Bikes have been around for ages. There are different varieties but the most we’re all familiar with are mountain bikes, road bikes and BMXs. Each has their own specialty. I’ve only known about folding bikes a few months now. So what’s so special about them? Besides the fact that they can be folded, its ability to be lugged around (especially if you’re always commuting) is a very big plus.
Just like everything else in the world, there are cons in getting a folding bike. The Philippines isn’t really a bicycle country as compared to Japan so people often scoff at the idea of folding bikes being placed inside buses, tricycles, taxis, etc. More often than not, they won’t allow it. I’m hoping for a change in the coming months so that folding bikers can get more privileges.
Out of all the things I’ve said, why should you still get a folding bike?
Compared to all those big bikes you see strapped at the back of cars, you won’t see that happening for your folding bike. You can put it in a car. You can put it under your desk at work, in the garage, in your room… And even then, it won’t consume too much space! But note on the “won’t consume too much space” is the fact that this will depend on the folder (folding bike) that you’re going to get. Some are very compact, some are just a little more bulky. But one thing’s for sure: it’s always going to be compact.
2) You can bring it almost everywhere
As I’ve mentioned, the Philippines isn’t exactly a bicycle country but public transportation has taken a liking to folders–at least, most of them. In Metro Manila, you can bring it inside the PNR and the LRT 1 & 2. LRT 1 and PNR is quite tricky because of the volume of people riding it everyday. It is allowed though, so just pick a time of the day where it’s not rush hour so you can bring your bike along with you. LRT 2 is the best public transpo that accepts folding bikes simply because it’s still spacious for your bike even if it’s rush hour. Believe me, I’ve tried.
If you’re also one to go on frequent commutes or errands, you can bring your folding bike all the way from home to work. No commuting expenses needed! Most workers and employees who bike tend to go bimodal commuting. Bimodal commuting is partly using public transportation then biking what can be biked the rest of the way towards work.
3) It’s an investment and can save you cash in the long run
Folding bikes, depending on what you’re getting, can be pretty expensive. But instead of spending your money on public transportation, why not spend it on an awesome bike that you can use everywhere? For most of us, it’s not an appealing thought but getting a folding bike kind of grows on you.
Imagine if you spend around 200 pesos (around $4) on commuting everyday, it could be cut to almost half. In some cases, the commuting expenses have gone from expensive to zero. My bike has helped me with saving at least 16 pesos every day because I just bike going to school instead of riding a jeep. 16 pesos is a lot if I count the number of times I go to school per month.
4) You get the cardio that you need
Want to be fit? Having trouble with doing that 10-minute exercise per day? Biking can just do the trick. It won’t be the most intense of exercises but it can give you that small dose that you need. It’s better than nothing, right? It’s a challenge especially if the roads you’ll pass are uphill or if there are bridges. It’s harder than it looks at first but then you’ll just get used to it!
Oh and carrying the bike every now and then? That’s gotta be some muscle work! Sure, you can use your rollers (small wheels behind the seat of the bike) or drag the bike around but there’ll come a time where you simply have to carry it. Most folding bikes are a bit heavy at 11-15kg. Usually, the more expensive it is, the lighter. Don’t be surprised if it’s heavy the first time you carry it.
Whether you live in the Philippines or not, there are too many reasons for anyone to get a folding bike. Here in our country, commuting is the bane of everyone’s existence especially during rush hour! Finding alternative ways to avoid daily commute is a task Filipinos often seek but at what price? Having a car is expensive. Biking is tiring but if you really need to save up, getting some exercise won’t hurt, right?
If you’re a commuter, I’m sure that this is going to be a great investment. If you travel a lot, you can also consider this idea because you can bike from one place to another especially if you’re low on cash. You’ll be able to appreciate everything that’s around you too. Just don’t get lost!
Do you have a folding bike too? Or a mountain, road or BMX but want to try a folder? How has it helped you? Let me know in the comments!