Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Foreign riders seeing action in Subic race

IN its bid to rev up cyclo-tourism in the country, the Department of Tourism (DOT) hailed bikers from 15 countries, including the Philippines, who will take part in the seventh Terry Larrazabal Bike Festival (TLBF) at the Subic Bay Free Port Zone.

The event, cosponsored by the DOT, will be held on Thursday up to Sunday. It is one of the biggest mountain bike events that touts the country as a cyclo-tourism destination.

Riders from Australia, Canada, Dubai, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the US are taking part.

“We are looking forward to this racing event as an opportunity to show to the world our exciting terrains. Cyclo-tourism is another exciting dimension of our country’s multifaceted adventure tourism,” said DOT Secretary Joseph Ace Durano.

“The TLBF is the only multidiscipline cycling event in the Philippines and Asia. More than simultaneous competitions, we will also hold bike clinics, expositions and street parties for the participants and guests,” said festival director Gregorio Larrazabal.

The racing event features mountain bike racing (XC, 4x, dirt jumping and downhill), trials (26 and 20 categories), BMX (supercross and dirt jumping) road racing and Olympic/standard distance triathlons.

“Strong advertising and marketing support for the TLBF will, hopefully, propel the country’s viability as a cyclist’s haven,” added Eduardo Jarque Jr., undersecretary for tourism planning and promotions.

The bike event was featured in the US edition of Dirt Rag Magazine, one of the leading biker’s publications, while its homepage opened to a write-up and a link to the event website. Several billboards and radio ads have also been creating buzz for the year’s biggest bike show.

World-renowned bikers will also hold clinics on the different aspects of cycling on April 2, from 2:00-6:00pm. Biking icon Hans Rey will talk about Wheels 4 Life, a non-profit foundation that has been providing bikes to the less privileged. On the topic of competing for the World Cup, Brian Lopes, the current UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) World Champion will reveal some strategies on winning. Bike design legend Jeff Jones will tackle the philosophy of designing ride that can withstand the roughest terrains. Jay Macneil, chief operating officer of Banshee Bikes, will give a lecture on bicycle suspension. Festival Director Larrazabal will speak on the essentials of bike fitting. Fox Racing Shox will handle the subject of tuning a mountain bike suspension fork.

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