We will be holding the first ever 200km Audax in Baler, a destination that's been in our radar for the past few years. Please read through the ride information page of this ride as the schedule, Strava file, the GPX file, Cue Sheet and all other information have all been posted. A lot of my clients (in my other life that dabbles with Corporate Banking and Treasury) are actually based in Baler and I have been familiar with the terrain and the region. I also loved the waters and have surfed here even before the boom of social media. *wink*. Last year, local cyclists from Baler have been quietly joining our Audax rides in Subic. I got to meet Mr. James Sindac and his band of merry men, the Aurora Bikers. Mr. Sindac has been messaging me and inviting me over to check out Baler. I need not be convinced since I'm familiar with the area and was really looking to have this as a new Audax destination. :)
Beautiful and Scenic costal roads
And so, I had the pleasure of conducting my final reconnaissance on the roads heading to Casiguran a few weeks ago. I initially thought we could do a 300km but I need to make a judgment call as I saw riverbeds even on days where there isn't any rain. But the 200km Audax is definitely a GO. The route is picturesque, very challenging and well-paved. Elevation gain is not as tough as Rizal and Subic-Bataan. However, some climbs are quite steep at 10-12% and the descents are much more technical with sheer drops so caution should be taken SERIOUSLY. We will be reiterating this warning again and again until the day of the Audax.
Aurora Bikers in Audax Subic!
The ride will start at the driveway of 18onButon at 5AM. This is just in front of Costa Pacifica. The official partner hotel of Audax Philippines is COSTA PACIFICA and they have 4 hotels that can cater to people with different budget requirements. Our participants can enjoy corporate discounts for Costa Pacifica, Casita by Costa, 18onButon and CUBE. All hotels are near each other so cyclists can easily reach the start of the ride by bike (and even on foot)! We like the location of these hotels as this is near Sabang Beach and is walking distance to the many gastronomical joints of Baler.
KM 0: 18onButon Driveway in front of Costa Pacifica
KM 0.26: T-Junction of Labasin St. and T. Molina St.
KM 0.632: T-Junction of T. Molina St. and Quezon St.
KM 0.915: Intersection of Quezon St. and the Baler-Casiguran Road
When one hits the Baler-Casiguran Road, you just stay on this road pretty much all the way to Casiguran. It may seem a bit confusing to stay on this road because of the small roads that branch out from the Baler-Casiguran Road that's why we are providing the cue sheet (with gps points and general direction), Strava file and the GPX file. No reason to get lost now! Bottom line is, stay on the Baler-Casiguran Road. When in doubt, ask the friendly locals. :)
KM 42 and KM 159.6: Checkpoint 1 and 3 at Brgy. Dinaed, Dipaculao, Aurora Province
The Baler-Casiguran Road is challenging. It's well-paved and even if it's mostly cement, it's quite smooth. The hills can be quite steep and the descents are technical (steep and has a lot of switchbacks). You can sense the risks going down the descents with the many warnings we saw on the roads. When I did the recon, there was a cement mixer truck on the ditch! So, please be very very careful!
PLEASE HEED THIS WARNING... Be very careful especially on the descents!
KM 87.5: T-Junction before Dinalungan Town Proper
As some of these roads are quite new and pristine, some don't even have names yet! As you move forward along the Baler-Casiguran Road, you will reach this junction at around kilometre 87.5 before the Dinalungan Town Proper. Cyclists should turn left here. If you go straight and reach the Dinalungan Town Proper, you are on the wrong track. There will be a white signage at the corner that points to Casiguran and Dilasag.
Another signage showing the direction to Casiguran... follow the sign! This is somewhere between KM 87.5 and the turnaround.
Be on the lookout for more signages pointing to Casiguran just like the photo above. Follow the arrows to Casiguran while technically staying in the Baler-Casiguran Road until you reach the turnaround point. The turnaround point is the Juvan Gas Station in Brgy. Binoan, Casiguran.
KM 100.8: Checkpoint 2 at Juvan Gas Station
The roads going out is the same way going back. It's pretty straightforward and all route information has been posted. See you all in Audax Baler! :)