Bicycle riders are calling upon the driving and riding public to give them ample space on the road. Many of these bicycle riders are new to cycling around cities.
Within the first week of the partial resumption of work and relaxing of many quarantine restrictions, there have already been many reports of cyclists involved in accidents with motor vehicles.
While public transport is beginning to resume operations under the Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine, it only operates at reduced capacity, half of what it was. The government has also urged businesses to provide shuttle services for their employees, but many small businesses cannot afford to do so. Those who can were faced with difficulties in securing proper government requirements (documents) due to the volume of applicants and limited personnel to process them.
With all these complications and difficulties, many employees that have to get to work were left with no choice but to either walk or ride their bicycles. Some of them are commuting to work on a bicycle for the first time. Yes, for the first time.
“Sa mga may sasakyan, karamihan po sa nakikita ninyong nagbibisikleta sa kalsada ay mga baguhan sa pagba-bike. Pakiusap, huwag nyo pong pinahan (to those driving their vehicles, many of the bicycle riders you see on the road are new to cycling in the city [because there is no public transportation]. Please do not drive too close to them), said @ianhowbikes on Twitter.
This sentiment was aired by many members of the cycling community even before the COVID-19 outbreak and the resulting lockdown. For many years, they've endured unruly drivers, as well as motorcycle riders that think the road is no place for bicycles. Countless accidents have resulted from motorists side-swiping cyclists simply because they were not given ample space by vehicles.
With the “new normal” in place, where the government encourages alternative modes of transportation, please look twice for cyclists on the road. Again, many of them are newbies who are pedaling their way to and from work.