Alright, you’ve been biking for quite some time now. You’ve gone to different places around the city, tried out a few trails. Now, it’s time to take things up a notch : conquer extreme uphills.
Today I have listed the seven toughest climbs around Metro Manila. Whether you’re a fitness junkie, a new biker exploring new challenges, or just a plain masochist, this is your paradise.
The basis for this list are, steepness and total distance of the ascends. I only included those which I’ve actually climbed, so aside from these, there are a lot more to conquer.
Let me know if you agree.
7. Jamboree Road
Location : Los Banos, Laguna
Distance : 2 kms
You have two options here when climbing the Jamboree road, one is starting from PCARRD, just right after the highway, and the other one is from UP Los Banos campus. Both directions start with a gradual ascend, slowly draining your energy, then for the final kilometer, the road gets insanely steeper.
Fortunately, the shades from the tall forest trees and the overall cold temperature of the forest keeps your energy from draining faster.
Feel the force of Mariang Makiling, the mythical nymph guarding the forest of Los Banos, pulling you back as you climb the Jamboree road to Mt. Makiling.
6. Eastridge Road
Location : Angono, Rizal
Distance : 2.5 kms
The Eastridge road is actually a shortcut if you wanted to go to Thunderbird Resort from Manila-East Road. Okay, that was probably an understatement.
Taking this road means climbing extremely steep ascend and sharp turns. It’s a two-kilometer road of relentless uphill, the only recovery you’ll get are those little portions where the slope becomes gradual.
Eastridge is all paved, but it’s not that smooth of a road. There are big cracks along the way which you could avoid or run over, but either way you exerting additional effort.
5. Bitbit Road
Location : Norzagaray, Bulacan
Distance : 3 kms
Take a splash all you want at Bitbit River Resort because afterwards, when you head back home in Manila, you need all the energy you have to climb back up to Norzagaray town proper. I’m not really sure on what’s the name of this road, bikers just call the place Bitbit because of the nearby resort.
With almost three kilometers of pure ascend, you’ll be begging for a lighter gear than your granny. Good thing that there’s not much vehicles going this way, so you can stitch all you want.
Location : Teresa, Antipolo
Distance : 3 kilometers
Ah, Teresa, this evil place, one of the popular uphills not just among bikers but also for motorists. It’s almost three kilometer of continuous ascend. If you think you’re already finished on the next turn, the road only keeps getting steeper.
Known for its extremely sharp turns or “elbows”, Teresa is an accident prone area. Not really an ideal place for biking alone because there are lot of vehicles passing by. So take extra care.
3. The Wall
Location : San Mateo, Rizal
Distance : 2kms to the entrance of Timberland heights, another 2km until to the trails.
If you’re new to biking, this is probably one of the first places where you’ve break-in your bike. This road leads to the popular bike trails of Timberland Heights.
The Wall has become a hangout and meeting place among bikers. On weekends you’ll see a lot of bikers going up and down this road, mostly in groups.
The road isn’t called the Wall just for nothing. The moment you see the steep first turn, you’ll start thinking of turning back. It’s a barrier, telling you to stop and go home.
Location : San Mateo, Rizal
Distance : 5 kilometers
Shotgun is just on the same area as The Wall. There is actually a fork which splits the two. The right one, where most bikers go, leads to the Wall. The left one, the path less taken, takes you to Shotgun. And there’s a reason for that.
The name itself, “Shotgun”, isn’t really inviting. If you find The Wall challenging enough, try doubling that, you get Shotgun. It’s five kilometer of extremely steep climbs and turns. Even vehicles cry as they try to pass through this road.
There’s not much shades in Shotgun, so you are biking directly under the sun, making it extra difficult for you. The only consolation you get, I think, is Shotgun has one downhill portion, giving your legs a break.
Location : Bugarin, Laguna
Distance : 9 kms from Pililla to Bugarin + 5.5 kms from Mabitac to Bugarin,
The top of my list, the baddest of them all, the road to Mabitac and Bugarin. There are actually two portions of the climb. The first one is from Pililia to Bugarin, the other one is the reverse.
The first part is a long gradual ascend to Bugarin, slowly chipping away your energy. At first, you might think that it’s actually not that difficult. Well that’s the evil of this place, messing up with you. Later, you’ll realize that you’ve been climbing for quite some time already, and the ascend never seems to end. You’ll reach Bugarin, already exhausted. And that’s only the first part.
You can relax for a few minutes because it’s all downhill to Mabitac, already in Laguna. You’ll be amazed how long you’re freewheeling. Make the most out it, because once you’re in Mabitac, you have to climb back up the same road. The second part is like climbing The Wall, almost same steepnes.
What you basically do on the route is cross the mountain that separates the provinces of Rizal and Laguna. The total uphill climb in Mabitac-Bugarin is almost fifteen kilometers. Not even one of the previously listed is half of that, making this road on top of my list.
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