Long-time followers of the blog may know that I started it with a view toward joining audax rides. It’s literally on the title and URL. I still count the December 2015 Subic-Masinloc-Subic 210 km audax ride as one of my absolute favorite rides that just so happens to double as a bucket-list moment.
The same long-time followers may also know that I’ve been wanting to repeat the exact same ride for the past four years. It’s been a continual source of frustration for me that I’ve done my preparations each time, and yet something always managed to come up and derail my plans – sometimes even on the day prior.
With COVID19 having made its considerable dent on the world, one that is still growing larger and deeper, I am a little concerned that I may never be able to do another audax.
Part of the appeal is the drive, escaping the urban chaos of Metro Manila to head towards the relative calm of Olongapo City and Subic Bay. Staying over at one of their little hotels and exploring for a few nights, looking for dining and shopping, Subic Bay is a nice host city. Many of those exact businesses have been hardest-hit by the pandemic.
The ride itself is a mass-start event, and the checkpoints along the route require a bit of congregation and queuing up to get brevet cards stamped. That might not be a wise thing to do in the wake of the necessity of social distancing and the fact that the country’s COVID19 response to date has been bottom of the Southeast Asian heap.
The thought of not being able to do another audax ride because of yet another personal mishap makes me pretty sad. The fact that because of the threat of COVID19, no other Pinoy can, either, makes me a lot sadder.
Stay safe, all. Here’s hoping we can ride on – another day.