February is almost coming to a close and the upcoming months of March and April is promising a gruelling yet exciting weekend for runners, mountain bikers and triathletes. Let’s all kiss the month of love goodbye and put our race face mode on. I’m pretty sure all your weekends and calendars are fully booked. There are plenty of races to join and choose from: Runnilla Eco Challenge, AWUM, Xterra Off-Road Triathlon and Mt. Manunggal Mt. Bike Challenge just to name a few. There’s no English equivalent and translating the entire phrase would totally change its meaning but allow me to say this in my mother tongue: “Hutdanay ug Kusug ang Marso ug Abril.” We’ve all been busy with training and all other preparations before race day. I’ve come up with a short list of trails that’s just within the City limits. Sometimes you don’t really need to go far. It’s like teleporting from the urban/concrete jungle to the wild. That’s the good thing about living in Cebu, within ten or twenty minutes you’re already one with Mother Nature.
1.Hellipad Route in Talamban
It’s called Hellipad route for some obvious reasons. Within the route is a helicopter landing pad and its double L because the uphill climbs make you scream for hell. Your entry point can be in Tabor Hills, Guba or in Sunny Hills. Whichever way you choose, there’s no easy way up. There’s a lot of steep technical climbs and loose soil with some rocks on the side. To compensate, there’s also short and fast descents and a very ridable single track. Just be careful with the single track though cause you might end up someplace else. More photos of the route here.
2.Rolling Hills Route in Talamban
It’s not the one near the funeral parlor although that’s what I had in mind when I first heard of it. Don’t worry though cause you won’t end up in Rolling Hills with this route. The climb’s not too steep and there’s a lot of loose descent and creek crossing. Entry point is the same with Hellipad.
The entire route is a loop, you end up in the same place where you entered. Entry point is near Guadalupe Church and it’s a favorite route of mine. It’s quiet and there’s not a lot of people. You also get to breathe a lot of fresh air as compared to running or biking your way up to Wily’s in Busay. It’s also secluded and there’s not a lot of four wheel drives along the way. The best part of it is the trees so you’re not too exposed under the sun when climbing or descending your way down.
4. San Carlos Heights in Quiot, Pardo
Famous for its steep climbs that becomes steeper with every turn. The way up is mostly concrete road and the view is the climb. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t know or who hasn’t been to San Carlos Heights. It’s totally unforgivable. The trail’s short but it’s abundant with single track, big sharp rocks and ruts.
5. Good Shepherd in Banawa
This is close to my heart cause it’s where I practiced when I was still learning how to ride. Sentimentality aside, Good Shepherd is perfect for newbie riders. For newbies, it has steep climbs, low drops and fast descents. Perfect for practice ride and has an overlooking view of the Metro.
Narrowing down the list to five is a bit of a challenge. I know there’s still a lot of trails that’s just within the city limits and not to mention the ones outside the metro. Let me know your own list and recommendations in the comment section or send us a tweet. 🙂