If there’s an “Extreme Makeover” bicycle edition, this bike would probably be good for one of its episodes. It literally took a year to create this piece of beauty.
When we first saw this gorgeous folding bicycle on Harold Canilang’s Instagram, we immediately messaged him to praise his new ride. But what amazed us more was when he told us that it’s a restored bicycle and showed us the picture of the bike when he got it.
It’s a very old Bridgestone Grandtech that he scored from a Marikeño bike collector and shop owner in February 2020. The foldie was in an awful condition, highlighted by cobwebs, rusts and destroyed plastic parts.
“Hindi mo siya ma-bike dahil ‘yung gulong niya hindi na akma tapos ‘yung brakes ay sira pati yung saddle. ‘Yung gearing ay hindi naka-tono,” Harold told us. “Sabi raw niya, rare na raw kasi wala na sa production tapos binenta niya sa akin ng 3,500 in junk condition.”
Harold tried to negotiate for a lower price, but to no avail. To further attract him to buy the bike, he was recommended to a reliable bike restorer. Their first day of business was unsuccessful.
On his way home until bedtime, the bike was stuck in Harold’s mind. So he went back to Marikina the next day and made the purchase. Right after getting the foldie, Harold went to the bike restorer so they could get the dirty work done immediately.
But the whole restoration was not as quick as Harold imagined it to be. No thanks to the lockdown, everything went slow and the repair got delayed.
“Ang estimate niya matapos ay less than two months and then okay na ang condition. Pero ayun nga, nag-pandemic. Humaba ‘yung production time,” he said.
Since everyone was having a tough moment during that time, Harold understood that it’s going to take a while. However, when the restorer finished the work, they found out that the wheels were too big.
It’s not usually a big problem because you just have to replace the wheels with the correct size. But to Harold’s dismay, the wheel size of his foldie was very difficult to find here, not even abroad.
“So pina-adjust namin ‘yung brake bridge kay Ave Maldea,” he said.
Yes, the Ave Maldea. As some of you may know, it can take a long time to have something done by this excellent craftsman, especially because of the recent demand for bikes.
The adjustment was finished by the last quarter of the year and the candy blue foldie needed to be repainted. And then there was another problem. Typhoon Ulysees devastated Rizal, the place where the painter lives. So the guy stopped working for a time to attend to his family and clean the mess brought by the calamity.
“Natapos ‘yung paint noong January tapos doon pa lang nabuo ulit. Siyempre, hindi lang naman ito yung ginagawa nila, ang daming nagpapa-ayos,” Harold recalled. “Hindi ko rin naman nafo-follow up kasi may bike naman ako.”
Finally, he got the bicycle last February, a year after he bought the worn out bike. And it was stunning. Good things, indeed, come to those who wait.
Harold has been bike commuting for two years prior to this purchase, he was using a fixie back then. This pandemic, he upgraded to an Ave Maldea road bike. When we met Harold, he cycled from San Juan to Makati because he works for coffee shop Yardstick, the home of Esteban Cycling Club.
“Enjoy siya gamitin kasi relaxed at hindi aggressive,” Harold said. “Sobrang happy ako.”