The organizers of the Le Tour de Filipinas is encouraging all cycling advocates in the country to draw a unified plan that would make the two-wheeled vehicle as 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 raced last May 1 to 5 in the Ilocos Region 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 the 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.
PhilCycling Secretary General Atty. Billy Sumagui said the association has its full support to the extensive use of bicycles as a mode of transportation especially in the metropolis.
“Besides focusing on elite cycling, the PhilCycling has as one of its priorities the use of bicycles as a vehicle to get around,” Sumagui said. “We are also encouraging all cycling groups and advocates to unite in this endeavor as the world faces this new challenge posed by the pandemic.”
The LTdF, Donna Lina said, will encourage continental teams 7-Eleven Roadbike Philippines Cliqq Air21 and Go For Gold and Philippine Navy-Standard Insurance Team and Philippine Army Team and all professional and weekend riders, as well as the organizers of Ronda Pilipinas and PruRide Philippines to help in the formulation of a program that will install the bicycle as the “King of the Road” in the “new normal.”
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