1. I AM NOT STRONG OR FAST ENOUGH AT BIKING
“I am ashamed of letting them wait because I am too slow.”
Well I think you joined the wrong crowd. Join the real, true bike mates because out there in the mountains, It will be just you and your bike mates. It is really a matter of life and death. You must trust, help and protect each other fully. So better choose your bike mates wisely. A true bike pal will always support you, understand you and help you in the rides. Just like master MANNY ARANTON, the trail master I admire.
2. I AM TOO OLD
When I was 30 years old, I told my buddy that I am too old for biking. He told me to try it once and if I do not like it, he will never convince me forever but he assured me that I will really like it. He was absolutely right. On my first try, I made it to the GIANT STORE in TIMBERLAND. My friend was impressed but I cramped on my way home.
On my first year biking at Timberland, I met 60 to 80 year olds still climbing the mountains on their mountain bikes.
Now I am in my 40s and I still love biking. It is a good form of exercise and a good stress-reliever. For me, biking is better than jogging because there is not much pressure on the ankles.
3. MY BIKE IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH OR EXPENSIVE ENOUGH
My friend also said to buy the most expensive bike out there because later on, I will upgrade the parts piece by piece. I think he was talking about himself because that is what happened to him. Now his bike is worth…shhhhhhhhh…we can’t say it out loud, his wife will hear us..Php 150k!
Well anyway, not knowing anything about the modern bikes of today, I went to JOHN WILKIE’S Bike Store, Israel’s branch in Lamuan. I just told him, sell me a built bike that can drive up Timberland Heights and go down safely. He sold me the MERIDA MTB40 entry -level built bike for Php15k. It is 21 speed, double disk brakes, RST fork. I used it for 6 years, everything was fine. No upgrades or anything. If I want to upgrade to a lighter part, I diet and make my body lighter. That is the best upgrade you can get. And it works. You will be faster and stronger than ever. The SECRET is simple, “STAY AWAY FROM THE GROCERIES!”
After 6 years, the only problem I found with this bike is the frame is LARGE. Too long for me. I am getting sore back on long rides. I went to JOHN WILKIE’s again, this time in Calumpang at main branch.
I sat on a CANNONDALE Trail 6 built bike. This time, it is a MEDIUM. It fits me perfectly. I am still using this bike today. It is 4 years old.
I still do not know or interested about expensive parts. I think most bikers do not care. I just think most people think they are athletes at a later age. I think what is more important is how strong you are in the rides. Specially if your bike is just a cheap-ass bike and you are climbing mountains like an animal. That is when people come to you and inspect your bike and say,“You did it in that bike?”
I experimented. Instead of getting a head-turner bike by buying the most expensive carbon-fiber one, why not build a bike towards the other end of the spectrum, building a dirt-cheap junk bike. A bike built from scrap parts. I headed to the junk shop and got the dirtiest, rustiest iron mountain bike frame with a fork and crank. By the way, it is the only frame there. It costs me Php 200 pesos. Even I was laughing on my way home. What the hell was I thinking while I try to separate the stuck parts.
Beating the fork with a hammer. I found out that the sizes where not standard with the modern mountain bikes. I made my handle stem from electrical parts. I welded that crank in place because it comes loose from time to time.
Total build cost is just Php 1,500 and it is a head-turner. It even won many awards and trophies beating the expensive bikes in the competition.
So that goes to prove that bike costs do not really matter if you want a head-turner bike. Just be creative.
4. YOUR COMPETITION IS JUST YOURSELF, ALWAYS
Yes. This is what I learned from years of biking. Just enjoy the rides. Enjoy nature. Enjoy camaraderie. If you are not happy, don’t ride anymore. Abstain for a while and then ride again. Biking should be a positive thing in your life, not a burden.
Always test yourself. Test your limits. Better what you can do everyday. Everyday is a different day for all. One day, you are strong. Some days you are weak. This is just normal.
Just do what you can to improve daily. Eat healthy. Sleep well. Love what you are doing and most importantly, follow that diet plan and stay away from the groceries!
~for brother Gerry ( Just Do it!)