We’ve been warned that Baguio slopes can be a pain, but we never thought that it’s going to be hell. From Kennon Road to Happy Hallow, our recent ride in the City of Pines was definitely crazy difficult.
This side trip to Baguio was unplanned, a sudden decision to cut our trip home into half from Sagada. It was the weekend, anyway, and we’d rather spend it in the north since we’re already there. We documented our Saturday bike ride with Fujifilm X-T30.
Budol Buddy planned the route. From our hotel in Legarda, we went all the way down to the Lion’s Head along Kennon Road. Cycling downhill with Marlowe and Marti was really fun — the air was cool and the view was scenic. Midway, we realized that we’re going to climb the road that we were enjoying.
As we took pictures at the Lion’s Head, we met Baguio-based cyclists Jherome, James and Ferdie. Their team connected with ours and we decided to share the painful climb to reach the spot called “Great Wall” located past Loakan Airport.
The Great Wall was a bit disappointing. We’ve been there before but it’s now closed to visitors. We just had brunch there where Baguio-based cyclist Valerie met us. All of a sudden, we were seven.
Since we’re already in Loakan and our goal was to have drinks at Hot Cat Specialty Coffee, the route that we took was through Happy Hallow in Kadaclan. It has a 10.4% gradient, which pretty much killed our legs. Even Valerie, who has been there many times, decided to walk because he had a traumatizing fall on that steep road.
Happy Hallow was really steep. Imagine, my front wheel slightly lifted many times from the ground, that’s gravity pulling it downwards.
Happy Hallow was not unfamiliar. I was here with Marti last year but we cycled from Baguio Country Club to Loakan. That was still difficult and I had to walk — not only on climbs but also during descents. But here’s my greatest takeaway from this ride: I’m proud of myself that I conquered this difficult ride without walking. Not that it’s wrong to walk, I just want to celebrate a personal achievement.
Photos by Marlowe Apeles, Marti Salva and Lester Babiera.