Friday, November 23, 2012

2012 Tour of the Fireflies with Bea

Last Sunday, I participated in my fourth Tour of the Fireflies (my first time was in 2009). For the second year in a row I rode my Brompton (In 2009 I used the Allant, and in 2010 the Valencia). What's special with this TOF was that I rode it with my daughter Bea. That's her in the pink long sleeve and blue-green leggings sitting on her Bromp-upuan.
This is officially the 14th TOF, the theme being "Bicycles for Environmentally Sustainable Transportation" or BEST. It was the first time that the tour was held on a November. In the past, TOF was always organized in April. It was originally rescheduled to September. But then it got pushed back to November. Not a big deal. Better late than next year is what I say. 
My family woke up very early that Sunday morning (November 18). Got to fit the Brompton, the bike trailer, the Bromp-upuan and 2 helmets easily at the back of the car.
We proceeded to the meeting place at Ortigas Home Depot along Julia Vargas Ave. in Pasig City. Met up with my friends from BCP and FBP.  
I also got to convince my best friend Barnett, who also owns a Brompton, to come with us. He, in turn, brought along his wife, Jes, with him. She rode a Tern folding bike.
From Ortigas Home Depot, the FBP and BCP group rode down Julia Vargas Ave. to Tiendesitas at the assembly area.
When we got to Tiendesitas they still had a program. We waited for another 30 minutes for it to finish.
The tour officially started at 7:45am. There were a lot of cyclists this year--definitely more than any tour I've participated in. Reports estimate it to 14,000 bikers.
Coming down Ortigas Ave.
Anyway, from Tiendesitas we cycled to Ortigas Ave. and then turned left on C-5. We rode north on C-5 passing Libis and Eastwood. Bea was fine and was enjoying the ride. Our pace was an easy 10 km/h.
When the peloton hit Blue Ridge, we turned right into Marikina City.
That's my 2 1/2 daughter Bea with her shades on. Thanks to Doc Arman Lee for this cute picture.
This photo grabbed from Firefly Brigade Facebook Page
The tour made a stop at Patio del Zapatero. There was a mini-program. At the time we crossed the stage, Mayor Del De Guzman was giving a speech. Bea and I rested with FBP and BCP friends on the side of the road. She drank lots of water.

After a few minutes, we rode again. This time we headed back to Quezon City. 
It was getting hot and Bea told me she was tired already. So I phoned Ria to meet us at Ateneo.
We cycled up the hill towards Aurora Blvd. and then turned right on Katipunan Ave. Bea gave me moral support by shouting, "Go,go, go, Daddy! Go, go, go!"
When we got to Katipunan Ave., Ria met us at Gate 2 of Ateneo. Bea and I called it a day as it was getting very hot (it was about 10am already). We had biked 16 kilometers, or half the length of the tour. The rest of the participants continued biking another 17 kilometers going to UP, then QC Circle, then New Manila,  before returning to Tiendesitas via Ortigas Ave. Total length was approximately 35 kms.
Barnett and Jessica also called it a day. We loaded 2 Bromptons, 1 Tern and the bike trailer (that I chose not to use) in the back of my car. No problem. They all fit. I love folding bikes.
For the next Tour of the Fireflies, my goal is to teach Bea to ride a bike and cycle together.

Congratulations to the Firefly Brigade for staging a successful critical mass ride that is the 14th Tour of the Fireflies! May it have sent a message to policymakers and government officials that bicyclists are here to stay and that they should recognize us as valid commuters and stakeholders in the public transport sector.

No comments:

Post a Comment