Cycling in the City: How to Stay Alive on Our Crazy Manila Roads

Safety should always be your first priority.

The daily commute in Manila—whether you’re riding public transportation or driving a car—can get the best of us. If the snail’s pace doesn’t fire you up, the inconsiderate people in line at the MRT or the crazy drivers on the road will. Some have opted to use bicycles to get to work on time and avoid the stress. It’s also one of the most sustainable ways to get around the metro. If you live in one of the many strategically located condos by Century Properties, then chances are your travel time is relatively short. But whether or not you take 30 minutes or more than an hour to bike to and from work, it’s always important to know how to get to your destination unscathed.

According to the World Health Organization, road accidents kill 1.25 million people each year, with nearly half of the fatalities being pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists. Navigate your way through cutthroat Manila roads by following these safety measures while you’re riding on two wheels.

Know traffic rules by heart.

Just because you’re not driving a car doesn’t mean you’re exempt from traffic rules, which apply to all types of vehicles, two-wheeled and up. As a cyclist, you should know what those lines painted on the streets mean, which side of the road you should be on, and what hand signals—not leg—you need to use when making turns. Knowing and practicing these things are essential to your safety on the road plus give you the higher ground in case you’re involved in an accident.

Make sure your bike is in tip-top condition.

The condition of your bike is highly important, especially since seasonal rains can make roads slicker with water and oil from other vehicles. Before leaving your condo, make sure the brakes, wheels, and gears are in perfect condition. Always bring basic tools with you no matter how near your destination is. You never know when you’ll need them.

Always wear proper safety gear.

Another World Health Organization report notes that head and neck injuries sustained by cyclists and motorcyclists caught in accidents “account for up to 88%” of fatalities on the road. Wearing helmets greatly reduce the risk of head and neck injuries. Make sure your helmet is snug and doesn’t move when you shake your head. Knee, arm, and elbow pads should also be a part of your gear for added joint protection. There’s nothing cool about getting a nasty gash, or worse broken bones, because you didn’t bother to properly gear up.

Make an effort to be seen.

Stick reflective stickers on your bike, turn on flashing bike lights, and wear bright colors while you’re on the road. During times when you need to leave the bike lane in order to overtake or make a turn, carefully inch your way and do the right hand signals to alert vehicles behind you. Swerving in and out of traffic is very dangerous, not to mention rude.

Know your place on the road.

There are a lot of abusive and selfish motorists who bully cyclists even when they’re on their proper lanes. Keep your cool and don’t be rattled by them. Roads are not just for cars, buses, motorcycles or jeeps. You have every right to be there as they do. Just remember to follow traffic rules and share the road.

Because of tear-your-hair-out gridlock and irreversible climate change, cycling has gone from being a hobby to a necessary means of transport. Just keep these simple tips in mind to enjoy worry-free bike rides in and around the city, and to continue to build your passion for cycling.

Cycling around the city is even more accessible when you live in a centralized location like Commonwealth by Century, a mid-rise vertical community at the heart of Commonwealth, Quezon City. From there, the country’s top schools and universities, major shopping centers, churches, and major thoroughfares are within biking distance. And if you plan to bike to work, you can take your foldable bike and hop on to the Don Antonio Station of the MRT Line 7 (with construction in full swing and launching in 2020) to get to major business hubs like Ortigas, Cubao and Makati.

Happy pedaling!

 

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