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Timberland’s The Wall… for Beginners

Timberland's The WallI keep mentioning Timberland and The Wall in this blog, that I sometimes forget that not everyone knows what I’m talking about. When you’re a long time biker, it’s easy to treat it as common knowledge. But I’ve been learning recently that a lot of visitors to this blog are newbies, as evidenced by the most popular article on this site.

So for anyone and everyone who has ever wondered, here’s the lowdown on Timberland and The Wall.

Timberland's The WallTimberland is in San Mateo. It’s a subdivision and outdoor recreational area atop a hill overlooking Metro Manila. From here you can get a nice view of the city. Most of the time though, Metro Manila is covered by thick brown mist, which makes you wonder what kind of filthy toxic soup it is you’re breathing when you’re down there.

Anyways, see this map? It’s how you get there. Just type Timberland San Mateo on Google Map and voila!

View Larger Map

Many bikers in Metro Manila nurture this belief that you can’t really consider yourself a mountain biker if you haven’t been to The Wall. If you’re not familiar with The Wall, it’s that nearly 2 kilometer stretch of uphill paved road that leads to the gates of Timberland.

Of course, it’s not called The Wall for nothing. In less than 2 kilometers, you get an elevation of over 800 feet. For a biker, it does feel like hitting a high concrete barrier. Punching through that beast, and getting past its extremely steep grade is considered a rite of passage.

Newbies who have been biking for just a month are not advised to try and scale The Wall.

A week ago, I went to Timberland with some new biker friends. One of them was Thomas, a former US Army guy who had started biking just two weeks earlier. Thomas is a big strong guy who was just starting to like the trails. We thought he could easily handle The Wall.

Big mistake. The Wall can be deceptive, just when you thought you had rounded up the steepest part, just when you thought you could finally gear down, it throws another one in your face. It takes a lot of fortitude not to yell: What the Hell!

The first time I went there four years ago, I had to dismount twice. While I already had some experience in ascending the steep road in Antenna, The Wall was something else.

Timberland's The Wall

At the end of your suffering, you get rewarded with… bananas.

The nice thing about it is there’s plenty of food to be had at the end. Vendors sell carb- and electrolyte-rich bananas and suman. You can also have drinks and meals at Marc’s–the carinderia at the gates of Timberland.

Timberland's The Wall

Marc’s offersdecent meals. You can also have instant noodles here.

Some bikers learn to like it and even look forward to testing themselves against it. Others swear at it and head straight for the trails, of which Timberland has plenty.

But I’ll reserve that for another post πŸ˜‰ The Blue Zone and Green Zone deserve a story of their own. Shotgun too. Maarat is definitely worth a thousand words and dozens of pictures.

PS. If you’re a newbie and you really want to test yourself on The Wall, don’t be embarrassed to dismount and walk when you feel that you’ve gassed out. And take it easy on the descent, a lot of bikers (even experienced ones) have crashed on that super fast descent.

All Terra Cyclery and Cafe

Load up on some breakfast at All Terra before you hit the trails. It’s a great place, too bad it’s only open during weekends.

All Terra Cyclery and Cafe

Cozy place to have your biker caffeine fix

Bikers' Tiangge at Timberland

You can buy all sorts of good stuff laid out on the bangketa along the way

Bikers' Tiangge at Timberland

Polish up your bargaining skills. Shoes, shades even derailleursare all up for grabs

Bikers' Cafe Timberland San Mateo

Bikers' Cafe in Timberland Biker’s cafe is another cozy place to park your bike, rest your legs and have a warm meal and some gatorade

The Wall or Shotgun: Timberland

Straight ahead is The Wall, and to the left is Shotgun.

Hoegaarden Beer After a Tiring Workout

Scientists say beer is even better than gatorade in replenishing lost fluids. Now who am I to argue against such sound scientific advice? Hoegaarden white beer is one of the best

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  • well its a bit challenging but I was able to get to the canteen without dismounting the first time i got there. My friend’s daughter was able to do it as wel and his words to his daughter was, dali kaya mo yan meron mcdo sa taas,,( funny) and she was able to do it, I think its a matter of tapang, yabang, and determinasyon,, peace kaibigan

    • bigyan ng jacket to! πŸ™‚ hehe. good for you bro and your friend’s daughter. nothing motivates a tired biker quite like visions of a quarter pounder at the end πŸ™‚

  • sir, have you been in bitbit river in norzagaray? that was my first ride together with my brother. ano bang mas mhirap padjakan? d p kc aq nkakapunta jn s timberland. but we have plans.
    by d way, i’m from valenzuela

    • hi zer, di pa ako nakakapunta sa norzagaray so i can’t compare kung ano mas mahirap. email me some pics sa outsideslacker @ gmail.com so i have an idea. sana makapunta rin ako dyan minsan. the wall is a hard climb, but the shotgun climb is even harder. but bikers also go to timberland because of the well-maintained trails there like the blue zone πŸ™‚

  • sir nkapunta n b kau s bitbit river s norzagaray?
    gusto ko lng malaman kung saan mas mahirap pajakan, d p kc aq nkapunta jn s timberland, ngpplano p lng.
    by d way, i’m from valenzuela

  • Well sir, i just have to say.. Excellent job for all the articles on this blog, lalo na this one. Your blog inspired me and a group of friends to ride a bike. Dati puro inom, video games at gimik lang ang alam ng circle namin, but somehow I stumbled upon your blg and immediately got interested in riding. Super newbie bikers palang kami at sa metromanila palang nakaka-ikot2 though we plan on trying timberland and the other spots mentioned here on your blog. Cgro after a month pa, pag gamay na gamay na talaga ang pag padyak. Sobrang na-eexcite at nag-goosebumps nako, looking forward to try the wall. More power pa sa blog nyo, mabuhay kyo sir!

    • Thanks bro! It’s comments like these that make me want to write and ride more. Take it easy pag nag-wall na kayo. Most newbies can’t finish that in one go πŸ™‚

  • proud to say, OutsideSlcker is my riding buddy πŸ™‚ but hey guys.. and specially for the newbies…. so you want o climb the Wall? or even Shotgun?… you want to know the secret? how to climb with no dismount? GO AS SLOW AS YOU CAN!!! and then say this out loud as in audible to you and to other riders in close proximity,….. “SLOW!….NO DISMOUNT!” … “SLOW! ….. NO DISMOUNT!” ok it’s a chant so let’s brake it down a little bit more…. let’s say you start left so it goes like this. left pedal stroke = Slow, right pedal stroke = No, left pedal stroke = Dis, right pedal stroke = mount!

    after you do it once without dismount you will probably wont dismount again. and then it will be what is your personal best? how fast you can climb the wall? take note,,,, during the last king of the mountain, the winner climbed “the wall” section in 5mins 43 seconds =) a whole lot of us will not come close to that time.

  • mahirap parehas kung walang praktis. for me mas mahirap ng konti ang ahon ng wall kesa sa bitbit norzagaray sa setup ko na 1×9 gearing 38T sa chairing, ang mahirap sa wall yung siko na part kasi matigas talaga i pedal pero once na makalagpas na dun sa siko malambot na ulit ipedal.. mas determinado pumadjak sa wall kesa sa bitbit kasi madaming tao, parang nakaka hiya kasi mag dismount marami makakakita.

  • first time in bitbit as a newbie, I dismounted 2 times. but after some seminars from our buddy Ka Boie about proper technique in ascending bitbit and wall coupled with hours of practice. i conquered bitbit in 12 minutes with my 26er and 13 minutes in my 27.5. while wall from aling Tinay in 19 minutes with my 29er. Please note, Jaypee can do better if he had the luxury of 22Teeth Chain ring. I am sure I cannot ascend using his 1×9 bike while he could without dismounting. wall is more difficult because of so many distractions like vehicles, joggers and other bikers while in bitbit you are almost alone and can really concentrate. you will not be afraid of getting embarrassed when you in 100 to 200k MTB getting overtaken by joggers. Jaypee can ascend both due to his power and endurance, while I can because of proper gear combination.

    • you should also try shotgun while the weather is still cold. mas matinding challenge yun kesa wall

      • thanks. yan ang isang goal ko din. kasi masyado raw matarik and twice the distance of bitbit and wall. i am 56 years old pero walang masyado bisyo, no alcohol, dont smoke, no colas, no coffee, no chocolate, very little meat, more on fruits, veggies and fish so baka makuha ng isang babaan lang…. tapos magtutulak na. he he he. I will give you the result kahit bigo or successful.

  • Outside Slacker is definitely the BEST outdoor adventure blog available to all kinds of readers. He is no outsider to these stamina building feats, unlike other bloggers who just take pictures and interview active participants to an adventure event. He knows what is it to be outside because he participates in any endeavor to complete an adventure with the common man. Keep it up. Your posts are much awaited by avid followers…

  • first encounter with the wall: 3 stops
    second encounter: no stops. (payback time!)

  • Please compare, which is more difficult to climb; Mt. Samat in Bataan (Dambana ng Kagitingan) or Shtogun – Timberland (The Wall)?

    • sure bro. one of these days masusubukan ko rin ang mt. samat πŸ™‚ pero between the wall and shotgun, shotgun ang mas mahirap

  • can you tell me base on your experience which one is harder to climb, is it shotgun or thunderbird rizal (paakyat starting Angono)? I climbed thunderbird and antenna hill and it took me 15 mins to get to the top. Looking forward to visit the wall and shotgun.


    • steeper ang thunderbird in some sections, pero short climb lang sya. wala pa yatang 1km yan. shotgun meanwhile is almost 5kms! para sa veterans ng the wall, mas mahirap ang shotgun

  • Sir I’m a new biker and I’ve been following your blog for some time now. It’s really great and informative. :)) Though too late na nung nabasa ko yung about sa buying a bike kaya nagkakaupgradititis ngayon. Estudyante pa naman kaya hindi pa mafufulfill yung sakit na yan. :p Tanong ko lang po kasi sa UPLB po ako, comparing Makiling and the Wall, ano po steeper? Yung papuntang forestry palang nagagawa ko. At suggestions po sa mga biking trails this far south. Malayo layo rin kasi ang Manila. Pero planning to go with friends sa Nuvali pag nagkabike na yung iba. Salamat po! πŸ™‚

    • hey bro, thanks for visiting the blog πŸ™‚ i’ve biked only once in UPLB, may isang very steep portion nga dun beyond the boy scout camp. sorry, not too familiar with UPLB campus and that was over four years ago so i can’t really say if it’s steeper than the wall. i suggest you join the pinoymtbiker.org forum. marami bikers dun from your area who probably know more about great bike trails in the south. di kasi ako masyado nakakapunta dyan kasi medyo malayo sa diliman πŸ˜› have fun with your bike bro

  • Isang beses lang ako nag bike sa The wall from Sucat Paranaque hangang timberland sports club 40kms total 1 way it took me 3hrs to get there.

  • hi! great blog! I’m planning to bike/climb the wall this weekend. alin ba mas mahirap, the wall or yung paakyat ng antipolo via tikling (ortigas ave.)? I’m using giant revel 1 29er pala. thanks!

    • Outside Slacker

      July 12, 2017 at 4:38 pm

      mas mahirap ang wall πŸ™‚

      • Hi! Di kami natuloy sa wall. Nag Thunderbird na Lang kami. Ang tarik pala papunta dun Kaya inakay namin paakyat ng East ridge. Ganda nung trail puntang lagoon. Sulit pagod. Sana next time maakyat namin the wall. More power to you and your blog!

        • Outside Slacker

          July 16, 2017 at 10:55 pm

          nice! mas matarik ang eastridge kaysa wall πŸ™‚

          • Ganun ba? Sana pala nag-wall na lang kami. Inakay naming bikes naming paakyat eastridge e. hehehe. sige next time the wall naman. on the side lang, ok pa rin ba yung velo plush 3256 mo? sumakit kasi pang-upo ko nung umakyat kami sa thunderbird e. plano ko magpalit ng saddle. thanks.

          • Outside Slacker

            July 26, 2017 at 11:49 am

            ok pa naman yung velo plush saddle ko, pero natuknap na yung cover :p masarap pa din syang upuan