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A few friends and I ended the month of June with something new, at least for me it was something new. We borrowed a few mountain bikes, drove all the way to Foressa Mountain Town, and went cycling around the Foressa Trails.

I’ve never done any real off road mountain biking. It was hot, the trails were challenging, and the climb grueling. It was a blast! If you want to try something like that in the future, go ahead! It was good fun and the guides were very helpful.

General Info (all taken from their Facebook page):

Contact – (032) 411 1648

Location – Foressa Mountain Town is located in Cansomoroy, Balamban, Cebu. It took us roughly an hour and half to drive there from Cebu City. Best way to find your way there? Just use Google Maps.

Entrance Fees (per person) –

  • Hike Trails – PHP150
  • Bike Trails – PHP150
  • Hike and Bike Trails – PHP250
  • Camp Grounds (day use) – PHP250
  • Camp Grounds (overnight use) – PHP250

Rates –

  • Guide (1:5 bikers; 1:10 hikers) – PHP250 / guide
  • Trails package (hiking, biking, camping) – PHP500 / person
  • Tent Rentals (small, medium,Large) – PHP350 – PHP700
  • Cottage Rentals (small, medium,Large) – PHP100 – PHP300
  • Event Reservation (Exclusive use of trail grounds) – PHP25,000 / day

A few notes about Foressa Mountain Town:

  • There are a number of bicycle and hike trails available. All ranging from beginner to expert levels. We almost took the advance trail. Fortunately, smarter heads prevailed. After all, none of us, I repeat, none of us had any real mountain biking experience. We ended up taking the novice
  • The fee to bike trail was only 150 pesos per person. Super affordable for the experience!
  • Along with a sturdy mountain bike, bring a helmet, food, water and medical equipment. Accidents can happen. Our group had a total of four falls that could have easily caused serious injuries.
  • HINT: After the bike ride, we dropped by 21 Kilometers Coffee for the best coffee up in the Cebu mountains.
Video by @qn2.0

I originally did not have any intention in writing about our trip to Foressa Trails, but I thought it was so much fun that more people should know about the experience.

I’ve been commuting via bicycle for almost a year now. Regular readers will note that I’ve written a few articles about cycling in the city. But this was my first time to really go on an honest to goodness trail ride through the mountains and rough terrain.

A few impressions about the experience:

Thread lightly.

Mountain biking, like cycling through the city, can be a dangerous activity. As mentioned above, during our brief stint in Foressa, our group had four minor crashes, but any one of those could have had serious consequences. I was in one of the crashes. On the way down the mountain, there was a steep u-curve, I heard there is a real name for this, but it escapes me as of the moment, as I navigated through the curb I noticed a small hole on the side of the trail, I tried to slow down, but it was too late. The wheel of the bike got stuck on the hole and I lost balance. As I fell, my hand went inside another hole, then when I pulled my hand out, it was full of black ants. My crash was more gross than scary, but a few of my friends literally had their bikes flip 360 degrees over their heads as they went down the mountain. Like I said, none of us had any experience whatsoever. But still fun. Just be careful.

Mountain biking is soooooooo different from cycling on the road.

I know it sounds obvious, but it’s not something I thought about when I got on the mountain bike. It’s a simple fact that when you cycle on the road, you can rely on the ground to not move beneath your tires. This fact alone makes mountain biking a totally different experience. Navigating through the different terrain was an exercise of skill and precision. We went through dirt, tall grass, gravel, a river, as well as up and down a mountain. If you are used to cycling on the road, going on a trail is a totally different experience.

Just like in road cycling, going up and down a mountain is still fun.

Speaking of going up and down the mountain. Going down is super fun, but super sketchy. One wrong turn and you fall off a mountain. On the other hand, going up the mountain is incredibly tiring and requires stamina as well as actual mountain biking ability. Most of the time, we couldn’t pedal our bikes up the trail so we did a lot of pushing.

Just keep swimming… uhm… moving.

You probably didn’t get the Finding Nemo reference, but one key we realized when biking on trails was to keep moving. We found that most of the obstacles were more easily overcome if you just kept moving at speed. Most of our crashes happened when we slowed the bike down. Of course, to keep the bike moving you need skill and a little courage. Which is something else all together.

Enjoy!

Carlo Villarica

If you want to hear more from me, I publish a weekly newsletter called Monday Musings — a set of recommends and thoughts I had that week, subscribe here. Or follow me on instagram @sobermusings.

 

 

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