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ParentingPreschooler

Hatid-Sundo Using An E-Bike? This Dad Does It With His Preschooler, Tipid Sa Oras At Gastos

The dad reveals, he hasn't ridden a bike for years.
PHOTO BYCOURTESY OF DON M. GAOIRAN

Millions of Filipino schoolchildren are saying goodbye to the school break and waving hello to a new school year. For my daughter Dani who just turned four last July, this period marks her first time attending face-to-face classes in pre-kindergarten. Her daily schedule takes only a little over two hours in the morning, a small fraction of our time that seems easy to manage, yet in reality, everything that we'll do every day now hinges on her school schedule.

In an attempt to save time in taking Dani to school and back, I pitched this idea to my wife: “Mag-bike na lang kaya kami papuntang school?”

It’s a practical solution to avoid the dreaded traffic since getting from one place to another is faster on a bike, but it’s also a physical solution, one that requires enough strength and skill for a rider to move safely with a passenger. So she asked, “Ilang taon ka na hindi nag-bike, sa tingin mo ba kaya araw-araw?”

What sounded like a challenge struck me more as a concern since I’m not an avid rider and I’ve never owned a bike. I only know how to ride solo and I thought that it was good enough. In some aspects it is, but we can’t take chances. Fortunately, a couple of our friends are serious when it comes to bikes and motorcycles, so we listened to sound advice.

RELATED: Parents Do School Hatid-Sundo Using Their Bikes: Tipid Sa Gas, Iwas Traffic

Teaching kids to love a bike

A mountain bike and motorcycle enthusiast, Cruzadel dela Cruz has traveled around on two wheels for almost half of his life. He has shared his excitement and passion with Cheche, his seven-year-old daughter, who first pedaled an electric, three-wheeled kid's bike at the age of two. 

Cruz opened the idea to us of allowing kids to first appreciate a bike. After letting Cheche test out the three wheels, he then bought a balance bike for her at the age of three. “Pwede na si Dani matuto sa balance bike tulad ni Cheche. Ito ang most important step when riding a two-wheeled vehicle. Tataas ang confidence niya since kaya na niya mag-balance at mag-control ng bike. Secondary lang pedaling, kahit marami sa kids nauna magkaroon ng ganito.”

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A child’s self-confidence affects their mood towards any activity, and that includes being a rider or a passenger on a bike. Cruz patiently taught Cheche for years and helped her build confidence until she learned to ride her own motorcycle. Their admirable tandem has taken trips to far places in the past years and Cheche continues to enjoy the experience.

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Cheche learning to ride a bike and motorcycle with Daddy Cruzadel
PHOTO BY CRUZADEL DELA CRUZ

In the latter part of our conversation, Cruz asked me if I’ve considered trying an e-bike. I told him that I’ve been leaning towards getting one for the main purpose of taking Dani to school. We both agree that e-bikes provide convenience, they’re economical without needing gas and are much easier to operate considering the additional weight. He then encouraged me to look for a drop frame style, a term that I had no idea about back then.

How to choose an e-bike for beginners

I showed an image of a Nakto Breeze Electric City Bike to Cruz and he said it’s a good choice for starters like me. The drop frame, also called a step-through frame, means the bar connecting the handle and seat is angled low like a “u” shape. This style allows for more stability when stepping on and off the bike.

His thumbs up encouraged me to reach out to Nakto Electric Bikes Philippines on Facebook where I’ve learned much more about e-bikes with help from the friendly team.

“The step-through frame of the Nakto Breeze is ideal since you’re placing a rear seat for your child,” said Joshua Christian Gan of Exion Cycles in Granada Street, San Juan City, an authorized local seller of Nakto bicycles from the US. “The design makes it easy to put your feet on the ground for balance.” As for the e-bike set-up, he shared that the power should be between 350W and 500W, which is sufficient to comfortably move while at the same time keeping the benefits of cycling.

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Joshua Gan’s wife Darlene with their son Daniel on the Nakto Breeze
PHOTO BY COURTESY OF JOSHUA GAN

Expert tips for parents in using e-bikes

“Unang una, you have to know how comfortable you are with biking,” emphasized Edgar Allan Cabalquinto also of Exion Cycles. “You have to be used to biking kung mag-aangkas ka ng anak mo. Pwede mo kasi actually gamitin ang isang electronic bicycle as manual or with the electronic assist.”

The next important tip Edgar reiterated is e-bike maintenance, which is crucial for the rider and the child’s safety. At the shop, he and his crew check on the mechanical and electrical components. Meanwhile, he urges preventive maintenance that owners can do. Similar to cars, the basics include checking tire pressure, brakes, and the electronic monitor. Lastly, he stressed the importance of helmets, warning devices, a functioning horn, and raincoats, especially in unpredictable weather.

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Nakto Breeze Electric City Bike, P33,250.00
PHOTO BY LAZADA

Buy Nakto Breeze Electric City Bicycle on Lazada here

For those who want to know if e-bikes require a license or registration, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) has classified e-bikes under Category L1b or vehicles that don’t exceed the 50/kph limit. At the time of this writing, no registration is required to operate e-bikes on public roads.

Rolling along all the expert advice, I can see a better direction when it comes to e-bikes. I’m almost in the same shoes as Cruz’s daughter Cheche in building confidence. It’s all for bringing my child to school in a more efficient and eco-friendly way. Joshua mentioned that in UP Diliman, the Science Area is a great place to practice biking with a child with decent ups and downs and humps, and I’m planning for that trip soon.

For more tips on traditional bikes and e-bikes, Edgar shared that local communities such as the NAKTO Philippines Community is a good place to start. Meanwhile, child seats for bikes are available at Exion Cycles, Decathlon, and online marketplaces.

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