Pedaling through life: an inspiring conversation with Santiago Toro cyclist and founder of SCARAB cycles

Pedaling through life: an inspiring conversation with Santiago Toro cyclist and founder of SCARAB cycles

Welcome to our extraordinary cycling diaries, where we embark on a remarkable journey through the world of cycling and craftmanship. In this exclusive interview, we have the privilege of sitting down with a true visionary, a passionate cyclist, and the mastermind behind Scarab Cycles, custom bikes made in Colombia. Santiago's passion for both Colombia and cycling laid the foundation for a brand that not only redefines the cycling experience but also embraces the beautiful Colombia. Through this interview, Santiago will share with us his insights into how every ride becomes a journey of his body, mind and soul, because as he says Cycling isnt just a hobby; its a way of life

Q: When and why did you start cycling?

Personally, I loved sports and outdoors since I was a kid. Cycling came into my life after an elbow injury playing tennis. I started cycling while doing recovery therapy for my elbow, I had to put all of the energy somewhere and the bike proved to be great for that. Honestly, I never figured out if my elbow totally healed, halfway through therapy I gave up tennis, started cycling and never looked back. 

For more than 14 years, cycling has always been my main and only sport. My most intense cyclist season occurred during college years. I deliberately arranged my class schedule for late afternoons, allowing me to dedicate the entire morning to cycling. Cycling is the perfect balance between sports and outdoors. You got a bit fit both mentally and physically to get to the most amazing places as a reward.

Q: Tell us a little bit about your company SCARAB

Scarab is a custom bicycle manufacturer based in El Retiro, Colombia. Our purpose is to create the best riding experience ever. We focus in the rider and what specifically they want to achieve. We don’t use engineering to get marginal gains. We use engineering to provide tangible gains to every rider.

We create bikes that you want to use more, that encourage you to become a better rider and takes you to places you wouldn´t see if not for a bike. 

At Scarab, we love cycling, and we want people to love the sport as well.

Q: What is your favorite thing about the sport?

This is a hard question, because there are so many things. First, is the sense of adventure and exploration that comes with it. Bikes give you to access to trails and areas that cars can't reach, if you love beautiful, breathtaking views cycling is the best sport you can do. Second, being part of a community is something I really like, I have met a lot of great people. Third, as a lifestyle, cycling offers much more than simply riding a bike, once the ride is done there is a lot of activites and communinty engagement occurring. Which makes it a very social thing, which I like. 

Q: Why did you decide to start using BERT?

I found BERT to be the perfect pre ride and post ride shoe. I like light and easy footwear, something that disapears when inn use. While I may not be a hardcore bike packer, I do enjoy the occasional adventure, and thats when BERT's become a staple in my bikepacking gear. Their consistent presence in my biking bags ensures I'm always geared up for any escapade that comes my way.

Q: What is your favorte thing about BERT?

What I personally appreciate most about BERT shoes is their remarkable design. These shoes not only wrap my feet in  slipper like comfort, but also they inspire me to explore. As a cyclist, I often find myself pausing in small towns along the road to grab a cup of coffee, and its practically a ritual to indulge in a post ride beer. In both scenarios, rather than traversing in my cycling shoes, I slip into my Bert's. They are the best reward for my feet without slipping or damaging my cycling gear.

Prior to discovering BERT, I didnt carry with me any extra pair of shoes to my bikepacking adventures, resulting in wearing down my expensive cycling shoes as I walked. The moment I found this alternative, it was like finding the best companion for my cycling escapades.

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