Naga to re-stage bike fest in clean air month celebration
By Jason B. Neola
NAGA CITY — Around 500 bicycle riders will zoom their way in a solidarity ride via the city’s on and off roads to promote Naga as bicycle-friendly city while drumming up support to the local government’s environment-friendly initiatives that are defined under Republic Act 8749 known as the Clean Air Act of 1999.
The event, which will be participated in by different bike groups and enthusiasts in this city including barangay officials and volunteers, City Hall employees and officials, will be conducted on November 12, this year, when the city celebrates the National Clean Air Month.
First Lady Farah R. Bongat, chairperson of the 2016 Naga City Bike Festival, said the bike fest is a sporty strategy of the city government to promote biking as one mode of transportation, a healthy way of achieving physical fitness and as an outdoor fun and recreation.
“It is expected to make the celebration of clean air month in the city more festive and colorful, not to mention the different bike games and competitions organized by the festival organizers in partnership with the City ENRO,” the first lady says.
The bike fest has also been calendared as one of the featured activities of the 2016 Bicol Business Month which is being staged for the whole month of November by the Metro Naga Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MNCCI), in collaboration with the Naga City Government and other event partners, according to Joe Perez, chair of this year’s Bicol Business Month.
Mayor John G. Bongat, during his term as city councilor, authored City Ordinance 2008-068 wherein he stated that “biking has many benefits for the people and it is good for the health and for the environment and the people of the city could also save on gasoline expenses.”
“Heathy lifestyle will be promoted as more residents of the city will be encouraged to use bicycles while shopping and commuting and it will help curb problems of pollution and traffic congestion at the city’s central business districts,” Bongat also emphasized in his ordinance.
The measure also designates convenient and safe bicycle parking spaces at Central Business Districts I and II by way of providing parking facilities such as bicycle racks and iron hooks.
Christopher Jhun Zantua, officer-in-charge of the City ENRO’s Cultural Division, said the 30 to 35 kilometer bike ride will cover the city’s major roads. With City Hall as its kick off point, the ride will speed through the barangays of Concepcion Pequeña, Concepcion Grande, Del Rosario and then to Pacol (via Salunggigi road in Barangay Cararayan) then to San Felipe, Peñafrancia, Liboton, Bagumbayan Sur, Mabolo to Mayon Avenue in Barangay Tinago then back to City Hall.
Other activities of the event: formal opening of bike fair/exhibit at the City Hall grounds, blessing and inauguration of bike parking racks beside the PSO Blue Room, distribution of Information and Education Campaign stickers and keychain at the Naga City People’s Hall, and updating of the database of the Naga City Bikers Association.
In the afternoon, various bike games and competitions like fun race, bike time trials and bike race with obstacle courses. The games and the friendly bike-riding race contests are open to all bicycle riders of different kinds of bikes like fixies, BMX, mountain bikes, and folding bikes. The fun-filled activities will be held at the back of the City Hall building.
Zantua said at least 6 bike stores will put up their sales and display nook at the City Hall grounds to sell their products and merchandises on generous discounts.
Promoting City Hall as bicycle-friendly workstation, the city government has opened a bike loan program for its employees wherein they can purchase bikes on easy installment plan.