- Published: Monday, 07 July 2014 07:23
- Written by Administrator
- Hits: 6747
It’s not easy to bike to work and indeed there are many issues and concerns that have to be addressed and resolved before anyone who has enough sanity can be persuaded to bike to work. However, the question is “Why are you not riding your bike to work?” As stated, this is a personal question addressed to you and not just some rhetorical query that begs a rhetorical answer from an imaginary audience; it is as practical as it can get. Let us now examine some of the obvious reasons that many people give to avoid the issue and perhaps we can arrive at a practical solution or at least to a compromise that we can both agree to give chance at implementing.
|"Biking is about getting exercise if you say you are out of shape; it is about saving gas if you usually drive a car; it is about arriving earlier to your destination because biking can actually be faster than driving a car!"|
1. “I’m not fit at all to ride a bike.” So it’s a question of your body not being at its peak condition to perform and maybe you have pain in certain body parts that you do mind telling other people about. But unless you have gone to a doctor to have yourself examined and the doctor has diagnosed you as totally unfit to bike, then this excuse won't stand on its feet, just like a bike without a stand. You should be fit enough and should be happy with the fact that biking can make you fitter than a fiddle in no time at all. And besides, your doctor will surely tell you to exercise regularly and there is no better way to exercise than biking. It’s having much fun between your legs!
2. “I don’t have a bike/I don’t know how to bike…”And even if you did, you would still have other excuses along the same line. However, this lame excuse is only for those who have no regular work. We are talking about using the bike to go to work here and thus, we have to assume you have regular income and therefore, you will have financial resources to get a decent bike and not the department store variety, of your own. Now having said that, the next important thing here is to learn how to ride a bike. And the best way to learn how to bike is to RIDE a bike. It’s not complicated like some relationships and it’s not terrible too, as some two year olds. You don’t have to be super-fit or well-balanced and coordinated in a major, major way. The first thing to do however is find the right bike…and this you should take seriously. Once you find the right bike that makes you feel safe and you are actually able to brake and put your feet on the ground properly, then learning to bike should follow naturally.
The bike is a product of a genius who thought that no one should ever be deprived of travelling and not being able to enjoy doing it on two wheels...
3. “The streets in Metro Manila are not safe; I’ll die of pollution if not from an accident!” There is no doubt about the truth of this statement - our streets are dangerous and they are polluted. But you can actually protect yourself by following the rules of the road. You need to obey traffic signs, wear helmet and use common sense. Nothing can guard you against accidents better than learning how to ride your bike properly and being able to instinctively avoid getting yourself into dangerous situations. And you can only achieve this through experience, which means actually riding your bike frequently under normal biking conditions. You can avoid inhaling more pollutants by biking in less travelled side streets. This is where a network of bikers can help you. Ask other cyclists for the best route to your destination and they will only be too happy to assist and give you the right information.
4. “I don’t like to bike in the rain!” One word – fun! That’s what biking in the rain is all about and there are lots of things you can do to protect yourself in case you do have to bike in the rain. You can equip your bike with fenders and carry a raincoat. You might just be thankful one rainy day that you have a bike that you can ride through the flooded streets of Metro Manila where no motorized vehicle can pass through.
5. “I live far from my place of work and it takes forever to ride to and from my house.” Wow, this is really a nice excuse to hear but really, it’s not about the distance or time it takes you to arrive at your work or return to your house. Biking is about getting exercise if you say you are out of shape; it is about saving gas if you usually drive a car; it is about arriving earlier to your destination because biking can actually be faster than driving a car! There is also such a thing as bimodal transportation where you bike part of the way and use public transportation when needed. You can use both modes alternatively to get to your destination. However, this is mode is applicable as of now only to those who use folding bikes. The Firefly Brigade is working with other bike groups to have the MRT/LRT lines accept full sized bikes instead of just folding bikes in their trains.
Riding your bike to work is not an impossible task. It is certainly doable and you only need to start doing it for you to succeed. For starters, why not join our CMR 2015 Come and join us every third Sunday of the month and personally witness a multitude of intrepid bikers with varying levels of cycling experience conquer the streets of Metro Manila. See you there!