READY FOR THE ROAD. Jeff Calayag purchased his first road bike on AyosDito. Photo by Joseph Agcaoili/Rappler
MANILA, Philippines – Are you interested in pursuing a new hobby? How about trying a new sport, like cycling?
Just like any other sport, cycling comes with a whole slew of benefits: you become healthier, you look better, and you feel empowered for pursuing something challenging. You get to meet new friends who can mentor you or share your interests. And if you really become serious about it, you can even start winning races or competitions. Bikers would also often talk about the amazing “rush” that they feel when they’re on the road. It’s an exhilarating ride, so to speak.
"PAIN IS GOOD." Drew Arellano with Ogilvy's Mervin Wenke. Photo by Joseph Agcaoili/Rappler
And yet just like any hobby, taking up cycling can be expensive, too. A new bike – even the most basic one – can set you back by more than P30,000 (about $640). You’d have to buy proper gear like suits and helmets, and add accessories here and there, to improve your performance and maximize your bike’s speed and road durability.
But here’s the good news: you don’t always have to buy new to get a headstart.
In fact, there’s a booming market for good quality, secondhand bikes (and other sports-related equipment). You just need to know what to look for – and where to find them.
No pain, no gain
Last Monday, November 10, we talked with Coach Miguel Lopez and Drew Arellano, who are both avid cyclists and triathletes. For both of them, cycling was something to push themselves. There was something innately satisfying about setting a physical goal – like 40km – and accomplishing it.
Asked to recall the triathlons and races that he’s joined, Drew said that you become grateful for the pain. For him, it’s simply the body’s natural reaction after you’ve stretched its limits. “Pain is good because without pain, di mo maappreciate yung sarap ng buhay (you won’t appreciate the great things about life). In every painful event there is always something maganda (good) that comes out of that experience."
KNOWLEDGE IS POWER. Coach Miguel says tha training and information are equally important. Photo by Joseph Agcaoili/Rappler
Coach Miguel got into cycling after joining his first triathlon on a whim. “After the race, I thought ‘wow, astig itong lifestyle na ito’(this lifestyle seems cool),” he recounted. Miguel actually started out with a secondhand bike himself. “The savings can be as much as 50 percent,” he shared. “And the bike can [only] be 2-5 years old.”
Training is still the most important step, but both of them consider equipment and information vital parts of learning the sport. These days, they say that it’s easier to pursue any passion because the reviews, mentorship, and information are all readily available.
“Ngayonang dali na,wala nang masyadong trial and error because of technology (Now it’s easier, there’s less trial and error),” Coach Miguel said.” Now people start with triathlons right away and the learning curve is faster.”
“Just immerse yourself and be informed all the time,” Drew said. “It's easy to sign up and commit but if you are not equipped with the proper info, it's gonna be painful [the bad kind, not the good kind mentioned earlier].”
Passing the baton
Just as they are passionate about improving their skills, Drew and Coach Miguel are also focused on passing on their love of the sport to other people.
Miguel is a professional triathlon coach, who counts Isabelle Daza and Kim Atienza among his students. Drew mentors his own friends, his wife, and even his production staff as well.
Recently, the two partnered with AyosDito.ph to promote their love of the sport – and to help their respective proteges.
AyosDito linked Drew and Coach Miguel with triathlon beginners—Jeff Calayag and Maridol Yabut—to gear up and train for their first triathlon competition. Then, they launched an onsite campaign called “#SportsKoAyosDito,” where the biking community was able to sell their pre-loved road bikes for the triathlon beginners.
Through the site, they were able to find the perfect secondhand bikes that fit the beginners’ needs and price range.
THUMBS UP! L-R: Drew Arellano, Jeffrey Calayag, Coach Miguel, Maridol Yabut, and the previous owners of the bikes. Photo courtesy of AyosDito
Coach Miguel, together with Drew, chose and bought a Scott Speedster 50 Carbon Wheelset for Maridol and a Bianchi Road Bike for Jeff Calayag.
“I realized that with platforms like AyosDito, various items, especially for sports, are available so it is now easier and more cost-efficient to start a passion like triathlon,” Drew said. “Meeting sellers is an exciting experience as it puts the human element in online selling and buying. My own user experience in meeting the sellers and buying the bike was safe and fun as AyosDito has a dedicated reviewer who ensures ads and sellers quality.”
Coach Miguel added that the “screening” features of the site helped ensure they were getting a good deal. “Sports enthusiasts will be surprised that they can rely on platforms like AyosDito because they can find what they need for a particular sport. For instance, I found a Fit bike for my trainee Maridol Yabut who needs a 48–50 cm road bike and this bike, despite being a pre-loved one, is competition-ready. Knowing the strict ads approval of AyosDito, my expectation was met when I saw that the bike was original and the seller was reliable.”
ROAD TEST. Coach Miguel tests the bike's fit on Maridol. Photo courtesy of AyosDito
If you also want to look for a secondhand bike online, here are their additional tips for choosing the right model:
Size matters. “It’s not about the brand,” Drew says. Whether you prefer European or Asian bikes is a matter of preference. Fit is important. For Maridol, it was challenging to find a bike that would suit her small frame. Don’t buy a bike just because it’s cheap – don’t hesitate to meet up with the previous owner to try the frame.
Be informed. Read the specs carefully, and call if you have clarifications. “Ask about the owner’s reason for selling,” Coach Miguel adds. That will help you determine if the price is justified. Read up online to know your options.
Be disciplined. Jeff Calayag is a cameraman for Drew’s show, and he admits that it was a challenge to fit in training between family duties and early call times. But he did it because he felt that he owed it to himself. “My biggest motivation is my weight, and to challenge myself,” he Jeff said. “I’m doing this because I want to live longer [and have more time] with my family.”
Take risks. The high of any sport is doing something you didn’t think you’d be able to do. “Any sport is a risk,” Maridol said. “Train smart, listen to your body. Just go for it. Focus and you will learn a lot about yourself.” – Rappler.com
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