Jay Garganera

bike icon - jay garganera copy

 

Jay Garganera

Bike Activist, Recycler, and Entrepreneur

51 years old, Tinago, Cebu City

Founder, Tindak Bisdak Cebu Folding Bikes Society

I suffered a mild stroke five years ago. The doctor advised me to exercise, but basketball is too much for me and running makes me really tired, so when he told me to bike, I followed his advice and went to a surplus shop to buy a bicycle. It took me three months to get a bike, but I liked my new exercise, so the people in the shop encouraged me to go into the buy-and-sell business. I started with 9 bikes, but since I was still getting the hang of it, it took me another three months to sell those bikes. I sold surplus bicycles for a while until I found out about Folding Bikes. I immediately liked it because it saves space, so from selling ordinary bicycles, I went into the buying and selling of folding bikes instead until I got so interested in them that I started building my collection. At present I have 62 and I’m aiming for 75 [folding bikes] “para makapasar sa klase, kay 75 man ang passing sa San Carlos.”

When I started selling folding bikes, I had a hard time ‘cause Cebuanos before had a misconception that this kind of bike wasn’t durable. So I went on a ferry boat bringing my own bike and folded it in front of all the people. They were both shocked and amazed at how handy my bike could be. In fact, somebody I met on the boat went to my shop the next day to buy a folding bike! I started riding with other people after that, although we were just around 8 of us. It initially started out as ‘food trip’ rides around the city (Siomai, Batchoy, Dinuguan), but we got up to 70 riders – the most at that time – when we went on a Full Moon ride all the way to Mactan Island. We started at 8pm and ended at around 1:30am. Some of the bikers got tired and rode a taxi cab, but that was more or less the jump-off point of our consistent weekly night rides. Since the Friday after that wasn’t a full moon night anymore, I decided to offer pospas if the amount of bikers reached 50. It surprised me when instead of 50, we got up to 80 bikers! “Nag kuwang ang pospas!”

“Our main reason for biking is to promote family bonding, gain new friends and evoke camaraderie among bikers of all ages regardless of bike types. It was during the rides that I met new people who were unlike the friends I had before, and it’s really fun for me cause the conversations are diverse and when I’m with the younger ones, we don’t talk about problems, illnesses and etc., but I get to laugh with them and enjoy myself a lot especially when we bike together.”