From a joke was born a bike club in the Jalaur River Multi-Purpose Project Stage II (JRMP II). What followed its creation were many weekends of group rides with each week a new member is recruited. Among these are no less than the Project Manager Jonel Borres and Legal Consultant Atty. Michael Margarico.
It all started when pioneer members of the club, Carolyn Abaldonado, Richard Jamelo, Joy Cuevas, and Abigail Caceres agreed to have a weekend bike ride one afternoon. A group chat was created, then members trooped to a local bike store to buy gadgets and protective gears like helmets, gloves, and blinkers.
November 13, 2021 at 5:00 in the morning was the bike trip that started it all. The excited group pedaled to Iloilo International Airport in Sta. Barbara proceeding to San Miguel to savor the famous arroz caldo (rice porridge) in the area. The ride was memorable with few stops for picture takings and a soda drink from a sari-sari store along the way.
The team reached their destination at almost lunchtime but it was understandable since it was their first time and everyone were happy to reach their destination.
Biker Carolyn Abaldonado said that she is not the athletic type of person, but she found herself being passionate about biking.
“Yes, who would have thought that I will engage and enjoy biking”, she quipped when asked about the experience.
She added that biking provides a lot of benefits, and it helps her weight management as it is an effective exercise to boost her metabolism. It also helps her in managing stress. She able to enjoy the freedom of exploring new places and savor the beauty of nature. She also feels excited going to the next destination. Abaldonado likewise shared that biking is her means to get to know other people by making friends and to enjoy each other’s company. In biking, she learned the value of support system ensuring that no one is left behind by assisting those who are having hard times. She always pray to St. Michael for protection and she believes John Kennedy when he says “Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of riding a bike”.
Another weekend came, additional recruits joined the club. Destination was on the other side of Sta. Barbara going to the famous and iconic St. Bernard Novitiate Church. The place was quiet and tranquil because it is located in an isolated barangay, far away from the national highway. The church is surrounded by trees.
After a few minutes of rest and prayers offered, the group rode back to the town of Sta. Barbara. Tiring but memorable, everybody went home with peace of mind. The bike club keeps on growing, with new recruits every weekend.
They also pedaled to savor the native coffee in Gaja Agri Farm, nestled in the quite barangay of Bita-og Gaja, New Lucena. The farm also serves breakfast and lunch.
The bikers never missed their weekend rides. New year, new place to visit, the fun continues despite the threat of the pandemic. They just make sure that health protocols are observed and practiced. /JP Ramon Salvilla