Epic Ride: Biak na Bato and Norzagaray Adventure Ride
On one fine Sunday I and my rider friends from Newbie Riders Club, a club that caters to training and welcoming new motorcycle riders to the world of touring, organized a group ride towards the first province up north – Bulacan. I didn’t mind waking up very early to make it to our meet-up point in Balintawak. By 5 am, I was already on my way to Shell Balintawak via EDSA as I eagerly anticipated the trip ahead. Come 6 am, most of the riders who will be part of the trip were already there and so we all started to gear up, with most being excited while some nervous as it would have been their first time to go on a long motorcycle trip. Although we were going only one province way up north, it was a challenging one for the newbies as the jeepneys and tricycles of MacArthur Hi-way are notorious for not following basic road rules, even though they are the ones tagged as “professional” drivers. Anyway, when we took off, we took the National highway starting from Monumento towards Valenzuela going to Bulacan.
I’ve been missing out on all the riding action lately. Busy with a lot of stuff…and busy planning my next ride.
So here it is The Extended Northern Luzon Loop: Manila – Bulacan – Pampanga – Tarlac – Pangasinan – La Union – Ilocos Sur – Abra – Ilocos Norte – Apayao – Cagayan – Isabela – Quirino – Nueva Vizcaya – Benguet (via Aritao) – Nueva Vizcaya – Nueva Ecija – Bulacan – Manila.
My very own 15 province tour. I plan on visiting mostly museums in this trip, and capture pictures of memorabilia hundreds of years old.
I’ve always been intrigued by the North Loop, based on the posts I’ve seen in the internet that is why I have long been planning to do a Loop around the Northern part of Luzon.
Took off at July 30, 4 AM. Plan was to take the counter-clockwise route passing through Bulacan then Nueva Ecija. I have previewed it before by going as far as Ilagan, Isabela so I knew what to expect until that point, since the ideal 1st night is to be spent in Tuguegarao, which was ‘only’ 90 kms away from Ilagan.
Spectacular scenery definitely. The ride started to get exciting once I got past San Jose in Nueva Ecija (maybe 150 kms into the trip).
Spectacular sceneries indeed… would have been a much much enjoyable and safer trip if not for the Tropical Storm Jolina heading my way. I have traveled a lot in the past solo, but doing a North loop right in the eye of the storm truly made this expirience one of my most memorable ones, in terms of motorcycle riding.
Allow me to share some of my pictures from my recent trip – July 30 to August 2, 2009. I don’t know where to start since I have a lot of pictures to share (pasensya na, consider this as my North Loop blog), so I’ll go through the story per province.
As I’ve said, left Villamor Airbase close to 4 pm and arrived in Gapan a little past 6 am.
When: March 8, 2009 (Sunday)
1st meeting place:
4:30 am at Jollibee/7-11 Sucat Interchange (SLEX Exit)
Take off – 4:45 am
2nd meeting place: Shell Balintawak
5:30 AM –
Take off – 5:45 AM Sharp
Route: Monumento – McArthur Hi-way – San Simon, Pampanga, Sta Ana – Arayat – Arayat National Park – Sta. Ana – Candaba – Candaba Swamp and Bird Sanctuary – San Miguel Bulacan Biak na Bato – Baliwag – Angat – Norzagaray – etc
Monumento – McArthur Hi-way > Sta Rita>Baliwag >San Miguel (Biak Na Bato)
then back to Manila same Route. (One way trip around 78kms from Monumento,
around 3.5 hours by MC ). < < Confirmed Route
Option : (Looping)
If there is still time going back, side ride to Angat/NorZagaray (HillTop)
via Baliwag, then going back same route Baliwag to Manila. (+6 hours at least)
(Looping from Norza to San Jose>Sta Maria still needs to be explored, will provide
update next week)
NOTE: Road from Sta Rita to San Miguel occasionally have unlevelled asphalt due to
heavy trucks. Iwas tutok sa mga vehicles even at moderate speeds para hinde
mabigla. Road towards Biak na Bato generally good pero marami putol-putol, nice
cemented roads will suddenly end dangerously if approached even at moderate
speed , there are around 5 segmentations like these !!
Biak Na Bato Entrance : 30 pesos per head
– Complete Legal Documents (OR/CR, correct restriction code)
– Safety Gear(s)
– Safety Gear(s) for backride
– Condition your bike
– Condition yourself
– Gas money for 250 kms (5-7 liters for Underbones) + food money
– No shorts and/or slippers