Haidee Caan rekindled her love for bicycles when her son Diether gave her an old mountain bike in 2016. It was a surprise because back then, she just wanted to have a bicycle that she can use for her palengke runs—preferrably with something that can carry her meat and vegetables.
“Tinawanan niya lang ako noong sinabi ko na okay na sa akin ‘yung may basket,” she recalled. “Nakabili na pala sila ng bigger bike kaya binigay niya sa akin ‘yung first bike niya.”
(He laughed at me when I said that I’m okay with anything with a basket. They have already bought a bigger bike so he just gave me his first bike.)
Cycling formed strong bonds between her and Diether. She currently works in Isabela and only gets to be with her son in Cagayan every weekend. When they’re together, they ride a bike. They even participate in various competitions and charity races together.
“Biking ang naging way para sa quality time naming mag-ina,” she said.
(Biking became a way for our mother-and-son quality time.)
Her son doesn’t have a bicycle as of the moment. Diether had it sold because he needed a bigger bike. Their first MTB was also recently sold to someone who needed a ride due to limited transportation. Nevertheless, they still managed to find an alternative way to bond every weekend after Haidee’s stressful work week.
“Pag-uwi ko sa bahay, we watch movies and I cook snacks. Favorite niya ‘yung puto and Graham cakes,” Haidee said.
(When I arrive back at home, we watch movies and I cook snacks. Rice cakes and Graham cakes are his favorites.)
Aside from being a shared activity with her son, cycling empowered Haidee. Through biking, she learned the value of discipline, perseverance and faith in one’s self. There will be critics and people can pull you down, she noted, especially when the biker starts winning in competitions. But these things did not stop her from pursuing her passion.
She believes that cycling might be a male-dominated sport and activity, but women can do it and they can be better that men. Haidee wants to encourage all women to try riding a bicycle, especially mothers.
“For solo parents like me, or for working moms, riding a bike might be hard at first but you just have to try,” she said. “It’s the best way to bond with your kids and a good stress reliever after work. We also gain friends while living a healthier lifestyle.”
Photo courtesy of Haidee Caan