Thursday, December 26, 2013

My Humble Ride

Here is my humble ride, a cheap mountain bike of unknown brand. Although it does have the mark "Assassin" on it, I am not really sure what the real brand is. You know how it is. I'm not sure if this is locally made, or Chinese made. But one clue is that the grips are SunRun. I think those are definitely made in China. The rest, I am not so sure.

Newbie that I am, have no fixed idea what the speed is (although the store I bought it with said it's a 7-speed bike), what the brands of the parts are, and so on. What I do know is, I was able to afford it, the size is right for me, it runs well, and I can upgrade it later with better, more precision parts (when funds become available). Oh, and it was light. When transporting it, I merely held it on one hand while I was riding a jeepney (I was able to mention I'm in the Philippines in a previous post).

This bicycle was originally a rigid build so I decided to upgrade to a cheap RST Racing suspension fork. I also replaced the pedal with a set of cheap alloy pedals (unknown brand) from a local bike shop. The bike originally had plastic el-cheapo, China-made pedals. The frame is also standard size (not oversize), and the wheels are 26-inchers.

This bike set me back PHP 2,900 brand new from a local shop. The suspension fork set me back PHP 550, and the alloy pedals cost PHP 130. Total expense for this riding joy is PHP 3,580.

I'm pretty sure some of you might think I should have gone with an oversized frame and 29er set of wheels. Unfortunately, I am on a very tight budget and this is the only ride that I can afford for the time being. But definitely, I am already contemplating on something better in the future after being able to find new bike shops that recently carried new bikes with very decent specs which are quite affordable (but still beyond the current budget I had).

Here are some more pictures for you guys. Enjoy!

A Big "Hello"

Hello to you fellow newbie MTBer!

I started this blog to serve as a point of reference, a bookmark of sorts, and as a journal of my MTB journey.

First, a little about me. I am 34 years old and living in the southern part of sunny Philippines. I first started biking (formally "cycling" according to other pundits to distinguish it from bikers who ride motorcycles) when I was around 2 or 3 years old. I can still remember riding a steel trike with white and blue paints. I'm not so sure if I still have an old picture (perhaps I'll ask my mom when I visit!) but when I find one, I'll post it up in here.

I started "real" cycling when I was in primary school, probably Grade 5 or Grade 6. My dad, who was a municipal cop (municipal police chief), would bring the whole family over for the weekend to the municipality where he was assigned. It was a laid back, rural, coastal town. Every morning we'd get fish by the shore which is just behind the town hall, way past the jail block. No worries, the inmates are kind and were obviously victims of circumstance than anything else.

Back to cycling. I learned to ride the bicycle "for real" here in this town. It was where I learned to balance on my own, and properly pedal. I can still remember that the bicycle I practiced with was an alloy-framed BMX bicycle that I used to frequently borrow from one of the cops on duty. The town hall's wide lawn, and sleepy, wide roads allowed me to practice riding the bicycle in relative safety and it's far from the highway. I would circle the town hall's front yard which was lined with five fully grown Narra trees, so tall that the two-story town hall dwarfed in comparison to them. Their leaves and branches are so wide that the sun's rays never get to shine underneath them.

Fast forward to the present. I picked up cycling again after more than 20 years. I decided to ride the bicycle again for exercise and to rekindle the old feeling of going around that humble town hall during my childhood.

As to what I have now? It's something that deserves another post so stay tuned.