Siem Reap is one of the most bike-friendly destinations I’ve visited in Southeast Asia. In fact, biking has become a very popular way for tourists to visit the temples around the Angkor Archaeological Park, the main tourist draw in Cambodia. The roads between the main temples are paved and the distances are just right for bicycle touring. If you’re into biking at all, I think this is the best way to explore the temples.
Biking has really taken off, not just as a sport but as a lifestyle. Proof of this is the number of bike shops that have mushroomed all over Metro Manila catering to mountain bikers, roadies, fixies, foldies and everything else in between. Another proof of this is the number of cafes and restaurants that use bikes as their central theme.
For those who like to combine biking with food-tripping, here are some distinctly bike-themed cafes in and near Metro Manila. I’ve added some links from Outside Slacker to bike trails & routes you can hit near each establishment to work up an appetite or for post-ride food trips.
The weather in Metro Manila and all through Manila East Road was bright and sunny, but just as we got to the foot of the wind turbines in Pililla, Rizal, the rain started to pour. Howling wind sent small stones and gravel from the rocky terrain flying in the air, showing us just why this elevated spot was chosen to be the site of a wind farm project. But despite the threatening grey skies and rain, the windmills were impressive, towering over the rugged landscape. There were only three turbines standing during our exploratory bike ride last Valentine’s Day 2015.
Whizzing down from the 4x track on a mountain bike felt like riding a roller coaster. On the first try, I gingerly held my brakes while going down, afraid I’d topple before I reached the bottom. After a couple more rounds, it was more exhilarating to just let go of the brakes and try to keep my balance.
Old military trucks and vehicles lined the path of the muddy trail under a canopy of trees, rusted beyond repair. Overgrown moss and cordyceps-like plants sprouted from the back of one vehicle covered in decaying leaves.
In an abandoned building, only the rafters from the roof remained, the rest of it crumbling into pieces on the floor. Rusty nails, gear and a machete just lay on the floor beside planks of wood and steel pipes.
This could easily be a glimpse into a post-apocalyptic world overrun by zombies. Continue reading →
I haven’t quite been bitten by the biking bug as much as the travel bug. Though I enjoy taking leisurely rides around UP, biking for 5 hours uphill, in the rain, or through muddy trails is really not my thing. I (conveniently) haven’t been able to join a lot of rides which are scheduled during weekends due to other trips. However, I do see the need to get more into fitness activities like biking, and it can be a great way to travel and explore different places as well.
Earlier this year, I got to try trail biking for the first time in La Mesa Nature Reserve. It was a brutal yet fun experience that took us through 22 km of rocky and root-lined dirt trails, crazy downhill descents and steep uphill trails. And that was the easy route. Continue reading →