Oct 30, 2017
Killer MTB Ride from Sevilla
Location: Sipatan Twin Hanging Bridge, Sevilla (municipality), Bohol (province), Philippines
Mountain Bike Guide: Jeffrey Huerte
Hanging Bamboo Bridge
From home, it was a winding uphill road ride towards Bilar before making a left to Sevilla. We stopped by the popular Sipatan Twin Hanging Bridge for a selfie - hey, I'm still a tourist!
We doubled-back on the main road and took an obscure turn for the trailhead. It was dirt riding from there, but it wasn't your everyday trail. It was too technical. We had to dismount even on the downhills as well as the uphills for the same reason - wet, big, densely-packed pointed rocks covered in moss on a tight single-track with major drops. It was challenging to steer the tires between the rocks at best and at worst, we had to dismount. Other times, there was simply no line to follow.
For elite riders, it is a day in the park. For guys like me, it was an accident waiting to happen. When the trail was rideable again, we got back on the saddle and hammered. From Sevilla to Guimba, the ride was scary. From Guimba to town proper, it was sweet technical downhill ride you could manage at speed - the exact trail system Jeffrey and I did during our ride from Busay Falls.
Some climbs are better done on foot than on a bike...even if you can bike it. The climbs here is a good example. It's so technical and challenging that it took more energy to bike it than to walk it. By the time I got to the good rideable part, I was so fatigued my steering was all over the place. My reflex was slow and couldn't get the most out of the ride. No choice but to ride slower to keep safe.
While pumping uphill, Jeffrey broke his chain. Awwww!!! We had no chain tool and there was no bike shop in Loboc. The nearest one was still in Tagbilaran. No choice. He had to push the bike uphill and ride it on the downhill. Closer to home on the flats, I managed to give him a push as I was riding. So far, we were lucky to have this mechanical breakdown only now after doing so many hard rides. Back in my day, it would be typical to stop every few rides to repair a flat, connect a broken chain or straighten a busted derailleur.
While riding the trails in the forest, I saw a rooster with colors resembling a fighting cock, but it was leaner with its red crown still intact - odd! What's this chicken doing in the middle of the forest? Jeffery exclaimed it was a wild chicken! Whoa! My first sighting of a Labuyo. How cool is that?
The Sevilla-Loboc downhill ride is the most brutal I've done with Jeffrey. Most of the trails were rideable but some were best reserved for the elite riders - not me. I've seen elite riders at the national level ride over boulders at speed - the kind of shit you wouldn't think is humanly possible. Still, it was a wicked ride you could talk about over a few cold beers. Knock on wood, the worst thing that happened to us on the road is just a chain snap. The Heavens are on our side.
Loboc, Bohol, Philippines
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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