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by: The Beat Asia
February 22, 2023
It’s time to hit the trails! Cycling has increased in popularity at the height of the pandemic when only a select few were allowed to ride public transportation.
It’s a known fact that bicycling is beneficial for both humans and the planet. Pedaling boosts a person's immune system and muscle strength while reducing their carbon footprint by 33 grams of CO2 per mile traveled, which is equivalent to a 30-fold reduction in gas emissions.
If you’re thinking of getting into road cycling, we’ve got you covered! Here are some of the best cycling routes for beginners in Metro Manila. An adequate post-ride nutrition is recommended to fuel recovery, which is why we’ve also listed nearby places to eat for your post-meal cycling convenience.
The Academic Oval of the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman campus is top of mind when it comes to cycling routes for beginners. The designated bike lane is a 2.2-kilometer loop, filled with acacia trees that provide shade to bikers, joggers, and walkers. Every Sunday, vehicles are not allowed to pass through the oval.
In November 2021, the campus issued an announcement regarding the opening of the Academic Oval, allowing bikers to use the roads from 4 AM-9 AM and 4 PM-9 PM only. These routes include the University Avenue, Jacinto, Lakandula, Quirino, Ma. Guerrero, Laurel Avenue, Balagtas, and Magsaysay Avenue.
To quench your thirst after a bike ride in UP Diliman, you should stop by Little Quiapo and order its popular halo-halo and other authentic Filipino dishes. The restaurant is open everyday from 8 AM-9 PM.
Location: Little Quiapo, 90 Malakas St. Brgy. Pinyahan, Quezon City
BGC is also one of the most bike-friendly routes in Metro Manila for beginners because of its wide bike lane. It stretches across the areas bounded by 2nd Avenue, 11th Avenue, 28th Street, 30th Street, 31st Street, and Rizal Drive.
For those who are interested in learning how to ride a bike with professional assistance, the National Bicycle Organization offers cycling lessons with a free bicycle rental. You may register via this link.
Aside from being a bike-friendly community, BGC is home to the best dining options, teeming with multiple cafés and restaurants that you can visit.
Located in the eastern part of Metro Manila, the Marikina River Park is one of the best cycling routes, especially if you live in Quezon City, Pasig, or Cainta, Rizal.
The river park is home to recreational facilities, open spaces, and, of course, bike trails. Boasting a safe and uncrowded park, the riverside park is spread over an area of 220 hectares filled with tree-shaded benches and rest stops for cyclists and pedestrians.
For less than a kilometer, you can reach the “first third wave coffee shop in Marikina” – Celsius Café Lounge. It is open daily from 12 PM-10 PM and 11 AM-11 PM from Friday to Sunday. Some of its bestselling drinks are the Spanish Latte, ice blended Gelée De Café, Iced Salted Caramel, Specialty Matcha (non-coffee), and ice blended Au Chocolat.
Location: Celsius Café Lounge, Lot 4 Block 7 Gil Fernando Avenue (Inside Lamp Quarters)
The cycling route on the Mall of Asia seaside boulevard is best for morning rides. The spot is located behind the mall where you can enjoy the scenic sunrise as you make your way along the coast. What makes it ideal for beginners is its smooth and flat road with separate lanes for fast riders and average speed riders.
Considered as one of the largest shopping malls in the country, the dining options here run aplenty. You may check them here.
Another cycling route in Taguig City is the C-6 bike lane. It is the “first protected bike lane” in Metro Manila located along the national highway. It is protected with a planting strip that separates bikers from vehicles, as well as elevated dikes to prevent flooding. This cycling route is 5.8 kilometers long, three meters wide, and has a 1.5-meter sidewalk on both sides.
For cheap eats after a bike ride, we recommend dining at CourtSide Foodhouse, which serves fresh and budget-friendly foods. The local eatery is only nine minutes awayfrom the C6 bike lane. It serves a variety of lugaw, mami, chicken mami, tokwa’t baboy, special pastil, porksilog, and tapsilog. Prices range between P15-P40.
Location: CourtSide Foodhouse, Barangay Lower Bicutan, Taguig City
Capital Commons is known for its open space and cozy ambiance. It is located next to Estancia Mall, with a bike lane that stretches 5.8 kilometers. The loop around Capitol Commons, which is considered an easy route, may be completed in an average time of one hour and 20 minutes.
Its 10-hectare land is open for bikers who want to hit the trails and have a quick break at the Capital Commons After Sundown night market. The park is open from 4 PM-10 PM, filled with delectable food and amazing music.
Location: Capitol Commons, Meralco Avenue, Ortigas Center, Pasig
You can find the Ayala Triangle Gardens tucked away in the heart of Makati’s central business district. The garden is popular among health and sports enthusiasts who regularly work out and jog in the area.
The cycling loop here measures about less than a kilometer and can take an average of 10 minutes to finish. You can also pass through the laidback roads of Salcedo and Legazpi villages, with bike ramps positioned at pedestrian underpasses. Considering the park’s proximity to the CBD, you may expect a lineup of restaurants serving fusion cuisine next to it.
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