More than 2,000 Filipino cyclists rode from the Ortigas Center to the Quezon Memorial Circle last Sunday to help raise awareness of the environmental effects of global warming.
Arctic Sunday, a joint event between Firefly Brigade-Philippines and the international environmental advocacy group Greenpeace, aimed to promote World Car-free Day and Greenpeace's Arctic Campaign in a critical mass ride called the Ice Ride.
The Ice Ride, which was open to the public, intended to draw attention to the need to preserve the Arctic Region in the North Pole and to promote the bicycle as an alternative form of transportation that not only improves the health but at the same time reduces carbon emissions produced by motor vehicles.
“People keep complaining about the quality of the air and worsening traffic conditions. If everybody rides a bicycle, that’s one less car off the road,” said president Karen Silva Crisostomo of Firefly Brigade, a cycling organization that promotes the bicycle as a sustainable form of transportation.
The global mass bike ride started at 7:30 a.m. from Emerald Avenue at the Ortigas Center in Pasig City and ended after a 14 kilometer stretch along EDSA-Katipunan Ave.-Commonwealth Ave. to the Quezon Memorial Circle.
At the park were tents and booths for activities such as film showings, zumba sessions, sale of ecologically friendly products, a solar cooking demo and music tutorials. There was even a Solar Café that prepared food and drinks via solar panels. An afternoon concert whose electricity was provided by a pedal-powered generator was also held.
Similar bike rides occurred in 100 cities in 36 countries and coincide with the annual Arctic Sea Ice Minimum – the expected moment in late summer when the extent of the sea ice around the North Pole recedes to its lowest point, before freezing up again in the winter.