Balancing Wheel: An accident, a garden and bulalo — The Lamtang Chronicle
By JOHN MARASIGAN
Biking Safety 101: Your brain deserves to be treated as a vital organ. Thus protecting it with a helmet is a must during adventure rides.
PADYAK MAYAMAN. Reycar, Wesley, Toto, Gi, Romy, Derek, Billy and Ricky, slowly pedaling along the concrete climb of Puguis.
I promised Sir Romy not to share his story about last Sunday’s ride, but I guess I am not that good at keeping secrets. It’s not that my fingers are itching to type about the mishap he had last Sunday, but I think it is worth sharing to the reading public about how dangerous it is to ride in places where motorized vehicle and bicycles share the same lane. How I wish someone, somewhere, will really make a law designating lanes for cyclists.
With luck and a pinch of God’s grace, Sir Romy was able to escape what could have been a nasty accident.
What happened, you ask?
From Abanao street, we pedaled our way to Irisan going to Lamtang, Puguis. We were waiting for the other Sayote Riders near the cockpit arena, when Wesley decided to go ahead with Gi, Toto and Ricky (welcome to the club, Bro!) Reycar, Derek and myself stayed to wait for the father-and-son tandem of Sir Romy and Billy. Half an hour had passed, but still no trace of the two.
At this point, Derek started to feel uneasy. “Hala,” he said, “baka nadisgrasya sila a, ang tagal naman!” (What’s taking them so long, maybe they met some accident!) His hunch turned out right, as we saw the two arrive, sprinting towards our location. Sir Romy had bruises and cuts on his left arm.
Sir Romy told us about what happened.
It was because of a father instinct. His son Billy, being adventurous and young, tends to pick up speed downhill whenever he feels like it. Sir Romy, wanting to set the pace and lessen the speed, decided to overtake his son and take the lead. At that point, a jeepney suddenly took a left turn without employing signal lights. It was to late for him to avoid the collision. But if not for his instinct, Billy could have been the victim. It was really lucky for Romy that he only had minor cuts and superficial wounds.
The thing is, how the hell was this jeepney driver able to acquire a license? Signal lights are essential when making turn especially on busy roads! The LTO should be stricter in issuing driver’s licenses.
The accident did not dampen our spirits. Despite what happened, Sir Romy was still all smiles. I guess he was happy that his bike was still in tip-top shape for the ride, even after a couple of somersaults (hek-hek!). From the cockpit arena, we slowly maneuvered through the uphill part of Lamtang. It was amazing to see Ricky, a new rider, seriously pedaling the route and with ease. (Lakas mo Sir!)
After climbing three kilometers of concrete road, we passed through Eve’s Garden (theme restaurant that serves flowers as salad). There were a number of flower plots along the way that accentuated the wonderful site. After the climb, we reached Tam-awan Village – an artist’s place replicating a native Ifugao village. The stretch was long enough to share more jokes and stories. The final downhill going to Easter College marked the end of the route.
The 24-kilometer Sunday adventure burned so much of our stored fat, that every rider’s tummy was craving for solid food. Thus we decided to pedal some more to reach the Slaughterhouse compound — a place along Magsaysay Avenue that offers the best bulalo (beef bone broth) in Baguio. We had our fill of rice and beef soup. (Sarappp!!!) Sir Toto, who accidentally found a 500-peso bill along the way, shouldered half of the expenses.
The morning ride thus ended with satisfied stomachs … BURP!!! #