Dumaguete's Geely Scooter King wows crowd
The contest is called the Scooter King Challenge. But the 429 of the 430 riders who competed in the event rode mopeds and traditional motorcycles. Only one came on a real scooter, and fortunately he came home the winner.
Tomas Teodoro Delgado rode his China-made Geely 100cc scooter to top the 2nd Shell Scooter King Challenge at the pier area of this city Saturday. The 37-year-old burger stand owner from Guihulngan, Negros Oriental finished in 88 seconds, four seconds faster than Silliman University student Cromwell Montenegro who placed second.
"I thought I wouldn't win because I was riding a very small scooter," Delgado said, pointing to his red vehicle that he rides daily. He went home with the P6,000 top prize and a trophy.
Unknown to his competitors, Delgado had been at the contest site since Friday, watching the Shell Tricycle King Challenge. He observed what was being done, took note of the course, and memorized everything. He was even one of the earliest contestants to arrive Saturday morning for the driving seminar.
"He had so many questions during the seminar. He was really serious," said Lito Dulce of Race Motorsports, the organizer of the event.
Delgado had been riding motorcycles since he was in Grade 2. He learned it from his father who rode big bikes in his youth. In the past, Delgado maintained a 750 cc Honda and a Kawasaki motocross bike. Now that he is busy with business, he prefers the luxury of riding a scooter.
Unlike other people in this Gentle City, Delgado uses a helmet when he rides, especially when he goes home to Guihulngan, 116 kilometers from Dumaguete.
"I believe that a helmet is not a nuisance but a protection," he said. "I protect myself whenever I ride on the highway. Mahirap na," he pointed out.
Dumaguete is the undisputed motorcycle capital of the country. This city of 18,000 households has more than 30,000 registered single motorcycles and almost 5,000 registered tricycles, known locally as pedicabs.
Hence, it is not surprising that the Scooter King Challenge would have such numerous participants.
Dulce noted that while the contest is dubbed as Scooter King Challenge, the event is not limited to scooters. "Cub motorcycles or our modern day mopeds are the most popular form of transportation in Dumaguete. They look like scooters so we called the contest such," he said.
The event is not also limited to men or young people. Many women, including 48-year-old Melly Romanillos, joined the contest. Romanillos, a supervisor in a dried candies factory, spent her dayoff in the event to ride her blue Honda C70, a bike she had been riding since 1987.
"I have an 11-year-old daughter. She can ride motorcycles now but I tell her to wait till she gets older," she said.
Every contestant in the Shell-sponsored events came home home a winner. They not only got a free liter of oil (Shell Advance or 2T Triple) but also received a free long-sleeved t-shirt, a cap and a keychain.
But the biggest winner of them all was Menhart Edjic, last year's Negros representative for the national finals of the Tricycle King contest.
Edjic successfully defended his crown in the Best Dressed Tricycle event and placed second to first-time contestant Arturo Babor in the Tricycle King Challenge on Friday. Not content with his achievements, the 41-year-old resident of Mangnao, Dumaguete extended his winnings by placing third in the Scooter King event on Saturday. He went home with three trophies and a total of P10,000.
Ironically, Menhart's motto which is inscribed at the back of his tricycle is "Drive Slow."
"You don't really have to drive fast. You have to drive smoothly so you will prevent errors," he said. He and Babor will be representing Negros in the national finals in Manila in December.
Shell also sponsored another grassroots motorsports event - the Jeepney King Challenge. It was still ongoing along South Capitol Road in Bacolod City as of press time.*
For more information, see honda scooters.
Mark Harris contributes and publishes news editorial to http://www.the-scooters-report.com.
Find all kinds of mopeds, electric, gas and motorized scooters online plus parts and accessories.