I can still remember that magical moment when I was 9 or 11 years old, I was learning how to bike in our street in Parañaque. That moment when my playmate-slash-bike teacher finally released his grip on my shirt, and off I went without anyone holding my bike to keep my balance. That feeling. I was on my own. I was in control.
Fast forward to October last year, when I biked again in a country that’s strange to me — Vientiane, Laos. Turns out the best way to go around the city is by riding a bike. It was beautiful.
Last night, I finished biking 23 kilometers, from Tandang Sora to UP Diliman via Visayas and QC Circle and back. It was one heck of a ride, and my personal best.
I own a pink folding bike which we bought from Mars Kingdom, a bike store in Binondo, around January this year. Since then, I’ve been challenging myself, exploring new places, and going to old places with a new pair of shoes.
I love the feeling when I bike. And I want you to feel it too. Here are five reasons why you should get up on your feet and buy yourself a bike today.
5. It’s good for your health.
For someone who doesn’t excel in any sport other than chess, biking is my exercise. I don’t like working out, running, or engaging in a sport where being leftie would be a hassle, that’s why I loved biking because it is a gift to my body. The pains and sweat after biking feels really good.
Tip: Download an app like Strava to keep record of your biking activities. Share your achievements online to inspire you to do more.
4. It makes you see more.
Instead of just riding a car to your deatination, biking gives you a more personal experience. You get to see people’s faces, hear children’s laughter, and see the signs clearly. If you want to know a place better, bike around it more often.
Tip: Think of a place that you’ve visited before and enjoyed. Go back there this time with your bike.
3. You inspire others.
When I bike, I overhear people saying, “parang ang saya mag-bike (seems like it’s fun to go biking).” Sometimes they even ask me, “saan mo yan ni-rent (where did you rent your bike?)” And I reply, “oh, this bike is mine.” Feels good. Haha. Biking is raising awareness about biking. And it is purely a good thing. We know the benefits of biking; it’s good for everyone.
Tip: Invest in good gears like helmet, blinkers and accessories to further encourage people to bike safely. Go to Raon in Quiapo for cheap but good bike finds.
2. It saves.
Needless to say, biking is good for the environment. It’s good for you because you need not to spend any peso for gas. It saves you money and best of all, it saves you time especially when you want to get to your destination fast and without traffic. You can work your way to a narrow street, or a busy highway.
Tip: Compare the time and money you spend going to work via commute vs. biking. You’ll be surprised.
1. It makes you feel alive.
When I bike, it’s one of those rare times that I feel like my life is important and I should take care of it. Even though you are wearing a helmet, you become extra careful because your life is always at risk. You become extra mindful, extra vigilant and that’s a good exercise. You watch out for your life because you are reminded that you hold it in your hands.
Tip: When you bike, take the time to be just in sync with yourself. Meditate, de-stress and just breathe.
What I also love about biking is the thought that after every uphill, there’s a downhill. After every sacrifice, there’s a reward. And it feels good, I tell you. Really good.
Photos taken by Kevin Aladin, a self-confessed Instagram boyfriend, and my favorite bike buddy. 😚