Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Bike Routes Outside Metro Manila Series: Bugarin Jalajala Loop

A sort of continuation from a list I made 2 and a half years ago, I'll be posting from time to time places outside Metro Manila that I frequently ride. Note that for some of these routes, there are climbs that are quite challenging especially for the newbie so doing this with a friend who's done it, or better yet, with a group, is best recommended.

For today, I'm featuring the Bugarin Jalajala Loop.

Getting There

The route can be reached via Marcos Highway then turning right at Sumulong Highway intersection (which is the way towards Antipolo). Btw, I don't recommend that you bike all the way to this route (if you're a newbie, especially) since the Marcos Highway is abound with erring drivers. It is best to drive to this route. Then look for directions towards Morong Rizal and drive straight until you reach Pililia. There's a Phoenix gas station on your right which you can park your car. This'll be your start point. Btw, if you have a GPS or WAZE app that will greatly help to not lose your way going there. Under Google Maps, just search for "Aling Mameng Restaurant" which is the resto across Pisong Kape. From QC, the drive could take an hour or so (IF you start early).

The Route

This is a 64km loop which starts off at the famous Pisong Kape rest area, kicking in immediately with the famous Pililia-Bugarin climb after just a few hundred meters of flat. This 7.3km 4% ave climb is classified as a CAT3, with Strava recording total elevation gain at 319m (the whole route's elev gain is at 584m). The rest of the route is mostly flat from there. The climb has recently been made famous by the Pililia windmills which anyone can access for photo ops and sight-seeing. Be careful with your road bike though, as I heard that the road exiting to the windmills midway of the Pililia-Bugarin climb is a rough road.

You can also do the reverse loop of this route (flat first then the mean climb on the last part), but you have to pace yourself from the start to just before the foot of the climb so that you'll have enough energy to finish.

Sari sari stores and carinderias are mostly at the top of the Bugarin climb, where you can grab a quick rice+ulam meal (with Mountain Dew, hehe) as a reward for finishing that climb. Sari sari stores start to be scarce on the flat section so better refill your bottles with water (and jersey pockets with gels/etc.) on the climb's tip before descending. At the finish, Aling Mameng's and Pisong Kape offer good food and thirst quenching drinks to accompany your post ride conversations and kulitan.

Be ready to soak up the laid back scenery and fresh air as this route offers the needed weekend respite before another Monday moves in. Read my recap of my 1st ride on this route here.

At the flat section, with Laguna Bay on the background

Safety: 4 out of 5 (the 1 being the climb and descent which you need to be very careful of trucks and fast cars, which are scarce on weekends)
Road quality: 3 out of 5 (the climb/descent is good but the flat section needs rehab)
Volume of cyclists: 10-20 (along the route, since many have stopped already at Pisong Kape coming from their rides from Manila)
Recommended day to Ride: Weekends

Have you ridden this route? Do share your experience in the comments section below.

More routes to come.....

1 comment:

  1. <--- Best cycling blog ever!

    oh, btw..great article nga pala...