January 3, 2015
I opened up the year with some bike riding during the weekends. For January 3 and 10, I went to two different parts of Bulacan, which is roughly very far from my place. And while both of the places we went to were in the same province, the rides for each were very different!
Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes
Sta. Maria- Tungkong-Mangga Road,
San Jose del Monte, Bulacan
This ride was full of ups and downs, mostly ups. This was also the ride where I got two flats in one tire! Fortunately, there were a lot of vulcanizing and bike shops around. I bought a spare tire tube just in case and everything went fine from there. We passed by the La Mesa Nature Reserve which also has a bike trail for mountain bikers.
The Grotto itself was amazing. The design was one of a kind and it was something I’ve never seen from any church before. There are also holy springs and a picnic area where people can stay. It’s more of a park with a church in the middle. I highly recommend it for religious people and biking here could already count as a pilgrimage because of the difficulty of the climb.
Going down from the Grotto was easier, just keep your hands on your brakes. But I also got a cramp on the way home, so it was a little harder than the climb. Probably due to fatigue.
January 10, 2015
San Agustin, Malolos, Bulacan
This is an important church in Philippine history and I was glad to finally be able to visit it. While the first ride was a test of your leg-power because of the climb, this ride was a test of your butt-hardness because it was a flat but long ride.
We took a lot of breaks just to rest our sore asses in this ride. Fortunately there was an eat-all-you-can place along the way home for a very cheap price. We gorged down on their delicious viands and rested a bit before continuing the ride. I recommend visiting Barasoain Church just to read the memorials in the area and learn more about this country’s history. Pretty amazing stuff and you can really picture how old the church is and all it’s been through.
It was my first time to ride along the Pan-Philippine highway but it was really exhilarating and since it was a Sunday, there weren’t a lot of cars so I could go as fast as I want. I also had my first crash in this ride but fortunately, it was just a minor crash. I wasn’t able to brake quickly and my front wheel nudged my friend’s rear wheel. Lesson learned. Keep your wheel away from others, especially when traveling high speeds.
So that’s been the first two weeks of my 2015. I’m looking for more roads to bike on and more destinations to bike to. If any of y’all bikers are around the area, come ride with us.