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  • Writer's pictureMitch Metzger

Bicycling from Baguio to Manila SUCCESS!

Updated: Jan 2, 2019

This is when I arrived to Metro-Manila. I still had 10+ kilometers after this.

Last December 28th, 2018, I took the six hour Victory Liner Bus to Baguio City, assembled my bike and road back to Manila the next day. It took me two days to get home - 263 kilometers (163 miles). It was a great learning experience.

I had two flat tires and gave away four Bibles to strangers who I met along the way. This trip was a great "test run" in preparation for my BIG 4,230 mile (7,000 Kilometer) Trans American Bicycle Tour next May 2nd to August 2nd.

My 2nd flat tire in two days. My tires are too thin.

I learned a lot about my equipment and I compiled a list of (nearly) everything I learned on the trip.


Things I learned from my two day bicycle road trip from Baguio to Manila last December 29th and 30th:

Note: not in an particular order

1. I did not need a paper map. All maps are totally online.

2. One powerbank of 12,000 mAh was nearly good enough for full day of charging my internet, phone, and Garmin 25. Two power banks or one 20,000mAh would be perfect.

3. Be aware that tire tube patches expire. Always have current, new, patches, and glue that is current. Even if the glue has NEVER been opened before, it will dry and be hardened inside.

4. To prevent littering: There needs to be a pocket on the panniers designated for keeping "trash" until you can get to a garbage area.

5. Bring small pieces of wire to use for backup screws if lost.

6. Bring very small toothpick sized items for marking the holes on the flat tire.

7. Bring good quality, accurate, tire pressure gauge for perfect pressure management.

8. My current Bontrager™ tires are not fit for Filipino-type roads. I need to have more grip, and knobs, and not so smooth. The Bontrager™ tire is too smooth and thin.

9. Bring extra allen bolts of common sizes for all the bikes purposes.

10. Always use LocTite on all bolts and screws when inserting them in. It is not enough to simply tighten them without "screw glue" on them.

11. Mark all panniers with little "coded" labels to remind yourself of what items are in what bags.

12. Pack the things you need access to the most during the day on the left side of the bike. The right side of the bike is often leaning against a wall, pole, tree, or post. ie. Your overnight bags, clothes would go on the "right" side of the bike. You will not need those items until the end of the day.

13. Never let anything lay on a place other than on your bike during rest stops. Everything must be placed, laid or rested on your bike. It is too easy to forget something and drive away.

14. Travel with one spare tire and at least two spare tubes to prevent patching tubes on the road. You can patch the tubes at home and use them as backups for future trips.

15. Treat the disc brake plate very carefully. If it bends, you will be in big big trouble.

16. Both, windproof shoes covers and waterproof shoe covers are totally necessary to preserve your expensive shoes and to keep your feet dry during rains.

17. For photography on the road, a tripod is NOT always needed for every still shot. You can set your camera on a rock, fence, pole,or other elevated place.

18. Have two locations (purses) for your money: One purse for spending money during the day, that you will access all the time, and one purse for your big amounts that you will use for large expenses and take out only sometimes.

19. Duct tape is wonderful. It is useful for so many emergencies. I used it for labeling my bags and also for stabilizing my head light.

20. Keep the chain and sprocket clean daily IF your weather is rainy, wet, and lots of road splash.

21. Two pairs of glasses are needed and NOT just one pair of sunglasses. The sunglasses are NOT useful when it is too early or after dark. You need clear type safety glasses for night riding. The eyes SHOULD be covered at ALL times.

22. Bring tiny bottle of liquid detergent soap to apply onto the tire bead edging for perfect alignment and seating after installing tire to rim.

23. Cars trust you more if you are keeping a straight line

24. Motorcyclists are in a similar "family tree" as bicyclists. They have a similar culture.

25. Water in the palm of the hand can be used to locate a leak in your inner tube.

26. Snacks are not so much needed since there are plenty of "road side cafes" along the National Highway in the Philippines.

27. You cannot eat snacks while riding anyhow. It must be an event where you pull over, and take a longer break.

28. Cobra Energy drink is more refreshing than Red Bull.

Waiting line at the USB plugs at my overnight stop.

29. A long, strong, string could be really helpful to have for hanging stuff up at night, to dry, in your motel room.

30. Two bicycle/padded shorts would be plenty for a full trip. You can just rotate them every few days.

31. Baby wipes are perfect for many hand cleaning purposes during the day.

32. A type of electrical plug multiple (five or more) USB plugs would be helpful for charging gadgets all at one time at the end of the day.

I'm sure there are more but these are the one's I thought of immediately.

After reaching Manila, and getting closer to my home, I pulled over and treated myself at Shakeys. They have a great platter of spaghetti for about $6 only!

Although, I have no trips planned between now (January 2nd) and my May 2nd trip, I have discovered that on a simple weekend (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday), I actually do have the window of opportunity for some trips in the future I could consider.

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