Bike Snob



His heaven is like my hell. Get me out of here.
My Instagram caption read, “His heaven is like my hell. Get me out of here.”


I was exaggerating. I love that my husband loves biking. I appreciate the bikes he puts together. I love that his hobby keeps him young and healthy. But hanging out in a bike shop isn’t my idea of fun. I’d much rather be stuck in a hardware store. Haha.


This family is a bike-riding one. The kids all got their bikes when they were still toddlers. Stella’s was extra special. She got the first Kawayan Tech Push Bike. It’s the best way to teach kids balance — a bike with no pedals. This was too big for her then, but perfect for 4 or 5 year olds.


He surprised me with a folding bike
He gifted me with a cute Tikit by Bike Friday. But I wasn’t comfortable riding it. Besides, when will I really ever be a commuter in this town? So this was resold.


He surprised me with a folding bike
Bike Friday was really beautiful… to look at.


Our friend Hecky Villanueva's bamboo bike
Trying out our friend Hecky Villanueva’s bamboo bike. Hecky is now in heaven, the real Heaven and not just a bike store.


They rode their bamboo bikes
Once in a while the BFFs ride their bamboo bikes in memory of Hecky, creator of Kawayan Tech. From left to right – Eric Santos, David Tan and Patrick.


But in most weekends he rides a “racer”. The bike snob in him corrected me saying these are known as “road bikes”. The green one is a Holks – a custom Japanese steel bike. The one of the left is Eric’s and that’s a Pinarello, an Italian bike. They’ve been scouring Metro Manila in search for these classics and their parts.


Early morning sweat fest. #bicycle #Raleigh
This is the new old bike he made for me. Assembling vintage bikes is his thing. I humoured him one morning and went around the village. Not exactly the safest and most comfy bike attire. I would have added a helmet. I wish the city was more bike-friendly.


As it turns out, I had a thing for bikes and didn’t know it. In a lot of my travels, I’ve photographed some bicycles. Here’s a lonely bike in India at the garage of Gem Palace in Jaipur.


My art shot of bicycles in Shanghai using Olympus PEN filters.


The fixies (fixed gear bicycles) of Standard Hotel in New York City.


In hipster-central Williamsburg, Brooklyn NY.


Bikes for rent in Hoi An, Vietnam.


I got him these two books by Bike Snob NYC, specially ordered through National Book Store.


Very nicely bound books in heavy textured paper.


Instead of photos, the pages are filled with illustrations dissecting different types of bike riders. This “Beautiful Godzilla” is someone  who’d be photographed by The Sartorialist.


Here’s the Brompton, it’s British-made and the equivalent of the Mini Cooper of folding bikes, according to Patrick.


The Enlightened Cyclist is the second book. Not as irreverent as the first book, Bike Snob, which parodies different bike subsets. This one tackles the case for bike lanes, among many other urban issues. It’s a lot like the conversations and debates Patrick and I have about bike lanes. I think this city has to reduce the number of buses and simply improve public transport before creating bike lanes and motor cycle lanes. I can go on and on.


If you’re at all interested about bikes, these books are fun. And here’s Patrick’s quick review –

Cycling is the new scuba. Or new golf, for many Pinoys. But there is nothing faddish about Bike Snob NYC. Although those who belong to one of the subsets of cyclists  (roadie, mountain biker, retro grouch…) named by the author may feel it a must-read.

The Bike Snob parodies what others may see as their cycling culture. To the triathlete, the bicycle is just a device. If the third event required cooking, the ironman would have trained to be an iron chef.

Laugh along with the Bike Snob. Don’t take cycling too seriously. Enjoy the ride, and the wind in your face. The Bike Snob tells us this and more. And oh, don’t ever use the “L” word on a cyclist; “L” being Lance Armstrong: “Get off the road! Who do you think are, Lance Armstrong?!”



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