- Published: Friday, 09 September 2016 08:33
- Written by Administrator
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As bicyclists and advocates, many people have heard and done something about sharing the road. And it’s a good thing to do. Sharing the road with other road users is at the core of our survival when we bike on the road. It is always a good thing to remember that being the most vulnerable one, a biker must not only be sufficiently alert and smart, he or she must also be understanding and forgiving. Again, as bicyclists and advocates, we love what we do best – bicycling and sharing the love of bicycling with others.
It’s quite easy to share with friends about a new restaurant we have discovered or a wonderful vacation place we stayed for the weekend. A Facebook post, an Instagram picture, or a Tweet can readily take our message across to the entire world and all our connected friends online will instantly be informed. It’s the vicarious enjoyment of knowing that people we love are having a blast that makes sharing our activities a worthwhile thing to do. However, bicycling is another matter. Yes, we can post an account of when and where we went on a bike ride such as going up to Timberland or Tagaytay. But what we actually want to do is for our friends to share our love of bicycling so that they too, can ride and fully enjoy a bike ride and not just let them read about us relishing a bike ride.
So how do we start enticing a friend or a loved one to bike? Does it involve tricking them into going with us on a trail and surprising them at the last minute? Do we employ other biker friends as accomplices so we can lure our non-biking friends out into the open and force them to pedal at all cost?
However, do this at your own risk...
Check for Willingness to Learn
We do want them to be our riding buddy and not bully them into riding with us, that’s for sure. But really, we must ask them first if they want to learn, or if they actually want to go with us on a bike ride. Forcing them against their will is a sure way to turn them off. So the first thing to do is to make sure of their willingness to learn and ride. We want them to have that enthusiasm and not just interest in the bike. We want them to get excited each time they ride so that they will actually miss riding a bike with us and yearn for that weekend when they can break away from their real world schedule.
Let the Ride Begin
As with any hobby, one must first learn the ropes. Bicycling fortunately has few convoluted and entangled ropes to master as even a three year old can actually learn to bike in a few hours. However, what could be a little difficult would be to learn how to interact with other bikers or with the surroundings, which could include cars and other motorized vehicles, once our friend has decided to go with us. Let’s just hope he or she fully realizes what he or she is going into. It is on us to make sure that risks are minimized and our friends’ other concerns are addressed. We may have to explain and demonstrate further what hand signals mean because they would be our first line of communication. We could shout out our instructions (hopefully without expletives if they forget a rule or two) once we are on our way.
|What we actually want to do is for our friends to share our love of bicycling so that they too, can ride and fully enjoy a bike ride and not just let them read about us relishing a bike ride.|
The Easy Way or the One with Promises of Falls and Face Plants
Depending on how intrepid our friends are, we could bring them on a road trip or off to a mountain trail. You could opt to lead them up to a route like the one in Timberland if you are familiar with it. There’s a part of that route that’s called “The Wall” and aptly called it is because of its almost upright ascent, well not really but you could just imagine the look of terror of our friends if they hear that. It’s should be a good place to start because they would have a choice of entering the entrails of Timberland’s mountain route, where they could practice bouncing up and down the trails, and then on the return trip, going through the swift descent on winding roads going back to the city. We can do the same although on a more subtle way going up to Tagaytay and back. We have a choice however, of making it harder by going through the Sta. Rosa exchange going up and back.
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Remember however, that we are training them to become bikers first and not some triathlete who can go through hell and back to win. The ride should be as easy as it is short to kindle their interest and pique their curiosity, thus enabling them to decide whether it is for them or not.
Prepare and Be Aware
As veteran riders, we sometimes forget that we would need to repair our bikes if ever it breaks down on the road. We are so used to expect that we will arrive at our destination without any hitch. But our new biker buddies may not have that confidence yet and so we must go prepare for any eventuality while we are guiding them through our city’s streets or through trails in the mountains. Thus, we should bring tire repair kits, including spare inner tubes, pumps and other vulnerable to damage parts. This should inspire confidence both in them and in us as we know we can tackle any repair jobs we might need to do. Also important for newbie riders are the proper protective gears and seasonal clothing. If we are doing the ride during the rainy season, we should be ready with raincoats appropriate for biking. And the same advice goes for the summer. Please check for online resources for those all-important bike safety checklist.
Patience is a Virtue
Our newbie biker friends may just be like babies learning to take their first few steps. With this in mind, we would do well to have tons of patience with them as they try to navigate the roads, going on their own but remaining as vulnerable as ever. With just the right amount of firm but gentle guidance and prodding, they should be able to survive their first ride.
The end of the day is just the beginning of more epic rides
The ride may be finished for the day but don’t let it end just at the spot where we agreed to stop. If we finish with the sun still visible on the horizon, let’s plan and prepare for a celebration tonight. How? It depends on how deep is our friendship with our now baptized biker buddies. That could mean anything though. Over beers and barbeque or coffee and cakes? Let them decide, they should be paying anyways! We will just be enjoying the rewards of having initiated them into our bicycling lifestyle.
Are you passionate about bicycling? We’ll give you a chance to prove that. Join us in this year’s Tour of the Fireflies on November 27, 2016. In the meantime, please be ready to have fun between your legs by heading to some of our posts about the Tour here.
A lot has been said about bicycling myths and if you don't do your own research, you are likely to believe them and even spread them around, thus perpetuating them more and keep on feeding other biker's naivete. Please head on our 10 Cycling Myths You Need to Forget Now so you can help debunk those myths and make us bikers to gain more respect on the road.