Saturday, September 15, 2012

Rider Profile - Bless

Bless learning the finer tips of bike handling 
Bless and with the rest of "7-11" at LCSG 2012 Treasure hunt   photo credit Bless
Rider Profile- Bless Cristobal 

* Tell me about yourself

Hi Guys, my name’s Bless and I’m working as a business analyst for a French bank.  I come from a family of 7.  My Dad, Mum, eldest sister and baby brother live in the Philippines, while a sister is in Abu Dhabi and an older brother lives in New Zealand.  Yeah, yeah, I’m a middle child =P.  I love the beach and consider lounging around with a drink in one hand and a book in the other as my perfect holiday.  I enjoy traveling and this has led me to the shores of Singapore. 

* How did you start cycling?
I learned to cycle basically thru guts and stubbornness.  My Dad does not approve of “girls” riding a bike.  He considered it too dangerous a sport for a girl =P (double standard since he bought my older bro a bike).  Unfortunately for him, I’m the kind of girls who likes climbing trees, fences, rooftops, etc.  My grandpa (who looked after us while my parents were at work) basically let you do anything as long as you don’t cry when you hurt yourself.  I learned to cycle on my bro’s BMX while my Lolo (grandpa) does chores outside the house.  As long as he can see me, he let me do my thing.  So once my parents leave for work, it was time to do my “training”.  Hehehe.  I was maybe 5-6 yrs olds then.  My brother, who was 5 years older, was considerably taller than me and had the seatpost adjusted to his height.  I remember I always had to have something to step on in order to push off and get on the saddle because the seat was too high for me.  You can safely assume I got a lot of scrapes during this period but I enjoyed it too much to give it up.   Growing up, my neighbors were kind enough to share their bikes during afternoon playtime.  I get to use my brother’s if he’s not using it.  My concept of cycling then was just to go round and round our neighborhood.  Never venturing more than a couple of streets away otherwise the adults will start to worry.  I cycled on and off during my school years, mostly using whatever bike my brother has (bmx (got stolen),  a road bike, then an mtb (also got stolen) and no, all of them remained too big for me).  I used the bike mainly as a means of transportation to get around the village to hang out with friends.  Eventually I learned to drive so that was the end of cycling.  Anyway, I got into less trouble with my Dad over the car than a bike.   

The next time I was on a bike was 2 years back.  My friend and I were on a trip in Chiang Mai and we signed up for a 5 hour bike tour.  I didn’t know what to expect and I was super rusty but the experience reminded me of how I loved cycling before.  I think we did about 15 kms that day.  We saw a temple, a bake shop, a candy shop, passed by an old leper colony, old farm roads plus ate durian at the local public market.   It was such a positive experience that going back to SG made me think of the reasons why I didn’t have a bike.  I knew so little about SG except for the normal stuff (home are, the malls, tourist places and my office).  It took me another 6 months before I visited a bike shop that was near where I lived.  I left that shop riding my first bike. ^_^

* Why do you like cycling?
I like cycling for the freedom it gives.  I’m not limited to taking a taxi, mrt or bus for transpo.  I can pretty much go anywhere without thinking off how far it is from the next bus stop or mrt.  The sheer joy of feeling the wind on your face as you cycle along.  You get to know a place better since you see more than what is usual.   Plus it’s healthy way to get in some exercise.        
* When u met LCSG - how was it like and how did you meet us?
I discovered foldies when I was looking for a phone holder on my MTB.  I ended up getting it at MBS and it was the first time I was up close and personal with these kind of bikes.  The guys there were super nice and encouraged me to try it out.  That got me into researching folding bikes in SG.  
In the course of my research, I ended up seeing Francis, Taiwoon and Kevin and Gwyn ’s blog and from there LCSG forum and FB page.  I remember stumbling into the blog about the treasure hunt last year and I saw all the pics of all these happy people on bikes having fun.  

Seeing the motto E.R.P.  (Eat.Ride.Photo) made me think it was something I could do.  I ended up going to the PAssion Cycling Club launch at Geylang Serai Community Center since it was the event that was near enough that I could just cycle down from home.  It was at first intimidating going there alone but everyone was so nice and welcoming.  It was so much fun that I’ve been with the group ever since.   

* Your steel horses- names and more details.
1st bike – Trek 4500 WSD MTB. Loved it. Steady first bike.  It’s now with someone who will appreciate her more.  I met LCSG with this one.
2nd bike – Pre-loved Dahon Speed D7.  My “folding” while waiting for my Brommie.  Couldn’t miss those LCSG rides that were too far for me to cycle down to. 
3rd bike – Brompton M6R.  After a long wait, this baby came home with me.  Loved it then and still love it now.   
4th bike – Pre-loved Brompton S6L-X.  Have I told I got obsessed with B’s that I got another one.   This is my speedy version.  Lol!

*Your favorite cycling kakis
LCSG!!!  The Sunday rides introduced me to soo many new friends and places.  Singapore became a place to discover new things and experiences.

Saturday Coffee Riders!!! South central Singapore’s version of training/coffee/food ride.  Basically, Ivan plots the route and we all fall in.  Hahaha.  Special mention to our regular riders Diane, Ro, Okky, Christine, Vince and now Sze sze.        

* Your favourite cycling route and LCSG ride
Route, nothing in particular.  Every ride has its own charm.  LCSG ride, the most memorable was the trip to Desaru as Tai Woon says “We ride as a team, suffer as a team, eat as a team and finish as a team!”  True enough it was all that.  Thanks to the awesome company we managed and conquered Desaru.  Special thanks to Aunty Mary for organizing all the training rides.   Those really helped in building endurance.  

* Your role at LCSG
Just a happy cyclist along for the ride.  

* Tips to share with fellow riders
Just go out and cycle.  Have fun and keep safe.

* Who would u like to see being featured in Smallwheelbigsmile? Arrow someone to be featured...
Ivan Ng
April Diaz
Okky Lie

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