Cycling: Le Tour de Filipinas supports use of bicycles in 'new normal'


Posted at May 08 2020 12:59 PM

MANILA -- Organizers of the Le Tour de Filipinas (LTdF) are encouraging all cycling advocates in the country to draw a unified plan that would make the bicycle the preferred mode of transportation in the “new normal.”

LTdF founder Alberto Lina and president Donna Lina said a unified plan of action would ride alongside protocols to be set by government when the enhanced community quarantine is relaxed in favor of a general community quarantine — and eventually in the so-called “new normal” wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Using the bicycle or similar two-wheeled vehicles is advocated globally. The experts are correct, there is physical distancing when you are riding your bicycle,” said Alberto Lina, who is also the chairman of the PhilCycling.

The LTdF was canceled this year after 10 years of racing. A Category 2.2 race in the International Cycling Union calendar, the tour was supposed to be held last May 1 to 5 in Ilocos for its 11th edition.

“It has always been our advocacy for cycling not only as a competitive sport, but a healthy mode of transportation,” Donna Lina, also the president of UBE Media, the organizer of the LTdF, said.

The Linas said the bicycle should now have a bigger “share” of the road, considering that COVID-19 has yet to be contained in the absence of a vaccine.

“There is no guarantee for a virus-free public transportation system. Many people, if not all, would be reluctant to ride jeepneys, buses and trains, even taxis,” Alberto Lina said.

The unified action, according to the Linas, should be strongly considered by Malacanang, especially through the Department of Transportation and local government units where there are heavy volumes of commuters.

The PhilCycling, they said, would be a major participant in the action being the national governing body for cycling. The association is headed by Cavite (8th District) Representive Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino, also the president of the Philippine Olympic Committee.

“The LTdF organization will be convening [virtual] to draw its own suggestions or proposals for the new advocacy in the ‘new normal,’” said Donna Lina, stressing that bicycling lanes should be given more priority and space in major roads and thoroughfares.

“This new advocacy could go deep into the government’s ‘build, build, build program,’ which should incorporate the use of bicycles, even the electric bikes,” she said.

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