Iloilo City to hold 7th annual bike festival

7th Iloilo Bike Festival organizers (from left) Gregorio Palmes, Grand Fun Ride coordinator; Lorena Blanco, Criterium Race coordinator; Rhea Jagunap, Double Century Ride coordinator; and Architect Wilfredo Sy, festival consultant. (Joseph B.A. Marzan photo)

By Joseph B.A. Marzan

The city of love continues its pursuit of becoming the country’s premier ‘bike capital’ by holding the 7th Iloilo Bike Festival on July 29-31, 2022.

Themed “#BikeKaNaman sa Iloilo City”, the festival aims to promote “Safe, Scenic, and Sustainable biking in Iloilo City.”

The Iloilo Festivals Foundation, Inc. (IFFI), one of the main organizers of the said festival, held a press conference on Wednesday, July 20.

The opening event on July 29 will include openings of the bike exhibit, bike expo, ‘Toys for the Big Boys’ display, and a food fair, as well as the Listo Tayo! Road Safety Seminar and Mobility Forum.

Activities also include a Criterium Race (July 30 to 31), Tour of Iloilo Double Century Ride (July 30), Kiddie Bike Race, Grand Fun Ride, launching of the Bike Capital of the Philippines Forum, and an awarding activity during the closing ceremony (July 31).

The Double Century Ride is the newest feature for this festival, a 200-kilometer, 12 to 14-hour fun ride that starts and ends in Iloilo City, passing through Oton, Tigbauan, Alimodian, Leon, San Miguel, Maasin, Lambunao, Passi City, San Rafael, Barotac Viejo, Banate, Anilao, and Barotac Nuevo in Iloilo province.

This year’s edition will also mark the first time that the festival will traverse through the province, as all activities held since the annual event started in 2014 were held only within the city.

Bike festival coordinator Wilfredo Sy said that this activity is aimed at expressing a sense of community between bikers in the city and province as well as promoting bike tourism.

“We’ve been doing the [festival] only here in Iloilo City, and we feel that the bike community is not just for Iloilo City but for the whole of Iloilo province, so this is also one way of showcasing the tourism, at the same time, going through the towns to let [bikers] know that we want them to join us in celebrating bike culture not just in the city,” Sy said.

Safety marshals will be deployed for all of the events, and trucks and support vehicles will also be deployed for the double century ride.

Physical registration for the bike festival’s riding events is open at the Festive Walk Parade and the Ker & Company building near the city hall. Online registration is also open through the IFFI’s Facebook page.

This is the first physical iteration of the festival amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, with the scheduled 7th edition in 2020 being canceled and postponed to 2021 which was held solely as a digital bike tour.

The 2021 Iloilo Bike Festival is organized by the IFFI, the Iloilo City Government, together with the Iloilo MICE Center and the Megaworld Iloilo Business Park.