June 23, 2024

Mountain biking enthusiasts will have something to look forward to as the newest biking course in Loakan, Baguio City will soon hold exciting races. 

Dubbed the “Baguio City mountain bike course,” the carefully carved out obstacle course is seen to host upcoming races in the future, according to multi-medalist and former national cycling team member and now coach Ma-rites Bitbit. 

Bitbit, the 24th Southeast Asian Games gold medalist in cycling and 2009 Asian Champion in adventure racing, said the mountain bike course will cater to cross country and downhill events. 

The course, established in a lot owned by Dr. Josephine C. Mariano, is 80 percent on progress and was created as a playground for mountain bikers in the city.  

“At the moment, we still cannot organize races. However, we can give positive thoughts to our community, especially to our grassroots (bikers) that something can inspire them to bring excitement that enable them to engage in mountain biking,” the Baguio-born athlete said. 

Bitbit, a professional athlete for nearly 20 years and one of the coaches of Baguio City Cycling Team, said she was one of the three individuals that constructed, designed, and enhanced the 2019 SEAG in Barangay Laurel, Batangas. 

“My involvement in the event greatly motivated me to construct one for our city. As we know, our city doesn’t have a playground for mountain bikers,” she said.

She said the first organized race, 1st Baguio City Mountain Bike Challenge, was supposed to be held last April 25 and 26 as part of the summer vacation events. However, it was cancelled due to the pandemic. 

She said upcoming events include the 1st Baguio City Mountain Bike Challenge (2021), National Mountain Bike Championships (2021), and potential venue for international competition upon approval of Oscar “Boying” Rodriguez, the vice president of the PhilCycling and MTB Commission. 

The program is part of the city’s events under the City Sports and Development Office. – Ofelia C. Empian