Late Post: National Bicycle Day

Along with 3 other friends, I joined the 1st National Bicycle Day Ride last Nov. 23. We joined the Manila South contingent which was a few kilometers longer than the North Ride. We met at around 5:30 am in Makati and pedalled our way to Tiendesitas in Ortigas. We were amazed with the number of attendees. It was an ocean of bikers waiting at the starting line behind the marshals.

PANO_20141123_061937

We knew that we barely made it because we could hear the countdown coming from the stage. I was able to snap a few photos before the ride commenced.

IMG_20141123_062236

It’s like a flood gate was opened and bikes poured out on the the open road of Ortigas. There were road bikes, mountain bikes, folding bikes, BMX, city bikes and even kids on small bikes were present.

IMG_20141123_061920 IMG_20141123_063323 IMG_20141123_063301 IMG_20141123_063307

C5 Road was virtually closed by the sheer amount of bicycles. I wouldn’t want to be a motorist during a critical mass ride like this. The pace was relaxed, sometimes really slow, and it sometimes came to a complete stop.

IMG_20141123_142703 IMG_20141123_131936 IMG_20141123_131857 IMG_20141123_131833 IMG_20141123_131810 IMG_20141123_131746 IMG_20141123_131724 IMG_20141123_131654 IMG_20141123_072227 IMG_20141123_072220 IMG_20141123_072212 IMG_20141123_070843 IMG_20141123_065921

From C5, we took a left turn to the South Luzon Expressway Service Road. The service road, being a 2 lane 2 way highway, was choked by the volume of bikers. People were both entertained and confused by the mass of bikes going south. People waiting for public transport were frustrated because they had to wait longer for their ride. It was literally a bikes as far as the eye can see.

IMG_20141123_131604 IMG_20141123_131627 IMG_20141123_142917 IMG_20141123_072926 IMG_20141123_072911

We inched our way to Bicutan and then to Sucat and finally Alabang. The pace got a little faster since the road got a little wider. It was good because the temperature was starting to get uncomfortable. We encountered another gridlock nearing Las Pinas where the roads got narrower. Again, you will see bikers occupying both lanes that caused more traffic jams. Those stopping for water breaks or to grab a quick snack weren’t helping either. They’d just stop without realizing that they blocked the way for hose behind them.

IMG_20141123_084450 IMG_20141123_094257 IMG_20141123_131440 IMG_20141123_131349
They rest of the ride back to Manila was more relaxed due to the fact that most participants already broke off in Paranaque and Las Pinas. We reached Pasay at around 10am and Makati by 11am. The Sun was already beating down on us so we decided to break away in Buendia.

It was a fun ride, albeit disappointing that the lack of discipline of some of the bikers, defeated the purpose of the mass ride. We were supposed to show motorist and commuters that bikes are an excellent alternative mode of transportation. How can they realize that if they see roads jammed with bikes and not motor vehicles?

The marshals could’ve done a better job at controlling the bikers especially on 2 way roads where the participants occupied both lanes instead of “sharing the road” as what most of their shirts say. Their lack of discipline caused major bottlenecks on the road. Still, kudos to the organizers. It isn’t easy managing a ride with that number of cyclists.

IMG_20141123_132019

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s