I’M beginning to like riding a bicycle again after seeing those kids in the neighborhood making the rounds in a happy mood while their nannies, moms and dads are within reach.
You’ll be surprised, but it’s a big YES. At this time when retirees my age do not dare do the pedaling on their own without someone holding them, I can still ride a mountain bike alone, not just for the fun of it, but to prove that I can still do what other elderly in their twilight years can’t.
I had my first bicycle when I was 9 years old in my birthplace, Pasay City. I can’t remember anymore how many bikes I owned since then. When I came to Davao City and joined the TIMES in the early 60s, I bought a brand new Suzuki scooter on installment basis as my means of transportation but sold it for P800 to buy a P40 cocktail dress and a pair of shoes for my bride on our wedding day in 1968. The late Ate Pina (Josefina C. San Pedro) who later became my ninang sa kasal sewed personally the wedding dress as a wedding gift.
From a two-wheeled drive vehicle, I moved to a PUJ Mazda Pinoy (similar to multicab today) purchased also through home finance from a good friend, the late Mon Lina, then manager of Francisco Motors.
I completed payment of the Pinoy in five years time but exchanged it for a private jiffy when I transferred residence from Bolton Ice Plant to Dona Luisa Village in Matina in 1982 and used it as service vehicle for my four growing children to Mindanao Colleges (University of Mindanao).
After I disposed of the jiffy, I bought a brand new Toyota Corolla XE in 1996 which my four children had their first lessons in driving under my guidance. I transferred to my present residence in the north side of this city. It was during my Diamond Year celebration when my only daughter Tala gave me a brand new AUV as a gift which youngest son Jin Lorenz now drives to Ateneo.
Just last week, Jin Lorenz, now studying, requested me to buy a mountain bike so he has something to stretch his legs after almost a day sitting before the computer.
And this is when I thought of riding a bicycle again after more than 70 years from that first bike in Pasay City.
My daughter from abroad was the first to react when I informed her that aside from my 30-minute brisk walking, riding a bike was now added to my daily physical exercise within the subdivision.
“Pa, kaya mo pang mag bike? Ibili na lang kita ng electric motorbike para relaks ka kasama ni Coco (Japanese shih tzu),” she offered me.
I rejected her offer. “Mag mumukhang inutil lang ako niyan.” She agreed with a smiling emoji showing on Facebook.
Dino Carpio, a bicycle enthusiast and an Asian champion rider who was my hardworking assistant when I established the first UM printing press in 1997 that prints the TIMES, is now the production manager of the paper. He may be glad to know that he will soon have a back-up rider twice his age in his team of veteran cyclists.
Hehe… just kidding, Dino, hanggang subdivision na lang ako!
Meanwhile, as a reminder to motorcycle and bicycle riders, that incident report of eight motorcycle riders in Kabacan, North Cotabato who were killed in an ambush by still unidentified group onboard a white pickup truck is shocking and should warn them that they should not always be too trusting while riding in an unfamiliar place.
Sometimes, without knowing it, the next time will be your last ride as you might be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Readers, continue what our health authorities are telling you what to do. Follow health protocols and the COVID-19 will soon be a forgotten invisible threat to everyone.
It’s “ber” month and my favorite shopping mall in Lanang is now playing Christmas jingles. Merry Xmas!
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