Sunday, May 18, 2008
Day 56: Nabunturan-Davao City
When I woke early this morning, my left knee was swollen and stiff. I was wondering if I could still bike the last leg of my journey. Bending it was so difficult and painful. I limped all the way to the altar as I concelebrated and preached at the 6 am mass in Nabunturan.
During breakfast, a 71 year-old biker named Amancio came in and told me that he would bike with me all the way to Davao if no one else would accompany me. 8 more people arrived and told me they would bike with me within the town and up to Mawab which was 12 km away.
Riding the bike was so agonizing - with only the right leg pedaling and the left leg still very stiff and painful. Amancio assured me that after a while, the pain would go away. So we pedaled at a very slow pace wishing the pain would go away. After an hour, I could easily bend my left knee but my left leg didn't have enough strength to pedal. When we reached Mawab, the other bikers returned to Nabunturan. As we crested the second hill, a truck with seven bikers stopped. They were led by Luis - the owner of the 3 MJ bike shop. He placed some ice on my knees and instructed another biker to ride beside me and push my back. As we reached Tagum, more bikers were waiting for us and joined us. We dropped by the Tagum city hall where a bicycle-circuit race was in progress. My arrival was announced and the bikers gave me a warm applause. We continued our journey and this time there were over 50 bikers accompanying me. Several bikers took turns in assisting me so that I didn't have to do much pedaling. Upon seeing that I wouldn't be alone, Amancio decided to return to Nabunturan.
We arrived at the Redemptorist church grounds at 2:15 pm I was welcomed home by our parish staff and youth. When I looked at my cyclocomputer, I saw that I have already biked a total of 5164.7 km in 56 days. In spite of the pain and thanks to the support of the bikers I have finally finished my journey.