Biking in Manila

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  • Biking in Manila
  • Premier Icon seven
    Subscriber

    beats a squirrel through the spokes I guess

    Premier Icon seven
    Subscriber

    My work will be taking me to Manila for a few weeks at a time over the next few months.

    Does anybody know of or have any experience of biking in the area.

    Obviously wont be taking my bike, but can take rest of kit and own pedals 🙂

    cheers

    7

    Premier Icon seven
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    bump for anybody getting up in Manila 🙂

    Premier Icon krixmeister
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    @Seven – YGM
    @MSP – love that pic!

    Premier Icon wwaswas
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    A lot of westerners don’t go out of hotels/compounds without armed guards. I think riding a bike anywhere in the city is likely to end in either an RTA or robbery, tbh. I’d talk to you hosts about their views and look to see if there’s any local ex-pat groups who could advise on stuff available out of the city.

    My Mum went to Mindanau (sp?) a few times and had a personal SWAT team the local police chief thought was necessary accompany her the whole time. On a positive note, she said having a bloke with an M60 across his chest stood behind seemed to make haggling for gifts for grandchildren quite easy though.

    Premier Icon Matt24k
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    I travel extensively and Manila is one of those cities that just feels too edgy, moving around with any thing valuable puts you in a risky position. Unless you are with locals that you know, I would be very careful. Outside of the capital it is a beautiful country.
    I did see several groups of MTB’s outside the city so there must be some riding nearby.

    Aristotle
    Member

    A lot of westerners don’t go out of hotels/compounds without armed guards.

    I went there a few years ago. I have to say that at no point was I ever accompanied by an armed guard! I’ll admit that it was a bit odd to walk into a heavily-armed-guarded bank to withdraw cash and then wander out onto the street with a pocket full of money, but nothing untoward happened.

    Manila isn’t a particularly pleasant city, the traffic is manic and air is thick with pollution. I wouldn’t recommend it as a cycling venue, but outside the city, it is a very nice country, spread over a large number of islands.

    At the time the FCO warned against travelling there, but in 3 weeks of being in the Philippines we were not robbed or obviously scammed, despite being the only fair-haired Europeans in most of the places we visited (aside from the US and German sex tourists in the more resort-like places)

    Premier Icon ononeorange
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    Often go to Manila and have done some (a very little admittedly) riding there.

    I think some of the security points are a bit overblown – yes, you will stand out and people will look at you, but you just need to be sensible as you would anywehere – avoid the dodgy bits, don’t take anything unnecessarily valuable etc etc – I don’t need to tell you that.

    Traffic is abysmal – as above, don’t try to ride in it – you need some sort of vehicle to get to the riding, in my opinion. Pollution is vile as well. That said, we we borrowed bikes and went riding up to a country club – Timberland in Marikina. It was a good haul up to it and once we got there, there were a lot of bikes, including – to my suprise – an Orange 5. Lots of cheeky trails, which was a lot of fun. No real concept of rights of way so we just explored.

    There is an mtb “scene” in Manila and even a couple of bike shops, but like most things it’s a little “make it up as you go along”.

    Good luck! It’s a beautiful country.

    Premier Icon seven
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    Thanks for all the replies folks. If I hadn’t been before I might be seriously worried by some of those 🙂

    But good tips and thanks Krixmiester, I’ll look into some of those options on your mail

    Cheers
    7

    Premier Icon jambalaya
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    I lived in Asia (Singapore) for 2 years and have travelled the region extensively. I definitely wouldn’t ride in traffic, that’s a death wish (I rode my bike to the LBS and nearly got knocked off twoce as the driving even in Singapore is bad and cyclists are treated with even less respect than here). Plus the hospitals are not up to western standards (when we did sailing events in Malayasia we took our own medical kit including syringes and drugs). Secondly the wildlife is much wilder and potentially dangerous ! Thirdly the climate is not conducive to riding unless you are good with 80% humidity and similar temperatures.

    There are places you can visit, for example bike holidays advertised in Borneo (which by the way is a must visit place as is Vietnam and Cambodia) but I never came across anything compelling. A lot of organized riding is on roads, in fact road riding was quite active in Sinagapore but I’m not one for getting out at 5:30am just to avoid the heat and traffic.

    The best advice I got when going to Asia is learn to dive, the diving is world class and sadly it’s not going to last with the warming of the oceans killing off the coral and fish. The Phillipines has some truely outstanding diving.

    Premier Icon ononeorange
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    PS I did try running in Central Manila along the roads – once! Survived (just) but my lungs needed a good de-coke afterwards. Not particularly recommended.

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