Manila one of the best places for cycling, says Vittorio Brumotti

Posted on October 07, 2015

WHILE ADMITTING to having no idea of the bike scene in the Philippines prior to coming here, world-renowned trials rider Vittorio Brumotti came away impressed with it after touching base with local bikers and negotiating the streets of Manila.

Champion trials rider Vittorio Brumotti showing his skills in the streets of Manila -- Abbombazza 100% Brumotti Facebook account
Recently visited the country to take part in the second annual run of the PhilBike Expo held at the SMX Convention Center from Oct. 2 to 4, Italian Brumotti showcased his skills along with star flatland riders Viki Gomez of Spain and Matthias Dandois of France.

But apart from sharing his talent to the local fans, 35-year-old Brumotti said he, too, learned a lot about the Philippine bike scene during his brief visit.

“I must admit that I did not hear much about the bike scene here in Manila prior to coming here,” Mr. Brumotti told BusinessWorld in an interview before one of his demonstrations at the PhilBike Expo at the weekend.

“But I like that the minds of the people here are open to cycling. In Italy they use biking for [limited purposes] but in Manila many people ride the bicycle for different things. Whether it is for work, recreation and physical fitness. I think Manila is one of the best places for cycling,” he added.

Loosely defined, bike trials is an individual sport that has a rider maneuvering and balancing through different obstacles with little contact to the ground as possible.

And currently there is no better at it than Mr. Brumotti, who currently holds 10 Guinness World Records for various trials riding tricks -- from performing rear-wheel jumps over 20 hurdles set 1.5 meters away from one another to plunging into the open sea while on his bike from a height of 17 meters.

In 2012, he climbed Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest skyscraper, on his bike in a span of two hours and 20 minutes.

Mr. Brumotti said cycling has changed his life since taking it up as a sport when he was 11 years old.

“In my case cycling changed my life. I started with nothing but cycling has given me a lot. It has opened windows for me not only to show my talent but also to be an inspiration to others with what I do in various avenues,” Mr. Brumotti said.

The champion rider also said that biking is good for the body as it keeps you fit and can help a lot in easing pollution and traffic congestion, which he saw firsthand while here.

Mr. Brumotti shared that what he has become as a world-class rider is a product of a lot of time practicing his craft, which he describes as a “discipline.”

“I train very hard and in different conditions. Focus is very important,” Mr. Brumotti said.

“The bike trial is like no other sport. You have to be committed to it. It’s like karate. You have to learn every facet of it. It’s tough but the satisfaction is great,” he added as a form of advice to those who want to take up the sport. -- Michael Angelo S. Murillo