What makes biking uniquely romantic for couples (or for would- be couples) is the journey they take together. Unlike motorized vehicles where two people can stay together, with just one of them on the steering wheel, bikes are usually for single use (except for tandem bike). By riding on each bike while traveling a single road, two people share one journey fueled by just each person’s power and passion.
POC has interviewed two biker couples who shared their journey through pedals, their love for biking, for each other, and bigger things that matter.
Justin Senturias and Fritzie De Vera Senturias (Special Needs Educators)
Love story: A special proposal
For newlyweds Justin and Fritz, biking is part of their journey from boyfriend and girlfriend to husband and wife. Justin has been biking for years and wanted to share his bike rides with his special someone so one day he brought Fritz a bike. He shares that while they have been a couple even before they started biking together, his love grew fonder when Fritz agreed to join the activity with him.
“Mas nakaka-inlove kasi makita mo yung partner mo that she is willing to try out things na gusto mo dahil sayo.”
For her part, aside from the fact that joining her then boyfriend in biking would mean more bonding time, Fritz took biking as one of Justin’s challenge. She shares that her husband usually challenges and pushes her to the limits of her abilities. This motivates her to be Justin’s equal, to be able to do what he can.
Their wonderful biking love story’s highlight was a romantic movie-worthy wedding proposal in a biking trail inside the La Mesa Nature Reserve in Quezon City. After a year of biking together, Justin decided to pop the question to Fritz while they were on a quiet viewing deck facing the beautiful serene waters of La Mesa dam and lush forest of the reserve, which was, by the way also featured in the movie Lakbay2Love. Of course, Fritz said yes and they tied the knot December last year.
Bike to appreciate nature
A nature lover, Justin says that mountain biking gives him a very different perspective from everyday environment especially where we are on trails. “Out on the trails, the air is fresher, the breeze is cooler and the sceneries are amazing. These are things that most of us don’t get to see and feel lalo na tayong mga taga-syudad. Through biking, I get to appreciate nature more which makes me want to take care of it better. I guess my advice to people is to actually experience nature first hand so that they’ll have a deeper understanding why we shouldn’t litter, cut trees, and why we should segregate our wastes at home, recycle papers at work and minimize our overall foot print as opposed to seeing those tasks as extra and unnecessary work.”
Mark Lui Aquino (Development Worker & Biking Enthusiast/Advocate) and Anna Saplor (Development Worker)
Braving the roads together
“Hindi kita pababayaan sa daan mag isa.” This is what Mark Lui, a biking enthusiast since his high school years, promised his girlfriend Anna when he encouraged her to hit roads of the city the jungle to get to work. Though Anna knows how to bike, she was hesitant to brave the city roads alone. Then one day, Mark Lui surprised her with a personalized bike he assembled just for her and promised her he would not let her bike alone.
Since then, biking has become one of their bonding activities, aside from it being their regular form of exercise. Being an experienced biker, Mark Lui taught Anna the basics of biking and road safety. Their first city ride was in Sta. Mesa, with Anna following behind Mark Lui. Soon, they were biking together in rough road trails like Wawa Dam in Montalban, Rizal. Their Sundays are bonding days riding their bikes and going places. Now braver to face the city’s roads, Anna is now able to bike to work within Metro Manila, of course, with Mark Lui. For Anna, biking has and continues to play an important part in their relationship.
Bike for a better world
Also a spokesperson for biking advocacy group “Bikers Unite”, Mark Lui emphasizes that biking can change the society through (1) improved air quality (drastic reduction of carbon emissions), (2) reduced traffic congestion, and (3) proper utilization (and conservation) of natural resources, as there is lesser need for raw materials in production like steel and rubber as compared to cars , (4) lastly, it is very economic as people would not spend a huge chunk of their budget for vehicle fare. If more people would bike to work or school on a daily basis, better road situations and environment are undoubtedly possible.
While being positive about biking’s many benefits, his group also laments current biking and transportation conditions in the country. One major problem is that roads particularly in Metro Manila are not bike friendly.
Notable concerns are inadequate bike lanes which make biking in major thoroughfares accident-prone (and/or lack of proper implementation of related laws), and lack of trees alongside roads which lessen the heat of sunlight. Aside from creating more bike lanes and planting trees on roadsides, their group also calls for improvement of existing mass transport system (trains) that would enable people to bring their bikes inside.