Oct 13, 2017
Sweet Ride to Busay Falls
Location: Busay Falls, Loboc (municipality), Bohol (province), Philippines
Mountain Bike Guide: Jeffrey Huerte
It was our usual 5:30am ride-off time with Jeffrey, supposed to be for Loktob Spring. But it was shelved for a ride to Busay Falls instead. Unlike the ride to Cruz Daku or Virgen de Guadalupe, there was no brutal climb on this one. What it made up for was a scenic ride along the banks of Loboc River. The trail also took us to villages and through private properties. No worries, Jeffrey knew everyone. I won't be surprised if he runs for public office! The trail system was almost all single-tracks with little ups-and-downs and mild turns. The path narrowed down with a vertical drop to the river for any misguided steering. That alone made me focus sharply on the trail - there was no room to think about pizza.
The trail ended still about 30 meters from Busay Falls with no further access. I could only see a small section of it. The best way to see the falls is through the Floating Restaurant. The barge plies right in front of the falls for a full view before they turn back and return to the docking station.
Instead of heading back the same way, Jeffrey suggested we portage the bikes up the hill and go for a downhill ride all the way back. I said yes without realizing it was a bike-carry From Here to Eternity! The bike was heavy to begin with, the trail was tight with lots of rocks/shrubs and it was rush-hour for the locals coming down. It was a squeeze between me, the bike and the locals on this constricted trail with a tall drop on one side. The carry-up was long and difficult I thought it was the actual workout - not the ride!
Sweet Downhill Ride
Finally, we reached the top. And then it rained! For a while, I wasn't sure if it was Manna from Heaven or Murphy's Law at its cheekiest. No choice but to bomb down this technical single-track. It was chuck-full-of ruts, roots, rocks, drops, switchbacks and steep plunges followed by immediate steep climbs. We going at speed with made for a jarring handlebar. The ride was fast, wet and technical it required surgical steering precision, split second shifting and abrupt pedal-brake touch-and-go from feathering to a tight squeeze. Focus was tunnel-vision sharp with peripheral vanguard. It was one of the longest downhill ride and the sweetest! By the time we got down to river level, I had a fixated smile nobody could wipe-off!
The entire time I was hammering down, I couldn't help but be aware how much punishment this cheap bike could take. It's the cheapest mountain bike you can buy on the shelf. Parts are practically sub-standard and never designed to withstand this kind of trashing. I was just hoping there won't be any catastrophic frame failure. This pressing thought kept me from really going all-out on the downhill. Unlike when I was still riding my high-performance Specialized full suspension back in the day, I could let it rip with full confidence the bike could take it.
When the run was finally over, I was exhilarated. What a rush! What a freaking wicked rush! I was 19 years old again! This is the kind of experience money can't buy. In all my years of mountain bike riding (including club races in Canada), this ride would easily be on my top 5. This is the kind of good shit you tell your grandkids! Humongous thank you!
Jeffrey, U DA MAN!!!
Loboc, Bohol, Philippines
Next stop: Loktob Spring
Bohol FYI / Tips
- the tourist area where most of the hotels, restaurants, ticket offices, tour operators are, is located within the Alona Beach area
- the tourist attractions in Bohol are far apart and spread-out. It would be difficult to visit them all using public mass transit. Better hire a van (P3500/day) if in a big group, or rent a motorcycle (P400/day + gas)
- Bohol relies on its tourism for revenue. As expected, everything they can capitalize on from tourism is extensively used and developed
Tagbilaran Port to PanglaoYou can charter any tricycle from the port all the way to Panglao (~P300), but if you want to do it on the cheap,
- don't take the tricycles lined-up inside the port. Walk past the port gate and immediately outside, you'll see many tricycles. Take one to the bus terminal in Dao (~P15)
- in Dao, take the jeep that plies the Panglao route (~P20)
Tagbilaran (Bohol) to Cebu City by boat** schedules and rates keep changing, call for latest schedule
- Weesam Express - departs 6:15 AM, 11:30 AM, 4:00 PM
one way: Economy (aircon) P500.00, Economy (non-aircon) P400.00, First Class P600.00
round trip promo (at least 2 days advance booking): Economy (aircon) P600, Economy(non-aircon) P500, First Class P1200
round trip promo (1 day or on the day booking): Economy (aircon) P800, Economy (non-aircon) P700, First Class P1200
- Ocean Jet - departs 6-7:05-8:20-9:20-11:40AM, 1-2-3:30-4:20-5:30-6:30PM, 2 hours, arrives Pier 1 in Cebu
Open Air / Tourist Class P800, Business Class P1000
+63(32)255 7560 / +63 (32) 255 0115 / 0917 638 0000
- SuperCat (2GO) - departs 5:50-11AM, 3:45-5:25-8:15PM, arrives Pier 1 in Cebu
+63 32 233 7000
Things to do, Places to go in Bohol
- Chocolate Hills - this is a clustering of more than 1200 hills within a 50km2 area. They range in height from 30-50 meters. What's unusual is their near-perfect conical shape resembling an individual chocolate chip. No one knows how they were formed. Entrance is P50/pax.
- Tarsier Conservation Area - located Upper Bonbon, Loboc. The tarsiers are no longer being played at by tourists as circus props, but instead, visitors now view them in cordoned-off areas in their natural 6ha habitat. As they are territorial and nocturnal, they are predictable on where they can be viewed. P50/pax.
- Alona Beach (Panglao) - Alona Beach is the tourist hub of Bohol. It has 1.5 kms of white sand beach lined-up by bars, hotels and restos. Alona is also the jump-off point for Balicasag Island, a world class dive destination.
- Danao Adventure Park - located in Barangay Magtangtang, 72 kms (2 hours ride) from Tagbilaran. Adventure activities include river trekking, tyrolean traverse, rappelling, bouldering, rock climbing and ziplining.
Carlos P. Garcia Island
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