Sports Eye

Summertime is cycling time

By Jesus A. Garcia Jr.

MANY say summer time starts in the month of March still others maintain it begins mid-February. I go with the latter because despite the coolness we experience during night time, I can already feel the scorching heat at some point during lunch time and onward. Climate has really changed. Note that two Manila residents reportedly died recently from heat stroke.  So I have no doubt that this is the reason why the organizers of the Ronda Pilipinas 2017 are holding their race during this period, thinking that the rainy season might come early. Wet roads are the bane competing cyclists. As of this writing (Feb. 9), they are now on the fourth stage being hosted by SBMA (Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority) where the Bataan native Rudy Roque is hanging on to dear life against Zambales-son Ronald Lomotos (only behind by 20 seconds) and the surging defending champion and Tour of Saipan winner Jan Paul Morales of Calumpang, Marikina City, 1:34 minutes adrift.

My usual first organized race every year starts in January during the San Fabian town fiesta celebration. The second in my calendar is supposed to be the Binmaley town fiesta usually held on the first Sunday of February. Unfortunately, it was discontinued, temporarily I was told, for the last two years due to sponsors’ constraints.

The next race that I organized and will direct will be on March 5. It will start and end in my village Buenlag (Mangaldan) with national cycling patron Alex Billan of Excellent Noodles supporting the 92-kilometer amateur event. (My big thanks to him for saving the face of Mangaldan during our annual fiesta celebration) Due to my differences with my Mayor Bona de Vera Parayno, the road saga which the mayor is not involved in, will not be called “Werweran” but “Laglagan ed Buenlag.” My third organized bikefest this summer will be the Mayor Tambaoan Cycling Challenge on March 17 bankrolled by the Mapandan municipal government headed by the young and dynamic hizzoner Gerald Tambaoan and assisted by councilors Jimmy Aquino and my cumpadre, Mamerto Eden, Jr., the two sports honchos of the town. Next in line (tentatively) is the Pangasinan Day Cycling Classic on April 5, to be followed by the Bayambang town fiesta of Mayor Cesar T. Quiambao. And the last (so far) will be the Pista’y Dayat affair called “Gov. Amado “Pogi” Espino lll Cycling Challenge” on May 1.

Honestly, the four-day Tour of Pangasinan temporarily scheduled on May 18-23 is in the works and being marketed by the Manila-based The Big Difference Communications. In case the group fails, only the sports-minded Pangasinan’s chief executive Espino can surely save the event.
The Malasiqui government, led by Mayor Noel Anthony M. Geslani, told me and with my son Jazy, that it is raring to hold a sportsfest and cycling is one of the sporting events to be conducted after the Holy Week. Geslani pointed out that only the town’s local riders can participate in the race that will be assisted by Jazy. (He will also direct the footrace and this writer will be his assistant).

Summer time is cycling time because it’s an outdoor sport. Ideal, too, for baseball, football, beach volleyball, marathon, track and field.

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QUOTE OF THE WEEK: And Jesus Christ said, Therefore “If your enemy hungers, feed him; if he thirsts, give him a drink; for in doing so you will heap coals of fire on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. ROMANS 12: 20-21