Our Laguna Loop Recon is a 200+ km ride around Laguna Lake which took us more than 12 hours to complete.
This is my second recon ride with my bike group SUFB, the first one was Las Piñas to Tagaytay a couple of weeks ago.
Preparations were done weeks before the event. Plotting the route, deciding the rideout time, things to bring etc… For me, the hardest one was preparing my body for the grueling 200+ km ride. I work the night shift and it’s hard for me to squeeze in a couple of hours a day to ride mybike. I was however able to do some short rides during the weekends.
The day before the event I decided to do some minor upgrades on my bike but the trade-off was that I only got 4 hours of sleep. Not getting enough sleep was a bad idea! Upgraditis before a big event is a bad combo and I’ll try my best to avoid it.
The recon team was composed of 4 SUFB members. Joey with his red light storm, Arvin with his 56t Birdy and me and Enjhay with our Aurora.
Me, Enjhay and Joey met at Jolibee Casimiro at around 3am Sunday March 23rd. We then headed towards McDonald’s ATC to fetch Arvin.
Our route started in Muntinlupa heading northwards via the East Service road. It was pretty easy with some minor uphill gradient on some parts.
We turned left via C6 and most of the road was surprisingly well lit with lamp posts. We heard news that it was dark and scary but after pedaling a few kilometers it was clear that the road has already been upgraded with lamp posts. We even managed to take a picture under a lamp post as seen on the left:) The pavement was also ok with only a few potholes. This is where I noticed that my disc brake was making an awful sound whenever I was going fast. It turned out that part of it was slightly touching the brake pad causing the disc to heat up and expand, thus causing the noise. I tried to realign it but to no avail since it was still a bit dark and i couldn’t see if my adjustments were making any impact. I had to bear the slight inconvenience of the noise and the wasted energy since the wheels are slightly being stopped by my brake pads.
We then proceeded to traverse C6 crossing multiple rivers, Laguna River, Labasan River, Pasig River, Tapayan River and finally the Manggahan Floodway.
After about two and half hours of ride time we arrive at Taytay!
We started to encounter minor uphills in Binangonan but nothing our folding bikes can’t handle. The 9 speed cogs really helped me a lot!
When you get near Cardona you will see a junction as shown in the map. The road northwards is a really steep climb with an average grade of 7% (according to Strava). We chose this route thinking it will be faster than continuing the Manila East Service Road route. After a few minutes we were off of our bikes and pushing them uphill! It wasn’t much fun pushing the bike but it was well rewarded by a long stretch of downhill paved road. Just make sure you check your brakes before you descend because it’s going to be pretty fast.
At about 5 hours ride time somewhere in Tanay, Enjhay had a flat tire and we had time to rest and replace it with his extra tube. The culprit was a staple wire!
After another hour of riding we arrive at Pisong Kape. The place is very hard to miss since tons of bikers frequent the place. It’s on the left side when you do the Laguna Loop clockwise, about 250 meters before the intersection of Manila East Road and Pililla-Jala-Jala-Pakil Road.
We were amazed to see a small UFB sticker plastered in the restaurant sign below. I wonder who put it there. If you know when this was posted please comment 🙂
Try not to overeat and watch your break time closely since it’s still a long way to go. I ate only 1 cup but amazingly Joey was able to chomp down 3 orders of rice. He was really that famished!
We chose to go the Jala-Jala loop instead of climbing up the mountain. At around 8 hours of total ride time we saw a clearing overlooking Laguna Lake. Since we were tired we decided to rest for a few minutes and take pictures.
At around 12 hours of ride time we encountered another monstrous climb near the Kalayaan Hydro Electric Power Plant. I had to walk my bike again because I didn’t pace myself very well before the long uphill. Try to recover before reaching the base of the climb otherwise it’s going to be difficult especially with a single chain ring 52T 20 inch folding bike.
At around 13 hours we were so exhausted we had to take another long break, by then we were already in Pagsanjan. We went to Pico’s and ordered Crispy Pata and Crispy Noodles. When you get here make sure you try their Crispy Noodles since this is their specialty. Looking closely at our pictures below you can see that we really were very exhausted.
After eating we proceeded to complete the loop passing through Sta Cruz, Pila and Bay. Somewhere near San Antonio, we had another mishap. When we were crossing the railway, Enjhay’s tires got caught in the middle of the rails and the bike made a full stop. He literally flew leaving his bike behind but he was lucky to have landed on his hands and knees thus suffering only minor scratches. We had to stop to repair his bike and to rest but it was already dark so we had to pick up our pace.
At around 17 hours ride time. we were pedaling at around 25-30 kph when we suddenly noticed that Enjhay was nowhere to be found. It turned out his tire had another puncture and had to stop. We went back for him and he was lucky enough to have seen a vulcanizing shop nearby. We rested while the mechanic was patching it up.
After an hour we had to do another stop in McDonald’s to replenish our energy and to take some needed rest. This is unfortunately when my Strava App crashed, it’s a good thing that we were already able to complete close to 200K making me earn my Gran Fondo for the month of March!!!
At around 19 hours we were back in Muntinlupa where we started. Laguna Loop is by far the most grueling bike ride I have ever done. It was also equally the most fun and adventurous ride so far. This ride also helped me learn more about the people I ride with and more importantly learn more about me as well. I think i can fairly say that i have pushed myself to the limit and beyond.
Also, by getting the chance to observe their riding styles I was able to pick up a few tips and trick from them to add to my riding skills.
To my pedal brothers, Enjhay, Joey and Arvin, this post is for you guys. I salute you and I hope we get to do something like this again!!!
And don’t chicken out when SUFB plans another Laguna Loop! We need people who know the route! Hahaha.
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