Due to limited public transport during the COVID-19 community quarantine, cycling has become an essential form of transportation, especially in Metro Manila.
Bikers, however, have to contend with the danger of sharing the road with bigger transports like trucks and buses.
Women’s mountainbike champion Ariana Dormitorio is one of the thousands of bikers in Metro Manila as she normally goes to her training in the mountains using her favorite bike.
Guesting at the weekly online show Manila Standard ON THE ROAD, Dormitorio has two important reminders to fellow bikers in order to stay safe on the road.
First, she says, is to be “more visible” as much as possible.
“Please avoid tailing the back of the vehicle in front of you. Either you are partly at the right or at the left where the driver can see you on his side mirrors,” she said.
This should be done with enough distance between the car and the biker.
It is especially true when the vehicle in front of the rider is a bus or delivery truck, where the rearview mirror has no way of checking the vehicles at the back. In this case, only the side mirrors can show the driver the situation at the back of the vehicle.
“It is really dangerous when they (drivers) don’t know you are there. So make yourself more visible as possible,” Dormitorio said.
In some occasions, however, riders have become a nuisance for drivers.
But for Dormitorio, topping her best practices on the road is her ability to share kindness with other riders.
It could be in a form of a simple smile, a nod of approval or even a quick wave.
“Let’s be courteous with one another. Share kindness on the road,” said Ariana, who admitted that she always asks for permission from drivers when she wants to pass through.
“Most of the time, they will give way. And if possible, express your appreciation to them. If we all do this, the road will always be a safer place for everyone,” she said.
Dormitorio still finds time to train in her bid to qualify for the women’s mountainbike competitions in the Tokyo Olympics. She is currently ranked no. 4 in Asia behind Japan, China and Iran.
“May chance pa daw po ako so in case mapatawag ako for a UCI race, ready po ako to maintain or even improve my ranking,” she said.
The Asian continent will have a slot of 4 riders in the Olympic women’s MTB competition. And Dormotorio is still in the running.
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