When most of the people took more time in their cozy beds on the early hours of June 5, it being a holiday, mountain bikers were already on the trails of Tagbilaran City’s cross country trail training site, spare gloves on the ready, for the World Environment Day Banat-I clean-up.
While the government declared June 5 as the Eid’lFit’r, and as a regular holiday for both Muslims and non-Muslims, the day also afforded many the rest they needed so breakfasts were mostly delayed as there was no hurry for the day.
For young and professionals who take on to their bikes for the daily sweat dose, that day was one they would be ticking two on their bucket list: go get sweating cranking for the climb and do something for the environment for the day.
The challenging climb at Banat-I Park is painful but like all hard efforts, the rewards in the spectacular view from the top easily erases all the pains.
But the garbage that has accumulated in Banat-i, brought by hikers, trail runners or lovers who take the views of the hill, has become an eye-sore for the environment biased bikers and trail runners.
Empty water bottles, soda PET bottles, wine bottles, junk food foil packs, cellophane packaging, styrofoam and food packaging are strewn on the trails, in the camp site and even along the access road, that has marred the beauty of the place.
It is about time we need to do something about it, said biker Engr Rey Tirol, who organized the clean up.
Many trails crisscross Banat-i, that for bikers, the grueling small ring-big cogs grind, or the medium ring medium cogs for power training, has a fit for all types of bikers.
Whether the route follows the road to the top or through the climbing challenge by weaving through the tangle of shrubs, slowly picking the way past the vines and to the tower, a nasty plastic caught in the roots and undergrowth, have concerned the Banat-i users.
Already with three of the best developed bike race routes less than 10 minutes from the heart of the City, Banat-ihas slowly become the favorite playground for the boys and men in their expensive bike rigs.
Banat-I, one of the two more prominent hills rising above Tagbilaran affords those who climb through it one of the most spectacular views, not to mention the health premium one can get for the rigorous climb, even by leisurely hikers.
Also becoming a favorite playground for the already building number of trail runners in Tagbilaran, Banat-I has openly embraced these health conscious athletes as well as lovers on their romantic sojourns.
“The more people are, in the hills, the more the garbage, we need to do something about it,” Tirol added.
Over 20 bikers on 26’rs, 27.5s and 29’rs pedaled up the Banat-I that morning, placed their bikes on top, and with still wearing cleats, bikers followed the trails on foot, bringing with them sacks and tongs to pick up garbage.
After about an hour of clean-up, over 5 sacks of garbage were brought to a stockpile for the city garbage trucks to collect.
The bikers also put up signs on top of the hill, to be responsible by taking nothing pictures, wasting nothing but time and leaving nothing but footprints. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)