Ever since I set foot in Sagada over a decade ago, I dreamed about exploring this beautiful mountain town on a bike. Last October I finally got to do this.
Unfortunately, I could not bring my own bike to Sagada. We could not risk taking the car and driving all the way through Cordillera’s twisty roads. I couldn’t find a cheap bike carrying case either which would have allowed me to lug my bike safely onto a bus.Thankfully, you can now rent decent enough mountain bikes for P100/hour from Sagada Mountain Bikes.
Anyone who has been to Sagada knows that this town is one gigantic playground for outdoor mountain types. You could spend a whole week biking, running, hiking all over the place and still feel like you’ve barely scratched the surface, and barely scratched that outdoor itch.
But since Kara and I had only about four full days in Sagada, I budgeted only half a day’s worth of riding into my schedule. I thought that this ought to be enough to satiate my appetite for trail riding.
I was wrong, the more I roamed Sagada’s trails, the more I wanted to stay in the saddle and keep pedaling. Running out of breath while climbing up a steep pine-covered slope was my idea of a great vacation and I was finally getting heavy doses of it.
Biking has always been a sort of meditation for me. On the trail, your thoughts always seem less chaotic, and your purpose a bit clearer. When you can meditate on an elevated place like Sagada that seems just inches from the sky, nirvana seems like it’s just over the next climb.
Yes, this place can put you in the mood to ponder a lot of philosophical mumbo jumbo.
I would have kept pedaling on in anticipation of the rush that comes with the inevitable downhill, but my rented bike had other ideas.
I guess this is the problem with using a bike that is not your own, and whose history you know absolutely nothing of. The rented bike started having mechanical issues.
The shifters would not work properly, and I had to limit myself to 3 speeds on the granny gear.
The fork also wobbled whenever I did some moderate braking—possibly the result of someone treating the cross country rig like a downhill machine and subjecting it to heavy bombing.
These mechanical issues did not exactly inspire confidence, and so I resolved to take it easy downhill, instead of speeding down.
Oh well, but at least I still had all that great scenery ahead of me. Bitin, but that only means I need to go back for more.