Since the pandemic hit, we’ve seen more bicycles hitting the streets than ever. Frontliners, employees, and people simply going on errands are braving the highways once dominated by fast vehicles. Various LGUs have put in place dedicated bike lanes. If you go to malls, the parking lots are filled with bicycles. Even those who had no prior experience biking on public roads have been exploring the metro with their two-wheeled machines.
If you’re one of these urban cyclists, you might have already explored the roads of Metro Manila by bike. Don’t you think it’s time to switch your gear and try something more challenging like the bike trails outside NCR? As bikers say during uphill climbs, “susuka pero hindi susuko.“
So if you’re way past that newbie phase, here are 5 of the nearest biking spots just outside the metro for you to practice on.
Antenna Hill (Binangonan, Rizal)
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Rizal is no doubt a hotspot for bikers with Antipolo, Rodriguez, Tanay, and San Mateo among the more popular destinations. But what sets Antenna Hill in Binangonan apart from the others is that it’s heading in a different direction (southeastward) if you’re coming from Pasig.
If you’re still between being a newbie and a veteran, this is a perfect spot to condition before that major ride. From the beginner-friendly Barrio Road tracks to the more challenging dirt roads, your hard-earned ascent would be rewarded by a scenic, overlooking view of Laguna Lake. You could also visit other side trips like the Thunder Trail, the historic ancient rock art of the Angono Petroglyphs, some restaurants, resorts, and art galleries.
Nuvali (Sta. Rosa, Laguna)
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Apart from its famous wakeboarding facility, this eco-friendly complex has a 50km dedicated off-road biking trail for cyclists to use while enjoying the countryside feels of the trees that surround the area.
This community is so bike-friendly that it allows you to rent road bikes for P60 per hour, just bring a valid ID and wear your helmet. There’s also a parking lot for your bike. If you’re on an adrenaline rush, you could also use the pump tracks. The facility is open every day from 8 am to 5 pm. If you get tired after, there are plenty of restaurants nearby to try.
Twin Lakes Bike Trail (Tagaytay, Cavite)
If you’re looking for a complete conditioning experience, this 2.5-km off-road cycling facility trains you in different terrains—from downhill descents to short, steep climbs and even sharp curves and abrupt elevation changes. Whatever your skills and experience in biking, you’d surely come out of this facility with new learning that you can apply harsher roads outside.
If you’re about to go on a major ride soon and you want to condition yourself first, this place could be a perfect training ground. After sweating it out in the practice ride, reward yourself with sumptuous meals served in restaurants outside the bike trail.
Angat Rainforest & Eco-park (Angat, Bulacan)
Nestled between the municipalities of Angat, Norzagaray, San Jose Del Monte, and Doña Remedios Trinidad, the trail heading to this watershed forest reserve gives you a variety of views. From plains, hills, and mountains to rivers, springs, and watersheds, this trip is a visual treat. Since this area is located right at the foot of the Sierra Madre mountain range, expect some hardcore pedaling up the slopes and several dirt roads.
It’s not allowed to swim in the watershed itself because that is converted as potable water for Mega Manila residents. Other side trips include rappelling from the 100-ft high Bitbit Bridge and spelunking in the Pinagrealan Cave. If you’re up for an immersion trip, you could also pass through the community of the indigenous Dumagat tribe, just make sure to be respectful and mindful at all times.
Timberland Heights (San Mateo, Rizal)
If you happen to get included in biking groups, the name Timberland would always pop up as a go-to destination. Considered by some as the mountain biking capital of the country, it’s understandable to see how many bikers flock to this place as it offers a variety of terrain for you to practice on. Situated at the foot of Mt. Maarat, you’d notice how the difficulty of trails quickly changes as you go farther into the journey.
There are single tracks like the Green Zone, Blue Zone, and Black Diamond. And then there’s the dreaded “The Wall,” a 2-km steep uphill road that will test your endurance. But if that ain’t enough yet, there’s the “Shotgun” which is a longer and more difficult climb. If you just want not-so hardcore trails, you may try the Sandugo BaseKamp Trail, Pump Track, the Ten Commandments (aptly named because it’s at the foot of Mt. Sinai), and the pine-tree lined Roxas Basic Trail.
Remember to bring your ID. For the parking fee, you have to pay P30. If you won’t be bringing a bike, you could rent one at the Adventure Farm for P100 per hour. You can also find shops for bike parts and accessories. Finally, after going through the 25-km ordeal of Timberland Heights, reward yourself with a heavy meal in the various restaurants that surround the area.
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