5 Types of Bicyclists You Want to Ride With Anywhere

One good thing about bicycling is that you can enjoy it both as a solo or group activity.  If you are an avid bicyclist, you would have tried both and in all probability, you did enjoy bicycling in both modes.  You would have lost nothing in terms of excitement and adventure either ways. But sometimes, it makes sense that you look for bicycling adventures in the company of like-minded individuals.  The Philippines fortunately, is blessed with hundreds of bicycling destinations and many are still to be discovered or developed.  It’s quite hard to select one that’s easily accessible but it’s indeed harder to find bicycling companions.   If you belong to a bicycling group, this could be easy since many of them have scheduled rides during weekends all throughout the year. It could be a trail ride, a day or night urban ride or just a leisure ride around the city with no particular theme or destination.  It is up to you to select which one you’d want to join.  The only thing you have no control over is the composition of that group – anyone can join and thus you get all sorts of bicycling companions, some of which you wouldn’t really like at all. (This would be a topic of a future article.) Given the chance to select bicycling companions for a ride, any type of ride, here are five types of bicyclists that ideally you would want to have on your side as you pedal along the road to anywhere. Are they fun to be with on any ride? Let’s find out.

1. The Go-Anywhere-in-Any Weather Biker – If a foreigner asks you how many seasons we have in the country, the best answer is either hot and hotter, or wet and wetter.  What we used to have were known as the dry and rainy seasons, but we now experience are the extreme ends of each of these two seasons.  Concerned environmentalist would attribute this to global warming that causes radical changes in the world’s weather pattern. This emerging weather patterns have caused many rides to be canceled because people were afraid of the effects of the weather.  Indeed, it’s not easy to be under the blazing sun or be caught in heavy rains and strong winds.  The DOST has been known to miss in their weather forecasts. Thus in many occasions, prudence and erring on the side of caution somehow gets the better of many bicyclists and they decide to call the ride off due to prevailing weather conditions. But not all: we have the go-anywhere-in-any-weather bicyclist to look up to.  He or she is there to encourage others to pedal on in spite of seemingly unconquerable conditions.

     Is this type of bicyclist fun to be with in a ride? 

Of course! The best of this lot however, has in mind the safety of bicyclist above any enjoyment of the ride.  He or she may seem reckless at first but with experience, this type of bicyclist will know when to actually go or not.  He or she calculates, with judiciousness, the merits of going or cancelling. Certain weather conditions can permit bicyclists to go ahead with a planned trail ride as they may even prove to be more fun and adventurous. On the other hand, there are some that can aggravate the ride and may force its cancellation.  This type of bicyclist is an asset for the group and a pleasure as bicycling companion if he or she allows prudence to guide his/her decisions.

2. The Bone-Breaker – An intrepid bicyclist, with experiences borne out of countless falls and trips to the hospital. Our immediate thought however, would be that this type of bicyclist will cause disruptions to any type of bike ride.  He/she would be the one who would go ahead of the peloton, trying to impress the others; ride on the sidewalk, do wheelies, bunny hop on road humps or do just about any stunt that if done by a lesser bicyclist would be enough to land the bicyclist in the hospital or worse.  There is simply no way to contain this type of bicyclist in a narrow, straight road. 

     Is this type of bicyclist fun to be with in a ride?

Well, yes and no.  It is no because if we think of safety first, the bone-breaker will be the first to be denied to join the ride.  On the other hand, the ride maybe boring without him/her.  The stunts he/she does can break the tensions and provide comic relief during a long ride, as faceplants have been known to elicit laughter (see funniest videos on TV for examples) if injuries to the said bicyclist are not too serious, of course.  We can only tolerate his/her antics but then again, just as long as he/she is careful and only do stunts that he/she is truly capable of, all is best left to enjoy themselves.

3. The Advocate – Many of us have our favorite charities where we can exercise our moral and religious duty to give to others. Then there are people who prefers to fulfill their social obligations thru advocacies. One such advocacy is what the Firefly Brigade members have: members are advocates for clean air and sustainable communities.

     Is this type of bicyclist fun to be with in a ride? 

If we are talking about the Firefly Brigade, of course! A Firefly is fun to be with in any ride… even if it is just a trip up to Mang Vic’s Bulalohan in the Sierra Madre or to one of the Firefly Brigade's monthly CMR  There are many bicycle advocates group in the country and if you find yourself agreeing with their advocacy, you can join them and experience their unique sense of social and personal fulfillment. It will be fun!

4. The Fearful Newbie – This is the antithesis of number 1 and number 2 and somehow, even if they have fear of the unknown and thus may not be a fun ride companion, especially for the more experienced ones, they can still be counted upon to bring color to a ride.

     Is this type of bicyclist fun to be with in a ride? 

They may need to be treated with kid's gloves as they tentatively try to negotiate the ups and downs of the route, and the tumble and turns of a trail ride but if you are one who likes to share your bicycling wisdom and knowledge with struggling but eager young ones, then riding with them will be an exciting opportunity to practice being a teacher/master to them.  The fearful newbie will turn into an intrepid but safety-conscious rider in no time at all under your tutelage.

Mang Vic's Bulalo - from cruisec0ntr0l.files.wordpress

5. The Foodie – You have to join a Firefly Brigade Monthly CMR in order to see some foodie bicyclists in action and once you do, you will not have to ask if this type of bicyclist is fun to be with in a ride.  You will immediately realize that the answer is certainly in the affirmative!  The foodie bicyclist may not be what you may call properly a connoisseur or a gourmet but if you happen to ride with them, they will take you to a certain noodle house in Binondo, or lechon stall somewhere in La Loma to savor their cholesterol delights, or go through the winding uphill climb towards the Sierra Madre or Antipolo to hungrily feed on hot and steaming bulalo. He or she knows what kind of food or drink will provide the energy to sit on top of the bike, pedaling for hours on roads that go up and down, left and right, or smooth and rough.  Food may fuel the flesh of this type of cyclists to pedal, but his/her spirit feeds on their inner desire to feel the freedom of the open road, without barriers that hinder their pedaling onwards to the future, or well, at least back to homebase. (Image thanks to cruisec0ntr0l)

If you know of other types of bicyclists that are fun to be with in any ride, please share them with us in the comments.

The Tour of the Fireflies will be back next year at the same season it has always been held before and if you want to know more about the Tour, please read Five Types of Cyclists You'll Find at the Tour of the Fireflies.   Later, check out What Your Bike Says About You for trivia on what having a bike means and how your choice of a bike reflects on your personality.


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