CEBU CITY, Philippines— Ever tried bikepacking in Cebu?
This group of bikepackers from different parts of the country did and they did it with style.
During the recent Holy Week, this group of bikers set on an adventure by conquering “Cebu Divide,” which takes them from the northernmost tip of Cebu to the southernmost tip through the island’s “spine.”
Bikepacking, by the way, is just like backpacking, but this time on a bike. Yes, backpacks and bikes.
This group of bikepackers explored the scenic view and challenging trail from Maya port in Daanbantayan town northern Cebu to the Liloan port in Santander town.
Ryan Sedon, who is one of the pioneering bikepackers in Cebu, shared with CDN Digital some highlights of this year’s “Cebu Divide.”
“The view was stunning. We passed through Mt Mago, Mt Manunggal, Malubog Lake in Toledo, the vegetable highway, Mantalongon Dalaguete, Ablayan Peak and the beautiful mountain ridges of south side Cebu,” he said.
This year, Sedon decided to take a step back and participated in the event as a volunteer.
From a simple outdoor activity organized by PACgear Outdoors, Cebu Divide finally became a race this year.
PACgear Outdoors began building the route in 2016 and completed the entire route from Maya Port, Daanbantayan to Liloan Port, Santander in 2019.
“Cebu Divide is an annual event. The first Cebu Divide was wayback 2019. I was one of the lucky few bikepackers who pionneered the route,” he said. “We initially started as nine bikepackers but only seven of us completed the whole route. The first Cebu Divide took us seven excruciating days to complete.”
It took them six days to complete this year’s challenge. It was no easy task for sure as elevation gain in their bike app showed 58,672 meters. Bikers know this ain’t easy.
“The most challenging part of the Cebu Divide route is the Mt. Mago traverse in Carmen. This traverse requires the race participants to dismount from their bike and push/hand carry their bikes and all gears up the un-rideable steep hill of Mt Mago,” Sedon said.
The group was inspired by international bikepacking races like the Silk Road Mountain Race and decided to create a challenge out of the route. This year, the inaugural challenge was completed by two experienced cyclists, Aldean Lim and Benjamin Ramirez, who set a record of completing the Cebu Divide Bikepacking route in 56 hours and 22 minutes.
Sedon and some of the bikepackers in Cebu are also gearing up for another bikepacking adventure, which is the Bikepacking Annapurna Circuit in Nepal happening this May 6, where they will be the only Cebuanos who will embark on this bikepacking extravaganza.