KUWAIT CITY, Feb 10: Members of the Bikers in Kuwait Encounter (BIKE) converge as early as 5:00 in the morning every Friday near the towering KPC building in Shuwaikh to wait for their colleagues who are clad in colourful biking suits and helmets.
As they take a stride on their bikes and clip into their pedals, the group start moving out of the assembly point to the highway, cycling to their destination, first in two lines and finally in a single line. Each rider pedals at his own pace as each look after each other along the road, ensuring that everyone is safe.
The Bikers in Kuwait Encounter (BIKE) founded in 2000 is one of the most active biking groups in Kuwait mostly composed of Filipino riders and a few expatriates of various nationalities and professions. Currently, BIKE has around 200 members.
BIKE is a non-professional cycling organisation with its mission to create a healthy, cyclist and family friendly environment with a focus on education, training, safety, advocacy, and fellowship in order to make Kuwait one of the best biking communities in the Middle East.
“BIKE strives to increase the knowledge, pleasure, and participation in the sport of bicycling by providing regular scheduled events. We also want to promote and encourage interest in bike safety, and actively encourage the planning and development of safe biking facilities. We hope that BIKE becomes a partner in promoting a Healthy Kuwaiti environment,” stated BIKE President Ritchel Cadavos as he led the bikers last Friday for the launch of the new jersey for the club courtesy of Sport Direct And Al Omar Bike Shop.
Along with Cadavos, other BIKE officers also came in full force during the ride namely Vice Pres Ramon Dinio. Secretary Leo Calingasan, Assistant Secretary Amador Cabangon, Treasurer Romeo Bolos, Assistant Treasurer Jun Torno, Event Coordinators Ariel Delmoro and Pedro Palmares, Ride Coordinators Romeo Mangunay, Ciril Mansueto, Allan Centeno and Joseph Hernandez, Logistics Coordinators Ali Al Salem, Orbel delos Santos, Nonito Zarate, Erwin Ladim and Adviser Leo Tan.
Every Friday, BIKE members cover a distance of 42-55 kilometres from Shuwaikh to the Doha Port area and vice-versa. They bike at their own pace but as they near the destination, some try to increase their pace to the maximum until they reach the resting point — an old Bakala (store) near the Entertainment City. The Bakala serves as a haven for the bikers where they buy water, fruit juices, milk and chocolates as they exchange pleasantries and stories for the week.
After that, the group heads off to Shuwaikh for the most awaited part — the group breakfast where some delectable Filipino food are shared among the group.
For its opening salvo for this year, BIKE held its 2016 Individual Time Trial RACE on Jan 29 and has lined up some activities for this year such as the Duathlon Race Relay — Feb 19; Century Ride — Feb 25; Century Ride — Feb 26; Mass Start race- TBD; and Bike Relay Race — TBD.
By Michelle Fe Santiago
Arab Times Staff