Bike-to-School / Kong Saavedra
Bike-to-School Series: Kong is a Business Management student at Lyceum of the Philippines University.
Manila is really an interesting place to visit, especially if you’re doing street photography. It has a unique vibe from any other places outside Manila, and any snapshots that you take represents the beauty and chaos of the city.
We met around eight in the morning at Plaza Lorenzo Ruiz in Binondo. The streets are already busy when I arrived, and I thought it may not have been an ideal place to shoot a fixed-gear rider if you’re thinking about the rider’s safety. Because all I could see are jeepneys and kuligligs (two-wheeled tractor) stuck in traffic with so many people walking around.
But Kong is cool with just about anything I instructed him to do during our photo shoot.
Inside Intramuros, Manila.
Richard Saavedra, also known as “Kong” is a 20 year-old Business Management student at Lyceum of the Philippines University Manila. He currently lives in Meycauayan, Bulacan. When he’s not riding his bike, he would most likely be either listening to streamed music, surfing the net, doing phone photography or learning about it, creating art stuff or just resting at home with his family.
From Chinatown to the Walled City
We decided to leave Binondo to look for a less crowded place and we thought of Intramuros, the famous Walled City of Manila. As per Kong, Instramuros administration is very strict to tourists or locals who wish to take pictures using their DSLRs. Based on his experience before, one time they were confronted by a Guardia Civil while doing some fun shoot inside Intramuros with his friends during their break.
So, the whole time we are in the Walled City, we did our best to avoid being caught by the Guardia Civil.
Striking a pose while we avoid being caught by the Guardia Civil.
Can you share your experience the first time you tried a fixed-gear bike?
I first tried and owned a fixed-gear two years ago when I got it as a gift. It was hard at first, especially not having an experience on how to ride one on the streets as I was always on bike trails with my mountain bike.
When did you think you wanted to go to school with your bike?
Travel time from home to school always eats a lot of my time whenever I choose to commute. It takes about 2-3 hours before I reach Manila. Then it came to mind of trying to go to school on my bike and it all started from there.
In front of Lyceum of the Philippines University
As we all know, the weather in Manila is always unpredictable. Sometimes, it will rain non-stop. I asked Kong how he prepares his stuff especially when it’s raining and he wanted to ride his bike going to school.
Most of the time when the rain is too heavy, I have no choice but to commute since Manila streets are prone to high floods, which could be more difficult if I insisted on going to school with my bike. But when it doesn’t rain too much, I just wear a jacket and bring some plastic bags to put in some wet clothes. I also have extra clothes and a towel, and I’m good to go.
Do you have some tips for anyone or a student like you who wanted to use their bike going to school?
Going to school on a bike is very risky both to you and your bike when left on unguarded spots. It’s also very tiring especially to those who take the main roads. It will also make you dirty by the time you get to school, and expect to experience a very polluted city. The positive things it can do is make your travel faster, keep your legs strong and a healthier body.
But it is really fun when you get used to the streets and the distance you cover day to day. Some of the tips I could give is to wear your helmet, stay on the defensive, be alert for irresponsible motorists and pedestrians, stay hydrated and don’t get too fast, you’re not in a race. Lastly, don’t forget your extra clothes and school works!
From Binondo to Intramuros
The Dolan Pre Cursa, a great starter track frameset. Although the Pre Cursa is often labelled as a starter frame, it has been put through its paces at the highest level winning many competitions such as Track World Cups. With its strong credentials and rock solid construction the Pre Cura is used as a rental bike in Velodromes throughout Europe. – Dolan Bikes
- Tubeset: Aluminium 7075 Double Butted
- Bottom Bracket: English Thread
- Seatpost Diameter: 27.2mm
- Headset Diameter: 1 1/8th Integral Head Tube
Where to Buy?
Dolan Pre Cursa
Spyder Bike Helmet
How to be Featured?
Want to get featured on DWEBGEEK.COM? If you got style and a nice ride, you can send a message on my Facebook page and share some photos with your bike. I’ll let you know if you will be the chosen one!
Follow Kong on Instagram