Seems like a lot of people have been buying mountain bikes the past few weeks. It’s no surprise, people are awash with cash right now thanks to Christmas bonuses, and many are eager to get into this thing called mountain biking.
If you just bought a bike, ride it around the city streets for a while so you can be more familiar with your new toy and how it handles. The U.P. Diliman campus is an excellent place to learn how to bike. Once you’ve learned the basics, it’s time to level up your fitness and tackle the climbs. Timberland’s The Wall is an excellent training ground for pushing your inner Son Goku from Saiyan to Super Saiyan. Just don’t push yourself beyond your limits. If you think you’re about to black out from the strain of the climb, take a breather. Not everyone can conquer the wall in one go. Don’t go all out on the descent either.
Even veteran bikers have met accidents on that crazy fast descent. But once you’ve done The Wall, what’s next? The obvious answer is beyond the gate, and into the real trails!
Timberland has a very nice Basic Trail that’s great for beginners. It’s not too technical, and the fireroad is wide enough for two bike buddies to ride side by side in some sections. Speaking of which, if you’re just starting to learn trail riding, it’s better to find a buddy or a group of other riders who can ride with you. Why? If something happens to you, or… (heaven spare us from something so unthinkable!) your new bike, at least there will be someone there to assist you.
For hardcore padyakoldaway types, getting to the basic trail is easy. After overcoming The Wall and leaving an ID with the guards at the gates, all you have to do is overcome another steep climb, which Timberland regulars call The Wall 2. Don’t worry, it’s not as steep as the first wall. And after that, that’s it! You’re on the basic trail.
Newbies are advised to stay on the basic trail and not make a detour to the Blue Zone or the Green Zone just yet. Those trails are for intermediate to advanced riders. Just keep riding the straight basic trail until you get to another gate at the end.
The Roxas Trail is another interesting trail that’s also okay for newbies. It’s a bit more technical, and newbies will most likely need to dismount in some sections, but the view is great and it gives newbies a taste of what they could expect when they tackle the Blue Zone.
If you want some extra challenge, you can bike further on the paved road beyond the gate and get some grub in the Giant store. They serve excellent pancit canton there and lots of cold drinks. If you’re hungry for something tastier, you can go to Philip’s Sanctuary where the food is great, but it’s only open during weekends and holidays though.
If you still have enough energy in your legs, try going all the way to the Ten Commandments shrine. It’s about 2 kilometers from the Giant store. The view there is great, and it almost makes you feel as triumphant as Moses coming down Sinai, which is the name of the place by the way.