Friday, October 2, 2009

The One-Armed Cyclist

I was traversing the length of Daangreyna, on one morning of my work-out. Alone this time and without my cycling buddies, I tried to gain little speed for more stamina. But unknowingly someone was behind me and gone beyond with greater speed. That was Meling, the one-armed cyclist, with his jersey’s left sleeve freely swinging as he broke the wind barrier, as if taunting me for more speed or …”eat my dust.”

As he slowly gained distance away from me and vanished from the distant curve, I realized I have to sweat more to catch up with him or stay on trail behind him even in a few minutes. And before I turned on the curve he was already on the opposite lane waving his right hand leaving freely his bicycle’s handle bar. That was Meling again showing his fitness and agility. Despite the burden of one arm, it did not prevent him to be at par with anyone on the road, the “iron man” at Daanghari.

He is riding a special and personalized road-bike. (I was not able to take the picture of his bike for he is always on the go.) The left side of his handle bar is bare while the other side is loaded. His front and rear wheel brakes are connected to a single hand brake control. The front and rear derailleurs and other control gadgets are neatly arranged and accessible by his finger’s movement on the same side lever. And his maneuvering style is something worth to be emulated by those with similar handicap.

With the pedaling skills of Meling, I too was inspired to improve my speed. Before, all I can do was maintaining a 20 kms./hr. on the level road and I’m improving to 30 kms. And this is the average speed of a beginner, the senior citizen trying to equal the endurance of the young. Sooner we will be pedaling another great distance –like Puerto Azul- and we will be satisfying not only our health but travelling and visiting the beautiful tourist spots of my Philippines.

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