Pump tracks are a ton of fun. If you haven’t tried ‘em, you definitely should. You’re missing out on a lot of grin-time. The pump track at The Bike Playground in Circulo Verde near Eastwood is my current favorite.
There aren’t a lot of pump tracks near Metro Manila. The old UP trail used to have a roller section where bikers could practice their pumping skills, but sadly the UP trail is gone now–bulldozed by a construction firm that very probably loathes mountain bikers.
Basekamp in Mt. Maarat, San Mateo also built a dirt pump track in its free-to-ride trail system. If you ever find yourself there, give it a go and discover for yourself how much fun it can be.
Thankfully, this pump track opened up recently which is right in the heart of Metro Manila.
The Bike Playground opened last March, with no less than Crankworx athlete Adrien Loron gracing the ceremonies. Loron, was the reigning pumptrack world champion back then, and he showed just what one could do with a bike on the dips and crests of these tarmac waves.
Unlike other pump tracks, this one has a roof which means rains aren’t a problem. It is also made of asphalt, which means your tires will have no problem finding traction on its surface. Asphalt, however, also means that if you make a mistake, you will be nicely rewarded with tocino for breakfast. Or lunch or dinner depending on how early or late in the day you crashed.
This is probably one of the reasons why bikers, who are serious about mastering a track like this, wear pants to protect their skins. Standard biking shorts are acceptable of course, but you have to be careful.
And about those bikes? This place is best experienced on 26ers and BMX bikes. Small nimble wheels will let you pick up a lot of speed real quick and you may even find yourself getting some unexpected airtime.
Wagon wheels are a bit out of place here. I tried using my 29er here and it felt cumbersome AF, like Brock Lesnar flailing in a field of Conor McGregors. My wife’s more nimble 4X 26er meanwhile was in its element.
This does not mean though that you can’t enjoy the place just because your bike is a 650b or 29er. During our last visit there, we even spotted bikers on fat bikes pumping away at the track. So as long as you got patience and a good attitude, you’re good to go.
The thing about pump tracks though is: it can get exhausting very quickly. It’s a lot like doing a sprint or those box jump exercises. Do two rounds on this pump track and you’ll feel like you just chased Usain Bolt.
Besides the pump track, The Bike Playground also has a 1-kilometer outdoor dirt track where newbies can practice tight turns, steep descents and riding berms. There’s also a kiddie track where learn to love riding dirt.
Daytime entrance fee is P65.00 while rates go up to P90.00 after 5pm. You can also rent bikes! A pump track bike is P500 for 2 hours, an MTB is also P500 for 2 hours while a kiddie bike is P350 for 2 hours.
I think it’s best if you just bring your own bike 😉