A cyclist has shared his 8-day biking journey from Quezon to Bicol to Manila.
The focus on biking gained ground when public transport stopped during the lockdown in the Philippines.
Meanwhile, there are cyclists like Kristoffer Gozum who opted to bike to ease his pandemic-related stress.
Gozum recently completed his 8-day Bicolandia loop with his biking buddies, Charlie Guillermo and Richard Owen.
“Very fulfilling because it was our first time to reach the end of Southern Luzon and completed the 1,350-km ultra epic ride,” he shared.
Gozum and his buddies started their trail biking through the famed zigzag road “Bituka ng Manok” in Atimonan, Quezon going to Gumaca, Quezon.
From Gumaca, their troupe traversed through Daraga, Albay and conquered the Sorgoson loop the next day.
“This loop is really extreme and only a few bikers were given the chance or preparation of doing it. We were grateful because God has allowed us to ride it and for giving us favorable weather. We were also glad that we went home safe without major issues and injuries,” Gozum told the Manila Bulletin.
In between, Gozum and his friends would stay at a resort, gas stations, 24-hour eateries, and apartelles.
Gozum and Guillermo completed the Mayon Volcano loop, also known as “Mayon 360,” and headed back to Manila after.
Biking adventure amid pandemic
Gozum said he started biking in May. He bought a folding bike and began riding in the Metro while slowly increasing his mileages and itineraries.
“When I became more confident in my physical condition and bike set-up, I slowly explored the Central Luzon and South Luzon area. I usually do long rides every 2-4 days,” he added.
“Joining bike groups and following some bike vlogs and pages are highly recommended for camaraderie, information, and ride-sharing,” Gozum noted.
Safety tips for bikers
For other bikers who are also eyeing to complete long rides, Gozum said “conditioning” is essential.
“This includes habitually checking your bike and bringing the necessary tools especially [on] long rides. Follow and observe traffic rules, be a defensive cyclist, research about the details of the area you’re planning to ride and play,” Gozum said.
“[D]oing long rides is challenging. You need to do a series of training especially uphill climbs and sustained pacing in flats. When planning [to do] a higher level ride compared with your last, a holistic training or preparation is a must,” he added.
Asked where he plans to bike next, Gozum said he is looking forward to completing the 1,250-km North Luzon loop and some areas like Baguio; Baler, Aurora; General Nakar, Quezon; and Calatagan, Batangas.