Monday, September 30, 2013

BCP 2nd Anniversary

BCP in Intramuros, Manila.
Brompton Club of the Philippines (BCP) recently celebrated its 2nd anniversary last September 7, 2013. And my, has the club grown! From merely 11 members back in 2011, BCP now has more than 100 members! It's 10 times the size it was 2 years ago!

I was lucky to be in Manila when the group celebrated this momentous occasion. I took out Brommie Skywalker from its case (haven't ridden it in months), inflated the tires, and took it for a spin around the neighborhood before going to Mall of Asia.
Look at all those Bromptons! Can you find Brommie Skywalker?
We assembled at SM MOA that Saturday morning. When those of us who could make it were complete (I counted 42 attendees), we biked south and headed for Intramuros.
We passed Macapagal Ave., through the CCP complex, then to the Baywalk along Roxas Blvd. Thank God, the weather cooperated that day.
Unfortunately, I don't have a photo of the members. I do have a photo of the Bromptons. :)
We stopped in front of Kilometer 0 at Luneta Park for a group photo op. It was unfortunate that they were repairing the Rizal monument. the group photo would have been better taken there. From the park, BCP proceeded to Intramuros. We stopped in front of the Manila Cathedral for another group photo. And then for another one at the Presidents' Gallery on Sta. Lucia Street before we headed back to the ASEANA complex for lunch.
Here I am with Brommie Skywalker in front of the Pres. Marcos bronze tablet.
It's so nice to see the Brompton community grow bigger in the Philippines. Other than making new friends, when there's more of us riding these folding bikes, it increases the chances for us to be acknowledged on the streets and accepted in establishments. I hope that by this time next year, there will be twice as much, if not more.

Mabuhay ang BCP! May our tribe increase!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Video: Vincita B-132B Brompton Transport Bag

Here in South East Asia, we're lucky to have Vincita in Thailand to produce an affordable alternative to Brompton's more expensive B-bag Soft Travel CaseCheck out my product review of the B-132B Transport Bag from last year. 

Here is Vincita's new video featuring their soft travel case for the Brompton. Visit the company's website at for international orders.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Video: Brompton World Championship 2013

Well, another year has gone by, and again I miss the Brompton World Championship. This time due to on-going studies here in New Zealand. So today, we have no choice but to settle with watching this video of BWC 2013.

Hopefully, next year I will be able to participate!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Brompton Toolkit

This entry is delayed by more than four months since I got the Brompton Toolkit early this year. My apologies for this late post.
The Brompton Toolkit
In the past I carried my tools in the nylon saddle bag which came with the Brompton cover. As convenient as it is, the saddle bag did not fit well with the elegant design of a folded Brompton. To be honest, that bag was ugly.
So I was delighted when Brompton announce that it was coming out with a toolkit that fit inside the bike's main frame. How awesome was that?! So, just for the sake of having a toolkit concealable within the bike, I had to get one. Never mind if dozens of users complained about the flimsiness of the tire levers, nothing was going to stop me from owning this work of art.
As luck would have it a fellow BCP member bought extra from the U.S. He raffled them off in one of our rides last February. Unfortunately, I did not win the right to buy it. But fortunately, one of the winners noticed my disappointment and he offered his place. (Thanks, Eric!) I bought it for PhP 4,000 (approx. US$95.00). Nycewheels sells it for US$79.00.

The toolkit comes with the basic tools a cyclist needs: patches, sand paper, and a ratchet handle with phillips & flat head screwdrivers, as well as allen wrenches. I've used the screwdriver to install my rear light and the allen wrench to adjust my Brooks saddle.
The ratchet handle doubles as a socket wrench. Useful when you want to unscrew a wheel nut.
Finally, the toolkit comes with tire levers. Now I haven't had a flat since I bought the toolkit so I haven't used them, but there are reports and complaints that these levers are easily breakable. In fact according to Nycewheels, Brompton acknowledge this flaw and has suspended the sale of the toolkit until the company can strengthen the design of the tire lever. Anyway, the tire levers looked flimsy from the get-go. I wouldn't have used them if I had to. 

I still like the toolkit. I get to use the wrenches and the screwdrivers, so it's still useful to me. Plus, the design! It's beautiful! I don't regret buying this.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

No Bike Lanes in Auckland CBD, Only Bike Boxes

It's one thing that Auckland is hilly, it's another thing that the city doesn't have bike lanes on major roads. What they do have are bike boxes on intersections. These are spaces painted green placed in front of cars, where cyclists can wait while the traffic signal is on stop. I guess it's the least thing the city can do--making sure cyclists have an allocated space at intersections, and have a jump start when the light turns green.

But cycling is still a challenge here in Auckland. Since there are no bike lanes, I share the outermost lane with the buses. And buses here run fast and stick very close to the curb. Hindi lang nakakatakot para sa siklista, pati na rin sa naglalakad. There have been quite a few times that I almost got sideswiped by a bus while walking on the sidewalk. That's how close they drive!

I guess sanayan lang, as I still see many cyclists around the CBD. But I'm not cycling anytime soon. It's winter and it's freezing cold. I'll probably wait 'til spring.

In the meantime, I hope the MMDA back home can do something similar at our intersections and paint bike boxes for cyclists.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Orakei Basin, Auckland, New Zealand

Wow, I haven't updated this blog in a long time. I was just so busy these past 2 months. Elections back home last April and then my numerous academic requirements here in Auckland this May. Anyway, this post is long delayed. I visited the Orakey Basin just outside the Auckland Central city limits in April, when the weather was still fine. Right now it's the start of winter and it's freezing cold. No way I'm going to bike outside.
I like visiting this place. There's a walkway/bikeway overlooking the Orakei Basin. It's peaceful and relaxing. One end is a residential area, while the other end has the Orakei Train Station. The short, but scenic bikeway is about 1 km long.
That's me with my bike, Brommie Skywalker. Behind us, if you can still see, is the Auckland Central skyline. Orakei Basin is located about 6 kms south of the Auckland Skytower.
Wherever you are (as long as you're not in the southern hemisphere), Happy Cycling!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Berocca and Brompton

I didn't know you can do that with a Brompton. Good to know, but I wouldn't let my B get punished like that. Hahaha.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Mini Bike Tour of Devonport

I went to the small town of Devonport on the North Shore the other day and brought my Brompton with me. I rode the ferry from the CBD's Pier 1 to the Devonport Ferry Terminal. Adult fare was NZ$11.00 round trip.
On board the ferry to Devonport
Brommie Skywalker on the Devonport Boardwalk
Upon my arrival, I unfolded my bike and started cycling. Devonport is an affluent suburb across Auckland CBD. There are small boutiques, specialty shops and cafes lining Queens Parade and Victoria Road. I proceeded north via Victoria Road then made a right on Kerr Street and followed the path up Mount Victoria. The hill was steep and I had a difficult time climbing it even on the Brompton's granny gears. But I eventually got to the top.
And, boy, did it give a fantastic view of the city.
Mount Victoria's Disappearing Gun
Mount Victoria is the tallest volcano in the North Shore. It used to be a military facility, much like Corregidor in the Philippines. It even has its own "disappearing gun."

After taking photos, I cycled down Kerr Street and turned left on Vauxhall Road. Passed through a row of houses. I stopped at the corner of Vauxhall and Tainui Roads and had a flat white in a french cafe. Sayang, wala silang chocolate croissant.
One of the many public beaches in Devonport. This one fronting Torpedo Bay.
And then I biked on Tainui Road and peeked at a couple of Devonport's public beaches. It's amazing. One minute you're like in San Lorenzo Village, then you make a turn, and its the beach! I wonder how much the houses are in this area. I'm pretty sure they're expensive.
After beach hopping, I turned to Cheltenham Road and biked south. I hit King Edward Parade and stopped by the Navy Museum.
From the museum I rode along King Edward Parade back to the ferry terminal, where I waited for my ferry back to Auckland CBD. I cycled a distance of 6 kms for this mini bike tour.
My Devonport Cycle Route

Monday, March 18, 2013

CBD to Newmarket via Parnell

After my class in the afternoon, I decided to ride my Brompton from the CBD up to Newmarket to visit a shop. I chose the Parnell route. It was an uphill climb from the get-go, but I persevered. Reached Newmarket after 2.5 kms.
From Newmarket I passed by Auckland Domain and stopped at the Auckland War Museum. Sayang, maganda sana yung view, pero maulap nung time na yun.
After the museum, I biked back down to Parnell and stopped at La Porchetto for dinner.
Had pasta. Yum.
Then I went home. It was all downhill so I got back pretty fast. But I don't think I'll be going back to Newmarket via my bike anytime soon. It's just too steep. I'll probably stick to visiting Mission Bay.

Wherever you are, happy cycling!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Kia Ora!

Hello from beautiful New Zealand!
I wasn't active on my blog for a long time because I was preparing for my trip here in Auckland. I brought my folding bike with me to help me with my commute, but this city is hilly! I'm glad I have a 6-speed Brompton, but still! There are some parts that even my granny gears won't be able to help me. And I am still getting used to the drivers and the traffic rules. They drive on the other side of the road.
Yesterday, I took my bike down to Tamaki Drive and I really enjoyed the view. I learned why Auckland is named the City of Sails.
As you can see, Kiwis love boats!
They have many marinas. This one is in Orakei.
Well, that's it for now. I will be riding my bike more often around New Zealand. Hopefully, take it with me to visit Hobbiton! Stay tuned!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Uh-oh. Our folding bikes are no longer safe from bike thieves

This is the latest from GMA News. Apparently, the cat is out of the bag. More and more people now know how expensive folding bikes can be. And as veteran newscaster Mike Enriquez reports, these bikes are now more prone to theft. So we all have to be extra careful.
I guess we can no longer use, "Two-Five," as an answer to a question regarding the price of our bikes. Hehe.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Tragic News About Bike Tourists

Just learned about this recent bike accident in Thailand that killed two British nationals. Such tragic news for bike tourists, and well, all cyclists for that matter. Peter Root and Mary Thompson of the United Kingdom were touring the world on their bikes when they were hit by a truck in Chachoengsao, Thailand.

Stay safe, everyone.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Brompton aggressively expanding throughout Asia

Photo by Yoshikazu Tsuno 
Here is a recent on-line article about Brompton's expansion in Asia, particularly in China (Shanghai), Japan and South Korea. The report is from Japan Today

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Dropped by Flying Ball in Hong Kong

I was in Hong Kong the past weekend for holiday, and I passed by Flying Ball bike shop over at Lai Chi Kok. I wanted to buy a Brompton Tool Kit. Unfortunately, they were out of stock. : (

I asked if they had stock last week or the week before that. The guy at the counter said they've been out of stock for more than a month, and they don't know when the next batch will come in.

Sigh. I guess, that's that.

Anyway, so as not to waste my visit, I bought spare inner tubes (HK$40.00/each).

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, guys! Here's to another awesome year of biking! 

Preparing for a great adventure!