Without planes and buses, our lives have become unbelievably dull. Right? Wrong.
As irrepressible creatures of movement, most of us have seemingly adapted into the new normal — with a safer form of transportation, too! With the advent of new bikers in the Philippines, I think now would be the perfect time for us to explore our own backyards.
As a born and bred Quezon City girl, I decided to ask some of my biker friends to give me insight into the best bike trails in and near Quezon City. Here were the ones that were most recommended.
Bike trails in Quezon City
1. Quezon Memorial Circle
One of my first biking memories takes place in Quezon Memorial Circle (QMC). My parents rented a bike with training wheels, and I gleefully cycled around the park while the rest of my family rested on picnic mats.
I haven’t revisited the Circle lately, but I heard that the park is still a prime spot for biking. What really sets it apart from the other bike trails in Quezon City is its paid bicycle parking areas and fair bike rentals. So if you’re just learning how to ride a bike and haven’t bought a vehicle for yourself yet, this is the place to go.
Note: While most establishments in the Circle remain closed due to COVID-19 restrictions, the park still welcomes bikers from 5am to 10am through the Commonwealth entrance. Bikers are expected to follow COVID-19 protocols (i.e. wearing a face mask and social distancing).
2. University of the Philippines Diliman
UP Diliman is one of the best public areas for beginner bikers. Its academic oval has a dedicated bike lane that sprawls around 2.2 kilometres. With trees and grassy fields surrounding it, this route has enough shade for bikers (or runners!) any time of the day.
Besides the academic oval, there are a few more cycling options in UP Diliman. For a less crowded route, you can go biking around the Science Complex. There’s also a place that runners and bikers refer to as the Heartbreak Hill, a small hill near Juan Luna Street which has a 100-metre inclined lane.
All that said, if you’re in dire need of a nature trip but are pressed for time, go biking in UP Diliman. It’s an easy escape from the chaos of the world.
3. Neopolitan Business Park
Most of my biker friends consider the Neopolitan Cycling Oval one of the best bike trails in Quezon City. Located behind SM Fairview, this smooth route is wide enough for cycling with friends — even with social distancing! A private land, Neopolitan also has minimal traffic, ensuring beginner bikers a safe cycling session.
While the bike lane of Neopolitan is merely a kilometre long, many triathletes head here to train because of its overall spacious land area. Not to mention, there’s also a swimming pool nearby!
4. La Mesa Watershed
Want to practice your skills in mountain biking? If you’ve graduated from circling the basic roads of Quezon City, then it’s time to explore the great outdoors… of La Mesa Watershed!
Boasting a slightly more challenging terrain, the La Mesa bike trail has more ups and downs than what you would get in QMC or UP. Bikers call this the “La Mesa flow” — its slopes let you ride through the “waves” of the terrain.
As La Mesa is a rainforest at its heart, it’s best to visit the area on a sunny day. Also note that unlike other bike trails in Quezon City, La Mesa Nature Reserve is NOT free. Visitors are required to book a reservation and pay ₱200 per head for a group of five to 10 people. We’re not complaining, though! This is just a small price to pay for a magnificent nature escape.
Note: Due to COVID-19 protocols, La Mesa Watershed only allows a maximum of 50 people per day. The nature park is open from 6am to 3pm daily, except Tuesdays. A group can only stay for up to three hours in the watershed.
5. The Bike Playground
The Bike Playground at Circulo Verde is, obviously, not so much a bike trail as it is an indoor track. Nonetheless, it deserves a spot in this list as it’s the first indoor cycling park in the Philippines!
The Bike Playground’s Pump Park doubles as an indoor skateboard park, but biking exhibitionists are totally welcome to play here as well. If you’re more of a fan of mountain biking, the one-kilometre outdoor trail might be perfect for you.
Bringing younger ones along? Here’s a little bonus for you: There’s also a Kids Bike Track at The Bike Playground! And yes, beginner adult bikers are allowed to practice biking skills here.
Adhering to the community quarantine, the Bike Playground is now only open from Wednesday to Sunday, 8am to 5pm. Bikers must book a reservation and fill up a health declaration form before visiting the area — it’s an indoor establishment, after all! The entrance fee costs ₱100 per hour, while bike rentals cost ₱500 for two hours. To keep everyone safe, The Bike Playground only allows up to seven bikers per hour.
Bike trails near Quezon City
The list above just proves that there are enough bike trails in Quezon City for everyone! But just in case you’re keen to explore our neighbouring sites, here are some honourable mentions to keep in mind.
6. Marilaque Highway
A portmanteau of Marikina-Rizal-Laguna-Quezon, Marilaque Highway is one of the most popular bike trails near Quezon City. Stretching up to 1,100 kilometres, this route is best for experienced bikers who want a scenic nature ride and don’t mind the challenges of zig-zag roads.
The Marilaque Highway crosses the Sierra Madre range — can you just imagine that? On a good day, bikers can witness waterfalls and dense foliage through this route. To have the full biker experience, stop over at Jariel’s Peak Hotel & Restobar to grab some lunch before heading back home!
7. Wawa Dam
Wawa Dam is a biker’s treasure in Bulacan. Just half an hour away from Commonwealth Avenue, Wawa Dam is tucked in a landlocked town in Rizal. Some bikers opt to ride from Quezon City to Wawa Dam through Timberland (also unofficially known as the Mountain Trail Biking capital of the Philippines). There are a lot of other scenic routes going to this area.
8. Ipo Dam
Further North, Ipo Dam is an enticing bike trail for experienced bikers. Its lush woodlands carve a beautiful off-road bike trail in Norzagaray, Bulacan. While this isn’t the most famous bike trail in Metro Manila, it’s still worth visiting if you’re looking for a quick and quiet escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Intramuros offers bike tours for a reason — it’s a very bike-friendly area! If you’re dropping in for a new experience, I suggest you try out their eco-friendly Bamboo Bicycles (Bambike) which are for rent for ₱200 per hour. If you want to have an official tour of Intramuros, however, be ready to pay ₱1,200 — this is inclusive of the bike and protective gear rental, entrance fees, and tourist guide for two and a half hours.
10. Heroes Mountain Bike Trail
If you’re looking for an affordable yet well-maintained bike trail near Quezon City, check out Heroes Trail in Fort Bonifacio. For ₱50 only, bikers can spend the whole day in this pristine nature park. Although it’s located inside Libingan Ng Mga Bayani (hence, the name), the lush fields of Heroes Trail are anything but spooky. Heroes Trail is open from 5.30am to 5pm daily.
While waiting for the world to be safer for travel again, why not take this time to really savour in the beauty of your hometown? Quezon City might not be the most serene place in the Philippines, but it sure has a lot of treasures waiting for city dwellers.
Do you know any more bike trails in and near Quezon City? Let us know in the comments section!