“Let’s Just Ride Together!”
With this simple theme, thousands of cyclists will converge in Metro Manila this Sunday for the Tour of the Fireflies, the country’s largest critical mass ride, to highlight, in light of recent events, serious concerns such as climate change and its effects on the environment.
The annual Tour of the Fireflies is a free event open to the bicycle-riding public and anyone who cares about the environment and who are willing to take action in making Metro Manila a healthier city.
Firefly Brigade, the event organizer, said the 2012 edition of the annual bike ride gathered 15,000 riders and although the total number of participants has yet to be finalized, expect a larger turnout for this year's event.
The start/end point is at the Tiendesitas shopping complex in Pasig City. Assembly time is at 5:30 AM with the ride out time set at 6:30AM.
The tour will pass through seven cities in Metro Manila- Pasig, Marikina, San Juan, Taguig, Makati, Mandaluyong and Quezon City.
The estimated length of the route is 20 kilometers which will take about three to four hours to complete.
To maintain security and safety, police, MMDA and event marshals will provide traffic control and coordination for the peloton which can extend to a length of four kilometers long. Hydration stations will be set up in key areas along the route. All riders are required to wear a helmet as a “no helmet, no ride” policy will be in effect.
Riders in nature, clean air or climate change-inspired costumes get a chance to win a Best Costume award. Special awards will be given to the biggest contingent, oldest and youngest riders and other categories.
Registration was extended up to Saturday for participants who are also encouraged to bring donations for the benefit of the victims of Typhoon Yolanda, the strongest typhoon in record and what many believe to be an adverse example of climate change.
Major sponsors are the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the 7-11 chain of convenience stores, Firefly LED Lighting with partners Tiendesitas and Spyder.
A minimal donation of P100 will support the operations and following projects of the Firefly Brigade: organizing monthly Critical Mass Rides (CMR); providing bicycle clinics on Safe Urban Cycling and Bicycle Commuting; RACK ( Raising Awareness, Capacities and Knowledge-sharing) RACK project for bicycle parking in Metro Manila and lobbying the government to adopt sustainable transport policies.