Feeling Good
ALLEZ - JV Araneta (The Freeman) - November 18, 2019 - 12:00am

I have friends who have stopped cycling. I know some of their reasons why and some, I don’t. Some have sold their bicycles and some just kept it probably in case the cycling bug bit them again.

But for most of my cycling brothers, the passion is still there. The fire that wakes you up at 4am is not just smoldering, it is aglow. The fire that wants you to follow and get the wheel of a younger cyclist is still there even if the lungs and the legs are not what it was just a few years ago.

What keeps you going back to the saddle everyday?

The longest time that I wasn’t able to ride was about 12 months. I was sick with hyperthyroidism and I just felt tired. In the early stages, I couldn’t even hardly hold on to a glass of water, that’s how bad I felt. I was thinking that my “career” would be over and my wife, Tata, would just laugh and tell me that I’d get well. Besides, she says, “What career?” And I’d blurt out a feeble laugh- Ha—ha—ha.

During those 12 months, I’d just stare at my bicycle, and sometimes just squeeze the brake levers (I know most of us do this!) just to “feel” that feeling of going down from Marco Polo and I’d feel rejuvenated in my thoughts.

Once I started to feel well to ride, I went out and I embraced the sensations- from the wind hitting my face, or the vibrations from the road. I just felt good.

Yes, the reason why I never got bored was becauseI I felt good. I never ride because I want to lose fat or lose weight. If there are any physical and mental benefits from cycling, it was secondary to feeling good.

I remember my first bicycle, a chromoly custom frame built by Jun Farraron’s ASP Cyclehouse back in ’88. From that initial frame, my frame size  got smaller by 3cm. Jun measured me for that, back in a time when bike-fitting was for free, unlike today when you pay 10 grand!

Anyway, the fitting was simple, measure the inseam to the ground. With a barefoot feet, a book was placed firmly between the legs, and measure from the top to the ground. Multiply by 109% and you’d now have an approximate frame size.

I have been through about at least 10 frames since and each frame, although each has its own characteristics, felt perfect for me. At least until the next frame comes around.

Bicycles have given me pure joy even back in the days when my ASP bicycle was still 10 years away. I remember when I was HS neophyte at the Bohol School of Arts and Trades, and there was this guy named “Bertumen”, who had the most beautiful green racing bike I have ever seen. Cycling was part of inter-school sports back in the days and he and another guy, “Bungi” Cantoneros were the cycling stars.

Since I was no good in basketball, I asked my father to buy me a road bike. I knew that money was short back then but his replied floored me: “Quit school and I’ll get you a bicycle”.

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