Local bikers aged 18 years old and above from Apayao joined a 15-kilometer bike race to promote road safety and a healthy lifestyle.
Starting from the welcome arch within the provincial boundary of Apayao and Cagayan leading to the grandstand of the Apayao Eco-tourism and Sports Complex in Luna, male and female bikers were all in safety gear as they competed in the search for Mr. and Ms. Bikers Champ.
Health promotion officer Corazon Juan said the competition was part of their efforts to raise awareness about road safety as cases of road crash accidents in the province have been increasing.
“We hope by holding events like this, we can promote safe driving habits among the biking community. Bikers are more vulnerable on the road, and we want to make sure they understand the importance of following traffic rules and regulations,” Juan said.
After the grueling chase to the finish line, the Provincial Health Office awarded the top bikers who exemplified safe biking behaviors and healthy lifestyles.
For the male category, Ian Cariaga was hailed Mr. Biker Champ while Kyla Nicole Bayani was recognized as Miss Biker Champ. Both are residents of Luna.
“It is a great honor for us, but what’s more important is the message that we want to impart to fellow bikers. We must always prioritize our safety while on the road. This kind of activity is a good example to encourage the youth to be a part of the growing cycling community in the province,” Cariaga said.
Bayani said, “Wearing proper protective gear, such as helmets, to prevent serious injuries in case of accidents is essential. We want to show that being fashionable while biking should not compromise our safety.”
Meanwhile, 53-year-old Montano Armas from Sta. Marcela dominated the senior category with a wide margin from his rivals Mario Ominga and Erwin Ballesteros from Pudtol and Luna, respectively.
Provincial Health Officer Mark Calban lauded the participants for their commitment to promoting road safety.
He said practicing road safety measures means a lot among road users.
“Aside from providing proper healthcare services, we want to encourage bikers to take road safety seriously. Events like this will raise awareness among them and encourage them to practice road safety measures,” he said.
With the support of the cycling community and other stakeholders, such as the Highway Patrol Group and Land Transportation Office, the PHO hopes to create a safer road environment for everyone and plans to hold more similar events in the future.
The event is also in support of the “Padyak para sa Healthy Pilipinas” campaign of the Department of Health. – PNA