Monday, April 20, 2009

Tour of the Fireflies 2009

A little over a year ago, I learned how to ride a bike, thanks to the help of Ryan and Kimi. About 2 or 3 weeks ago, I bought my own bike in Cartimar, the cheap kind, not the glamorous type, because frankly 1) I cannot afford it and 2) I do not intend of making a career out of biking/cycling. Nyaah.

Last year, upon coaxing of Kimi for me to join the annual Tour of the Fireflies event, I thought maybe I could try it if I'm better enough. At least it's a goal that I can do before I hit 25.

Yesterday, under the unforgiving heat of the sun and equally unforgiving buses and cars along EDSA, I pedaled my way to the route the Firefly Brigade made this year. JC and I were already behind from Kimi and Ryan and the rest of our friends who also joined. At first it was still okay. Police were still able to halt the traffic and motorists (well, some of them) were still pretty much patient with the whole thing. However, when we reached the first water station in Quezon Ave, near GMA Kamuning, everything changed. Bus drivers were getting impatient and too many cars coming in and out of the roads.

After passing at GMA, that's when things started to get crazy. I lost JC. I mean, I saw him ahead of me and I thought he was gonna wait for me somewhere but it was really getting crazy with all the traffic and people walking in the road. It might sound wimpy but while I was pushing and pedaling along the bridge in front of Nepa Q mart, tears just started to fall from my eyes. I probably looked ridiculous to commuters who can see me but at that time I did not freaking care. I was so darn afraid because I was biking alone in EDSA with all the devil buses and I'm not even a good rider! I can't weave my way in a sleek way others can because it was my first time to ride this far and it was in f*cking EDSA.

I was thankful for all the marshals who stood by my side as I was pedaling for my life in Cubao. For the cars who waited patiently driving behind me, I am thankful to you too and for those effin taxi drivers who are racing with me, screw you for scaring the shit out of me!

Boni and Buendia I think were the hardest part for me. Again, I was crying for these reasons:

1) I still haven't found JC.
2) I don't have any water left.
3) Water Station was still far (Ayala)
4) I have no freakin money with me to buy myself a drink that I actually thought of drinking the bathroom tap water. Thank goodness I didn't.
5) I have no phone so how the hell will I contact my friends?

It was so frustrating, I was almost ready to ask one of the marshals for money, luckily, I reached the Ayala water station and refilled my water bottle. God knows how I envy those people who were eating in Jollibee and McDonald's with their big, cold softdrinks in hand. So anyway, I started biking again back to Buendia and unfortunately, back to EDSA. After 2 collisions with cement blocks and too many crashes in the gutter, I finally gave up in Buendia and rode the truck along with other bikers who didn't make it to the finish line.

When the truck stopped at Tiendesitas, I said to myself "now what?". Thankfully I saw Ryan coming to the truck and that's when another tearduct fest started. It was tears of relief cos I know that they're there. A little after, he also found JC and that's when I found out his story. He got dizzy while biking and even called after me, but of course, with the sea of people in EDSA it's impossible to have heard him.

At least now I know what to bring next year. Do not ever, ever forget to bring money. So that if I ever got separated with others, I won't die of hunger and thirst in the middle of the road. And maybe next year, I'm a better rider than today and I won't cry like a baby anymore.

So there. Most pictures of me were taken in Tiende and when we were biking home to Pasig. Congratulations to JC for finishing the 43-kilometre route and to Kimi, Ryan and me who fared well this year.

Let's bike for clean air now! See you again next year!


ponkan said...

congrats to our 1st ToF! :)

Marye said...

congrats to you! :D