Or why you should ride the bike and how to get started
By Alana Gayle McCulloch, Silliman University Intern
THE Philippine outdoors is a wellspring of wonder to adventure lovers, including those who pedal their way to their favorite spots, by road or trail, on uphill roads or endless highways.
And among these biking enthusiasts is Gianluca Guidicelli, a furniture export businessman based in Cebu. The Italian founded Giro d’Luca, a cycling sportive event held in Bohol, a place whose amazing scenery and flat roads left an impression on him. What started out as a birthday trip with friends has become an event that has drawn dozens to join in the fun.
And with Giro d’Luca, an event where cyclists do not race and is open to anyone who wanted to see the beauty of Bohol, Guidicelli has made sure that everyone experiences adventurous fun and builds camaraderie along the way.
This year, the event was held starting last May 29 at the Bellevue Resort and Hotel, Panglao Island. The participants covered a total of 530 kilometers in a three-day cycling tour. Participants had the option to join one if not all the different stages but were not required to complete the stage course. After all the objective has always been to enjoy the ride.
Whether or not a participant took the Giro d’Luca as training for other racing events, one will surely reap some priceless benefits, like having a great time and a good workout. “It’s not necessarily good training for a triathlon, but it’s good for the body,” Guidicelli said. But for those who wish to complete gruelling races such as triathlons, Guidicelli has this to say: “It’s only in the mind. If you put in your mind that you’ll make it, then you’ll make it.”
Whether for leisure or for competition, it’s never too late to ride the bike. So for those who wish to get started, here are a few biking tips from Guidicelli:
Pick the right bike
Knowing what kind of bike to use is very important and investing in a good quality bike will serve you longer than the amount you’ve purchased it for. You can opt for a folding bike (compact and portable and good for commuting) or a fixed gear bike (good for skid-stopping and going down steep hills). If you’re a newbie, you might want to install a v-brake first. For adventure, road bikes are recommended, given that it’s known for long-distance rides, or get a bike built for all terrain and is equipped with shock, like a mountain bike.
Inspect your bike
Even if it’s new, it won’t hurt to check if no bolts are loose or the brakes are working. You never know your tires might need air and remember you have to have a clean chain that’s well-lubricated.
Wear appropriate clothing
You could always end up drenched in sweat, but just because you’re not going out that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t wear the proper clothes. When biking, wear flat shoes, and this means the comfortable ones, not just the good looking ones. Make sure to tuck the laces in. Bright clothing and padded shorts are highly recommended for safety purposes.
Get the right accessories, safety gear
Safety gear is absolutely essential, especially the helmet. You might want to invest in some knee pads and gloves as well. Other than safety, if the budget lets you be smart, stock up on some cycling accessories like a water bottle, a repair kit, a bag that can fit extra clothes, snacks and your phone, but keep in mind you’re on a cycling trip not on a vacation, so pack light.
Influence your friends
It’s no fun riding alone and you’d hardly notice the distance when you’re with friends. Gather your friends because basically that’s what cycling is all about, influencing others after all the more the merrier, right?
Learn the cycling protocol
It won’t matter whose fault it is — if you get injured, there’s nothing you can do but say hello doctor and goodbye cycling. Learning hand signals is crucial: it’s a form of communication on the road without actually having to approach anyone. Following road signs and staying off the main lanes are just as crucial.
Exercise your muscles
Just because others can go further than 30 kph doesn’t mean you have to, at least not yet. Build your leg muscles first by going on short distance rides and slowly increase your distance every week.
Learn your way around, there are different ways to your destination. It’s not just about how fast you get there but it’s also about how safe and good the road is for cycling. Get a hold of your map or your smartphone and get in touch with your inner navigator.
If you’re all set; ride with friends, live with the magnificence of your surroundings and celebrate facing that Philippine sunset. Giro d’Luca simply wants to Ride, Live, and Celebrate.