Featured Bai’-ker: OZ Racing’s Tom Micheal Tan

Related Events: ENDURO ‘TA BAI! 4TH LEG OF THE ENDURO PILIPINAS SERIES (Registration CLOSED!) DAANBANTAYAN MTB XC RACE ’13 (REGISTRATION OPEN!) Related Story: Welcome to Cebu, Bai-kers! 4th Leg of the Enduro Pilipinas Series Featured Bai’-ker: Team C.E.B.U.’s Danilo Enriquez II

Thanks to Sponsors of ENDURO 'TA BAI! 4TH LEG OF THE ENDURO PILIPINAS SERIES - from Cebu RD Wagee

Thanks to Sponsors of ENDURO ‘TA BAI! 4TH LEG OF THE ENDURO PILIPINAS SERIES – from Cebu RD Wagee

—————————————– Our featured rider here is someone relatively new to mountain biking. He has progressed fast by far,

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and has been in the podium in the local downhill races. He would be one of Cebu’s bets in getting a slot at the podium for Enduro ‘ta Bai – Cebu Leg. He’s got the skills to go down fast, and is working on his endurance to outlast most of the competition. I hope he gets hooked to Enduro MTB. — RD Adrian Walag Name: Tom Micheal Tan Rank (age): 29 Below Serial number (kind of bike): I just recently sold my freeride/downhill ride to get a more enduro-friendly rig, but I haven’t bought a new one yet. However, on race day I have set my sights on a KHS XCT555 bike frame, which is suitable for all-mountain riding. It is a Cross Country Trail bike frame, paired with a Durolux fork (140mm-180mm of travel), and other components suitable for the Enduro race type.

Codename: Frankenstein, as it’s a mix of different bike parts from other bikes.



  Name of your team? Brief history? I have been racing individually when I started to compete in bike races, since I was still a complete newbie in the biking world. With my age as a starting athlete, it would be difficult for me to get a solid sponsor who would make me part of a team, and so everything that I have from bike, gears to accessories are paid out of my own pocket. It is just recently, that Zandro Fajardo, CEO of OZ Racing, has sponsored me with some gears. So, on Aug 25, I will be riding under the banner of OZ Racing.

Photo by Melquiades Buryal Estrada

How long have you been biking? How did you get into biking? I have been riding a BMX, which was bought by my dad, when I was a kid, and stopped at the age of 12, which was on 1995. I started riding again last February of 2011, with a body weight of 220lbs at a height of 5’9”. It was unintentional for me to get into biking again, since I was obese with a blood pressure of 120/160, a sedentary lifestyle, and a diet of high fat, sugar and junkfood. Although I wanted to lose weight, I did not really discipline myself to work on it. I came home from work one day and saw a mountain bike which my father bought. I got on it and at that moment I was hooked. Four months later, with daily biking, I got my weight down to 180lbs, gained a lot of bike friends, got into the trail-riding and downhill scene, and made mountainbiking a part of my routine. Biking has become one of the few things that I am passionate about, and I will be doing this even as I grow old. Will the Enduro ta ‘Bai be your first mountain bike race? If not, how long have you been doing mountain bike racing? Enduro ta Bai won’t my first bike race, but it will be my first Enduro experience. My first race was a Downhill competition in Naga last July 2011 and got 3rd place in the beginners category. It was my first time to hit jumps and land drops.

Naga DH, 20111 (Photo from Tom Tan)

I disappeared from the racing scene after that win, due to some life changing events (getting married and adjusting to married life).

Photo from Tom Tan

I kept practicing for races; but on race day, something always comes up, either work or family related. Eventually, I got tired of practicing and competed without preparation on a number of events and did not make a place. I continued to bike though and after rehabilitating myself and my bike, I resurfaced on the downhill scene at a local race in San Carlos heights last year and got 1st place in my category.

Champion, San Carlos Heights DH Challenge 2012 (Photo from Tom Tan)

I wanted to join a bigger event and so here I am joining the Enduro ta Bai event. How do you train for it? Since I have already established a solid set of downhill skills, I am working on my cardio right now. I regularly ride my bike with high cadence, every other day when it does not rain. When it does rain, I do core strengthening exercises for endurance and Tae-bo for cardio. I tried Zumba once for cross training….but I realized I have the gracefulness of a dying cockroach and potentially getting blackmailed by someone with a video recorder.

He’ll break bones for an epic downhill ride!

taebo Where are your playgrounds? The most challenging trail in Cebu you can recommend? I have a lot of playgrounds from my own backyard, urban playgrounds, to the mountain playgrounds. There are a lot of inter-connected trails starting from Trans-central Hi-way that I ride on. I also coined a term “Urban Mountain Riding” which is the term I use when I make a mental route within the city that is technical in nature. I just do it on early mornings so I do not endanger anyone else with my riding. (The All Urban Mountain by Roost Productions. Have a feel of Cebu biking, more videos here >>.) The most difficult trail from me is the one we call the Roosevelt trail. It is a trail starting somewhere after Lantaw in Busay and exits at the back of Guadalupe Church. It is challenging, but I would not recommend it for the unseasoned rider. I would recommend a light trail in the Kan-Irag property and a bit more challenging one in Sibugay. (Video from Tom Tan / Roost Production) Blooper moments in biking? The worst incident to happen in biking? Too many to mention, although none were quite serious.

One of his bike mishaps caught on camera / Photo from Tom Tan

The worst and potentially dangerous one was at a track, which I forgot the name of. but what happened was that it was on a technical downhill part of the trail where a lot of switchbacks (tight cornering) had to be done. I was halfway down the trail when my front wheel hit a rock, and I went over the bars on my bike and ragdolled a few meters down. I skidded to stop when I got hold of some bushes, and when I stood up, I realized that I was standing on the edge of a deep ravine. I was happy to walk away with just wounded arms. One time as well, while urban mountain riding, my shoulder got snagged by a sign post while trying to dodge a pedestrian, I got 2 deep cuts on my right shoulder and I have the scars to show for it. Now, to that all important bike porn question – what’s your bike setup? I prefer the AM (all-mountain) set-up. I used to ride on an FR (free ride) and DH (downhill) rig, but lately I have been gearing towards the Enduro type rig. On race day, it’s going to be a KHS XCT 555 frame, 8 speed rear and single chain ring with chain-guide, with Durolux TAD Fork, DT Swiss AM Rims, Butcher Tires. My rig is not the expensive type, and it is a testament to the saying that “It is not the arrow, it is the Indian.” I want to show riders that you can show up on a beat-up bike and still win, so long as you have the heart for riding. Equipment certainly helps, and if I had the money to spare, I would get a bike that would aid my purpose in riding, but equipment only makes up about 10% of winning, the remaining 90% is the rider’s attitude. If there’d be an apocalypse, and you can only save one bike, which among your bikes will you save? Personally, I would prefer that I had a humvee or a tank on an apocalypse. A bike wouldn’t be much help in a Zombie apocalypse. However, if all the other Walking Dead main cast made off with all the armored cars and tanks and I had only bikes to choose from, I’ll take the AM (All-Mountain) set-up. It is the type of set-up that you can practically do anything with. I can bike on it while carrying my gear of survival equipment, machete, guns and ammo, food and water. It’s light enough to go uphill with, and tough enough to go downhill on.

Photo by Melquiades Buryal Estrada

(Note: The entire set of interview questions were copied from ten10.ph Rider of the Week column.) ———————————————————————————- Posted by: rosebuen Rose Buenconsejo. A runner who runs after runners, and their stories, and her dream to become a NEDBANK. Promo Girl, runroo.com View her aktib race calendar >>


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    […] Biker: The Biker with Secret Training Featured Bai’-ker: Team BigRing’s Bal Marsius Valdehueza Featured Bai’-ker: OZ Racing’s Tom Micheal Tan Featured Bai’-ker: Team C.E.B.U.’s Danilo Enriquez II More Enduro stories […]

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