In 2019, the Comprehensive Tourism Development Plan for the Municipality of Aringay was approved in May. Part of the plan is to develop trail tourism in the Municipality. We all know that tourism is about creating experiences and one of the the best ways to create these experiences is through the development of tourism trails. So we conceptualized on the idea of re-living the trails used by our pre-Spanish period ancestors in their gold trading activities. The trails are now considered the heritage routes – the routes where our past once threaded to. So on December 1, 2019, the Municipal Tourism Cultural and the Arts Council embarked on a cycling event where the participants competed in an endurance bicycling event following those said trails. It was participated by three groups – the youth, the older one and the heritage enthusiasts. The itinerary was to pass through places of interest and the participants were from different places in the region. We were able to entice participants, visitors and we were able to induce them to spend more time (and eventually money) in their time at the Municipality.
The pandemic years of 2020 and 2021 heralded the cancellation of many tourism activities due to the quarantine and lockdown of the country. In a sense, it was a zero activity for tourism except for some cultural tourism activities allowed within the criteria of the community quarantine. The advent of the Alert Level 1 status of the province and the proposal to conduct the Bike Yard Cycle Bike Weekend this March 5 and March 6, 2022 stirred back our interest not only in Trail Tourism but in cycling tourism. Cycling tourism is becoming organized with many aficionados not only in the Municipality but also in the province. The Bike Yard Cycles is an organized two-day Enduro Mountain bike race. And with our creativity, we have blended cycling and trail tourism into one. Both encompasses participation of people from different cycling organizations in the province and they will be following menacing trails that our ancestors used to thread. The trail is described as a one cycle route plan but is a travelling landscape with the amazing and challenging mountainous Aringay panorama.
The event had aroused the interest of non-participants. They came to watch the event. They came to support the participants. They came to support the organizers. There are trophy events and at the end of the day, the participants talked about surviving and thriving at the Bike Yard Cycles Bike Weekend. This two-day adventure just like any Enduro bike race is an endurance by itself. But on the Municipal Tourism Council’s part it is a resurgence of its aim to develop more route networks to attract more participants to come and spend their money in the Municipality. In this way, as we develop more activities like these, there will be growth of commerce and industry and even stay-in and lodgings will flourish in the long run.The Bike Yard Cycles Bike Weekend activity was in cooperation with Mr. Brian Basa who heads La Union Gravity, a bicycling organization that spearheads competitions among different bicycling enthusiasts. As the pandemic eases and the restrictions lifted, we hope that cycling and trail tourism shall be more systematically organized in the Municipality with an increasing economic impact in mind.