When the COVID-19 pandemic struck in early 2020, few could have imagined how long-lasting its impact would be on the cycling scene. On the one hand, thousands of new riders have come to the sport either out of necessity (to commute) or just to enjoy some precious time outdoors. On the other hand, amateur and professional racing has practically come to a halt in the Philippines. For national athletes who still have races abroad, the challenge to prepare has never been harder as lockdown restrictions limit their options for training.
But for our very own “Queen of Mountain Bike Racing” Ariana Dormitorio, where there’s a will there’s a way. We asked her how she’s been handling the situation so far.
How do you put in the training now with all the restrictions?
The pandemic has made it tough for everyone, not just us athletes. A lot of local and international races have been postponed since last year due to this. Since I’m also a member of the Philippine National Team, the Philippine Sports Commission and our NSA have set more rules on how the National Athletes should train.
As an athlete who does an outdoor sport, it has been extra hard for me to train because we’re not really allowed to go outside. Recently, I have only been training in areas that are near my house. but I’m glad that I still get to train. The thing that I miss the most is training outside with no worries about getting sick or wearing a mask. But I’m positive that we’ll all overcome this soon.
How is your training regimen like?
Since cycling has become my full time job, I train six times a week. I do a mountain bike specific program, made by my dad and coach Donjie, and that has always been how I train for local and international races. I usually prepare two months ahead of my A race, but for the 2021 PH MTB National Champs this June, we have been preparing for that since last year.
Tell us about your new bike!
Comet is completely different from the previous Supercaliber I had (“Bubblegum”) as Comet’s colors are darker. It’s definitely a big change, though I like it because Comet’s not much of an eye candy compared to Bubblegum.
What makes Comet special for me is that he’s a Project One bike. I personally chose the color and Trek did not disappoint at all.
What do you think new riders should prioritize?
Safety is my top priority when riding. Newbies should invest in proper safety gear like helmets, shoes, elbow pads/knee pads if necessary. Aside from safety, they should find a group or ride with a group that could help them become better and more knowledgeable cyclists. Plus, it makes the ride more fun when you have people to ride with.
Any message for Father’s Day?
My message to my dad this Father’s Day is that I’d like to thank him for all the things he has done for our family, and also for the never-ending support, especially to his growing MTB school which is the Coach D MTB Efficiency Training Systems. Although we are facing tough times right now, training has never been more fun all thanks to the people I get to train with. My dad always comes up with ways on how we could still train and keep it fun.