I want to promote the use of folding bikes as a means of transportation here in the Philippines. This blog is meant to share my experiences as a folding bike user. I chose a Brompton for its classic style and compact fold, but other brands like Dahon, Strida, Bike Friday, Flamingo and Peerless produce good foldies as well.
Last Sunday, 17 April 2011, I participated in the 13th Tour of the Fireflies. The Tour is not a cycling race like the Tour de France or the Tour of Luzon. It is actually a Critical Mass Ride (CMR) advocating the use of the bicycle as an alternative mode of transportation in Metro Manila.
This year's Tour consists of a 42-kilometer bicycle ride around Metro Manila at an easy, controlled pace that allows everyone, including the occasional bike rider, children and senior citizens to participate and have fun. The pace is set at an easy 15km/h through 6 cities of Metro Manila (Pasig, Mandaluyong, San Juan, Quezon City, Manila and Pasay).
The meeting place/starting point of this year's Tour was at Tiendesitas in Pasig. I met my Brompton bike buddy, Abel, at Bonifacio Global City in Taguig, and together we biked to Tiendesitas via C-5 (yes, C-5 the accident-prone highway).
We got there at 6:00am. We assembled near the Start Banner together with other members of Tiklop Society of the Philippines (TSP).
Brommie Skywalker getting ready for the 40km Tour.
With Liza, Din and Abel--fellow Tiklopers.
With Geraldyne, wife of Al, with her brand new pink Brompton (partly covered by brand new S-Bag!)!
During the opening program, an Elvis impersonator serenades some Ms. Earth candidates.
Abel wanted to have a photo taken with one of the beauty queens, but he was shy, so this is the closest photo he has with one of them.
The girls rode on locally made electric bikes named Obama.
TSP was positioned behind the Ms. Earth candidates to protect and assist them during the rides. Hence, the behind photo. (I couldn't get them to face me)
This girl rode on her dad's bike. Next year, when Bea is 2, I will bring her with me using the iBert seat.
And off we go! Ethel Fortuno and Din Castillo on their Brompton bikes.
The bikes used by the Ms Earth candidates were heavy and not properly inflated. Sa simula pa lang nahirapan na silang mag-pedal. Kawawa naman.
Going up Ortigas Ave., approaching Meralco Theater, a female bike marshal in costume helps a little girl bike up the inclined plane.
Din enjoying her pimped pink Brompton bike!
Folderitis is a disease characterized by the desire to upgrade your folding bike all of the time.
Passing through Mandaluyong and San Juan via Ortigas Ave.
Tiklop couple Lawrence and Zara.
With my Brompton bike buddy, Abel, turning into E. Rodriguez Ave. in Quezon City.
Passing Mabuhay/Welcome Rotunda (Quezon Ave. into Espana Blvd.)
Tiklop Lass, Pia, in her Sunday dress. Now that's Cycle Chic!
Front of the pack (Firefly bike marshals lead the way in Manila)
Passing by Luneta Park.
At the pit stop in CCP with fellow Tiklopers, Arnel, Ethel, Din and Abel.
There's a costume contest, and for me, these guys in Bioman/Power Rangers win hands down!
Bikes can be as colorful as the Power Rangers. White, blue, orange and pink Bromptons!
From CCP, the Tour was supposed to take the same route back to Tiendesitas. Instead of following the bike peloton, Abel and I decided to bike back to Taguig on our own. We took Roxas Blvd. to Buendia Ave. in Makati and stopped at the Salcedo Weekend Market. We had brunch, then proceeded to BGC via Ayala Ave. and EDSA.
It was a successful CMR. There were a lot of participants. The organizers expected 10,000 riders, but i'm not sure if that number was attained. Still, I think it was successful. Hope the show of force encouraged others to ride their bikes.