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  • Writer's pictureMitch Metzger

Mitch's Philippine Loop Day 11-14 Vigan, Ilocos Sur to 2nd Highest Point in Atok, Benguet

Updated: Apr 13




Mitch's Philippine Loop Adventure Tour

Bicycle Riding Day 11

December 31, 2023


From: Vigan, Ilocos Sur

Destination: Malaya, Suyo


Distance travelled today: 121.49

Total KM Travelled: 1,230.01


Route:

Vigan City south past Candon turning left after Santa Cruz to Suyo - all climbing 121.49kms today. 17 hr day!



Notes:

I got a little lost departing Vigan. Started heading South for nearing 90kms all the way past Candon. Flat tire in Candon. Fixed it, but bought new spare TIRE for future. My current tire is getting thin. After a full 90kms, I decided to start up the "unending mountains of Suyo and Cervantes, to cross over to Hwy going to 2nd Highest Point and eventually Baguio. I stopped at 9:00pm, and slept in a waiting shed kubo. I slept 7 hours before continuing up mountain the next day. The mountains are over 50kms long, not steep or serious grades, but on and on and on. Seemingly endless. Took me 12 hours (if I count day 12) to get out of that mountain range.




End of Day 11


Day 12


Mitch's Philippine Loop Adventure Tour

Bicycle Riding Day 12

January 01, 2024


From: Malaya, Suyo, Ilocos Sur.

Destination: Mankayan, Benguet


Distance travelled today: Only 43.97kms

Total KM Travelled: 1,273.98kms


Route:

Malaya, Suyo, Ilocos Sur to Mankayan, Benguet passing by Bessang Pass and turning at Cervantes - lots of climbing 43.97kms today. 14 hr day!


Notes:

Started early at 4:00 a.m. in the dark going up and up and up all the way to Bessang Pass at 1,500 Meters (4,921 feet) elevation. The downhill was nearly 15+ kms; wonderful, but arriving into Cervantes proper until Mankayan, Benguet was largely uphill. The hills were intense. I had lots of pushing of the bike today. The rain started at 5:15pm. I really hoped to get to the Hwy going to Highest Point, but I fell short. I am drinking coffee in restaurant and plan to sleep in motorcycle garage across the street. Will continue to Buguias and Highest Point tomorrow. The rain continues as I write this report.



End of Day 12


Day 13


Mitch's Philippine Loop Adventure Tour

Bicycle Riding Day 13

January 02, 2024.


From: Brgy. Colalo, Mankayan, Benguet.

Destination: Atok, Benguet - 2nd Highest Point.


Distance travelled today: Only 50.53

Total KM Travelled: 1,324.51


Route:

Brgy Colalo, Mankayan, Benguet to Buguias following Hwy to Atok, Benguet 2nd Highest Point. Lots of big climbing. 50.53kms today. 14 hr day!



Notes:

The hardest part of today was the climbing and pushing of bicycle at corners to reach Buguias. Had hard time finding restaurant until Bugias at 10:30am. Many stores still on vacation. Many temperature changes today. Changing clothes often. Started raining at 3:30pm with 10kms remaining to 2nd Highest Point. I decided to go for it! Reached Atok after 5:40pm. Weather was wet, miserable, with "no room at the inn." I ate and decided to head down towards Baguio looking for transient house. I found one at 2kms from Highest Point. Perfect! Hot water showers and just fine. I will target Urdaneta, Pangasinan tomorrow and Antipolo, Rizal (home) by 4th. I will continue The Loop to Alaminos and Subic, Visayas and Mindanao Feb 5 to March 15th.




End of Day 13


Day 14


Mitch's Philippine Loop Adventure Tour

Bicycle Riding Day 14

January 03, 2024


From: 2nd Highest Point Atok, Benguet

Destination: Urdaneta, Pangasinan.


Distance travelled today: 136.81

Total KM Travelled: 1,461.32


Route:

2nd Highest Point in Atok, Benguet following hwy to Baguio. Crossing Baguio and taking Marcos Hwy to Pugo, Rosario, and eventually Urdaneta, Pangasinan. 136.81kms today. 17 hr day!


Notes:

Although the distance was not superior, The power output and the demand and wattage needed for hill climbing was worth triple the distance! From the 2nd Highest Point in Atok, all the way down and over those mountains to reach Baguio. I ate an entire pizza for lunch at La Trinidad. This is very much responsible for my power output for the rest of the day. Crossing Baguio is only 8 km, but feels like 28! Up and down and up and down just to get out of the city is a trip within itself. Marcos Highway is not all down either there's a lot of climbing on Marcos Highway also. I had a flat tire today and I had probably 15 brake adjustments because of the stressful down descents. I would have to pull off numerous times just to cool off my brakes. I had like 20 personal records today and the top speed of 60 km/h. I'm sure I could have gone even faster sometimes but it's too dangerous and my brakes can't handle such intense speeds. The best downhill was over 20kms from Pugo to Rosario 7/11 corner. Soon I will replace my pedals, My bottom bracket bearings, both tires, and all of my brake pads. I'm averaging 104 km a day. After reaching home in Antipolo tomorrow night I will be continuing my stage two of the Loop, Starting here at Urdaneta, once again, sometime near February 5, to pass through Alaminos and Subic. I need to get back to work on January 6th. I'll be back again on February 5th.


End of Day 14


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