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This Isuzu Fuego helps its owner clean and repair bicycles

The faithful workhorse was passed on to him by his mother

Isn't it nice to have a car that helps you earn a living? PHOTO BY VERNON B. SARNE

In January, we made a video featuring a guy who had started a bicycle maintenance business after having been retrenched by a company specializing in outdoor goods. That dude is Carlos Colmenares, who turned his bicycle hobby into a full-time gig. He also happens to be the youngest child of Pinky Concha-Colmenares, a well-respected colleague of mine who had been the longtime motoring editor of Manila Bulletin. And so, you can say that I have known Carlos since his juvenile days.

It’s actually kind of weird that the person I’m hiring to clean my mountain bike calls me “Tito Vernon.” Anyway, I thought of doing this piece in honor of the so-called World Bicycle Day (yes, that’s today).

You know you got your money's worth (and more) if your vehicle looks like this. PHOTO BY VERNON B. SARNE

However, this story is not really about bicycles. Instead, it’s about the beat-up Isuzu Fuego you see here. In case you no longer remember, the Fuego was Isuzu’s pickup truck in our market before the arrival of the D-Max. This mechanical workhorse used to belong to Carlos’s mother, who, by the way, has been convincing him to finally retire it.

But no, Carlos loves this thing and is, in fact, using it to help him with his mobile bicycle-maintenance business. He’s a one-man operation behind Bike Fix PH. It’s a gig that has turned out to be profitable enough for him to consider making it a regular livelihood. The old vehicle allows him to transport his many tools and cleaning equipment. And it lets him put up a makeshift canopy.

One has to be very resourceful for a business like this to have any chance of success. PHOTOS BY VERNON B. SARNE

And so Carlos is able to set up this temporary “service bay” whenever he visits a customer.

There you have it: a mobile bicycle service bay. PHOTO BY VERNON B. SARNE

Then he goes to work. He can clean your bicycle after a trail ride, or even fix it if you’ve damaged something during said trail ride. According to Carlos, he’s happy with what he’s doing. It’s a chance to reboot his life and start doing something he truly enjoys.

We're proud of this hardworking young man. We're sure his mother is, too. PHOTOS BY VERNON B. SARNE

Carlos is also proud of currently owning and maintaining the Fuego. I bet he couldn’t have guessed that the vehicle that had transported him and the family more than two decades ago would now give him a reliable source of income.

Contact Bike Fix PH for your bicycle-maintenance needs. PHOTO BY VERNON B. SARNE

If you ever need proof of the dependability of Isuzu products, here you go. And if you ever need to have your bicycle serviced at home, contact Carlos here.

Vernon B. Sarne

Vernon is the founder and editor-in-chief of VISOR. He has been an automotive journalist since July 1995. He became one by serendipity, walking into the office of a small publishing company and applying for a position he had no idea was for a local car magazine. God has watched over him throughout his humble journey. He writes the ‘Spoiler’ column.