Tuesday, March 27, 2012

FCAAF Folding Bike Race 2012

Last Sunday, March 25, the Filipino-Chinese Amateur Athletic Federation (FCAAF) included a folding bike race for the first time in their 10th Springfest Bike Challenge. Naturally, my group, Folding Bike Pilipinas (FBP), participated in the activity.
The event was held along Macapagal Ave. in the ASEANA Complex, Pasay City, near S&R and the New Chinatown. We were the first race scheduled for the day and we should have started at 7:30. But because of some technical difficulties, we didn't start until an hour later.
Let's do this!
Considering our small community, I was pleasantly surprised to see a lot of participants, including members of TSP and Polkit. Saw racers in Stridas, Peerless, Bromptons, Bike Fridays, Giants, Fujis, and Dahons.
We were instructed to fold and park our bikes at the starting line and move 100 meters back. The problem was participants parked their bikes so close to each other that I already foresaw the chaos that would follow when it came to the unfolding. The organizers should have told us to park our bikes on the sides and leave the center open. That way, when we run to our bikes, we can unfold our bikes without hitting other participants and leave the start without delay. (Hopefully they take note of this for next year)
Anyway, at the signal of the race manager we all ran to our bikes and unfolded them. As expected, bikers unintentionally hit each other.
We proceeded with the race.
That's me in the yellow shirt and white helmet
Now I'm not known for my speed. In fact, I'm known to be one of the slowest and weakest bikers, but my friends convinced me to join this race (special mention to Abel and Al) because they said we'd be biking in "parade mode" or about 20kph. I told myself, I could do 20kph. So I joined.

Sen. Miriam saying, "WAH!"
Lo and Behold, they all took the race seriously and pedaled as fast as they could. I should've known this, I mean, it is a race, right? But the problem was, thinking we were going to go slow, I wore pants and didn't bring any water bottles with me--in short, I was not prepared, and ultimately blame myself.
After 1 lap I was so thirsty
Glad the FBP tent had Funchum. My thirst was quenched.
The race consisted of biking for 30 minutes and then adding 2 laps. A complete lap stretched from Mcdonalds to the end of Macapagal Ave. in ASEANA and back, or about 5 kilometers per lap. The road was pretty flat but the wind was blowing.
I was biking so slow, that by the time I completed my 2nd lap, the lead bikers were already on their 4th! While I was going 20kph, they were probably going 40kph!
With Zian. His Brompton's crank got stuck so I stopped and helped him.
So on my 10th kilometer, I called it quits--no way I was going to catch up with them. Heck, at the speed I was going, I might have even lost to the winners of the roadbike race that followed!

I took refuge in the FBP tent. Had my FunChum juice and Cheese Roll (Thanks, Ruth and Dhine!).

A few moments later, the frontrunners crossed the finish line. I don't know the name of winner but he rode a Giant Halfway. Congratulations, sir!
This isn'tt the winner, but he could've been if he used his Vector. This is Al and he finished among the Top 10 I think.
Except for the crowded-folded-bikes-starting-line issue, I think the race went well. I was tired as a horse in a horse-drawn carriage on a hot summer afternoon after touring a truckload of tourists  in Intramuros, but I actually enjoyed folding bike race. I hope FCAAF organizes another one next year...

and THAT, I will surely prepare for! Spandex jersey, cleats and all!

PS: Thank you to Al Castillo, Ariel Arias II and Gerry Altamira for the photos in this post.

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