Monday, September 26, 2011

World Car Free Day 2011

Last Friday (September 23) was World Car Free Day 2011. It was celebrated around the world, in places like Australia, the UK, Indonesia, Singapore and the US to promote biking instead of driving. The event here in the Philippines was organized by the Firefly Brigade.

After my mediation hearing in Las Pinas, I biked to Bike Town Cyclery over at Pasong Tamo, Makati at about 5pm. There, I joined my friends in Tiklop Society of the Philippines.
While waiting for the other participants (there were mountain bikers, road cyclists, bikers in fixies, and low-riders), Abel asked me to accompany him to Sabak to buy a front light. So we went there, bought the light, and biked back to BTC.
Here I am wearing my Totobobo air filter mask, ready to take on the air pollution of Metro Manila!
We waited for another hour. Meanwhile, there were 2 TV crews there interviewing Firefly Brigade's president, Tina DC. Abel's bike was even featured (see video below).

At 6:15pm we rolled out of BTC and biked from Pasong Tamo to Pasay Road. I think we numbered 200 bikers.
Larry pulling a trailer with a cooler and boombox, courtesy of Marc Ablaza.
From Pasay Road we headed north on Makati Avenue. We passed by a lot of cars stuck in traffic. We then headed to Rockwell via Kalayaan Ave.
Here I am on the Estrella bridge to Mandaluyong, waiting for the other bikers to pass by.
We crossed the bridge and landed on Barangka Dr. in Mandaluyong City. We proceeded to Boni Ave. and headed east to Pioneer St. All of us crossed EDSA via the Boni tunnel. From there we biked further north to Shaw Blvd. Passed a lot of car traffic in the area, then turned right on San Miguel Ave., and stopped at Bikezilla to meet up with another 100 participants.
At Bikezilla to meet other participants.
From Bikezilla, we proceeded to north and turned left Ortigas Ave. We passed Robinsons Galleria and then turned right on EDSA! I said to myself, "Seriously? EDSA? On a Friday night?" I guess the Firefly Brigade wanted to make a statement. And we did. We fought for our lane against the buses from Ortigas up to Bonny Serrano.

Here we are regrouping in EDSA near Camp Aguinaldo.
After regrouping we continued our advocacy bike ride to Col. Bonn Serrano Ave. and took a left on 9th Ave. and headed towards Araneta Center in Cubao, Quezon City.
Passing SM Cubao
Our bike ride ended at 9pm in Cubao X, near what used to be COD. There was a short program, and raffle prizes were given away. Al, Abel and I biked to Alimall where we folded our bikes and brought them in with us to have late dinner in Hap Chan Tea House.
At the end of the day, most of the participants rode their bikes going home. The beauty of a folding bike is that you have the luxury of taking it with you on public transport. In my case, Abel and I shared a cab to get back to Makati.
We travelled 15 kilometers from Makati to Quezon City to advocate World Car Free Day on a Friday night. I think we made an impact because people stuck in traffic in their cars saw us whiz by pass them. AND, we got featured in the news! Check it out! 

For the latest Philippine news stories and videos, visit GMANews.TV

Special thanks to Al Castillo and Nitya Saulo for the photos in this entry.

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