Single Track Heaven.

ADDRESS: Carabao Island, San Jose, Romblon

The circumferential road of the island is great for Mountain bike and Motor cross sports tourism as the trail is 50% single track which is also dirt track. The island had also just finished their First bike a thon on 2014 which was participated by over 60 registered riders which were from national and international riders. They are also x-trail teams visiting the island as they train in the very challenging course which consists of 30 cardiac hills.

MUST DO ACTIVITIES:

  • Mountain Biking
  • Motor Cross riding
  • Annual Bulawan Bike a Thon (held on March with the Island's Fiesta)
OPENING HOURS: Daylight
ADMISSION FEE: Free
CONTACT PERSON: Leahlyn Pablo, Municipal Tourism Office

GETTING THERE: There are Jeepney's that travel to Santa Fe from Odiongan Terminal, Just tell the Driver/Conductor to drop you off at Santa Fe Pier, once you alight from the Jeepney you can catch a Pumboat (Triamaran) to Carabao Island. Once you arrive at the island you can catch a Single (Motorbike) or Tricycle to take you to the Tourism Office.

Other ways to get to the island is to travel by 2go from Batangas to Caticlan, from Caticlan you can either hire a pumboat to Carabao Island or catch the 8:30 am pumboat to Carabao Island which travels 7 days a week.

One can also hire a pumboat from Boracay Island for an Island hopping tour to go to Carabao Island.

More Information:
Carabao Island, Romblon: Pure Single Track Heaven
(Notes on the Carabao Island Circumferential Trail)
Bilshan F. Serva├▒ez

This biker was asked by the Romblon Tourism Council to assess the circumferential road of Carabao Island, Municipality of San Jose, Romblon as to its soundness for a mountain bike race.  This island is at the Southern portion of the Romblon Archipelago just below Santa Fe.  It is about 20-30 minutes from the Island of Boracay in Aklan.  These were his notes.

Start of the race must be at the San Jose Arch.

First eight hundred meters is along the Poblacion beach.  The road is sandy and some parts are loose.  Bikers must be extra careful on this stretch as pileups could happen if a biker trips on the sand bringing with him others who are scrambling for position along the early going of the race.

The next 400m is uphill with 30 to 40 degree grades.  The road is a single lane road but paved.  Overtaking one at a time is possible.  Slow riders are advised to give way to fast ones.  This is where the men are separated from the boys. 

The next four kilometers is rolling terrain with the same single lane paved road.  Overtaking is still possible but warnings should be shouted by the overtaking driver so that the rider to be overtaken should drive to the side.

First barangay on the loop is Pinamihagan.  It is about 5 kilometers from the starting point.  Riders should be wary of residents who may dart out from their homes into the single lane paved road.  Right after the Pinamihagan Barangay Hall is a steep 50-m downhill with about 45 to 50 degrees slope.  If brakes are not functioning well, riders are advised to alight from their rides.  This is a very dangerous area.

About two hundred meters from the foot of the downhill the cement road ends.  This is where the ordeal begins.  The road changed from paved to rough, technical, single track.  From Pinamihagan to the next barangay riders would pass by tree and bamboo plantations and houses far in between and a lot of cardiac hills.  A view of Boracay could be seen from one of the hills called the viewpoint.

At the road intersection going down to Lanas the road becomes paved again.  The barangay fronts Boracay and its beachfront is dotted with resorts owned by locals and foreign nationals alike.  From one of the resorts bikers could see the scarred disembowelment of Boracay as it is being developed into a Megaworld City.  Imagine escaping city life and going to Boracay only to find another city.  The resort owners in Lanas, San Jose hope tourists would look for a quieter place and hop on to their island. 

From Lanas the road goes from the beachfront into the interior again.  The last paved road from Lanas we were told was the halfway mark; 11 kilometers out of the 22.  Going into this halfway mark a rider would consume two-thirds to three-fourths of his travel time.

The road goes up and down from Lanas to sitio Inihawan.  A few more cardiac uphills mostly single track and the terrain becomes flat.  This land is called the “airport”, the airport to be built in the island as stated in one of the SONAs of PGMA but never was.  The flat road goes for about three kilometers with a scattering of hills from time to time.  The hills, although no longer as steep as before would make one climb from his bike as the first half of the ride already drained him.

Going into the last barangay the riders are greeted with scenery that is purely rural; wide open fields and the Sibuyan Sea in the foreground.  At Busay one could taste the sea as sprays would sometimes hit the riders as the roads are literally built beside the shore; waves pounding the rocks would send sprays into the riders.  The roads at Busay are also rolling.  Some are steep but if riders still have the energy they could still top them. Some portions are also zigzag roads and one must be extra careful.  Since it is also near town, expect a few motorcycles on the road.  Busay is about three kilometers from town so riders would feel good once they hit this barangay.  Going into town the roads are also single lane, paved.  In town, riders could take a dip in the turquoise waters and run barefoot in the white sand beach that rivals that of Boracay.

This rider made several stops to alight from his bike while traversing the course.  He still owns the first bragging right “I topped 30 or so cardiac hills while touring the Carabao Island, Romblon Bike Trail”; he stands corrected on the “first” though.  At 53 years old, two and a half hours on the 22-km rolling terrain made him feel good just the same.  His assessment verdict “two thumbs way up”.  There are risks associated with the trail but it would be the lookout of the riders.  Safety gears must be considered seriously.  Cardiac patients or those with poor heart conditions are advised not to try the track even for pleasure.  During the race a paramedic must follow the racers.  Volunteer spotters with communication equipment must also be stationed along the route.  A command post must be manned by several persons with communications equipment and directed by a single person who provides instructions and barks orders.  Riders should be advised to treat the route seriously and with caution.   











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