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Health and Wellness | Biking Round and About the Metro

Since January I bought this bike, I have ridden it for almost 800 kms now. For the month of July, I wasn't able to since I was covering the Miss Tourism Philippines 2017 provincial sorties.  I was viking (buffet meals) for almost a month, and I gained a few kilos I guess.  So I need to do some biking to stave off the added weight.

Now to have a focus on this article, I have to compare my biking experience between trips to the metro versus that of going further south.  I'm not a fast biker and I'm just clocking in 15kph so don't judge me right away when you read my times here.  That's a disclaimer right away. hahahahaha.

Southbound Route (San Pedro to Calamba)

Thats roughly 30 kms away so total of 60 for both ways.  Roads southbound are now paved, and no more potholes I noticed. I ride this route more often than going to  manila.  This route takes me four hours back and forth and that includes my stopovers.

  The pluses are as follows, 1) air is cleaner somehow.  With wider roads and some trees along the way, yes its somehow cleaner.  2)  long stretches between towns.  In between the urbanized towns, you can see less people and cars on the road.  Makes it a bit safer I guess.  3)  people are much nicer.  Not that metro people are rude, southerners smile more, talk nicer, and very open talking to strangers.  

The negatives 

1) less stores or restaurants in between stretches.  When you see a 7-11, check your water bottle right away, you might need a refill.  This negative can be offset with plus number 3 preceding.  I eat at a restaurant in town and make a water refill with no complaints from the owners.  

2)  food is sometimes unhealthy in the carinderia.  yes, check out the adobo I got from one of my stopovers.  My pork had lots of fat in them.  I cringed when I saw them.  I love fat don't get me wrong, I like chicharon, but when I saw these, I had backflashes.  

3) lots of wayward tricycle drivers and motorcycles.  With no turning signals, and they turn at every whim, you must have telepathy when you are behind them.  They sometimes stop and turn at a moments notice.  

4) No lights at night in between stretches so I don't ride this route after 6pm.  

5) less ATMs.  If you lose or use your money fast, good luck finding a working ATM.

Adobo with loads of fat in them.

Rice with adobo broth on top.

Oh no. a softdrink. lots of sugar to burn by biking.

In one of my unhealthy stopovers.

Calamba Intersection.

Oh no. My lunch.

Northbound Route (San Pedro to Makati)

Makati is just 25 kms one way and for this ride, I made food review stopovers as well, bringing an additional 5 or 6 kms to my ride, giving me a total of 60 kms.  Although much shorter than my southbound route, this took longer due to 1) traffic stops and 2) narrower roads.  It takes me minimum of 4 hours to take this route and this includes my stop overs.

Now the pluses.
1) lots of stores lined up from San Pedro to Makati.  You don't need to fear being hungry, being thirsty, or having your food supplies running out.  There are a lot of restaurants and 7-11s along this route.

2)  lots of people along the road, so safety is another issue worth mentioning, safe not in the driving sense but in the mugging sense.  People can see you being mugged even at night.   So I don't ride in remote parts of the metro.

3)  lots of ATMs or restaurants with Debit Machines.  Easy eating in restaurants.

The negatives

1)  Air is really bad.  Due to the sheer number of vehicles plying the roads in the metro,  smoke or carbon dioxide from cars, buses and trucks make breathing difficult.

2)  Narrower roads.  When you say narrow, this means less space for other vehicles including bikes.  Usually they don't have bike lanes so you will have to fight for every space on the road.  Actually being on a bike, you can't fight as you will be smashed into bits when you do.  All you can do is defensive driving and letting the maniacs rule the road.  Until such time we can do something about them, just drive carefully.

3)  Lots of Traffic Lights.  In most intersections they have these.  So being in a bike does not mean the traffic rules don't apply to you.  Yes they don't but being a responsible biker, you must follow them.  Rules were made to make it safe for road users so we just have to follow it.

4)  Dangerous Drivers.  Some drivers don't know how to drive literally.  I can't blame them as its easy for one to get a driver's license here in the Philippines.  I can attest to one buddy of mine who got his license even before he learned how to drive a car.  Imagine that.  Simply drive carefully.  A bike can't stand a collision with a bigger car, truck or bus.

Stopping due to traffic lights in the city.

I stopped momentarily here to check on my messages.
Bought Mirin, Bonito Flakes, and Kumbo here.

Reached my first food review in Makati.

With those positives and negatives, those are just on top of my head while doing this article.  I decide to do more of my biking southbound.  I emphasize road safety more than ever.  Even with the tricycles and big trucks plying its roads,  the roads are still wider with lots of room for bikers like us.  I hope that one day we can see each other riding towards Calamba or Batangas soon.