It was a Sunday Funday for me last March 9, 2013; when I finally got to experience the thrill of riding at the mountain biking capital of the Philippines: San Mateo.
My company biking team organizes weekly (“morning”— duh!) ride to some different biking spots in Manila, I got some couple of absences because I rarely exist in the morning. This time I knew I should be rocking San Mateo because I’ve wanted to experience riding my bike there for a long time. The first time I knew about this place was when I participated the Merrell Adventure Run held at Timberland Sports and Nature Club last year. I observed how biking enthusiasts gather to this highlands to take the adrenaline rush of inclined pedaling and then the quick slide upon going down; not to mention the different forest trails the place have as well.
The spot is located at Ampid, San Mateo, an approximate 30-40 minute travel time from Quezon City. A steep mountain side road resting 1,800 ft above sea level, this place definitely got everything an extreme biker is looking for.
We took off from our office located at Pasig City and this is our approximate 20km route : Oranbo, Pasig City – Ortigas Ave – Green Meadows – Temple Drive – Katipunan Ave – University of the Philippines – Gil Fernando Bridge – Bagong Farmers Ave. – E. de los Santos – Kambal Road – C6 Road – San Mateo – Timberland.
And look at who we met across our path at Brgy. Pansol, QC; Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago taking her Sunday jogging together with her bodyguards.
When we got to the vicinity of the steep mountain side along Ampid; we took rest and ate at this popular spot in the area; The Bikers Café. This place offers startling food a tired and hungry biker will never refuse. It is situated at a mountain cliff that gives bikers awesome view of San Mateo as well as the entire Manila. Owners gave the place a welcoming and motivating ambiance for bikers by their surrounding huts and bamboo racks. A place “where bikers meet” as they say.
Menu price ranges from Php20 – Php180. My meal was completed by a special mami (soup) at Php 30, a suman with latik (rice cake with coconut syrup) at Php20 and a refreshing Tropicana drink at Php 15, very affordable and healthy for a morning meal; enough to replenish to body’s lost fluid and energy. Food was awesome that by merely writing about them is already mouth watering.
I will never forget to mention my adventure gear that are always present in my so-called “quests”; special thanks to Spyder for this protective eyewear named “Wanted“. Specialized with polarized lenses, this shades effectively eliminate glare while on the road. Another awesome stuff I got is this Spyder Hydrabag, perfect as storage companion that also comes with hydration bladder, enabling you to drink effortlessly while riding your bike. Cycling helmet is from Spyder as well. These gave me confidence as i take the thrill of both the city roads and mountain side.
After eating, the rest of the bikers from my group left, but two of my buddies (Karyl and JP) eagerly stayed and tried climbing some more distance. I admit it was almost noon when we started to ride again and the sun was quite draining my energy, I already felt the straining muscles. It was fun though and I swear it satisfied my hunger for mountain biking.
The only downside is that we should have started taking off at a place nearer San Mateo, that way our full energy should have been exerted on the mountain steeps, instead of biking the city roads we took couple of kms before we reach San Mateo. Also, time was of the essence and maybe we should have managed to climb some more distance if we arrived earlier.
But generally it was all fun!
It’s no doubt that I’m gonna try visiting this place again soon!
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