Why You Should Go Around Batanes by Bicycle

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Why You Should Go Around Batanes by Bicycle

The best way to go around Batanes is by bicycle.  You’ll appreciate the views better, it’s good for your health, good for Mother Earth, budget-friendly, and best of all — it is fun!

Mountain Biking in Batanes

Touring Batanes by bicycle is budget-friendly.

Renting a vehicle like a van can cost from P 2,500 – 3,500 per day depending on your route.  Compare that to renting a bicycle — it will cost from P 250 – P 500 per day depending on the kind of bicycle (more on this below on Tips Section).

Touring Batanes by bicycle makes you appreciate nature more

When cycling, you can stop at your own pace, especially when you are alone with nature.  Watch the view and listen to the birds singing around you, the rustling of leaves, the sea waves and your own breath.  You’ll truly appreciate Batanes this way, compared to being inside a van.   Many solo travelers prefer cycling.  I once assisted a solo female tourist who enjoyed biking alone in Batanes.

Touring Batanes by bicycle is good for your health

Cycling is a fun way to exercise (I assume you already know the benefits of exercising right?)  However, if you are the type who has not been exercising regularly, I will advise you to take it slowly and bike only within the town proper.  Do not venture away out of town.

Touring Batanes by bicycle is environmentally sound.

By not riding a vehicle that burns fossil fuel, Mother Nature will love you for not contributing to global warming.

Tips When Cycling in Batanes

  1. Helmet – always wear a helmet.  Request one from where you rent your bicycle or bring your own.
  2. Pick the right bicycle — if you plan to go out of town, use a proper mountain bike (not a look-alike mountain bike).   A proper mountain bike is sturdy even for unpaved terrain.  If you only plan to bike around town, you can use regular road or touring bicycles.  Pick a bicycle with gear selectors because there are steep roads in some areas.
  3. Slow down — Batanes is for enjoying the vista, and these are best done by taking it slow, not by riding like you’re on a race.  Ride slowly, stop often and simply enjoy the view.  Speeding is particularly dangerous around the cliff-side roads, so don’t.
  4. Water — you will become thirsty when cycling so always keep hydrated.  Bring your water supply with you from your accommodation.  If you need to refill, the towns have plenty of potable water from the faucets.   Just request an Ivatan for water from the faucet and they’ll be happy to share.  Seriously, tap water is safe to drink in Batanes – I grew up drinking water from the tap.  But, if you insist on drinking from factory-bottled water, those are available albeit expensive.
  5. Clothing –wear long-sleeved top to protect yourself from the sun.  Wear shorts.  Wear rubber shoes or hiking shoes.
  6.  Put on sunblock lotion if you are concerned about your skin.
  7. Rain protection – bring them on those days that your weatherman predicts rain.  There are light raincoats suitable for biking.
  8. Food — pack some energy giving food because there are no stores in between towns.  Bananas, hardboiled eggs, sandwiches, nuts, camote, etc.
  9. Emergency tools — if you are going out of town, make sure to bring tire pumps and emergency repair kit.
  10. Cellphone — I repeat — be careful when cycling.  But if some inevitable happens, keep these numbers with you in case you need help.  Batanes General Hospital: 0999 990 7567.  Itbayat District Hospital: 0920 977 4213.  Rural Health Unit Basco: 0939 918 6612
  11. Along your ride, take time to chat with the locals.  Ivatans will normally not engage in a discussion with you because they respect your privacy, but if you do want to talk to them, they’ll be happy to chat with you.

 

Here are places where you can rent bicycles in Basco:

1)  Novita House — has proper mountain bikes that can really be used off-road.  We have to emphasize “proper” because there are many bicycles that look like mountain bikes but disintegrate when used off-road.  They provide helmets, repair kits, and a tire pump.  The rate for whole day use of these M-Bikes is 500.  A 50% discount is provided if you are staying at Novita House.  Novita House is located at Abuyo corner Abad streets in Basco.  350 meters from the airport.   cp# 0916 110 6000.

2)  Jave Valiente – if you are only going around Basco town on paved roads, then regular bicycles will do.   Their shop is located at Caspo street in front of Ichehan lodge.  cp# 0949 743 5210.

3)  Mark John Pajanil –  Mark John also has proper mountain bikes.   He also has a bicycle maintenance shop so if you have your own bike that needs repair, give him a call when in Basco.   cp# 0909 724 8476.

Where to Stay In Batanes?

If you do not have a place to stay yet for your biking tour, feel free to browse the list of accommodations in Batanes.  If you have questions or you want to book your accommodation and tour, we will be happy to assist.  Just get in touch with us using the chat box below or FB or our cellphone numbers or our contact page.

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