CYCLING ON THE STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN

A foreign extreme mountain-bike champion is planning to take on the world-famous Banawe Rice terraces in northern Philippines to promote the annual bike festival in Ormoc City, Leyte, in the central part of the country.

By Guil Franco (Our Correspondent)

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Published: Tue 28 Mar 2006, 11:20 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 4:46 PM

"It is dangerous really, when you deal with Mother Nature. However, the attempt is achievable," Hans Rey, a Swiss-born athlete raised in Germany and who later settled in the US, said.

He acknowledged the feat won't be easy "because I have seen the rice terraces only in photographs and videos."

Rey has to make adjustments to his bike for the ride down the terraces in Mountain Province. "I will use a different type of suspension," he said.

His bike-adventure team has analysed the footpaths beside the rice terraces —dubbed the Stairway to Heaven — where he can pass through using his mountain bike.

Assistant Secretary Cynthia Carrion, of the Department of Tourism's sports tourism and wellness, said the presence of Rey in the 5th Terry Larrazabal Bike Festival in Ormoc is part of their initiative to promote the country's sports tourism. The festival, which will run from March 30 until April 2, is expected to attract over 600 foreign and local cyclists.

Rey said that with the hot weather in the country, doing an extreme mountain-bike exhibition is like performing inside a sauna. "I am prepared, but of course the hot climate will affect me in some way like exhaustion, and rehydratioin is needed," he said.



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