March-April 2020 is the time of the COVID-19 crisis here in the Philippines. Enhanced Community Quarantine is imposed on Luzon so leisure cycling is strictly prohibited. One can only go out if buying food or medical supplies. There are checkpoints and one household is given a Quarantine pass which is your ticket to the authorities. Bikers who are used to go cycling in the open are itching to go out; yet they stop themselves (as civic duty) only to bike another day…
Here are some pictures of the Frontliners (from Philippine Daily Inquirer) who are allowed to go out because their jobs require them to do so. They are the medical staff, security guards, supermarket/ pharmacy staff and other essential backbone workers.
Pollution Free City = Healthy City
Pollution in MegaManila seemed to lessen because cars and other vehicles are now just parked because of the quarantine. Less burning of gas means less toxins in the air. Hydrocarbons (HC), Nitrogen Oxides (NOx), Carbon Monoxide (CO), Particulate Matter (PM), Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) and other hazardous air pollutants contribute to the decline of the people’s health living in the city. Now that there are so much less cars running around, the smog and haze from the fumes seem to lessen, as proof in this photo by Ellis Lagasca (via Facebook):
There are so much bad elements in a polluted city that the health of the citizens living there are immuno compromised. A less polluted environment is better than a toxic area. So if there is a silver lining in this COVID-19 crisis, this is one of them. Of course, there is the time spent with family members, you get close with the people in your house, plus a few other positive effects of this lock down, but the most positive thing we can look at is the decline of the toxins/pollutants in the atmosphere.
Practice the Difficult
During lockdown, we cannot go out biking for fun, thus we cannot ride our favorite trails nor can we ride out with friends for that epic journey. We should implement social distancing so we should be creative in our bike workouts. Please watch this video to improve your bike handling skills and prepare us once we get out of quarantine:
If the skills presented here are way too advanced, it is OK. It should really be difficult and you have the whole quarantine period to practice the exercises. The whole point of this practice is that you should mount your bike and make use of the space given to you. If it is just a trackstand that you can practice at home, try improving your time, and always beat your record yesterday. This will make you a better technical climber, plus bike handler.
We live in strange times now. Nobody was prepared for this. To all the preppers, they thought they were armed, but this crisis really hit hard. Some are more equipped, some are stocked with supplies, but the mental anguish, anxiety and oddness of the present situation really took everyone by surprise. What’s devastating is that this is not localized to one area only, this is a global phenomenon! Some folks in the far flung areas might not be directly affected (lucky for them) but we should fight this invisible virus as one. Let it die down and not take over our bodies as hosts. Let us all stay safe, stay home and keep healthy and happy.
Wash your hands always and wear a mask. Be smart!