Bike Trails: Blazing Coron's Backyard



Coron, Palawan

The prospect of biking in Coron tickled my fancy the first day I set foot in its small town streets. "It would be cool to roam here on wheels", I thought. And by coincidence, while idly roaming to the direction of the Ro-Ro port, I chance upon a bike rental shop. It just had to happen!

Suggested bike routes in and around Coron

Payong Bike (rental shop) is located along the National road. It is family-owned and managed by husband and wife Joey and Jing. I decided to hit the trails on my third day in the island. The two welcomed me with a big smile and let me pick out my ride without much ado. I chose a black KHS alite bike, tested the fit, wheels and brakes. The bikes were in great condition, almost new actually.

Turn right at the first big junction

Before they let me loose, I was asked to sign a release form (in case of accident and stuff), handed a helmet and a business card. You can also request for a bike chain if you like, at no extra cost. The bike rental fees are: P100 for 1 hour, P150 for 2 hours, P300 half day and P500 whole day.

goats lazying under the morning sun

On a wall inside the shop were suggested trail routes. The shortest one shows a total distance of 13K. I thought I'd go for that since I only had till afternoon to vagabond. Joey suggested a counter-clockwise loop starting towards Maquinit hot spings, but I decided to go other way around. I mean, I've seen the road up to Maquinit yesterday, and it wasn't really a motivating one. I make a quick stop to a water refilling station before I head out.


I trace back my morning walk route to the shop, this time on wheels. Not too far ahead, I turn right at a street that pointed to "Mabentagen Dam" and continued on what seemed like a backroad parallel to where I've just been. Thinking I was lost, I texted the number on the business card to make sure I was going the right way. He reassured me that I was doing fine. Rock and roll!

another big junction, I took the one on the right.

I pass by Mt. Tapyas hotel, still grinding rubber on cement. Things are not looking right. And then a short distance ahead, I stumble onto Mt. Tapyas road. So I was indeed on the wrong track. I just continued beyond the mountain's stairway and asked around for directions to Maquinit (Yes, the long way).

mysterious mountain range

Now officially entering Coron's backyard... Touristy sights are replaced by greenery. Keeping a leisurely pace, I cruise past thatch houses and stray goats. Rural life getting more evident, the concrete road finally reaches its end.

quiet and provincial

It's no single track trail, but I revel at the rough road that stretch ahead of me. It's almost devoid of vehicles and population. I kick up some dirt by pedaling harder. Around this time, the mid-morning sun peeks out of the clouds and reminds me that I should've put on some sunblock.

CCFT compound

All of a sudden, a massive gated compound catches my attention. Isolated like Area 51, I examine its whitewashed walls and find out that it's a school. I reckon seeing only one jeepney in this motorycle-dominated city the last 2 days; it had a sign board that says "CCFT". Connecting the dots, it was a school bus!

first water break

It's my first time to ride alone in an unfamiliar place, and the lack of civilization in sight makes me feel more isolated. I begin to doubt my strength and thoughts of "I should've just gone pasalubong shopping today" hamper my motivation. But then, brightly colored birds cross my path and I am re-energized. I've always wanted to name the birds I see, so maybe I'll be back here with a binoculars and a bird book next time.

another push section

Conscious of the time, I propel the bike enough to cover a good distance but not as much as to endanger myself. Although Joey assured me that he can pick me up anywhere on the trail using his motorbike, I didn't want to risk it (and embarrass myself at the same time).


The uphills are a challenge, mostly because I am not comfortable with the bike I am using. It's like using a different model of cellphone than what your nimble hands are used to. I push the bike on steep portions and get back on the saddle as soon as I find the incline manageable. Overall, the trail is a nice rolling playground, great even for first-timers.

resting at Maquinit hot spring's waiting shed

There aren't any trail signs in the 'woods' but I made a mental note that as soon as I get a glimpse of the sea, it means I am on the last couple of kilometers to Maquinit. The path starts to get narrow now and my heartbeat races as I plunge to a steep downhill. After I make it, I see a nice view of the Siete Pecados islands. Yes! Checking my altitude from my Amazon-bought Suunto Vector watch (yes, it's cheaper there), I discover that I am rolling on sea-level.

Look they're surveying the road. It'd be paved with cement soon.

It's been almost 2 hours when I reach the junction to Maquinit. I take five in its waiting shed, glad to be on a familiar place. After this area, the road sides get increasingly lined with houses and I encounter more faces. It feels great to be back on the radar.

Two roads, one destination. I take the one on the left, passing by a fishing village

I feel proud of myself for having blazed Coron's backyard. I make a quick pasalubong stop at Coron Harvest (cashew nuts) before I dash back to Payong bike shop. They clocked me at two-and-a-half hours but I manage to haggle down my bill to just the two-hour rate (P150).

One great ride!

Later, I would check Google Maps and find out where I deviated from shop's trail map, giving me an awesome 15K workout instead of just 13K! Here it is, the completed Coron bike route loop:


View Coron 15k bike loop in a larger map

*This is not a sponsored post*

Check out my other articles on Coron here:
Coron tour itinerary (3D/2N)
10 things I learned about Coron
List of Coron accommodations

8 comments:

  1. cool way to see the island. off the tourist trail. literally! the uphill roads do look daunting though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Paul
      Yes, a nice escape from the touristy town. I pushed the bike on those uphills, haha!

      Delete
  2. Very interesting! Will check out that bike rental shop next time. :) ~nikka

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @nikka
      Yeah, you should :) Happy biking!

      Delete
  3. A great compilation you have :) I was searching for bike trails on google when I bumped in to this blog :), Hope to ride with your on the road one of these days :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @gelomancer

      Yeah, see you on the trails! :)

      Delete
  4. Hi! Do you have the contact number of the bike rental shop? Im planning to go to coron on april, and instead of taking the city tour, ill just rent a bike and go by myself. Thanks! Will be a great help.

    ReplyDelete
  5. @veronica

    Hi! They have a facebook page..
    their number is posted in that banner behind me (last image on this post) but not sure if you can read it (coz i cant!)

    ReplyDelete

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