I would say, this is the parallel attempt of “mainstream” (and upper section of society- proven by the steep registration price at 2K Php- intended for the upper-middle to upper class of Philippines Society) to go into cycling as they have successfully done in running and multi-sports as proven by the weekly weekend marathon events of different flavor. Once everyone wants to become a photographer, then everyone wants to be a runner then triathlete- now the “in” thing is cycling. I am not saying this is bad or good, as in everything there are pros and cons. But in our advocacy of environmentally sound living, this is a welcome development (I just hope some will fall to the radical side of bike commuting even within the neighborhood).
The revolution of bikes being taken by those who supposed to have cars- as there are still some who sees people biking as being poor (similar to a case in India as I have read in Bicycling Magazine) actually started mid 2000 and sadly a contributing factor is when people started seeing expensive bikes on SUV bike racks (and still I have heard from some people that the reason they bought a bike is because of the cool look of having an SUV with bike racks!). And of course in a way the lower class imitates what they see the upper class is doing. Anyways, I hope just like in running, this movement should also bring more new products at reasonable (affordable is long shot) prices. In fact the boutique-style bike shops started early 2000 with the now defunct Powerbikes in the Powerplant Mall. Though they are now numerous around Manila, the rules of numbers will still be a big boost for bike consumers.
Going back to the event itself- though this is not a first activity of this type (think of Bike-United etc.) with full visibility, resources and target audience, such activity will be a good thing even on the other front like in sustainable transport movement. The growing population of the annual Tour of the Fireflies is a good proof of this. One good thing about this event is that you will have a change to bike around prime Metro Manila locations without any interference of traffic (see what resources can do- it can close down Manila!). One thing is for sure though- there are a lot of motorist who were infuriated by the traffic caused. Though we can reason out- its only once a year- most of those motor heads don’t give a damn. I guess it’s would have helped if part of the pre-event campaign is to post it in newspapers and even put billboards weeks before the event so that when some motorist curse us- we can always say- You Have Been Warned!!
For more information: https://www.facebook.com/bgc.cyclephil?fref=ts
Map of the Trip