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Philippine Green Film Festival

The Biking Bug That Bit Me


I’ve long been bugged by my mountain biker friends to join them. It wasn’t hard to find excuses:

•    I don’t have a bike.
•    I’m overweight. I can’t be carrying a 25 kg package up an incline (it’s just my excess belly).
•    The sun is too hot; I’ll get sunburned. I have fair, model-complexion skin (in my dreams).
•    My body is getting too old already. I’ve battled gout, high cholesterol, hypertension and long healing muscle strains. (I look older than my age too, with the gray hair)
•    The pollution on the road isn’t healthy at all.
•    Biking on the road is dangerous in the metro, with the fast, often swerving cars and motorized 2-wheelers in abundance. (I want to live longer. My daughter is still so young.)
•    I’m busy and burdened. There’s a lot more important and pressing things I need to do. (Watching local TV is a burden; and there’s just not enough time to surf the Net.)

I tripped, the other week, however. Wanting to join the advocacy of the Firefly Brigade, I borrowed my friend’s bike and road up the Marikina hills to test myself, if I still can pedal. We left early on a Sunday morning to avoid the cruel sun and the nasty traffic.

The air that greeted me when I left our door was surprisingly cool. The sky was in hues for the sun is just rising. Birds were chirping. I’ve convinced myself that this is all good. My desire to promote green and healthy living was a good motivator. I have to walk the talk, or more apt: pedal my talk (though that hardly rhymes).


That was my first time to ride a bike with shock absorbers and several gears. Cool. I even wore my helmet (new), gloves, padded shorts and sporty shades. More cool.

Marikina has bike lanes to separate the engine powered vehicles and the leg-powered ones. It’s less dangerous than I thought.

In 30 minutes we reached the peak of the mountain. Well, it’s really just the highest point of a subdivision in the Marikina hillsides, but it truly felt like having ridden up the crest of a mountain. I can see Metro-manila from up there. More convincing that it’s the peak already: my leg and lung power have maxed out. I begged my friend to stop, lest he knows first aid or remembers the Filipino version of 911. I reasoned: I need to reserve some energy for the way back down.

There’s a biking bug in the mountain and it bit me. We spent the rest of the morning scouring bike shops for my first bike in 25 years. I spent the night watching mountain bike videos in YouTube and going through the online catalogs of various bike makers.

Just yesterday, I rode my own bike for the first time up to Timberland Heights, a popular bikers’ destination. It’s really a huff-and-puff and ride-and-walk-and rest biking adventure; but an adventure nonetheless.

I am writing with sore everything---legs, shoulders, arms; but can’t wait for the next ride.

I wanted to take part in the mission to bring back the fireflies. It should be the bug that bit me. Now, I can name more reasons to go biking than excuses not to.




I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
Philippians 4:13


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