PN file photo

A national cycling event is anticipated to gather roughly a thousand riders from all over the country to Puerto Princesa this July, the local tourism office said.

Demetrio Alvior Jr., chief of the City Tourism Department (CTD), said the bikers, who are expected to arrive this week, will participate in the Audax Randonneurs Philippines’ 100km Populaire Palawan, Audax Palawan 200km, and Audax Palawan 300km open rides that will pass through Puerto Princesa and the southern and northern parts of Palawan.

Audax Randonneurs Philippines was founded in November 2010 as the Philippines’ “Audax Club Parisien-approved brevet-coordinating organization to promote randonneuring, a non-competitive, time-limited, long-distance cycling event.”

“Ito ay almost a thousand participants, ito ay biking. Almost 300 kilometers bike yata ito from Puerto Princesa, north and south, organized by locals din natin,” Alvior said.

He projected that it would be a good chance not only for players in the local tourism sector but other types of enterprises.

It is also an opportunity for the city to consider promoting itself as a “Bike Tourism Capital” due to the interest generated by its thrilling and unusual terrains, as well as the city’s large number of bikers.

“Siguro later on puwede nating tingnan yan at gawin nating bike tourism sa dami rin ng nagba-bike dito. Araw-araw hanggang gabi, makikita mo may tumatakbo sa highway. So, pinag-aaralan din natin yan,” he said.

According to Alvior, COVID-19 and the need to keep citizens healthy have opened up opportunities to invest in bike tourism and its benefits.

However, the city needs to think about what sets it apart and how cyclists might get a true feel for the place.