Its steepness will remind mountain bikers of The Wall in Timberland. The view from the top meanwhile will recall the hills of Antipolo, which overlook Metro Manila. If you’re looking for a different kind challenge for the weekend, Antenna Hill in Tayuman, Binangonan, Rizal should be high on your list.
This biking destination also comes with several bonuses as you can head on to the historic Petroglyphs after climbing the hill, visit a first-class resort along the way, and take a tour of the arthouse restaurants in Angono.
I wasn’t really planning on doing a solo ride of Antenna Hill last weekend, but the biking bug bit me. I also couldn’t get any buddies to join me so just decided to go it alone. It’s always preferable to have a buddy on a ride, but it’s always better to just go solo instead of wasting a great day to be outdoors just because no one else wants to join you.
Although I’ve climbed Antenna several times before, the place just never gets old. The climb starts at the Gate 2 of San Carlos Subdivision. It’s a nice paved road, until you get to the middle part where the tarmac disintegrates and it becomes a potholed fire road all the way to the top.
It’s a pretty gnarly climb, but if you’ve completed The Wall before, Antenna Hill shouldn’t get you gassed out. Along the route are stations of the cross which were placed there by devout Catholics from the Sacred Heart Parish. There’s also a shrine near the top.
When you get to the summit, you’ll be glad to know that there’s a sari-sari store there which serves Gatorade and other drinks, and where you can have instant noodles cooked for you in case you’ve depleted your carbohydrate and sodium stores while biking up. There’s also a place where you can park your bikes.
From the summit, you can hit the trails where the Spyder Downhill Cup was held last February. I wouldn’t recommend you attempt the jumps though if you’re unsure of your skill level. Some of the regulars here say that you can do the technical stuff even on a cross country rig, but you risk breaking your bike.
Some of them drop over five feet and can easily send an overeager noob over the handlebar. Most of the guys who do this have downhill specific suspension forks, and wear full-face helmets.
From Antenna Hill it’s just a few hundred pedal strokes away to East Ridge subdivision. Bikers familiar with Timberland will get a sense of deja vu here—at least until they see ThunderBird Resorts, which then reminds you of La Union and that movie where Derek Ramsay gets to bonk both Anne Curtis and Cristine Reyes.
Hungry bikers can try the breakfast buffet in this classy resort. Be prepared to pay hotel rates though for filling your bread basket. If you don’t want to do too much damage to your wallets or you prefer to eat in someplace that’s got more character, skip that and wait until you get down to Angono where you can try Balaw Balaw and the Nemiranda Arts Cafe.
But before you do that, you really need to see the Angono Petroglyphs in Binangonan first.
After soaking up prehistoric art, it was time to head down to Angono for something more contemporary. No bike tour of the Binangonan-Angono hills would be complete without visiting Angono’s artsy restaraunts.
On the way back I met a group of bikers who had also just visited the Petroglyphs. One of them recognized me as the guy from Travel Up. Oh well, I’m pretty sure OutsideSlacker will also be as famous as that blog someday.
I was thinking of doing a short detour to Thunder Trail, but since it was almost 11am, the heat was already starting to become unbearable. Maybe next time. Thunder Trail is an excellent trail that was built specifically for mountain biking. If you’re visiting Antenna or the Petroglyphs, you need to try this out too.
Anyway, San Carlos Subdivision (the entrance to Antenna) in Tayuman Rizal is about an hour to an hour and a half away from the Ortigas Center in Pasig City. Check this map for directions. You can park in the sidestreets, but first ask permission from the owner of the house you’ll be parking near–just in case you may be taking a parking spot. If you want to know more about the folk art and food of Angono, visit Travel Up’s excellent article on the subject.