Photo by Tony Pham on Unsplash
Remember when striking shots of the Sierra Madre mountain range became viral at the start of the COVID-19 lockdown last year? You’ve seen it all over social media as everyone gaped at the unobstructed views of the verdant mountains. It’s the upside of a pollution-free Manila after all, following the Philippine government’s suspension of public transportation and non-essential businesses.
As commuters grappled with the struggles of strict mandates limiting public transportation use, more viable, eco-friendly solutions emerged; one of which is when city dwellers turned to cycling as a safer, socially distanced mode of transport.
If you’re still contemplating whether you should switch to a two-wheel drive for your next ride, here are some benefits of cycling that might convince you:
- It keeps you socially distanced
By riding a bicycle to work, you can avoid unnecessary contact with others and help to limit the spread of the coronavirus. This paved the way for bicycles to become the ideal mode of transport by allowing for physical distancing while giving you the added benefit of getting cardiovascular exercise.
- It’s eco-friendly
Hopping on a bike is a healthy way to travel. Plus, you instantly reduce your carbon footprint. It’s a win-win situation for you and Mother Earth!
- It’s safer to cycle now more than ever
The biking boom has prompted government officials to draw up plans to build a 400-mile bike lane network in Metro Manila, Cebu, and Davao. The ₱1.3 billion project budget is earmarked for the creation of protected bike lanes and the launch of a bike-sharing program. This is good news for Pinoys who now see how much more beautiful the country could be and how much more liveable the Philippines would be with more bikes and less cars.
- It’s cost-efficient
Another upside of cycling as a sustainable mode of transport is that it does not rely on fossil fuels. In a country like the Philippines where oil prices are often subjected to hefty price increases, cycling is a godsend for people who want to save money on fuel.
- It reduces traffic congestion
Bicycles also reduce the need to build and service cars. When fewer vehicles are on the road, there is a marked reduction in traffic congestion. Pre-pandemic, the Philippines was losing a total of ₱3.5 billion pesos PER DAY in “lost opportunities” due to traffic congestion. The biking boom also caused a great reduction in harmful exhaust emissions which is good news for our health.
- You can support local businesses!
The increased demand for bikes because of the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered the establishment of more local, small cycling shops. These bike shops suddenly became an “essential service,” especially for frontliners looking for alternative ways of going to their assigned hospitals for work. Since then, bicycle sales have been riding high.
Whether you’re looking at foldable bikes, customizable bikes, tandem bikes or even three-seater bikes, you will definitely find a bike that can help you navigate the new normal and become part of the two-wheeled revolution.
Lemi supports biking communities
By using your bicycles for mobility, you are more likely to keep things local and support small businesses near you. Bicycle touring is a great way to explore your neighborhood and connect with new people. Through Lemi, you can even plan your cycling route to visit local establishments that provide great service and unique products.
Lemi can also help you connect with bicycle shops located in your community and in nearby areas. You can read the Lemi list “I’m Gonna Ride My Bicycle!,” which is a useful compilation of bicycle shops that you can visit if you want to purchase a new bike or get much-needed bicycle parts.
In the long run, cycling is an environmentally and economically sustainable activity that offers plenty of benefits for the country. With more and more people looking for alternatives to public transport amidst the pandemic, there’s never been a better time to be a new cyclist!