After planting an urban vegetable garden, now our social media manager JC Carandang has taken up biking. In her own words, she tells us why pedaling has helped her thrive during this pandemic.
2021 has been quite a year. One of the things that helped me take care of my mental health was rediscovering my love for bikes.
I bought one on a combination of whim and necessity (I don’t drive and public transport isn’t ideal), and it ended up being the best impulse buy ever. I regained the freedom that I felt I lost when the pandemic hit.
I still remember the feeling when I first biked alone to a different city. It was a short distance of less than 10 kilometers, but it still gave me a high that I can’t compare to anything else.
Armed with the confidence from that ride, I went outside Metro Manila for the first time. Suddenly I was seeing things differently. The sunrise was prettier, but the roads were also tougher. I could feel every bump and pothole along the way. It took me a few tries but I eventually finished my first 50-kilometer solo loop ride. A few weeks after that, I conquered my first 60 kilometers.
Solo bike riding has given my introverted side the slow, quiet moments that it craves. While I’m definitely not alone on the road (hello, jeeps and tricycles), when I’m on my bike, it’s just me and her. It’s me and the pedals working together to reach my destination; just me and my thoughts urging me to push forward and carry on. Everything else is just background noise.
The elation I felt from that first ride has stayed with me through every kilometer I have since pedalled through. It’s what keeps me moving. Whether it’s dopamine, or endorphin, or whatever secret sauce that my brain has been producing, it’s definitely made me feel happier, even post ride.
Now, the question is: where to next?