cycling in the Philippines

Cyclists advocate for bikers’ rights, infrastructure through community ride in Quezon City

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Cyclists advocate for bikers’ rights, infrastructure through community ride in Quezon City

MORNING RIDE. Around 250 cyclists line up along Sgt. Esguerra, Quezon City in preparation for the Labor Day Community Ride event on May 1, 2024.


To promote their rights, cyclists take up bigger spaces on the roads of Quezon City to encourage active transport beyond bike-to-work needs

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – Over 250 cyclists lined the sides of Sgt. Esguerra Avenue in Quezon City for a community ride that promotes the rights of cyclists and the importance of building more bike infrastructures in the city. 

The event called “Labor Day Ride: Celebrating the workforce on May 1” was held on Tuesday morning, May 1. With bikers coming from as far as Malolos, Bulacan, the event sought to highlight the challenges of citizens who bike to work regularly on not-so-bike-friendly streets

The cyclists embarked on a 10-kilometer loop that covered several roads in Quezon City such as Sgt. Esguerra Avenue, Timog Avenue, East Avenue, Maginhawa Street, and Quezon Avenue. 

Challenges persist for cyclists

For Micah Oreiro, a Mandaluyong resident and first-time biker in Quezon City, the ride was a momentous change in road dynamics as they often feel invisible as cyclists on normal days. For instance, there are a lot of roads not just in Quezon City, but in other places in Metro Manila that still have faulty and undeveloped bike infrastructures. 

In 2023, the Department of Transportation declared a tighter budget for bike lanes and pedestrian infrastructure for 2024. Following this, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) acting chairman Romando Artes recently said that bike lanes should be reduced in high-speed roads such as EDSA given the allegedly low cyclist count

However, part-time delivery rider Lauro Libunao expressed that government should still invest in bike lanes as some workers like him rely on cycling for a living. He said that there was even a time his ankle was cut by a motorcycle while crossing EDSA.  

“Kaya sana dumagdag itong mga potted bike lanes. Sana dumami ang [cycling] infrastructure (That’s why I hope we have more potted bike lanes, more cycling infrastructure),” he said, referring to concrete plant boxes in parts of the metropolis that serve as barriers to protect cyclists.

Given this problem, Oreiro emphasized that there is a need to promote stronger bike policies in order to address the behavior of vehicle-owners as well as the problem of traffic congestion. 

RARE. Cyclists traverse the Sen. Miriam P. Defensor-Santiago road in a designated bikeway able to accommodate bikes coming from opposite directions. Mike Soria
A whole-of-society approach

While this event is a small step towards promoting active transport advocacies and raising mobility issues, Esteban Cycling Community co-founder Jay Daligdig stressed the importance of proactive government action in improving cycling infrastructure implementation. 

“It really starts with the smallest things, be it bike racks placed around, or placement of protected bike lanes instead of painted ones. Let’s say one LGU [Local Government Unit] lang ‘yung ginagawa (does the implementation) but the rest are not doing it, it doesn’t make sense—it really needs to be done by [all] LGUs,” he said. 

First Bike Ride founder Buji Babiera added that citizens need to be proactive in this process. 

“If you can ride a bike, ride a bike. It’s the greener choice, it’s the more sustainable choice. You get to free some space on the road and give it to those people more in need of using that space,” Babiera said. “A city that promotes active transport makes its city a more liveable city.”

The community ride was organized by First Bike Ride (FBR), Esteban Cycling Community (ECC), and NYMA. The meeting point was held in Magdamag Market Cafe in Quezon City that won the 2023 Mobility Award for the most bike-friendly standalone business, situated in the most bike-friendly city in the Philippines. – Mika Soria/

Improving active transportation facilities and policies is part of the call of various groups to #MakeManilaLiveable. On Rappler, we have created a dedicated space for stories and reports about liveability in Philippine cities. Learn more about the movement here.

Mika Soria is a Rappler volunteer from the University of the Philippines Diliman. As a soon-to-be graduate from the Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing program, they are interested in exploring writing in the field of journalism – especially when it comes to stories centered on community and nation-building.

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