Freeman Cebu Sports


ALLEZ - Jose Vicente "JV" Araneta - The Freeman

Three years after the Mandaue City government, through Mayor Jonas Cortes, gave us the green light to use a portion (actually 2.2km) of the Mandaue Reclamation Area exclusively for cyclists every Sundays from 5AM-9AM, the Cebu City government has finally allowed cyclist to use a portion of the South Road Properties.

While the Cebu City government has been lagging behind the city of Mandaue in relation to bicycle advocacies, I still would like to acknowledge the effort for doing so. Of course, it happened because CC Councilor Rey Gealon made it happen.

The particular area is called  Bagsakan  or the  NOAH Complex. The area is behind the Citi di Mare Complex, the former area where cyclists used to train. Bagsakan is an out and back circuit totaling roughly two kilometers long. Unlike the Mandaue Reclamation Area, there is no barrier at the center of the road which is a little bit dangerous, therefore you have to be doubly careful when training there.

The good thing about the Bagsakan is that currently, it is open daily, from 5AM to 9AM. However, there are no traffic cops manning the area therefore, a few motor vehicles sometimes stray on the route. In Mandaue, traffic personnel will flag any vehicle that enters the routes as some entitled motorists think that they can get away with the  no entry  signs.

Cyclists are not the only folks using Bagsakan. There are runners, walkers and triathletes so again, you have to be extra careful early in the morning. However, around 7AM, when the heat ramps up, the walkers and the runners are already gone.

While the Mandaue City government has standby EMS at the Reclamation Area, that is what s missing at the Bagsakan. Last Saturday, there was a cyclist who had a medical issue. It was a good thing that our good friend, Dr Jonathan Simbajon, was there to assist the cyclist. Turned out the cyclist in distress was ok.

Personally though, I like the Mandaue Reclamation better. Not because of the traffic police, the EMS personnel and the center of the road barrier, but because only cyclists use it. If there is any runner or triathlete, it is very rare.

Until today, I never really understood (or would try to) why we were allowed to use the  Recla . We had tried for years, as far back as the administration of Mayor Pedong Ouano, to get a permit to use the area. For whatever reason, Cebu cyclists would be grateful to the Mayor. To think that most of the cyclists using Recla are not even from Mandaue and yet, here we are, using the area for free.

My hope is that the Bagsakan would become officially our home every day, even of its just a few hours on the morning. SM Seaside used to host us a few years ago but the security personnel was more keen on letting cars pass through than us cyclists.

Cebuano cyclists should be proud of these two routes. I know its not perfect, but it is a cycling paradise.

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