MindoRock n Roll— Ride Calapan to Puerto Galera
The Valleybikes posse live for adventure and this time we ticked off our “to ride” list the island of Mindoro. It was a short yet sweet ride but we got to do the essentials in this fun and happy place where the Mangyans live. Our guide is a local who loves the outdoors and considered an idol in the mountainbike scene. He used to compete at downhill races during the turn of the millennium so he is really deep into the MTB culture. He knows the backroads and secret trails not only as a mountainbiker but because he does 4×4 trail riding also. So we were sure that we won’t get lost and he assured us that we shall have a blast. The date was set, the pre-ride meeting was done and everyone was stoked to get to Mindoro.
Going to Mindoro (166km away from Manila)
We carpooled going to Batangas pier because that is the takeoff point from Luzon island. Five riders were coming from Manila so we left the city around 2am and arrived at the Batangas pier around 4am Saturday (SLEX–>STAR toll, easy!). Two more riders came from Batangas so we all met at the pier before boarding our RORO (roll on roll off) boat.
We got the RORO leaving at 6am from Batangas City pier going to Calapan. We paid for our tickets (250 per head for the fastcraft) and when we were going through the pier X-ray security check, we had to remove the front wheel of our bikes so as not to pay 60 pesos. We obediently followed their rules to have a hassle free transfer. Once we were in the Fastcraft, we had to pay extra 200 pesos for our bikes. Every shipping line has different rules regarding bicycles, too bad our fastcraft going to Calapan had bike payment. (Our return trip to Batangas: no payment for bicycles but the sea journey was longer by an hour.)
The boat ride was uneventful, we caught some Zzzzzzzleep and saved our energy for the long bike ahead of us.
Once we arrived in Calapan, Mindoro, we took some pictures and pedaled our way to the house of our host, Jonathan.
We ate breakfast and prepared ourselves and the bikes.
Once everyone was set, we rode off!
According to Google maps, Calapan to Puerto Galera was roughly 60 kilometers. The plan was to ride it all the way. But Jonathan wanted us to experience the falls, so we took a detour and headed towards the falls.
Before turning left to Tukuran Falls, we had a quick meal at a local eatery. I had Kalderetang Kambing while the others had GotoBats (stew with animal intestines).
The way to the falls required some river crossings, they were shallow yet challenging. Good thing the mountain goats are trained for this type of river crossings. The technique here is to go on a low gear and slowly ride the current, maneuvering the bike so as not to roll on giant rocks on the river bed.
We arrive at the majestic falls and wonder in awe at the beauty of nature.
Going back to the highway, there were some carabaos with a carriage in tow. In the carriage were tourists who want to experience the beauty of the falls. We literally had to share the path with carabaos, good thing our support vehicle was small enough to go through the carabao tracks thus we had our supplies with us after dipping in the refreshing river.
On our way to Puerto Galera
We pedaled our way to Puerto Galera and stopped at some sights worthy for photographs. We rested at the Tamaraw Falls and my friend left his 450pesos change there.
Our wish: natural resources like these should be preserved and maintained. For the tourists; please do our best not to litter in areas like these.
It was a nice scenic route and God blessed us with an excellent riding weather. The clouds hid the riders from the sun and the temperature was just right. When we approached Puerto Galera, there was a slight rain shower, the kind where you get wet, but not drenched. I thought I wouldn’t be needing my Spyder shades due to the lack of sun, but I had to wear ’em shades to protect my eyes from the spill of the water coming from the ground.
A nice bountiful meal of roast chicken and white rice waited for us at the white beach. We heartily ate and drank our cold beer. We chatted about the day’s ride, laughed and made jokes and concluded we had a good ride day.
On outdoor adventures like these, it is always great to have a headlamp so that you can easily find stuff come night time. You can find your wallet inside your bag, the path back to your room and all the other essentials in the dark. Valleybikes recently got a new toy in the form of the LED LENSER 1000 lumens headlamp. Everything was bright because of this awesome weatherproof rechargeable lamp. Word to our friends from N00bgamer.com and Hahn Manila.
We drank beer and chilled by the beach. We met some foreigners living on the island. They tell us how Filipinos are always smiling, despite everything. That is island livin’ for you, mon!
The plan for the next day was to ride up a 10 kilometer climb, go to a falls, chill… then go downhill ending by the beach. It sounded like a plan, so we were game.
On the climb
It was a climb reminiscent of any mountain climb: you pedal easily and slowly. Easily meaning there is no race, so nobody is timing you. You are only competing against yourself. Apply all the techniques you know when climbing. Breathe easy, work with different muscle groups, rest under a tree shade. Pedal with a mate, it is so much easier…
We reached another waterfalls and cooled off. This is such a secluded spot that foreigners sometimes go skinny dipping here.
When we reached the peak of the trail, we took pictures and went downhill. All good. All fun.
How do you conclude an article for a ride this fun?
All the elements of a good ride were present in this Mindorock n Roll adventure. Good weather, awesome climbs, scenic mother nature, gnarly downhill trails, beach, beer, mud, checklist complete! Another one for the books!
*if you want to experience Mindoro on a MTB, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Rock n Roll!
**Thank you to JM, Mike, Remus, Jonathan, Ohmar, Noel for the pictures.
***special thanks to Master Jonathan for being such a gracious host. Thank you also to Team Spyder for the shades and helmet. Special thanks to Hahn Manila for the LED LENSER H14R.2 Headlamp.