Lifestyle, Stories

Pedal power: How the post-pandemic bicycle boom redefined recreation and transportation

It was over a year ago when the national government halted public transportation due to the onset of the pandemic. Since then, Metro Manila commuters have been trying to find ways to go around the city, which eventually led to the revival of bicycles. 

As of this writing, a number of public vehicles are already operational, but bikers in the country continue to grow, even more so now that the quarantine restrictions are gradually easing up and vaccine rollouts are in place. 

Aside from the physical and mental health benefits of cycling, such as increased cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength, flexibility, and decreased stress levels, it is also pro-climate. According to a United Nations Environment Programme report, “switching from a car to a bicycle saves 150g of CO2 per km. Furthermore, each 7 km by bicycle will save an emission of 1 kg of CO2 as compared to the same distance covered by a car.” This means that increased bicycle use results in lower greenhouse gas emissions. The lower the emission, the helpful it becomes in the fight against global warming.

For the love of bike

One of the passionate bike enthusiasts in the country is Ron Tan, a Chinoy who graduated from Boston University. From the moment he saw how people used bicycles for exercise and commute, he knew that he could build a business out of the two-wheeled vehicle.

Ron Tan, Viper Bicycles General Manager

As a result of his love for cycling, Ron created Viper Bicycles, an up-and-coming brand of high-performance bicycles, accessories, and bike parts in the Philippines, with an ambition to improve cycling for everybody. Ron takes pride in offering diverse bike models at Viper Bicycles, both for outdoor and indoor rides, to encourage more people to give cycling a try.

Ignite 27.5 limited

“We have developed a wider selection of different bike models for beginners, amateurs, and competitive riders. In addition, we continue to have a good range of children’s mountain, road, city, electric, and indoor cycling products and accessories,” Ron expounds. He also expresses his excitement that more and more people are exploring biking now as a silver lining for the current pandemic. 

If you’re just starting on your cycling journey, Ron recommends one of Viper’s bikes with basic specifications like fewer gears and mechanical brakes. “Then, once you get more cycling mileage under your belt, you could upgrade to higher-end versions with more advanced components, sizing and geometry,” he adds.

Even though the bike boom is initially a result of the limited access to public transportation due to COVID-19 and people craving for other forms of exercise allowed outside, Ron is optimistic that the cycling industry will grow even more in the coming years.

“Once social gatherings become safer, and things start to ease up again, we anticipate a lot of fun biking events that will only drive up the interest of old and new cyclists even more,” Ron concludes.

Socially distanced adventure 

To celebrate having World Bicycle Day land in June, Viper Bicycles partnered up with 12 cafés such as Café Agapita, Almusal Café, and Commune, among others, for a month-long event to encourage more individuals to go cycling. From June 12 until July 12, all participants will ride on their bikes and visit all stops from a challenge map.

Café Agapita, one of the stopovers on the challenge

How will it happen? Participants can choose from three maps, North Map, South Map, and CBD (Central Business District) Map, each with their cafe stops. The challenge is to visit all stops on the map and challenge finishers to get a Viper Bicycles prize. 

The Viper Route

The said event will let you experience the world of cycling by being immersed in a biker’s lifestyle—riding with other bike enthusiasts, discovering new trails, joining communities, and getting in the habit of continuous progress by breaking your record. And if meeting new friends and self-improvement isn’t enough motivation for you to join, the participating cafes have prepared treats for every biker at every stop. 

Have you also made a switch to using bicycles? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!

Leave a Reply