The newbie and conditions of possibility: Cycling to Tagaytay


While there are many long distance bikers in the country, their numbers still pale in comparison with new ones or commonly known as “newbies”…Unfortunately, in a social activity such as cycling, unequal hierarchies are often created on the bases of a) the kind of bike or gear you have or b) the skills you possess c) achievements done. Sadly, whether we admit or not, newbies are often constrained by their limits…and for those who are experienced we also feel frustration as we cant speed up and get home fast as we wait for the new ones who continue to struggle with this route.

13661895_10207013834010989_8293161886367938997_o.jpg The first batch last July

IMG_0578.jpgThe second, much more recent batch

A few months ago in Nueva Vizcaya, a mentor in cycling told me that while the Sagada loop is difficult, newbies have tried and finished it…it made me realize that each ride, no matter how difficult, is a test of one’s limits and no person can ever put such constraining labels on others…

Tagaytay is a route that is common among experienced bikers-it has that good amount of elevation and distance-perfect for training. But for the Newbie, (and I am sure everyone has experienced this at the beginning) it is a major achievement worth trying…a ride that transforms the ‘newbie’ to a serious long distance cyclist


Taking a break


Taking another break before Aling P’s

same with the second batch

Much recently, I’m glad to have joined two rides to Tagaytay with riders who call themselves as “newbies” who took the route via Alabang-Daang Hari-Paliparan-Silang (with a snack at the ever popular Aling Pina’s Bike stop)-Tagaytay and all the way to Alabang… as we patiently wait for them hurdle through climbs, through heat, rain and all sorts of physical and mental challenges, it is nice to see them overcome their limits and smile and celebrate at the end of the journey…


Your first biketrip to Tagaytay isn’t memorable if you havent taken a break at Aling Pina’s bikestop in Silang

First time to bring the “smurf with no name here”

IMG_0599.jpgLomi is Love (a big hearty bowl for 40 pesos!)

There are lesson learned in these rides…for the newbie, they become resilient, self-sufficient and more daring- it is nice to know that all of them are interested in doing more long rides…and for the experienced, it teaches us patience and compassion (and persuasion to not let them take the bus home and finish the trip)…overall, doing long trips with newbies will help everyone realize that cycling requires a careful balance between inclusiveness and responsibility.



All smiles after that last climb!

While it is indeed true that to tell the story, one must go through the experience… often times, we fall into the trap of putting ourselves at the forefront of our narrative, sometimes setting limits for those who have not experienced what we have…and therefore, this ride is for the “newbie” and his/her pursuit in challenging limits to open opportunities for conditions of possibility.

IMG_0620.jpgIMG_0621.jpgView from the deck

13680293_10207013833650980_1131835565601872994_o.jpgTime to go home

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