Monday November 23, 2020 EST 
a nomad in search of...
HOME PAGE About TheLoneRider Contact TheLoneRider Web      
Cambodia Canada France Hong Kong India Indonesia Italy Laos Malaysia Monaco Myanmar Nepal Philippines Singapore Switzerland Thailand Vietnam USA
Astral Projection Caving Fitness Freediving Kayaking Meditation Mountain Biking Mountaineering Rafting Rock Climbing Scuba Diving Snowboarding Surfing Traveling Yoga
Book Review Gear Review Hotel Review Movie Review Show Review Restaurant Review
Art Chilling Out Cool Sites Community Counter Culture Food Odyssey best food recipes Lucid Thoughts Peoplescape Politics Print Media Quantum Mechanics Random Lives Showbiz Snapshot Slice of Life Thought Bubble Teaching Verbatim Wealth Building
SEO Services Web Design Services Advertising Here

mountain biking

Yellow Trail March 28, 2006 Tuesday

Yellow Trail

I've always wanted to ride the Yellow Trail trails (not the Eco Park) after hearing about it in an adventure race, but nobody seemed to have solid information on it. It was rumored to be closed to the public and very few people knew how to get there.

From the Grapevine
I learned that UP Mountaineers member and organizer for the coming 24-hour mountain bike race, Cecon Defense, Thumbie Remigio was planning an ocular visit to identify the trail system he'll use for the event. Naturally, I asked if I can join in. Another UPM member, Kram, got wind of it and joined as well. With Popo, Thumbie's ultra-fit wife, we were 4 altogether.

Getting There
Finding the place was tricky considering its humongous 2,700 hectare size. Along a walled stretch of the Quirino Highway is a nondescript sign that says "La Mesa Watershed". The shut gate is high and guarded. It would have been easy to miss this benign entry point. That confirmed then that this place is not open to the public - only by special permit from the Bantay Kalikasan, the environmental arm of the ABS-CBN Foundation. I can understand why. This watershed supports Metro-Manila's water supply. The place is protected by radio-carrying guards and maintenance people. Our whereabouts within the watershed was monitored by their radio relays.

MTB Potential Galore
Once inside the gate, practically a walled hilly range opened up with various fire trails and some single track system. It's a mountain biker's wish come true...with a little more trail building. The terrain is perfect for mtb trail building - sloping hills, river crossings, fire roads to act as main arteries and a huge expanse of real estate.

The Trail System
Some areas offered challenging granny creeper climbs with rewarding white knuckle downhill rips along winding fire roads. There are a good number of observation towers, some offering 360 degree views of the entire landscape. The river crosssings are shallow and brief - ideal for intermediate riders. Some sections though have sneaky ruts hiding underneath a grassy lush - careful! For the most part, the trails cower under a canopy of trees - excellent shelter from the sun.

Ending Thoughts
There is no mountain bike-designed trail system in the Philippines. Even guys sporting P200,000 Intense Bikes put up with dirt barrio roads, foot paths, and an occasionally single-track as their mtb playground. A lot of mtb riders don't really know what their bikes are capable off or how much more fun mountain biking can be (think Ferrari with no highways).

I'd been privileged to have riden perhaps some of the sweetest mtb trails in Ontario and New York - winding ascents, technical downhill runs, river crossings, foot bridge crossings, off-camber hammering on a slope, log hopping, ruts, drops...all within a varied trail system that went on for miles.

I've told more than a few riding buddies that there is money to the person who puts up the first mountain bike resort here in the Philippines. It's really not a Herculean undertaking. A minimum of 10 hectares with sloping hills will do - enough to house a beginner trail, intermediate and advanced. It's not capital intensive either. The only must-haves are a decent washroom facility and a bike wash.

With what the Yellow Trail has to offer, we just got a little closer.

--- TheLoneRider

Comments? Email

»» next story

»» back to Mountain Biking
»» back to Homepage

IMG_4304 IMG_4306 IMG_4307 IMG_4314
IMG_4317 IMG_4318 IMG_4322 IMG_4327