for the model of their bike just because yours is ‘more expensive,’” she warns. “It’s really about why you want to bike (leisure, bonding activity, competition, etc.)! And relax lang, not everyone wants to race! Just follow the road signs and enjoy the ride.”



━━ Written By  Bella Javier 
━━  Photo By Wyron A


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