There is an unexplainable thrill in solo biking - that kind of thrill which cannot be duplicated by any kind of ride in the Circus. Being alone on a bike does not mean being lonely however. It is sometimes a way to find oneself. Anyway, whether solo or with a companion, biking has countless benefits to the body, mind and the environment. It is a very good stress reliever after a long day at school or at the office. Pedal and feel the wind on your face! Immediately, the stress appears to disappear and life’s challenges become very surmountable.
Biking burns a lot of calories. Unlike running however, biking can burn those unwanted calories without too much stress on your feet and legs. The bike pedal moves the joints in the legs without the pounding that it subjected to in running. I consider this as one pivotal reason why I shifted from running to biking. During a run, I often experience pains in my legs and feet. In biking, I can take some rest while gliding on my bike. But occasionally, I still run as well.
I think what is important in biking is to have the proper “bike fit”. Not all bikes fit all riders. There is bike that is appropriately fitted for a particular cyclist depending mostly on the height of the rider. Injuries can be avoided if the bike is fit for you. Thus, in buying a bike it is better to buy in a store that provides a “bike fitting procedure" before a purchase is made.
Aside from having a proper bike fit, it is important to have the right gears and equipment to avoid injuries. The helmet is one very important piece of equipment. I often see a lot of bikers without helmet. I think most bikers consider wearing a helmet to be an inconvenience. But accidents can happen when you least expect it and it has been proven many times that wearing a helmet can save your life. With the very hot and humid weather in the Philippines, cyclists also have to be fully hydrated. Water is essential. It is a must for every biker to have water while biking.
Biking is for any age group. I have seen several bikers who are in their senior years and yet are still pedaling their way to wherever as if they are teenagers. There are even much older bikers who can give younger ones a run for their money. Age is definitely not a factor for anyone to enjoy biking. Just get out and ride! There is nothing to stop anybody from riding a bike (except perhaps the lack of bike lanes).
I hope government continues to support biking in the country. Biking despite its tremendous contribution to good health has yet to reach a majority of the population. Many bikers are discouraged to bike because of the lack of bike lanes and other dangerous circumstances on the road. Biking can be an effective solution to the traffic mess and the unreliable MRT. Just imagine if half of the cars on the road were bicycles? Traffic and the country’s dependence on imported gasoline is solved in an instant!
In Quezon City, very near SM Fairview, there is a place ideal for biking aside from the well talked about La Mesa Nature Reserve. A medium rise condominium project is being built there (I think it is moving-in time by now) where joggers and cyclists can be seen either in the early morning or late in the afternoon. I have biked in the area in the morning at around 6 and there were plenty of bikers and joggers. There is also a “zumba dance lessons” where everyone can join for a minimal fee.