Palm Road, Siarogao, Philippines by @SaltInOurHair
Let’s face it…Adventure Cycling, in other countries, can be a little scary. The fear of unknown dangers, unfamiliar roads, and the very possibility of getting stuck when you don’t speak the native language is scary. However, it’s also exciting!
Such circumstances add to the adventure! Cycling the Philippines has been on my mind for a while now. With the Covid-19 crisis, I thought to myself, “What am I waiting for?” Life is short, right? So, here we go…I’m about to embark on a new cycling adventure. Will you join me? This is gonna be epic!! We will start with 8 simple tips for planning a fun-proof cycling trip to the Philippines!
Hello Mga Kaibigans
(Tagalog: “My Friends”)
After weeks of being locked down in Los Angeles, California (and still am while writing this), I’m stoked to start planning anything outside right about now. 🤣🤣
Cycling long distances with a bike tour, adventure group, or on my own have allowed me to meet new friends (both riders and “locals”) while exploring popular and obscure places in the 48 US States I’ve been to so far in the past 6 years.
However, cycling in a another country will be new to me. 😳😅
It’s definitely taking me out of my comfort zone. So, let’s get started before I change my mind! 🤔🤣
TIP #1 Make a Commitment
“one day, I will go there.”,
“someday, I will join you”,
“what if, I can’t afford it?”,
“maybe it’s not for me”,
or “next time, I’m too busy working”
Nothing…absolutely nothing happens.
You go about your life until you see something that inspires you again and again but nothing comes into fruition. 😞😭
Now what’s it like committing to a date,
high-fiving your travel buddies,
putting a deposit up for a tour,
or signing up for a staycation event?
Oh it’s gonna happen!
You have no choice, but to start training and making plans!
Life changes. 😳😁
TIP #2 Communication is KEY to choosing your next Dream Adventure
I was born in Quezon City, Philippines, but practically became the 2nd generation in my family to immigrate to the US with my mother to Los Angeles, CA. Been here ever since.
DID YOU KNOW?
The country of the Philippines, with a modest population of 85 million, is home to more than 170 languages? 😱😱
I’m a bit rusty in speaking, but I can understand Tagalog, the official national language.
It’s wonderful, however, to know that the Philippines is 1 of 5 Asian countries that recognize ENGLISH as its official language too! 😱😱😱
The other 4 are India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Singapore.
If you choose a location that will be difficult for you to communicate, no worries…there are other ways of communication…just slower, more confusing, and you’ll definitely look like a tourist. 😎🤣
SOLUTION: Start practicing early, learn key phrases and greetings. Know that a smile and your attempt to communicate with the locals thru their native language will go a long way.
TIP #3 Create a “Cycling Philippines” Checklist
Spend a few minutes writing down everything you can think of.
Don’t wait…write everything down and don’t worry about putting them in order for now.
Add approximate hours to complete next to each task.
TIP #4 Research, Research, Research then Make a List on Google Sheet
Much of my initial tasks in my checklist above included diving deep into Google, Bloggers, Youtube, Netflix documentaries, Instagram, TikTok, and Hashtags for anything travel and cycling-related to my destination.
So much information out there now.
I had no choice but to create a google spreadsheet to organize my ideas, findings, and making a list of the following:
best Islands to visit,
best places to visit per island,
best places to eat,
things to do on each island,
historical articles to read,
videos to watch,
hashtags to keep an eye out for,
and yes even saving pictures for Instagram inspiration 📷📸
Here are some great Bloggers and Youtubers I found informative about cycling and traveling in the Philippines:
Travel Greti – Solo Traveler, who traveled to Philippines 5x. Found her video content inspiring and well documented.
Lara Reid – She recently posted a “How To Travel” in the Philippines video in her youtube channel. Great tips and content!
Wil Dasovich – Fell in love with his videos! From San Francisco, CA, he moved to the Philippines. Funny and informative about his everyday life in the Philippines. His sister, Haley Dasovich, is famous too!
Ian How – Love this guy’s cycling adventures all around the Philippines. Gives me great insight on how the roads are and what places he cycles are like. Endurance multi-day rides too! Although he speaks in Tagalog, he has subtitles in English. He may show up on a special surprise adventure with me on the trip! 🤩🤩🤩
Aaron Palayab – (Photographer) Wow. His photography and his experiences capturing the essence of the Philippines are beautiful to watch. He speaks English / Tagalog.
Pinoy Adventurista – (Blog) Mervz has been exploring and documenting the Philippines and other East Asia countries since 2009. Great content.
David’s Been Here – He provides great detail of things to SEE and EAT in the Philippines. He plans to travel to every country on earth! That’s 194 countries you know and he has already visited 77 of them! 😱😱I have a long way to go! 😳🤪
Culture Trip – (Blog) Has a great article on spectacular places to cycle in the Philippines as well as guides + tips for every country.
Ride the Road – (Blog) They have visited over 70 countries with the intention of finding the best cycling experiences throughout the world. Detailed account of their cycling trips around the Philippines 7x.
Love using the App => In Tags.
Gives me a good idea which hashtags to watch and use myself.
I’m sure I will be adding more to this section as I do more research. 🤩🤩
TIP #5 Finalize location(s). Is it SAFE?
Now that you have become a Filipino addict like me from all the endless, but very educational research, you’ll have a better idea where you want to go.
Be mindful of what you believe life is in other countries.
I have made excuses NOT to cycle the Philippines because of the CRAZY TRAFFIC in Manila, the capital of the Philippines!!
Now that I’m a little more educated here, Manila is just 1 city among the massive provinces and islands (over 7,000 of them) and it’s surprisingly cycle-friendly!
The Philippines is rated just below the USA by 0.1. 😱😱
Meaning it’s just as safe or as dangerous as America. 🤔🤔
We know our own risk tolerance.
Be prudent to avoid known areas of danger.
Use common sense, just as you would at home.
See current GLOBAL TRAVEL ADVISORY on the Philippines.
TIP #6 Use Your Social Media to Confirm Routes & Make New Riding Companions
I’m even more surprised how strong the cycling community is in the Philippines when I joined their cycling Facebook groups.
I received a lot of great feedback on my overall plans, possible routes, and even gained potential riding companions along my trip! How cool is that?!
Here are some Filipino Cycling Facebook Groups I participate in:
I’m so thrilled to meet new “local” cycling buddies while I’m planning!
It makes me feel more confident to receive 1st hand knowledge.
Very important to know the environment you’re getting into.
TIP #7 Choose Route Ideas
I spent some time pinning cycling routes I found useful on RideWithGPS.
This app seems to provide easy access to cycling routes on a global scale.
BUT, when I found BikeMap.net…I was a kid in a candy store!
All the popular cycling routes in the world for you to see in one place!
4.9 million routes to be exact! Wow! Woohoo! 🤪🤪
Then I began mapping my own cycling routes using Strava.
This is only by preference as I don’t use RideWithGPS much other than research.
The routes you save on BikeMap can be downloaded as a GPX file FYI.
Found some great bike maps using google too!
LAST BUT NOT LEAST,
I met 3 people on Facebook that have cycled all the places I want to go to.
Receiving valuable advice is PRICELESS!
It saves me so much time.
One PARE (English: “Male Friend”) even offered to be my guide! Another one offered a SAG vehicle! Many have asked to cycle with me along the trip!
How cool is that!? 😍😍
TIP #8 Let’s Get Real. Are you FIT enough?
Are you one of those cyclists that have gained weight during the Covid19 lockdown? ✋🏼✋🏼
Add me to that list. 😫😫 2020 is shot!
However, planning a trip like this, is just what I needed to
1) keep me sane on home lockdown,
2) motivate me to get back in beast cyclist climbing-freak-mode 200-miler chick. 🤣💪🏼🚴🏼♀️
On a real note, age doesn’t matter as long as you are honest about your physical condition.
If you haven’t ridden multi-days before, know that tours can be physically and mentally demanding.
Your adventure can turn for the worse if your body isn’t ready to handle the daily pounding. However, your mileage is really up to you.
Tours I’ve ridden in the past averaged 75 miles a day, 6 days a week.
PREVENTING INJURY is also key!
No fun in shortening a trip, right?
Please be mindful of the folks you plan to ride with too.
Give yourself the best experience and TRAIN so you can keep up, truly enjoy the scenery, and have the BEST MEMORABLE TIME! 😍😍
So…planning PART 1 is coming along nicely.
This is just the beginning…
of an experience I know will be special in my heart. ❤️🙏🏼❤️
Currently solidifying my routes now and will share my itinerary, new research, accommodation ideas, and other updates soon!
If you are interested in joining the Cycle Philippines Adventure with me scheduled for Dec 2021, whether for a few days or the entire way, join the Cycle Travel Club Facebook Group for more details!
In the meantime, I wish you continued health! 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼
Keep dreaming and making plans for the next adventure!
Happy indoor cycling or solo riding for now. PEACE! ✌🏼
It's a great time to educate yourself on the country you are visiting, their cultures, and language! Here are some books I've come across recently that provides just that! Enjoy!
Any questions about cycling in the Philippines? Got other comments about planning a cycling trip? Drop me a message in the comments below!
THANKS FOR READING 🤟
Hey there, I’m Monica Busby — I started cycling seriously 5 years ago across 48 US States and Cebu, Philippines after being fed up of the rat race. “There has to be more to life than this”, I said to myself. So I picked up a bicycle and have been on a pilgrimage to cycle the world ever since. Adventure Travel and Entrepreneurship are my passions. Let me inspire you to cycle travel more with wild stories, scenic views, and business tips to live a lifestyle you have always wanted.