There are so many things that could be improved to make cycling in the Philippines safer and more viable for Filipinos. But as much as we want better bike infrastructure and better riding conditions in the country, there are also so many things that we, cyclists, could be doing better.
Here are our top five things we could do better in 2020!
Obey traffic rules and regulations
One of the things we have to come to terms with is the fact that many of us take advantage of the fact that bikes are ignored by traffic laws in the country. Many of us don’t even think twice about counterflowing on a busy avenue, and we’re pretty sure that almost all of us have run red lights at one point or another.
Unfortunately, this runs contrary to our desire to be recognized as legitimate vehicles on the road. The good news is that not much is required of us, and we just have to be more mindful about traffic rules when riding our bikes.
Respect other road users
At the core of becoming better road users is respect for others. As cyclists, we often find ourselves awkwardly situated between pedestrians and motor vehicles both literally and figuratively. This is even more true on Philippine roads where pedestrians are often left with no choice but to walk on the street, and cars like to claim walkways as parking spaces.
But we can make a stronger case for cycling if we act as good ambassadors of bike culture. We could improve much in how we give way to people on foot and respect walkways on the pedestrian end, and we could do the same for how we communicate our intentions on the road better and ride predictably so that motor vehicles see us as fellow road users.
Form a stronger community of cyclists
There is also so much we can do to make our community of cyclists more cohesive and united. There are actually more cyclists riding on our streets than most people think, but we remain invisible because we remain fragmented and divided.
Forming a stronger community could be as simple as acknowledging other cyclists with a nod or a wave. It could mean stopping to help another cyclist who has had a mechanical issue on the road. Or it could mean finding a local club that shares your passion for the kind of bike riding you do!
Support local efforts to improve cycling conditions in the country
A sad reality is that many of us have become so cynical about government that we have also become apathetic to local efforts to improve bike conditions. But the likelihood of better cycling conditions is only made worse if cyclists can’t even be bothered to support these efforts.
On the bright side, our chances for better cycling conditions has never been better. More of us are riding, and it is becoming more apparent to leaders all over the world that cycling is an indispensable leg to any progressive and sustainable transportation paradigm.
If we could get over our collective cynicism and take a chance on coming together for our common cause, we might be pleasantly surprised by how far we can go if we support each other.
At the end of the day, the simple act of going out for more rides does a lot to support our cycling revolution. It doesn’t matter if you’re a weekend warrior, a bike commuter, a veteran cyclist or a noob, it doesn’t matter what kind of bike you’re riding—just ride and be counted!