I am a biker. I love to ride my bike and cycle the roads of the metro and nearby provinces. This activity gives me not only the endorphin rush, but also the exhilarating experience of traveling under varied countryside and urban sceneries and the canopy of bright skies or star-studded evening. It refreshes and cleanses my mind from the grime of everyday living in the confines of polluted and crowded Metro Manila. This became my solace, my panacea. However, this is beginning to be a rarity. The roads are getting more and more congested and dangerous to commute by bicycle nowadays. I am not anymore getting my weekly dose of fun and mental recalibration.
 
However, people with visions and aspirations like Magsaysay Awardee Atty. Antonio Oposa, Jr., a noted Environmental Lawyer in the country, and Fondo Manila’s Patrick Joson, are spearheading movements and activities that are geared towards getting back, or at least a measure of what used to be experienced before, to cyclists and pedestrians. They have been pushing to give cyclists equal opportunity to use the road with motorized vehicles and get cycling into the consciousness and interest of the public. They wanted that we will once again experience cleaner air and happier times on the bike and on the streets of the city.
 
Bayanihan sa Daan is conceptualized with the support of MMDA, Office of the President, DOTC, DENR, DILG, DSWD, DOH and Civil Society Groups, Clean Air Asia, Philippine Medical Association, Integrated Bar of the Philippines, Partnership for Clean Air, Cycling Organizations and a lot more, to give road allocation to bikers under the just sharing scheme. This involves properly organizing bus routes and lanes, designating road slots to private vehicles in order to allocate bikers their deserved lanes and pedestrians given wider and more usable pedestrian lanes.
 
Bayanihan sa Daan

(L-R: Byron Villegas of United Folding Bikers, James Orlanda of Speed Magazine, Rhoel Fernandez of spin.ph/Summit Publishing, Allan Enriquez of RunningFreeManila.com, Patrick Joson of Fondo Manila/Multisport Magazine, Atty. Tony Oposa, Founder of Bayanihan sa Daan, Charie Villa of Tao Po Organization, Vangge Giorgetti of Tao Po Foundation, Sachiko Numano of Bayanihan sa Daan, Elen Basug, Merva Arapo and Ian Cruz of Environmental Management Bureau, DENR)

 
The success of this movement will mean cleaner and more breathable air with the encouragement of more Filipinos to join the cycling bandwagon and commute using the power of their own legs and feet instead of the carbon dioxide belching motorized vehicles. A more efficient and organized traffic flow not only will ease traffic congestion, it will likewise make us more productive and healthier citizens. All of these will come to reality by simply giving Filipinos this other option to use comfortably and safely their bikes to commute in the metro.
 
Fondo Manila, on the other hand, is currently holding a photographic exhibit – The Art of Cycling from August 18 until October 15. This is in celebration of their third year of sharing the joys that cycling offers through scouring new and exciting routes in a randonneurs fashion, and sharing the stories of their travails. Head photographer Peter Ian Capocao captured all of these in his photographs on display. This is in collaboration with the Local Edition Coffee & Tea that houses all the premium portraits of these travels.
 
Through these gatherings of cyclists with the same passion of touring the vast countryside, Fondo Manila is slowly attracting the interest in this sport by Filipinos. These yearly activities in celebration of cycling slowly invades the consciousness of mainstream commuters to share in the joys of this sport and use this as a more viable means of transportation.
 
For more information, you may visit the Facebook page of Fondo Manila and interest yourself with their diverse travails captured in the photographs.
 

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