Since the pandemic, many Filipinos are looking for ways to safely travel in the new normal. Many Filipinos resorted to carpools and some had decided to give riding a bike a try.
Freelance Media Producer Lester Babiera decided to create an online group to encourage people to ride a bike. “I started the page because I saw the potential of cycling as a tool in creating a better road for the cities”, he added. He was first hesitant to ride a bike himself because as a car driver, he thought Manila roads are dangerous for two-wheel rides. He shared that he first biked with his Photographer friend Jilson Tiu a few months ago and found out that cycling in Metro Manila isn’t that bad especially with fewer vehicles during the quarantine.
“I realized that encouraging more people to bike can push people in power to create better roads. LGUs installed and improved bike lanes because the number of bikers increased. Since there are more people cycling, many people particularly motorists became more educated and many got reconnected with traffic etiquette”, Lester said.
Aside from the obvious reasons for using a bike for health and the environment, he said that he believed that walkable and bike-friendly cities are more liveable and citizens in countries like it have a better quality of life.
Marikina City is trying to get back on its feet after the onslaught of Typhoon Ulysses.
A biker is seen struggling to…
The page started because Oscar Nava of Pinoy Bikepacker encouraged him to create his own bike page. His page, on the other hand, wants to focus on aspiring bikers and newbies. He wants to create a community that will make new bikers feel comfortable especially when there are discussions about speed, brands, prices, upgrades and skill levels.
First Bike Ride, is born in September 2020 as the number of bikers increase in Metro Manila. He said he named the page that way to let everyone know that we all come from humble beginnings.
“The main goal is to encourage people to ride a bike. It’s for better roads, health, and sustainability. When people experience riding a bike in the city, I believe that their perspective on the road will improve”, Lester added.,
Other bikers can share their stories with Lester for posting. He said that he is up for any stories that will inspire others to bike.
When asked what his most memorable post was, he shared it was when he drove around the city after a month of just riding his bike. The story has resonated to other bikers and car drivers.
I drove a car for the first time after a month of cycling and it made me realize that driving sucks in this city. Riding…
One of the best things he experienced when he started the page was making new friends who share the same passion. He shared that he became friends with other bike pages/communities like @manila.commuter, @biketitoph, @rojiriders, and @estebancyclingclub.
Lester hopes that everyone will try out to ride a bike and encourage others too.