Bike, Travel

Padyak: Chill Ride Sunday

Last Sunday was too nice of a day to spend indoors and since I woke up relatively early, I decided to go for a quick bike ride around my area. Here are some pictures and thoughts about my advanture.

The way I decided to go with was my old running route. Before I had the luxury of running in the high-end streets of Bonifacio Global City, the roads of Marikina were my playground.

Biking through the narrow, one-way roads, I reached the very prominent Marikina Sports Complex.

Where it was once filled with so many people, there was nobody out on the track. It’s been years since I last visited this place, 2017 if my memory serves me right. I used to run here during the evenings after work. This was my training ground for both my running and weightlifting goals.

I can still remember watching the titas dance zumba and even joining in when they played the right song. Weaving along the track and dodging the joggers while trying to keep up with my friends was a fond memory here. There used to be so many people sweating in this place and it’s a shame that it’s still not open to the public.

I moved along to the multi-story building that housed the gym and saw that it had been converted to a huge vaccination facility.

Now I know why it’s still closed to the public. This huge building used to be open for different activities. It even houses an indoor swimming pool for our athletes. But now it’s been repurposed for something more urgent. It was closed when I passed by but I guess it’s saving a lot of lives during normal operation.

There’s no better location for a vaccination complex, I guess. The building is well-ventilated and has a lot of open space. It’s definitely the best choice for this kind of activity.

I moved on to check out the nearby Rodic’s branch.

I’m happy to see that it is still open, but only for take-out and delivery orders. I used to eat here a lot after working out. I ate so many tapsilog dishes with friends here. Hopefully when the pandemic is over I can finally get to dine in again. I don’t mention it a lot, but Rodic’s Tapsilog has really been an important dish in my life.

Moving on, I reached the Marikina City arc at the intersection of Sumulong Highway. This was one of the prominent symbols of Marikina and a lot of bikers back then would take their pictures here. In fact, this was also the meeting place of a lot of folding bikers during past evenings.

It looked newly painted and it seemed to be being repaired as evidenced by the metal scaffolding in front of it. Glad to see it still being maintained well despite not being an attraction currently.

There were significantly less people outside during this day, but the Marikina Public Market was packed. I guess no one can stop the masses when it comes to buying their vegetables and meats. I guess Marikina will never cease to be a ghost town, especially not this area.

Finally, I turned at Gil Fernando Avenue which would connect me back to Marcos Highway. A lot of the restaurants and establishments are still open, but they’re now packed with Grab and FoodPanda riders. Delivery has really become the main thing keeping them open right now. At the very least, people can still enjoy their cravings in the safety of their homes.

I passed by Blake’s Wings & Steaks which is a good place to eat. I’m happy to see that it’s still operating. I can’t wait to bite into their juicy steak when it’s possible again. There were also a few more Samgyupsal places that popped up since my last visit. I don’t know how they’re still open but I’m not complaining about the new additions.

The huge Jollibee + Chowking + Burger King block has also been finished at the corner of the avenue. When I was running through here back then, it was still being built. I had to weave around some construction bollards and potholes back then but now it’s a flat stretch of concrete for parking and drive thru.

With nowhere else to go, I headed home and parked my bike. I bought a cup of taho from the local vendor and spent the rest of the morning reading Norwegian Wood by the pool.

It’s been literal years since I’ve been to this route and I’m glad I finally updated my memory bank. I’m happy to see that despite a lot of things changing, there are still some familiar sights that haven’t changed at all.

Next time I might try riding even further through routes that I haven’t been to before. I know there are a lot of places to explore in Marikina. This ride actually came about because I was looking for a place to park my bike and have coffee and read my book. Alas, there were no places that are open-air and come with bike parking. Hopefully future rides will yield better results.

That’s it for this quick entry. Thanks for reading and stay safe!

-jgzn

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