With the current restrictions on buses and trains, more and more people are either learning how to ride or are covering long distances on their bikes for the first time. It’s a dependable mode of transportation, a great workout, and lets you maintain social distancing. Metro Manila is yet to be completely bike-friendly, but there are destinations in and around the city that are worth a visit if you want to take out those wheels.
La Mesa Ecopark (Quezon City)
Believe it or not, Quezon City has a sprawling 33-hectare park with verdant grass, rows of trees, a butterfly garden, and even a pond where visitors can try fishing. It’s a good place to recharge, especially if you’re tired of biking along the unsafe road that is EDSA. La Mesa Ecopark has more than 50km of dirt roads and single tracks, where you can test out your mountain biking skills without having to leave the Metro.
Heroes Bike Trail (Taguig)
The Heroes Bike Trail is located within the Libingan ng Bayani in Taguig, thus the name. It features more than two kilometers of short climbs, fast downhills, and a smooth ride that’s perfect for all kinds of bikers. It is open from 5:30am to 5pm and the entrance fee is P50.
C6 Bike Lane (Taguig)
The Laguna Lake Highway, formerly known as C6 Road, was launched in November 2018 to connect the towns of Rizal to the eastern part of Metro Manila and cut travel time from Bicutan to Taytay. Three months later, a 5.8km protected bike lane that takes about three meters of the road was opened to provide a safe space for bikers. It is separated from the highway with a planting strip, and it’s got plenty of street lights and road signage.
Antenna Hill (Binangonan, Rizal)
Antenna Hill in Barangay San Carlos, Binangonan, Rizal caters to veteran mountain bikers and beginners alike. But if you’re just trying to get into gear, bikers recommended taking the newbie-friendly Barrio Road to get to the network of paved roads, uphill climb, and the dirt road leading to the top. The rough ride’s worth it when you finally get a spectacular view of Laguna Lake and the rest of Rizal.
Nuvali (Sta. Rosa, Laguna)
Aside from paved roads and bike lanes, the Ayala Land Estate in Santa Rosa, Laguna also offers a 50km off-road biking trail that boasts great views and single tracks surrounded by trees and tall grass.
Filinvest MTB Trail (Muntinlupa)
Bikers in the south can check out the Filinvest MTB Trail for a good dose of adrenaline-pumping fun. It boasts eight different courses, from one that’s riddled with steep uphills and drop sections to a pathway that runs along a flowing stream. But if you’d rather stay on the road, you can weave between shopping malls, hotels, parks, and residential spaces in Filinvest’s 244-hectare mixed-use development.
Angat Rainforest and Eco Park (Bulacan)
Located within the Angat Watershed Forest Reserve, the Angat Rainforest and Eco Park provide the most challenging trails and thrilling routes for cyclists. Get ready to pedal your way through dirt roads surrounded with greenery to get to a viewing deck with stunning scenery.
Laiban-Daraitan Trail (Tanay, Rizal)
Mt. Daraitan in Tanay, Rizal is a paradise for all kinds of outdoor enthusiasts, but most of all, for mountain-bike adventurers. The trail starts at the abandoned Laiban Dam, specifically the often-photographed tunnel that’s part of the shelved project from the Marcos era. After powering through muddy trails downhill, you can check out the clear waters of Tinipak River and the limestone rock formations inside Tinipak Cave before calling it a day.
Twin Lakes Bike Trail (Tagaytay, Cavite)
Opened in 2016, the 2.5km Twin Lakes Mountain Bike Trail promises “all sorts of off-road cycling challenges from fast downhill descents, berms, off-camber turns, switchbacks, short and steep climbs, swooping curves and sudden elevation changes, making it suitable for both beginners and advanced riders,” according to a press statement. After a long ride to the mountaintop, you can recharge your energy at the many restaurants within the Megaworld-owned property.
Timberland Heights (San Mateo, Rizal)
Timberland Heights is dubbed the mountain-biking capital of the country because of the variety of trails that it offers to cyclists of different levels. It often hosts mountain-biking competitions, especially since it is accredited by the International Mountain Biking Association. On normal days, you can challenge yourself to conquer a 25km track that entails crossing a stream and scaling a two-kilometer steep trail called ‘The Wall.’
NOTE: This story originally appeared on Spot.ph. Minor edits have been made.