Sunday, August 2, 2009

The true king of the road.

Do you own a bicycle?

Unlike in China and other Asian Countries where bicycle is a mode of transport, here in Manila you won't see many of them in the road. Yes, there are many kids riding their BMX bikes from neighborhood to neighborhood, but the ones on long hauls never number more than a handful. Sometime I see cyclist in their cycling gear riding their bikes and I cannot understand how they survive Manila's awful roads with those thin tires. One has to literally have iron balls to ride a racing bike in the city.

If you are riding on a mountain bike, you are allowed to travel via the main roads, service roads, sidewalks and any other path. I see riders passed all motorized vehicles which sit and wallow in the constant gridlock. They cut in and around traffic, ride on a sidewalk, ride in the wrong way down a one way street. They even run red lights. You see, bikes here are given total leeway. A person on a bike can do as he pleases!

I understand that on a mountain bike, one can easily get around much faster than a car when you're in Manila. Don't get me wrong, of course, using a car or public transport is faster, but only if every single person in the city came down with a flu on the exact same day and called in sick to work.

But riding a bike has its set back - one arrive to work hot as hell, perspiring and stinking to high heaven. Some people though just don't care what their office mates think about their cologne, Eau de Traffic, as long as they get to the office on time!

I am not surprise anymore why bicycle riders are bold. It's because the surest way to an accident here in Manila is to go out there in the street and be timid and hide from rampaging cars, buses and jeepneys, all of whom so courteously follow one law - the law of the jungle! So that means, in a bike one has to make himself known. He has to put himself out there for all to see. Because while the driving habits of Filipinos are generally atrocious, they are, nonetheless, quite defensive drivers. In fact, there are far less car accidents in Manila and this is not because drivers have any overriding concern about the fellow human being. It's just that they are terrified about getting a scratch on their car! God forbid a Filipino gets a little scratch on his car!!!

Oh I would rather ride a bike in the province where I will be cruising up and down lush green hills, through gorgeous valleys and around shimmering bodies of water while enjoying fresh air and nature's beauty.

So, when did you last ride your bike?


Tracey said...

When I was 12 years old!
I preferred horses, & now prefer a car!!

Amy said...

I would love to be able to ride a bike but it would cause too much pain and my bum is too big lol!!

I was about 14 (i think) when i last rode mum i had a pony when i was little but i loved riding motocrossers with my dad and brother after that!!

now...i also prefer cars! :) xxxxx

Sid Brechin said...

Okay I promise I will go for a ride today.

I have a nice 21 speed mountain bike that naturally I have modified slightly. Once a gadget freak always a gadget freak. However I must point out that unlike most gadget freaks I know my gadgets not only work but I also know how to use them. For store bought gadgets there is a secret to that. RTFM Read The "Friendly" Manual. I will never use something before I read the manual. I won't throw them out unless I pretty much have it memorized. Everything in Canada has English and French Instructions. My Brother George translates Mode d'emploi as "Hey Stupid you lost the English Instructions suffer through these.

Sid Brechin said...

lately if Japanese instructions are included I keep those too. So far I haven't had to improve my Japanese to the point of needing them. ( Mainly because I started filing the english ones ).

These new mountain bikes Odette I can go over a curb and not feel it. Also the wheels are much wider at least 250% wider and use lower air pressure so are less likely to blow. Being an ex mechanic I carry a tool kit and it is gadget oriented. Yes I have a pump but I also have compressed air cylinders that one press and the tire fills.

Progress does not come from brilliant men. Progress comes from lazy men who look for an easier way.

Think about it.

Cal said...

What imagery! Not sure I'd be able to balance with iron balls! And you must be fit to cruise up and down hills. We wait till the road is level!
Cal x

Odette said...

from bikes to horse to cars.. i wonder if the horse was glad, hahaha!

Odette said...

sid, i dont read manuals. i would only do so if the machine bogged down!!

Odette said...

thats the fun of riding a bike - plowing it through uneven terrain!
how are you today?

Lirish said...

very true..quite a healthy habit too..last i rode a bike was a few months back when my friend bought a new one..

Belated Happy Friendship Day by the way!!


Angry American said...

I think I was still a teen the last time I rode a bike. In America, the unspoken rule is you ride bikes until you get a license (it's not cool to ride bikes or get rides from mommy and daddy much past 17), then you graduate to cars. Even if it's your parent's ugly, whimpy family car. But, at least you can pick up your friends and haul them around to look for babes. "Fox hunting" we used to call it.

If you're lucky, they won't be a total mooch and chip in for gas once in a while.

Odette said...

In India the motorcycle is the king. i have seen a family of four or five cramping in a motor bike!!!

Odette said...

yes a bike is never cool to pick up babes, but look at the photo i posted, isn't it cool to see babes on a bike?
fox hunting, yay!!!

Kamala Prasad Thakore said...

hey why dont you upload a picture of hyderbadi motor bike riders , hahahaha

Odette said...

maybe i should write about the motor bike rider next time.

Sid Brechin said...

The difference between a hoover ( vacuum cleaner ) and a Harley ( Motorcycle ) is with the Hoover the dirt bag is on the inside.


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