Apr 7, 2016
I started out as a mountain biker in Canada back in the early 2000s. In order to get a free admission into the local club races, I developed this website as a mountain biking website, covering the local mountain biking events - thus the domain name, TheLoneRider. It soon gained a good following as I was posting free pictures of the racers. The race organizers saw merit in allowing me to cover their races for free. I got what I wanted. This would somehow be the genesis of a business model where I provide service in exchange for things I need (instead of paying cash for it).
Out of the Box
But my world wasn't just confined to mountain biking. Writing became a passion and I started blogging about anything that excited me - a magnificent life that inspired me, a powerful concept that changed my paradigm about myself and the world I live in, travel adventures that took me to different parts of the world, regional cuisines that graced my palate, geo-politics, a mind-expanding counter culture festival, a life-transforming meditation course, etc. There was no box. I would write about anything and everything that excites me.
Homeless by Choice
At some point in my travels, having a 'home' became a liability. I would travel for 4 months and come back to pay 4 months rent on a space I didn't use. This got me thinking. If I can survive 4 months on the open road without a home, then I don't need a home! I gave away anything that couldn't fit into my backpack - pots and pans, the mattress, etc. Beginning April 2004, I would travel indefinitely as there would be no home to go back to. With no property, no steady job and no address, I lived life with all the uncertainties and unpredictabilities of the open road. With very little money, my life skills became my currency. I would teach English, develop websites or teach yoga - anything to survive.
The Universe Provides
Surprisingly, and to my amazement, I never missed a meal and never slept on a sidewalk (well, once I did, but it was more out of choice!). Life would always come to the rescue at the last minute, ala cliff-hanger. Money would come at the dire end of my cash reserve. A free hotel room would become available when I wouldn't know where I sleep for the night. A pair of shoes would be gifted to me just when my current shoes break apart. I was drawn to conclude that the universe looks after me. It would provide for my needs at the time I need them, and it would provide me only what I need - nothing more and nothing less. If my laptop breaks down, money would somehow fall unto my lap that would fit the purchase of a new laptop. Like fractals and the Fibonacci sequence, I took this as nature's repeating pattern - the law of nature at play. If I would go hungry or die from the fault of my ways, then I would have died years ago. But no! I am thriving - I eat good food, I meet magnificent lives and I see the world. There must be an unseen hand that looks after my well-being. With my newfound freedom, the implicit assurance of a power bigger than me that blazes my path, I would go where I want to go, do what I want to do and be what I want to be.
Leave a comment?
(Mar 13, 2017) Since I cannot post on your about section because of my Facebook detox, let me just write it here. Thank you for doing what you are doing. Namaste.
(Mar 8, 2017) I had fun talking with you! See you soon! You are an inspiration! I really like to have a conversation with you kasi I can learn a lot, like A LOT! It's just so amazing to meet someone like you who is willing to share anything under the sun.
(Feb 2, 2016) i love your articles. i'm inspired by your view as a renunciate, world traveler, and urban monk...making your own rules. i'm from oakland california, but i've been in the philippines most of the time since last july. i'm starting a donation only yoga center in the angeles city (aka sin city). most people don't know what yoga is here. 39/40 of our filipina yoginis never took a yoga class before. (they come once or twice then stop). i've trained a woman from samar, and when she put on facebook that she was becoming a yoga teacher, her samar people said: 'what is yoga? ...ok, then come and teach us.' so while i go to the united states for two weeks every two months, she goes to samar and has classes at 530 every morning with 6-8 people. so, if you're ever in angeles city and need a place to stay, my yoga studio is live in, and you can stay here with me. and if you're in tacloban or victoria in samar, you can guest teach a class and probably stay with one of the students. meanwhile, i'll see you next time you're at burning man, either at our camp (the orgy bus); or at 'its more fun in the philippines camp', if its there again next year. or you can stay at my house in oakland on the way to the burn, i live with 7 students and artists there. hope you're doing well. peace and mangoes, see you around the world somewhere.
(July 8 2013) You touched the lives of so many, Git, and mine also in some ways. I'm pretty sure the readers also feel the same way. Honestly, your stories, almost all are good read. There's so much emotion in your work. I envy you. You are living your life. I am as well but a little slow lang. Truly, you're an inspiration!!
(Jul 1, 2013) I just started reading your blog and I instantly became a fan of your work. You rock man! Cheers man and hopefully you get to visit Dumaguete soon!
(from: Diva's Top 15 Pinoy Travel Blogs)
(May 27, 2013) Though not part of the Pinoy Travel Bloggers, this guy is the epitome of adventure and travel. He is so fit and practices several outdoor activities: free-diving for several hours and for several hundreds of meters, kayaking for several kilometers, mountain biking for days on several islands, mountain climbing and rock climbing several difficult summits, scuba diving several great dive spots, surfing, and even snowboarding! He does yoga which explains his stamina and fitness - he is really the one person I look up to, and want to become.
(Jan 23, 2013) Glad to meet you in my life's journey. Thanks for being one of my inspirations in finding directions in life...and living it uniquely. I'm quite saddened that you will be leaving Davao City na. I rarely meet people like you and I find it very interesting to tag along. Hope to see you again, take care in your journey.
(Dec 31, 2013) I am telling my sister about you now. In fact, we are looking at your website. I told her how amazing you are and the life you live.
(Oct 16, 2011) A nomad in search of...I like it..a lot!! :)
(Aug 23, 2011) I have been following your blog for many years already and it has influenced me in a lot of ways. Be it during my travels or my quest for a six pack of abs. I wish that you will have a long, healthy and prosperous life so you may continue to inspire me and others...
(Jul 08, 2011) I ran across your website & I'm like, wowww! It's amazing of how many places & adventures you've been through! That's awesome man! Keep it up! :)
(Mar 9, 2011) I do follow your post sa website mo (thelonerider.com) and ayun, I really enjoy reading stories ang looking at your pics... ganda galing astig!! It's been months na sinusubaybayan ko site mo and ngayon ko lang naisip sino si LoneRider? so I searched for you. kaboom!!! More power sa'yo and God bless sa mga susunod mong adventures!!!
(Feb 9, 2011) I'm checking on TheLoneRider site... this is not good... I get addicted ... I skip my lunch lol..... I really love all your writings and I'm soo envious of your life ...hope I can do even just a bit of those adventures...I will refer this site to my friends in Manila who have the same passion as you..... really learned a lot from your Lucid Thoughts.
(Jan 21, 2011) I learned a lot from your TheLoneRider site. Found it while Googling for MTB stuff and been visiting it since then. Mabuhay ka!
(Oct 1, 2010) Wow!!!!!!!!!!!! You amaze me. l love travelling as well, and mountaineering is my passion. But you thrilled me with how exciting all your adventures are. l hope one day l will cross a path with you and maybe share enthusiastic stories of how beautiful the world is. l hope many Filipinos would travel and explore our country's wealthy sides. lnspite of all the discouraging events that happened to the Philippines recently, there's still so much things we can be proud of being born in this wonderful country. Together, lets explore and protect our environment.
(Sep 5, 2010) Hi there, I'm Charo Santiago. My friends call me Cha... just started being a web designer out of my fashion and hobby surfing the internet and reading blogs and stuff. I have a friend (Ian) who gave your site to browse and read stuff on it especially your adventures and trips locally here in the Philippines. Your site is great! I love the way you presented every climb/trip you have posted here. I'll be a follower on this site. Looking forward on your next posts. Goodluck and power to you!
(May 27, 2010) Remembered your site and thought of checking out what you've posted since I last visited. Your adventures never fail to amaze me.
Iris Fernan - Arcenas
(May 1, 2010) Your blog is so cool! All your travels are very inspiring :) I will start exploring the Philippines again soonest:)
(Apr 18, 2010) Awesome blog by the way! I had my share of outdoor adventures as well, and I certainly am inspired by what you have written.
(Apr 16, 2010) I've been avidly reading your blog (and that's been keeping me reeeeaaaaaal busy :D) ~ you write with such insight and sensitivity that I am blown away. I'll be stalking your writing from now on.
(Jul 1, 2009) Although I know you enjoy your freedom soooooo much (which I still sometimes envy), I still hope you find a partner for life, somehow. Good luck!
(Jan 12, 2009) Keep your Lucid Thoughts coming. You just don't know how you inspire a lot of people with a glimpse of your thoughts. I think there's a bigger plan for you to be doing that...just wait and see!
(Jan 6, 2009) You're much more adventurous and spontaneous than I expected. To be honest, I don't imagine you appeared on TV momentarily, but showed up instead as a celebrity. Anyway, I bet life is enjoyable to you. Really.
(Dec 13, 2008) I read some of your blogs and I realized, YOU ARE LARGER THAN SURVIVOR, PHILS! There is still SO MUCH for you out there LONERIDER! God Bless!
(Nov 28, 2008) I'm going through your site's archives and tho I may not agree with some points, I knew my first instinct was correct: my life coach would probably love to meet you. :D Yup. I think she'd like to meet and talk to someone who already marches to the beat of his own drum. I'll stay in the sidelines and take notes. :D
(Nov 26, 2008) I get to read your blog once in awhile when I find time. I find your stories amusing. Hehe =)... rest assured i'd be checking your website from time to time. Do keep in touch and don't be a stranger okay? It's nice to hear from you. Take care LoneRider. =)
Derdo (from: QTV's MOMS)
(November 4, 2008) Watching Moms on QTV now and the guests are Survivor Philippines finalists.... Suffice it to say that two of them are truly impressive. One is a lady who's very articulate (Nina Ortiz?), the other is web designer cum free spirit Gigit Sulit. Very, very articulate. When he starts talking, you have to listen. His message, his choice of words, his ideas - you can put him with the greatest minds and you'll be happy you did. He has brains, presence, the works. If life were a movie, he'd be one of the brains calling the shots in it. The wheelchair guy in X-Men, for example, etc. You get the drift. He can shift from Tagalog to English and vice versa with ease. his diction is very good. Won't be surprised if he makes a career on TV, no not as an actor but maybe as an anchor, a broadcast journalist or something. GMA grab him before anyone else does.
(Oct 27, 2008) ...just finished reading ALL your Lucid Thoughts entry, and may I say it's a fuckin' mind-blowing blog for people like me who need the help of Merrian Webster to dig into words I simply cannot relate...whew!
(July 11, 2008) It feels good to know that there's someone out there that thinks like me. I kinda feel like you're the 20 years older version of me. I love to travel and experience things outside the box but find it difficult to get myself into action to do the things I wanna do. I guess I just wanted to spill my guts to someone that understands...I admire what you're doing (being who you wanna be, doing what you wanna do etc) and can't help but ask myself how? How can you be and do what you want?
(June 18, 2008) Boy, you really go everywhere, and I do mean EVERYWHERE!! hahaha, you are one lucky guy who can explore and be adventurous, wish I have the opportunity like yours.
(June 5, 2008) i've been reading your blog for quite a long time now. we both read your blog coz we both like to experience your adventures. how we wish we could live our lives the way you do...just going with the flow, savoring whatever is given to you at the moment, being open to new adventures.
i'm just so overwhelmed to know of a person living the life i dream of. almost all of your activities (traveling, yoga, mountain biking, hiking, reading, cooking) interests me. i just stumbled upon your blog one day & i got hooked.
(Apr 29, 2008) ...ang sarap naman ng buhay mo, kaingit :) thanks for sharing your experiences. somehow felt the scenery too. you're such a free-spirited guy, great to see you enjoying your life :)
(29 Jan 2008) I stumbled upon your site late last year, and since then I have been reading your stories over and over again. I do hope that we get to cross paths one day. Your words are indeed inspirational. I miss being able to disappear into the mountains for weeks on end. At least I can always log on to your site and live vicariously through it. Thanks for sharing your experiences.
(27 Jan 2008) ....my only point, really, is that crossing paths with you had been such an inspiration. For real. Whether here in Manila or in another far-flung mountain hideaway, I hope to see you and travel/hike/dive with you in the future.
(26 Dec 2007) You look like someone who is contented to be living with and beside nature. You have found the secret of live. I guess you've found a way to be at peace with your world, and be one with nature.
(20 Dec 2007) Lucky bum hanging out there. Very cool. One day...
(16 Dec 2007) I think its great that you live in Sagada, that's in fact the best place I have ever been, and I have not been there for the last time, that's for sure, so if you are still there April/May 2009, you might see me up there:-) Take care:-)
(Dec 6, 2007) Your website looks fantastic. I was reading about your adventures, looks like you really have a well organized life and you know how to enjoy life!
(Nov 14, 2007) The fact that you consider LEAVING Sagada to be R&R frankly blows my mind.
(Oct 12, 2007) Today, I feel very far behind. I am no longer where you are, with your freedom and life unbound, and I am envious. But I am also wistful with fond remembrance. Glad that you continue on, living the dream or fantasy as it were, and grateful for the reminder that I once did, and maybe will do one day again.
(May 8, 2007) Thanks for sending me my very first issue! (although i've been reading most of your articles on your website ever since i found it!). Strike a chord? Indeed! most of your writings strike many a chords! It's quite an inspiration in this present default world of mine. Like you, I wanna be where my spirit can run free.
(May 26, 2007) It was a long trip by bus from Sagada, over ten hours, but it also gave me a good chance to think about "life". I've come across people who live life like you, having a different viewpoint. Back here, I talked about it with my friend. She doesn't want to live the uniformed life. Me neither.
(May 8, 2007) That's a very nice place you are living now. I wish I could have some time in my life to experience what you are doing there. And I like your blog too. For me, I am still working and living in the concrete jungle. Are you going to come back? If I were you I wouldn't. That place is like a paradise!
(May 6, 2007) What a life you are enjoying! It makes me very jealous. Hat off to your spirit of pursuing a true life.
(Feb 9, 2007) I want his life too. I keep saying "I want to do this and that" but I never go through with it. Hello, let this guy be a reminder to all of us. Nothing grand will ever happen in our lives unless we make it happen. :p
(March 19, 2007) I still think you're one of the most bright and shining souls i've ever met. And i'll always be grateful that even if only for a little while, you saw something worth befriending in me. I hope you don't mind if i continue to remember you fondly and be inspired by you. It's funny. I always found you admirable and yet you always made me feel at par with you. I miss you. I will for a while I'm sure.
(Jan 18, 2007) I am very envious of your life, and must admit, it sounds rather fantastic. Life is absolutely too fleeting to NOT do as you wish. So, congratulations on following your life journey.
(July 5, 2006) You know, you've become almost mythical amongst our little former AIM/Trimark group. Every now and then someone will hear something from you (your travels/experiences) and it'll get passed along to the group.
(August 8, 2003) I have seen you at many events lately and you are always so friendly and happy to snap pictures - especially of the FlyGurlz!! Your site is really great and informative too! Keep up the great work on your website and next time I see you out at an event I'll be sure to introduce myself to you!! Your articles are great!
(June 9, 2003) ...just wanted to say that I love your site and check it religiously every week. Your passion for the sport really shines through and it's great to see coverage of it from someone in the community without glossing things over. Thanks for keeping it real!
Emily (from: Emily's Surprise Birthday Party for Genevieve)
(November 25, 2002) WOW, your thoughts and creation of this website is something so special to me. Your summary and ideas of the party really put me in a great mood! I almost can't express how much I love, appreciate, and enjoy this creation of yours. All I can say is thank you, because your essence and energy means a lot to me! And thanks so much for being there. I loved seeing you again and I know lots of my friends were commenting on how amazing of a person you are. Gen loved meeting you and we are still so excited about the wine and label. I really loved it!!!! Thanks for adding greatness to the atmosphere, you helped make the vibe of the party what it was! I'm so glad you had a great time! I hope too that we can see each other again soon!
Orlana (from: The Good Samaritan)
(November 22, 2002) As I was surfing the web, I did a search on my name "Orlana". At around page 4 of 10 searches, I saw your website....with my name in it. My curiousity got the best of me, and I had to read what it was all about!! I read it and I was soooooooo very touched!! No one has ever put in words, and written anything like what you wrote, that is soooooo genuine!! I want to say "Thank You". I am very happy that you consider me a dear friend. I too have very few dear and genuine friends, and those that are dear and genuine remain with me for life. Thank You!
Peter Loney (from: BikeNSX - Durham Durango)
(October 21, 2002) You are a wise man....I did the same for my son initially. Bought him a bike then put a fork on it. At the start of this year I did 50kms of road and trail ride with him and it was very enjoyable. We spent the three hours just talking and that is time you can not put a value on. This weekend they went again. Time like this is valued because by the time you know it they are all grown up and out of the house.
Michelle Ward (from: Mountain Biking Revisited)
(September 30, 2002) Do you have any idea how much you are hitting the nail on the head??? I really dig this article - focusing on grassroots riding and experiences is so important and you did a great job. The documentary approach was super and the photographs really fun as well. So many of us will never be "Elite" National athletes but all of us can be everyday heroes - full of enthusiasm and love for this sport of mountain biking that has brought us all together! (when maybe we never would have met otherwise.) Your article brought me right back emotionally to my early years of riding with my best buddy Charles. We would go out for hundreds of kilometers in and around Toronto - stopping for coffee, food and friendship. You brought that experience right back for me at a time when feeling those good vibes means the world! Thanks and keep doing what you are doing!
(July 5, 2002) I have enjoyed watching your progression from a beginner to that of a disciplined yogi. You are right, there comes a time when once you have learned all you can from a teacher, it is time to move on. A teacher can only point the way to the path, you are the one who must be faithful to the discipline. Even on those days when you really don't feel like doing the practice, you transcend the level of feelings and do it anyway. This is known as honoring the practice. Ultimately, discipline will lead to victory over the mind and then you will reach true freedom. Namaste.
Emily (from: OM Summer Solstice Festival 2002)
(June 26, 2002) God, it was such a great exprience, I'm so very thrilled that you got to enjoy your OM as much as I did. I'm also very glad that I got to meet you in my life....you seem like a person that I would like to know more of....thanks for the great times, your presence that gave balance, and for the love! Mwah!
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