He completed a 200-kilometer bike ride in 7 hours by only cycling around Maysilo Circle in Mandaluyong.
When the Enhanced Community Quarantine was implemented again earlier this year, software engineer Jomar Vista was stuck within the confines of his neighborhood in Mandaluyong. He was not able to do long rides, not even leisure biking outside the city where he lives.
However, this did not stop him from doing long-distance cycling. Instead, he took the quarantine restriction as a challenge and came up with the idea of pulling off a century ride around Maysilo Circle.
“Milestone ‘yun. Full effort talaga ‘yun na time trial ko sa sarili ko na fastest 100 km ko so far,” he told First Bike Ride, mentioning that he had 33.3 km/h average speed. “Ayoko lang din kasi talaga matigil ‘yung exercise and training ko every morning.”
Maysilo Circle in Mandaluyong measures a short 700 meters per lap, which means you need to have 142 loops to finish a century ride. The challenge doesn’t stop there. The roundabout is very busy and you go around with jeepneys, cars, pedestrians and motorbikes. The pavement is tolerable though there can be obstructions and cracks too.
Jomar’s first 100-km ride in the roundabout was completed last April 9. On May 2, he did another feat by cycling the same route but covering 200 kilometers in 7 hours.
“Challenge ko lang din talaga sa sarili ko. So after noong 100 km ride, 200 na,” he said. “’Yung 100 km, tuloy-tuloy na ride. Pero ‘yung 200, dumaan ako sa bahay para mag-refill ng tubig kasi sobrang init na nga.”
During our shoot, he used a folding bike because it’s his recovery ride day. However, he completed the 100-km and 200-km Maysilo Circle loops using a road bike.
He came prepared for these activities. Jomar has been regularly cycling for two years now so he’s physically ready, he knows the route well since he’s always biking there and he made sure to do it on a holiday or Sunday when there are less cars on the road. The cyclist started before 6 am.
We asked him if it’s boring because the roundabout is very short and he only gets the same view on repeat. Mind you, the circle doesn’t have the nicest scenery either: you’ll only see roasted chicken shops, the city hall, a drug store, a gasoline station and an animal hospital, among others.
“Nasanay na ako na paulit-ulit ‘yung dinadaanan ko, kasi palagi ako nasa Sierra Madre or Laguna. Tapos paulit-ulit din naman dito, smaller scale nga lang,” he said. “Masakit lang din talaga kasi tuloy-tuloy, walang tigil. Mas masakit pa ‘yung 100 km kaysa 200.”
We did three laps with Jomar in Maysilo roundabout and we should say that it was really challenging even if we’re in the inner circle along with other cyclists and joggers. The speeding vehicles were intimidating and they stopped in our lane so we’re forced to be in the more “unsafe” area.
The cyclist also mentioned that what he did in Maysilo Circle can be somehow similar to doing laps in Bonifacio Global City (BGC) or Mall of Asia (MOA). The only difference is that it’s longer, much safer and the pavement is way nicer.
What he said and what he did made us realize that it’s possible for our neighborhoods to change and become safer for cyclists. Motorized vehicles are slow and pavements are good in areas like BGC and MOA, so it’s possible for our other roads to achieve that too.
“Pinaka-kumportable mag-ride sa mga lugar na malapit sa kanila. Pwede naman gawing training grounds ‘yun kasi halimbawa ako, sa Mandaluyong lang naman ako paikot-ikot noong mabagal pa lang ako mag-bike,” he said. “Medyo hindi nga lang safe talaga. Pero nagta-try naman ‘yung Mandaluyong na maging bike-friendly pero kulang pa rin talaga.”
So what’s his next challenge for himself?
“Ang target ko talaga is mas matagal pa eh… 300 kilometers,” he said.