The Pros and Cons of Commuting via Bicycle in Cebu

Exactly one year ago, August 2016, I wrote about buying a bicycle. Here’s what I wrote and an update to follow.

A thought occurred to me in the middle of a one hour six kilometer ride from Mandaue to Lahug, “If I had a bicycle, this would be so much easier.” 

Like many thoughts, this one came and went. 

But as the days passed, the thought kept pulling on me. 

Most of my days are spent working in front of a computer. That means I can work anywhere with internet. Ever since the kiddo was born, I’ve been spending more and more days working at home. When I do need to go out, it usually means heading to a meeting or hitting the bank. 

Driving around the city has increasingly meant I’ve wasted precious time. It’s time away from my kid, my wife and my work. It’s time that could have been better spent doing other things. 

The idea of using a bicycle as a form of commute appeals to me for a few reasons:

(1) For short distances, less than 10km, I should be able to move around the city faster.

(2) Exercising while doing errands sounds perfect.

(3) I’m not adding to the already crowded and polluted roads. 

(4) Gas savings!

Of course, there are cons as well:

(1) We live in the Philippines. I’ll be sweating everywhere I go.

(2) Safety is an issue. Cars have built in armor designed to protect the driver. Bicycles? Not so much.

(3) Going up inclines are a pain in the ass.

(4) Bikes are easily stolen.

The prospect of commuting with a bicycle also comes with many questions about our city:

(1) Are commercial establishments bicycle friendly? Do they have areas we can safely lock our bicycles? 

(2) Cebu roads are less than ideal for bikes; No bike lanes, potholes everywhere, and even neglected roads that need to be repaved.


Fast forward to today

Apparently I move really slowly. I wrote that a year ago. It took me a trip to Europe and seeing the possibilities of having a bike culture  to finally bite the bullet and fix up our old bike in the back. It needed some work done. I had to change the crank bearing, the pedals, the rubber handles, the break pads, and I might even change the gear shifters.

I finally got myself a bike. I’ve only used it a few times, on my way to play basketball, to a meeting in IT Park, and to skip the traffic in Hernan Cortes to name a few instances. In almost all cases, I arrived really really sweaty and immediately changed my shirt. I’ll be taking many more showers that’s for sure.

I’ll let you know how it goes after a few more months of biking.


What are your thoughts? Do you want to give commuting via bike a try?  

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