Coming this May: MTB and the Rodeo

One is ridden on a seat with two wheels and a handlebar; the other, on man’s dear friend with four muscular legs and a saddle. Both you climb on and dance with. Both you mount to achieve the same purpose: to propel you to move forward. Two weeks from now—the weekend of May 2 to 4—two events will bounce and gallop in Cebu: First, the bike…….

“Come celebrate 20 years of Mountain Biking in Danao City!” proclaimed Oscar “Boying” Rodriguez in an e-mail message he sent a few days ago. One of the most recognizable names in RP mountain-biking (MTB), and the chairman of the Danao City Sports Commission, Boying Rodriguez added: “In the summer of 1987, Tourism Secretary Ace Durano and his brother Congressman Red Durano, who were then studying in the U.S.A., went home for their vacation from their high school studies in California. They brought with them radical looking 21-speed bicycles with knobbed fat tires and ‘granny gears.’ It was then the craze in California. They brought back the first Mountain Bikes to the Philippines! We were all hooked. We all converted our road bikes to ‘mountain bikes!’”

Boying Rodriguez is right. Believe it or not, possibly the first-ever Filipinos to “import” MTBs to our country were no less than the Durano brothers, Ace and Red. From those bikes brought two decades ago spawned mountain-biking in Danao, in Cebu, and all over the RP archipelago. Since then, Danao City has led the peloton in promoting MTB.

Boying Rodriguez (right) with SEA Games gold medalist Marites Bitbit

“Danao city has hosted the UCI sanctioned 1997 3rd Asian Mountain Bike Championships participated in by 13 Asian countries. The 2001 1st SEA MTB Championships were also held in Danao; same with the 23rd SEA Games in 2005,” added Boying.

This May 3 and 4, what’s happening? Another mega-event hosted by Danao: the 2008 1st Congressman Red Durano International Road and Mountain Bike Championships. Over 600 cyclists from all over the country are expected to join, including 2005 SEA Games gold medalists Ali Usman from Indonesia and RP’s Marites Bitbit.

Registration is only P300 (inclusive of T-shirt and lunch) and a total of P269,000 in cash prizes will be handed out to the winners. Categories? Cross country (7-km. loop), Downhill (2.5 kms.) and the Road Race (130 kms.). To register, call the Danao City Sports Commission at (032) 2001818.

RODEO. That same May 2 and 3 weekend, riders will also mount, skip, hurdle, stride forward, circle obstacles and prance crossing the finish line. But instead of carbon-fiber bike frames, they’ll be riding a means of transportation that is not man-made.

The Cebu Equine Owners, Breeders and Sportsmen’s Association, Inc., or the CEOBSA, will host the 1st Sen. Juan Miguel F. Zubiri Cup National Rodeo. Spearheaded by my brother-in-law Jake Mendez, who stands as the president of CEOBSA, this will be a major sporting event that Cebu hasn’t seen in a long time.

“It’s been 10 years since we did something like this,” said Anton Quisumbing, one of the founders of CEOBSA and the event chairman, when I spoke to him by phone yesterday morning. “Senator Zubiri will be here to join us and, like before, this will be with the help of the Mandaue City led by Mayor Jonas Cortes.”

In time with the Mandaue City fiesta, the two-day event at the North Reclamation Area will not be a Cebu-only affair. Teams from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao will participate with over 140 horsemen (and women) to join.

This is a must-see event; a show that we’ve never seen before. Study these categories… Non-cattle events: Tug of War; Load carrying; Wood chopping. Cattle events: Bull-riding; Lassoing on foot (Throwing down, tying)- 1 Man play; Lassoing on horseback; Team roping – 2 man play on horseback; Carambola – 4 man play; Casting down – 4 man play. Aren’t they fun?

And, if you think this is only for boys—as in Cowboys—think again. Ladies will be aplenty and the event will be capped by the aptly-titled, “Miss Rodeo.”

Categorized as Cycling
John Pages

By John Pages

I've been a sports columnist since 1994. First, in The Freeman newspaper under "Tennis Is My Game." Then, starting in 2003, with Sun.Star Cebu under the name "Match Point." Happy reading!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *