Friday, February 22, 2008


This photograph was taken at the bike rental lot within the CCP complex before it was closed down for good about a year ago.

For a kid, riding a bicycle is ultimately the best way to experience freedom on wheels. The first bike I enjoyed was borrowed from a cousin, while the second was a hand me down from my older siblings. It may be old and looked very much like Pee Wee Herman's much beloved bicycle with fat tires, but I treasured it immensely; oiling and cleaning it almost everyday. And on weekends and days without school, I'd practically ride it all day long.

There was also a time that I'd get on my bike when sent on an errand. But come to think of it, it
required more effort to get my bike out of the room where I stored it than just walk on over to Manong's sari-sari store.

And then one weekend, at Baguio City's Burnham Park, I learned to ride a Vespa. I loved it. As soon as I got home, I did all I could to talk my father into buying me one. He bought me a scooter all right, but it was one of those you push with one of your legs to get it moving.

Oh, well ...


posted by Señor Enrique at 11:26 AM


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like you I have great memories about bikes. Very nice shot!

February 22, 2008 12:12 PM  

Blogger Sidney said...

Are you still biking?

February 22, 2008 1:30 PM  

Blogger Unknown said...

Ah, biking! The scars on my knee and legs are no longer visible but I showed the scars to everybody with pride when I was 10. My shoes were even stolen after I left it on the side of the park to go biking barefoot!

February 22, 2008 3:19 PM  

Blogger Photo Cache said...

I remember when we used to rent bike over @ CCP and spend a good portion of a day biking. I also fell big time when I got distracted by onlookers whose main joy is to do just that distract people on bikes so they would lose control and fall. I gave them a good tongue lashing, something I dont really do.

February 22, 2008 3:25 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I bet you do a lot of bicycling where you are, Luke, especially during warm weather.

Another memory of mine with bicycling was when I used to bring my 10-speed bike whenever visiting my brothers in other states. The airline used to provide a box for it.

Thanks, Luke!

February 22, 2008 4:21 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

The conditions of both the roadways and traffic in Manila are not conducive for bicycling, Sidney; not to mention the lethal fumes from jeepneys and tricycles one might inhale along the way.

I miss biking, though.

February 22, 2008 4:25 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Lol ... I, too, have scars from bicycling, Luna.

You should've used a bike with a basket attached right on its handle bar to put your shoes into.

February 22, 2008 4:32 PM  

Blogger Tina said...

hi senor this brings back memories
when my friends and i used to go biking there in the mornings of early
80s. those bikes for hire people,
were they relocated somewhere? what a
pity hey lost their business.

February 22, 2008 4:38 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I fail to understand how these people can derive perverse pleasure from causing harm, Photo Cache. They obviously do not know that even a simple fall from a bicycle may produce serious consequences.

They deserved your tongue-lashing!

February 22, 2008 4:42 PM  

Blogger  gmirage said...

It was late when I learned to bike (I think I was 10) =D Nayong Pilipino also rents bike for the kids...what a nice memory evoked by this photo...

My daughter learned at 4 and she did not get the scars or bumps I did when I was learning lol.

I agree about what you said to Photo cache...=(

February 22, 2008 4:51 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Good question, Tina. I should ask around and find out whatever became of the people who operated this enterprise. I wonder about those bicycles, too.

My nephews enjoyed bicycling in this compound on Sunday afternoons.

February 22, 2008 5:02 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

My brother's friend had a freak accident while bicycling in Manhattan, G. Mirage. It took him almost a decade to fully recover from it. When I heard about his accident, I immediately went out to buy myself a helmet.

I don't remember exactly how old I was when my uncle brought out from the "kamalig" my cousin's bicycle. What I do remember is that it only took him a few minutes to teach me to maintain balance and ride it with confidence. It was one of the best summers I had as a kid!

February 22, 2008 5:07 PM  

Blogger nutart said...

aah! Bikes---the old fashioned way! I never liked the racer-type, though. Such a sad way that the CCP bikes got phased off...there goes the urban child's opportunity at learning how to enjoy balancing on a bike!

My husband brought me biking around Munich on the first years of our marriage. I was aghast because the last time I was on serious biking was when I was 12 years old! Well, he said, I was insured (he-he :-(!). And so, we went (me on his mother's sporty racer and him on his father's) up and down bike lanes, parks and steep garage lanes. We also went biking in the provincial towns in Bremen, Germany. I was both so stressed and angry and intrigued by such activities. But i managed... The terrains were not at all like that of CCP nor Burnham Park! Also proven to me is the adage that once you have learned how to bike, you will never forget it. I didn't have any accidents at all so actually, I impressed my husband afterwards ;-).

February 22, 2008 6:44 PM  

Blogger jon go said...

well eric, i don't know how to ride a bike! what can i say??! i was living in a tower for 29 years before i threw out my long hair to be saved... oops.. i'm a skinhead.. but i still got out, so it's all good.. :)

February 22, 2008 6:55 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is where I felt freedom, Senor Enrique! Riding with a bike.

February 22, 2008 7:49 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Now, that's some lovely biking experience you have, Bernadette. I've met some kids who brought their bikes and toured Europe. Ah, wished I had joined them, but I didn't have the luxury of taking the whole summer off to engage in such bliss.

I can only surmise that you had done quite a lot of travelling not only all over the Philippines but in foreign lands as well. Good for you :)

February 23, 2008 7:08 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Don't worry, Jon, I never learned to skate ... hehehe. You can imagine how jealous I was of those who were adept ai it during the disco skate craze era ... hahaha.

But it's never too late to learn bicycling, I think :)

February 23, 2008 7:11 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Ah, so you're a kindred spirit, Mandaragat. In Subic, I'd tirelessly bike from one barrio to another with cousins, and would feel so invincible whenever taking over a carabao hauling a fully-loaded cart ... hehehe.

February 23, 2008 7:14 AM  

Blogger Amadeo said...

Well, Eric, biking has now replaced as my main physical exercise regimen, in lieu of jogging. A 3rd option for inclement weather - a rowing machine I keep in the open shed.

Rediscovering the thrill of biking is an exhilarating experience because it necessarily brings back fond childhood memories.

But how different now! - Now, I have 3 bikes to choose from for different purposes and gear shifts as high as 18, and all lighweight machines.

the Schwinns of old are gone, consigned to memories.

February 23, 2008 8:24 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having this freedom as a kid and as teen, I would bike to Olongapo or going north as far as San Antonio, Zambales. This is where I got to appreciate nature, its beauty, the simple life of the countryside and exposure to the "great divide".

Ala Che Guevarra, motorcycle nga lang yung sa kanya.

February 23, 2008 8:46 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aysus, I can't bike, I can't drive... paano kaya ako mabubuhay nang wala ang anak kong matiyagang nagda-drive para sa akin.

But way back in college, I learned how to roller skate. I would glide along the corridors of our dorm, and then I got bolder and did it in campus and at Burnham Park skating rink. I had countless falls before I learned how. Ang sakit sa butt. hehehe.

This scooter your father bought for you Eric -- is this the one where you have to stand and grip the handle when riding it? I have that image in my mind... don't know if that's the one you are referring to. Uso yan sa mga bata noong araw, di ba?

February 23, 2008 9:03 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I will always love biking, Amadeo, and hopefully someday soon, will get back to riding one on a regular basis, though more moderate now than before. And none of those uphill terrains ... hehehe.

Yes, I remember your entry on the bikes you have in your garage. So many to choose from :)

February 23, 2008 11:03 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Not sure if they still hold one, Mandaragat, but when I was a kid, they had bike marathons in Zambales. I think one of my cousins participated but nothing of remarkable performance; otherwise, we'd be talking about it for ages ... hehehe.

But hey, from Olongapo to San Antonio? That's some distance! Wow!

February 23, 2008 11:07 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Yes that was it but not the folding kind with small wheels. Those can be dangerous because the little wheel tend to get lodged inside tiny potholes or open cracks on the streets.

Wow! So you were into roller skating, eh? I enjoyed watching those folks who skated with disco music. That as fun.

February 23, 2008 11:16 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Si, Senor Enrique! From my town Subic, city of Olongapo is just 11km. Almost the same distance from Subic to San Antonio.

February 23, 2008 4:04 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I just checked the map of Zambales, Mandaragat. I had thought of San Antonio as somewhere almost as far as Iba. My mistake.

But nonetheless, for a kid who used to bike from Pamatawan to Castillejos, Olongapo to San Antonio would be considered quite a distance ... hehehe.

By the way, glad that stretch of highway didn't have any dogs who had nothing better to do than chase bicyclists -- unlike in Long Island, NY.

February 23, 2008 4:22 PM  

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Life in Manila as observed by a former New Yorker who with a laptop and camera has reinvented himself as a storyteller. Winner of the PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS: Best Photo Blog in 2007 and three Best Single Post awards in 2008.


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