Sunday 11 January 2015

Manila Cycling - Rides around Manila-Batangas and Laguna

Tried and tested. For visitors and locals alike, without a doubt, categorically and indisputably, I give you  the absolute 3 best cycling road routes around Metro Manila! 
Warning, these rides are not for the faint hearted. All exceed well over 100km and over a 1000m of climbing. 
Ride #1 is a little under 200km 
Ride #2 to Tagatay is the most accessible and can be done in  1/2 day.
And ride #3 is over 200km and took me 12 hours +.  

These routes were completed after extensive planning and even a couple of failed attempts (i.e. I got lost, had mechanicals and punctures and had to abandon ride 1 at least twice before finally succedding).

But once understood, they are quite achievable, represent a great acheivment and all are a lot of fun!

1. 'Round the Bay in a day' - Laguna De Bay!

Stop at the cycling cafes at the 66km mark to re-fuel before the mountain stage.

There are 2 or 3 fantastic cafes in San Juan to stop and eat. The cafes are at the base of the first mountains. On any Saturday  or Sunday morning dozens of cyclists meet there or use the cafes as their turn around point. 

The historic arch is at about the half way mark. These towns are not commonly visited by tourists and you may be pleasantly surprised at how quaint and ancient looking some of the villages are. 

The ride includes many places to look back and see the amazing Manila skyline

2. Tagatay; Beautiful ride to the top of a volcano  - includes 30km climb

3. Stage 2 of 'Ronda Pilipinas 

This is an outstanding route with a tunnel, mountains, the ocean, volcanoes, horses and carts, rice fields, villages and more.! 

Saturday 3 January 2015

La Mesa Nature Reserve, Quezon City

After much delay I finally got to ride the famous La Mesa trails. It didn't disappoint. Absolutely beautiful area with mildly technical, but highly rewarding single trail.
I was particularly impressed by how clean the reserve is. No litter anywhere! A result no doubt of the strict park management which limits numbers of riders, insists on guides and collects funds for park management.
I am always happy to pay a few bucks if the money is being used right. This LINK gives all the details of getting there, cost and the rules.