Yes, I admit it.
After almost two years of riding my bike to work — a period covering three jobs and — obviously enough — three offices, including one in Tacloban — I sometimes feel like an entitled arrogant prick. [See: Biking in Tacloban]
After all, once I hop on my bike, I not only help cut carbon emissions, I also — in a very minuscule way — reduce road congestion in Metro Manila’s Carmaggedon.
But that smug self-importance goes away quickly as soon as any idiot on a motorized vehicle comes within less than a feet of me.
When a fender or a bumper comes in too close for comfort, I am enraged enough to hurl an expletive, flip the bird, blow my horn, or ignore the callous indifference to road courtesy.
At least I know I still am lucky enough to enjoy my ride.
Because Fernando Garol can no longer say the same thing.
Garol was crushed to death after he was “sandwiched” between a tree and a passenger jeepney, a report by GMA News Online said. [See: Freak accident]
The accident prompted Kevin Jason Manuel, a fellow biker and a fellow member in the Bike to Work Pilipinas Facebook page, to write about it on his blog and argue that [See: Kevin Jason Manuel]:
Bicycles are not dangerous, motor vehicles are.
We burn no fuel. Produce no emissions. Take up the least amount of space. We are healthy.
There is no greater glory, no greater thing to take pride in, than getting where you need to go on your own power.
And we will never stop. Padyak All The Way.
I share Manuel’s passion and generally agree with the points he brought up.
However, the question now is: with Garol’s senseless death, will drivers be more courteous to bikers, especially those riding to and from work?
Let’s ask the owners of the 60,000 new cars that were sold during the first three months of 2015, based on a BusinessWorld report. [See: Car sales top 60,000 in the first quarter]
After taking delivery of their new cars, all of them, as expected, are eager to burn rubber, push pedal to the metal, and go all Fast and Furious.
I just hope they leave us bikers out of it.