Newbie and experienced cyclists convened for the first ever Cycle Exchange exhibit which featured premium bicycle brands.
With the purpose of generating deluxe consumer experience through the newest release of bicycles, accessories, gears, and apparel from the top tier cycling and other sports brands, the three-day exhibit of Cycle Exchange Asia officially commenced last January 19, Friday, at the SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia, in Pasay City.
Cycle Exchange exhibit is first of its kind, tagged as an “active lifestyle event,” and will annually be held every third week of January. Both the newbie and experienced cyclists get access to launches of new products, innovations, latest campaigns, and upcoming events of the premium bicycle brands. To ensure high quality of participants, only authorized manufacturers and distributors were exclusively invited in the basis of the international showcase standards.
“[The cycling products] have to be original, authentic, and came here in a legal way, not smuggled or what,” Cycle Exchange Asia Chief-Executive-Officer Ghasan Okal said.
Categorized based on their sport such as triathlon, road biking, and mountain biking, exhibitor brands included Cervelo, Felt, Scott, Colnago, Rocky Mountain, Tern, Brompton, and Corratec, among others.
As cycling becomes increasingly popular in the Philippines, Okal wants to educate people about the artistry that the two-wheeled vehicles entail. “There is so much craftsmanship in cycling, and we want to expose that. No two bikes are identical. People can customize. There is a demand to present more options for the people,” he said.
After the successful soft-opening of the event on Friday, cycling enthusiasts returned the next day for discussions by top coaches and personalities, which included the Bike Commuting Survival Workshop by Jake Yabut, Breadazzled Bakery’s No-Bake Energy Bars by Maan Teves, and Mountain Biking 101 by Donjie Pascual Dormitorio.
On the third and last day of the exhibit, attendees were taught the basic first aid for riders. There were more mark downs on prices of many items. Brand new bikes and other prizes were also raffled.
Aside from the business-related purposes of the event, Okal said that Cycle Exchange advocates for the co-existence of bikers and motorists on the road. “Motorists and bikers need to respect one another, so they can co-exist. It’s possible,” he said.
Known for his critical take on issues about the Philippine transportation, James Deakin also graced the event and facilitated the Bike to Work and Share the Road talk. In support to Okal’s statement, he said that the government officials must consider practical solutions in addressing road problems, and make more provisions in the law that cater to bike riders.
“It’s easy to say, ‘Let’s put bike lanes,’ but we might be 15-20 years from that, even with political will. We should be realistic to see what we can do to develop a culture of understanding when both bikers and motorists are on the road,” Deakin said, adding that there will always be tension between bikers and motorists.
Cycling can be part of Filipinos’ everyday routine, according to Okal, as bikes can be used as mode of transportation on the way to work. This does not only contribute to environmental-friendly efforts due to reduced carbon footprint, but also to one’s physical health. “The best part of this is that you’re getting healthier. There will be better blood circulation. You also burn fats and cholesterol,” Okal said.
Having been a resident of the Philippines for ten years, Okal hopes that the development of cycling industry in the country continues. With initiatives like this, he hopes to inspire non-cyclists to try the sport. “Cycling is amazing. It’s not even my original sport, but I love this the most now,” he proudly admitted.
Featured Photo from Cycle Exchange Asia Facebook Page.