San Mateo, Rizal: The Wall of Timberland
This is Timberland Heights – a luxurious suburban residential situated on the outskirts of the city and sitting high up the mountains and foothills of San Mateo, Rizal. But for cyclists, Timberland‘s 4-kilometer pavement loaded with excruciating climbs, sharp hairpin turns, and dangerous descents, is regarded as a true test of will and skill in this sport.
Timberland’s well-known segment called “The Wall” rises an abrupt 243 MASL within 2-kilometers which tests physical and mental limits of every rider. Its grueling 50-degree ascent, straight up, makes every turn of the crank feel like torment. Thighs burn, muscles tighten, you’ll gasps for air, and the torture seems endless. Reaching Timberland Height’s main gate is a celebration cut short when first timers find out the backbreaking ascent was only half the beating. But hey, “Wall 2”, as regulars call it, is not as brutal as the first – so I guess this is something to cheer up for, right?
The unexplainable joy of descents and downhill rides serve as handsome rewards each time we push our lactate thresholds past the limits during punishing climbs such as Timberland’s. Here, however, letting gravity do the rest may not be the best technique to descend. The incredibly steep incline makes acceleration faster and this stretch comes down to a dangerous semi-hairpin curve called “Siko” (elbow in Tagalog) – so dangerous that an ambulance is stationed there during weekends and holidays in case of accidents. Always be extra careful.
The Wall of Timberland makes a perfect training ground to improve cycling skills and techniques, and at the same time build the muscles required in strenuous ascents such as this course. But the fun doesn’t end at The Wall. Timberland offers a bike trails with varying difficulties suited from beginners to advanced riders. No wonder this biking destination is regarded as biking mecca, visited by cyclists from all over the metro and nearby provinces.
1. Directions to Timberland: This would depend on where you’re coming from. Check out this map. A 7-11 branch across the Ampid Market is the landmark where you are to turn right (if coming from Santa Lucia, Marikina, or Batasan).
2. Climbing The Wall was really really hard but doable. Take your time, dismount, rest, ride again – you’ll get there eventually.
3. There are stores, diners, bike shops before and after The Wall.
4. To enter Timberland Height’s gate, Wall 2, you need to leave an ID.
5. The downhill is really dangerous so if you’re not confident with your brakes, just walk to ensure your safety and other bikers as well.
6. More about Rizal Province.
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10. Be extra careful when riding. Have fun.