Saturday, December 24, 2011

Night Ride with the Kids at BHS

Last Thursday, my friends in FBP organized a night bike ride for the kids at Bonifacio High Street in Taguig. Since we were going to be with other children and the ride would be in the Fort Bonifacio area, Bea and I joined them.
We assembled near R.O.X. at 7:30 pm. I saw some friends from TSP, but they had their own ride that night. Meanwhile, Diane gave me the orange reflector vest I ordered and I put it on. It gets the job done, but somehow I feel like a walking road triangle reflector.
Bea does this pose when she knows she'll be photographed. It's her pa-cute pose. I do not know where she got it.
With Jason Lee, son of Dr. Arman and Mia Lee. I've seen this kid bike, and boy can he pedal!
Anyway, we waited for a couple of minutes for the others. When were complete, we took a group photo at the foot of BHS. And then we were off!
Here we are with Zaldy and Tina. It was good the weather cooperated that night. During the day it was cloudy with some rain. 
This is Ariel with his son, Joaquin, on their Bike Friday. Ganda ng bike trailer ni Joaquin. I'd like one for when Bea gets older.
Here is Diane with Jason.
This is Zaldy's son, Zian, on his Peerless Lite.
Here is Al's wife, Dhine, with their daughter Aldheia.
John Buno on his P6R. Love that P-Bar.
Wow Pinays, Ruth and Tina.
Dhine, Ruth, Tina, Bea and honorary woman, Me.
Here we are in Burgos Circle.
From Burgos Circle we rode back to BHS where Bea and I pulled away from the peloton because she was getting sleepy. The group met with some latecomers and continued their ride. Bea and I went back to the car and went home. 

Bea had fun on this ride. She made "mano" to her elders; posed during the picture taking; stood up on her pedals and waved her hands in the air in excitement. We had biked approximately 5 kms. Good job, daughter! Next time, Tour of the Fireflies na!

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

PS: Thanks to Al Castillo and Arman Lee for the photos!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

BCP in Tagaytay

Brommie Skywalker in Tagaytay
My fellow Brompton owners and I held our Christmas get-together in Tagaytay City last Sunday. My friend Abel and I left Manila at 6am and drove 60 kilometers south to the windy city. We met up at the Seven Eleven near the rotunda. There were 9 of us. Ruth Rodriguez, Ariel Arias and his son, Dr. Enjo Gatdula, Abel Lazona, Paul Siochi, Zaldy Austria, Al Castillo and myself.
We went to Bag of Beans for breakfast. After our hearty meal and hot coffee, we exchanged gifts and held a mini-raffle. (Thanks to Ms Ruth for my exchange gift and raffle prize!)
Unfortunately, it was rainy that morning. But since we were there anyway, we proceeded to bike. We unfolded our Bromptons and biked from Bag of Beans to Tierra de Maria, the replica of the Our Lady of Manaoag.  
The pictures don't show it, but it was pretty cold in Tagaytay. Not Alaska freezing cold, but cool enough for us to keep our jackets on.
At this part of the ride, Zaldy (originally a mountain biker with PMTB), taught me the correct way to pedal standing up. Use it only for short uphill climbs; put the bike on the heaviest gear; lean forward; and slowly push down on one pedal while standing up. (Thanks for the tip, Zaldy!)
That's Taal Volcano on the right.
This is us in Tierra de Maria.
It was just a short ride--about 10 kilometers. We wanted to bike some more but the weather was not cooperating and some of us had to get back home.
My bike, Brommie Skywalker, should have his own TripAdvisor account!
 I folded my Brompton and hitched a ride with Ariel and his son on the way back to Manila.

Good times! Happy Holidays, everybody!

PS: Thanks again to Al Castillo for the photos in this post.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Bike Commute to Jamba Juice in Bonifacio Global City

Last November 30, in celebration of Andres Bonifacio Day (a public holiday here in the Philippines), I biked to Bonifacio High Street in Bonifacio Global City. I cycled 10 kilometers, more or less, from my house in Paranaque to BHS in Taguig. Since it was a holiday, there weren't a lot of cars on the road, which was great.
Travelled north via the West Service Road. Turned right on Sales Road, which changed to Lawton Ave. upon entering Fort Bonifacio. Continued biking 'til I hit McKinley Road, turned right, then left to 9th Ave.
Along 9th Ave.
About to turn towards 7th Ave.
I stopped at the new portion of Bonifacio High Street, the one with the Jamba Juice. To reenergize, I ordered a Medium Protein Berry Workout smoothie. Yum!
Afterwards, I biked 3.5 kilometers south to Mckinley Hill where I met my wife and daughter to have an early lunch. : )
Happy Biking!

Monday, November 28, 2011

My M6L is now an M6R!

Fenders only (left); Fenders and Rear Rack (right)
My Brompton M6L bike is now an M6R--that is, from having fenders only to one that has fenders and rear rack! I bought the rear carrier assembly for $170 from through my friend Barnett. It arrived the other day. I read the instructions and it looked complicated, so I brought it over to Tryon to have Mang Nestor take a shot at it.
Mang Nestor hadn't installed one yet, but I had faith in him. I was lucky he wasn't working on any bike that Saturday afternoon. He took one long look at the instructions and then proceeded to uninstall my rear L-fender.
He had no difficulty in taking the L-fender out. The challenge was installing the rear carrier assembly. Many nuts and bolts that went to god-knows-where. I'm glad it was Mang Nestor doing this 'coz if it were me, I would've gone insane with the installation.
After a few minutes of unscrewing and screwing, Mang Nestor got to attach the R-fender and rear rack to my Brompton's rear frame. A little tweaking here and there (to make sure the wheel doesn't hit the fender when rolling), and everything was fine!
After he was done with the rear rack, I asked Mang Nestor if he could shorten my chain. I had my chainring replaced earlier and I noticed the chain sag a bit right after. No problem! Hit two birds with one stone! Nice!
The L-fender. What to do with it?
Now that my whole Brompton upgrade is complete (replaced the stock saddle with Brooks B-17, replaced my stock grips with Ergons, replaced the stock chainring with a smaller one, bought a touring bag, and now installed a rear rack), I don't know what to do next except ride the damn thing! :D

Happy biking, everyone!

Friday, November 25, 2011

My Brompton Rear Rack is here!

Because of my cheapness (or kuripot-ness), when I bought my Brompton last year, I settled with the M6L model rather than an M6R--that is, just have fenders instead of having fenders AND a rear rack. The upgrade would've cost me $80.00 more.  At that time I thought I was spending too much already. I mean, if the Brompton bag was attached in front naman, then what do I need a rear rack for, right? I thought, nagsasayang lang ako ng pera.

Back in Manila, I realized when it (the rear rack) becomes useful--when rolling the bike in its folded state. You see, when my M6L is folded and I have to transport it, I have no choice but to carry it. Although fitted with EZ wheels, it is still hard to roll the bike on just 2 rollers. It wobbles. It tips over. But when my friend Al folds his S6R and needs to transport it, all he has to do is push. That's because his rear rack's 4 wheels make it easy for him to roll his bike. The rear rack makes the folded Brompton more stable and let's it glide on most types of floors.

So, when my friend Barnett told me he was buying a Brompton in the US, I jumped on the opportunity and asked him to order a rear rack for me. This time around the rear rack cost me $170.00 as a separate item! Geez, I should've bought it together with the bike when I had the chance! Would've saved $90 in the process! Sigh.
Photo courtesy of
Oh well, okay lang. Ang importante, andito na! Can't wait to have it installed by Mang Nestor at Tryon!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

TSP in Green Living on ANC

Paolo Abrera recently featured folding bikes and Tiklop Society of the Philippines (TSP) on his ANC pro-environment TV show, Green Living.

I hope the 10 minute segment convinces many others to commute by bike. People don't have to go drastic and junk their cars. Of course not, I myself still drive. But for short trips from the house (Let's say to the sari-sari store, the village association office, the church, etc.), may be people can just pedal their way rather than drive. 

Later on, if they're comfortable with biking already, may be get a folding bike and start integrating it into their daily commute. In the mean time, enjoy the video clip! 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Installing a 44T chainring on my Brompton

A few days ago, I blogged about a Brompton chainring I bought from Flying Ball (courtesy of my friend, Claro Alcantara) which recently arrived from Hongkong. I ordered a size 44T to replace my 50T stock chainring.
I would have done the installation myself (yeah, right, Kris!), but I did not have the right tool to remove the existing chainring. So last weekend, I went over to Tryon over at JP Rizal in Makati and had Mang Nestor, our Brompton expert mechanic here in Metro Manila, work on it.
The above photo shows Mang Nestor removing the 50T chainring from my Brompton. He used a special kind of wrench to un-bolt the chainring from the bike. Below naman is the side by side comparison of the 44T chainring and the 50T chainring. 
44T (on left) and 50T (on right)
Here is Mang Nestor installing the 44T chainring on my folding bike. The whole process (removal AND installation) took less than 5 minutes.
Hopefully, with a smaller chainring I'd now be able to use all 6 gears of my M6L and, more importantly, get to pedal uphills more easily.
The 44T Chainring installed on my Brompton.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

My 2nd Bern Helmet

5 months back, I blogged about a helmet I bought, the Bern Brentwood. Although I ended up owning one in black, I really preferred one in white.

Well, after I damaged the inside of my black Bern Brentwood during my Vietnam trip, it gave me a reason to buy the white helmet I always wanted to have. I went back to Bike Town Cyclery in Pasong Tamo, but they were no longer in stock. Then I heard that Republic clothing store, just across the road, were selling Bern products. When I went there, they did have them available. Macon, Watts and Brentwood models. But none in the model and color I want. I read in a forum that Papi's Bike Shop in Quezon City had 'em, but that place is out of the way.

Then I learned my dad was going to the US. So I did the next best thing: I bought my helmet on-line and had it delivered to my sister's address for my dad to bring back here in the Philippines! (I got a glossy white Bern Brentwood helmet from for $70.00)

Well, my white helmet's finally here and I can't wait to use it!
In keeping with my Starwars named bike, this helmet has a Rebel Alliance decal.