10th Tour of the Fireflies

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mountain biking

10th Tour of the FirefliesApril 20, 2008

10th Tour of the Fireflies

Who are the Fireflies?
The Fireflies is a citizenís volunteer action group which works for clean air and a habitable, people-friendly environment in the inner cities. Every year, and on its 10th year now, they host a 50km critical mass ride along Metro-Manila's most congested arteries to promote the bicycle as a no-pollution means of human-powered transportation. Marshalls are always on hand to provide assistance, medics are on standby, and water stops are strategically positioned. Now numbering in the thousands, it has become more visible and mainstream with the participation of high profile names and celebrities.

This year's tour started at Tiendesitas. After the morning pep talk emceed by the organizers, we we all off along the streets of Pasig, Mandaluyong, Makati, Pasay, Manila and Quezon City.

Keeping with the Pack
At the initial start, we were all in a big pack, but as the ride progressed, the pack thinned out in some parts creating a wave. The marshalls all did their best keeping traffic at bay, but when the pack thinned out into one very long stretch, so did the marshalls. The trick was to always be a part of the wave...safety in numbers. On thin sections with only a few riders, the motorists muscled their way in and riders found themselves competing for road space.

Ending Thoughts
In the Philippines, there are numerous pockets of cycling communities - the lowriders, the roadies, the mountain bikers, recreational weekend riders, families who just want to bond together, etc. The annual Tour of the Fireflies serves as a hub for a gathering of the collective clan...all links galvanized to form the cycling chain. In the thousands, they form a critical mass in regaining the streets for cleaner air.

--- TheLoneRider

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