The 1000Km Ride – Team Event
The event is a first of its kind cycling event in the Philippines, requiring teams of four riders to complete a one thousand kilometer staged course over a span of eight days. The event is a project of Bike Scouts Philippines to raise the level of public interest in cycling and change the perception of bicycles as a purely recreational vehicle to a means for mobility that can go far and do many things.
FIRST THINGS FIRST, why a thousand kilometers and why eight days?
Bike Scouts Philippines is an organization that serves as volunteer bicycle messengers in places severely affected by natural disasters. Their experience in Tacloban and Samar in the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda in 2013 has shown that it’s sometimes necessary to ride great distances to help people and places that are cut off by road closures and the destruction of communications infrastructure. It was under these conditions that stories circulated among survivors and evacuees in Leyte who were desperate for help about people who rode bicycles out of the province going to Manila just to get help. Whether these stories were real or not they gave hope to the people who stayed behind, it gave them a reason to hold on. In celebration of such a feat, and to prove that it was actually possible, Bike Scouts dispatched riders to test the distance between Manila and the farthest points in both Leyte and Samar. Two rides were done in two years, and both rides done in 2015 and 2016 reached a total mileage of a thousand kilometers, and both were completed in seven days.
CAN I DO IT? The two test rides by Bike Scouts Philippines was done by average cyclists using average bicycles, and to fully test the limits of the effort it required one of the bicycles was a steel fixed gear bike and the other was an aluminum mountain bike with 1.95 tyres with each of the bicycles loaded with 14 kilograms of cargo without the benefit of assistance from outside support. The 1000Km Ride Team Event is a fully supported event with medical staff, support crews, event mechanics, and a team bus with food and cold drinks. We certainly can’t speak for your fitness and resolve but we leave it to you to compare the odds.
WHO CAN JOIN? We want to say everyone, but our sense of responsibility for your safety demands that we limit participation to those aged 18 years and older, participants aged 17 years old or younger will require a signed and validated parents’ consent and a Department of Social Welfare permit if traveling without a parent or legal guardian. The event is open to both regular cyclists and professionals, (male, female, or LGBT of any nationality), though, professional riders will be limited to one per team.
WHAT KIND OF BICYCLE CAN I RIDE? Again, we’d love to say any kind of bicycle is okay but we leave it to your honest assessment if your choice if equipment is a good fit for riding such a long distance for an extended period of time. Our priority is to have an event where participants can keep within a reasonable amount of time riding the course to prevent the disproportionate distribution of resources among all the participants. So far, we’ve tested the course with road bikes, mountain bikes, and fixies, it’s up to you if you want to use a bicycle with smaller diameter wheels with the consideration that the average distance to ride per day will be in excess of a hundred kilometers.
GREAT, HOW DO I SIGN UP? We are still in the process of finalizing the materials for the event and we will be launching our website and participants’ newsletter within the first quarter of 2017. Don’t worry, the event is managed by event management professionals with over two decades of experience handling corporate, commercial, and endurance sports events including multi-day adventure races. In addition, the event is supported by the Bike Scouts, a three year old organization composed of experienced adventurers and athletes who’ve managed deployments to disaster sites all over the Philippines. We’ve been working on preparations and the minute details of the event for the past two years, the Bike Scouts have local teams in many of the places the ride will pass through, and we’ve actually ridden the course twice, not just to enjoy the scenery, but to meet the people in the places you will visit to make sure that we have friends that will cheer you on as you ride through their towns and villages. In the meantime, find your team and build your fitness – that is your responsibility, the rest is up to us.
- Participants must complete the event participation form, sign the event waiver, and attend the ride briefing in October 2017.
- Participants are required to submit a doctor’s certificate attesting to their fitness to join the ride.
- Participants are required to attend a mandatory basic physical check-up by the event physician at the ride briefing.
- Participants are required to submit their bicycles and equipment for review by the event mechanics at the starting line upon check-in at least 1 hour before the ride out. Faulty bicycles and equipment will merit a late start or a DNS (did not start) ruling.
- A working well-maintained bicycle that can handle the mechanical rigor of daily riding over the span of the full 1,000 kilometer distance in all conditions and terrain.
- Each participant must be equipped with his own rated cycling-specific helmet that must be worn at all times while riding the course. Failure to comply with this rule constitutes automatic disqualification from the event without any opportunity for appeal.
- Each participant must be equipped with a minimum of two (2) 300 lumen main light (white), two rear bike-mounted strobes (red), and 1 helmet-mounted strobe (red). Main lights and strobes must be in operation while the bicycle is in motion not later than 5:30PM on the event course. Failure to comply with this rule constitutes automatic disqualification from the event.
- Bicycle gloves, eyewear, arm, neck, and leg covers are optional but highly recommended to prevent over exposure to sunlight. The Philippines is a tropical country and sunburn is a real concern.
- Each participant must carry his own set of tire patch kits, spare inner tubes, tire pump, and basic tools. This is part of the ride experience and the responsibility of every cyclist. Participants are discouraged from depending on event mechanics for things they should be able to handle – including bike wash and cleaning. Event mechanics are only responsible for basic bike checks at the end of each stage (wear and tear assessment and tuning), replacement parts and full service or maintenance will be at cost of the participant.
- Participating teams are advised to bring their own replacement tyres, chain, cables, spare batteries, and other consumable items. The event store will only carry a limited supply of items and will only be able to provide items while supplies last. The event store will provide free lube, grease, and oil for participants’ bicycles.
- Participating teams are required to wear the official event jersey at the start and finish line of the ride. Teams are free to use their (mandatory) matching jerseys in all other stages of the event.
- All event participants, including support crews, must abide by all local laws, traffic regulations, and ordinances of the places the ride passess through. Participation in the event is not a valid excuse for dangerous riding or driving and the perpetration of dangerous or illegal acts.
- The consumption of alcohol is strictly limited to non-transport staff, riders who are under the influence of alcohol or are visibly suffering from reduced facility due to alcohol or its effects may be disqualified from the stage.
- Drugs and other illegal or controlled substances are prohibited at all parts of the event. Failure to comply constitutes automatic disqualification without appeal.
- Participating teams are required to use the same bicycle throughout the event, replacement parts are allowed but full substitution will incur time penalties. In the event of loss of one bicycle to mechanical damage or other causes will mean the loss of one member of the team.
- The event is a team event and as such the finishing time of a team at every stage will be marked by the arrival of the last member of the team to cross the finish line.
- Teams must not be more than 500 meters from each other at all times in daytime, and not more than 100 meters in darkness. There is no reliable way to enforce this rule but as a matter of safety and loyalty to his team every particiant is requested to abide by it.
- In the event that teams are riding in the peloton all riders are expected to behave appropriately and communicate obstacles and other road hazards using audible or hand signals. Riders may not ride in a way that endangers himself, his fellow riders, and the public.
- Teams or members of teams may draft one another or other teams as long as their position or behavior does not pose a danger to others.
- Teams or individual riders may accept offers of assistance but may not demand for support from other riders or cause a hindrance to others. Riders that require assistance must wait for the official support vehicle that will provide help as soon as safely possible.
- Outside support is allowed but will be strictly limited to one vehicle per team that must be pre-registered at the ride briefing. Unregistered vehicles will not be allowed to approach the convoy or the peloton. Individual support vehicles may only approach their riders upon the signal of the race management. Additionally, support vehicles must not endanger other riders or cause a hindrance to others. Violation of these terms will be cause for team disqualification.
- Teams may only depart each stage upon the signal of race management during the official ride out for each stage. Unofficial departure or start will incur disqualification from the event.Late arrival at the starting line (timer start at starting line) will mean forfeiture of the stage.
- Teams and individual riders may not employ assistance to progress on the course by mechanical or motorized means. Riders may not hold on to support vehicles or anything attached to motorized vehicles at any time, except in the act of passing or receiving water bottles, food, or clothing where contact must not exceed five (5) seconds – there will be designated feed zones throughout the course for safety reasons.
- Support crews and vehicles must abide by the safety and technical protocols of providing support at all times. Details will be presented at the ride briefing.
- Safety marshals are the only motorcycle riders allowed in the convoy and within 100 meters of the peloton or any team or individual cyclist.
- Teams or cyclists that need mechanical assistance are required to stop and perform repairs in place. Participants and their bicycles may not progress along the course aboard moving vehicles during this period, doing so will be considered as cheating punishable by immediate disqualification.
- Teams or individual cyclists that require medical assistance must get the approval of the event physician or EMTs before continuing the ride.
- Teams that fail to make the cut-off will lose the stage but may continue in contention while only losing the chance to gain the finisher’s medal. Teams caught more than twenty kilometers from the finish line of a stage at cut-off are required to abandon the ride and continue aboard the team bus.
- Stage results and media briefings will be presented daily during the event. Results, pictures, and video will be posted daily on the event website.
- The start of each stage throughout the ride will be at 5AM, except for Stage 4: Naga City to Albay that will start at 2PM. The half-day stay in Naga will be the first of only two rest breaks (for bicycle maintenance and medical) scheduled for the duration of the ride.
- All participants are required to carry timing chips for each stage. In addition, team members are required to record their ride on Strava or Garmin. All questions and concerns regarding timing and conduct will be addressed based on data, an independent timing clock, and available event footage.
- The event physician reserves the option to remove any participant from the course if deemed too unwell, unfit, or poses a danger to himself or others.
- Highly modified bicycles or bicycle components and accessories with questionable workmanship or safety standards will not be allowed on the course.
- Aerobars or other similar accessories will not be allowed for any bicycle on the course.
- Race Director may assign time penalties for minor violations and disqualification for major offences, the Race Director’s decision is final.
- Disqualified participants must retire to the team bus immediately upon disqualification and will exit the event course at the next convenient point. Disqualified riders may opt to continue to the finish line using public transport or private vehicle, outside of coverage of the event managent. It is absolutely prohibited for disqualified riders to continue riding alongside his team even as an out-of-contention participant.
- Each participating team will be provided an equipment crate for all their supplies. The crates will be deposited at the event hotel at the end of each stage. Items that are in excess of the space the crate allows may be transported by the support van at cost to the team.
- Participants are expected to report problems or concerns to race management at all times.
- Race management will provide assistance for participants’ medical emergencies to the best of its ability or as required by law. Participants are encouraged to secure their personal insurance and medical benefits in preparation for any eventuality during the ride.
- Race management will not be responsible nor liable for event participants’ activities outside of the ride itself.
- Side trips, excursions, and other activities are not included in the registration.
Event management will provide optional inclusions for team or individual accommodations per stage. Alternatively, participants may choose to book their own arrangements. Regular meals may be arranged in a similar way. Water, coffee, tea, and hot chocolate is available free to participants throughout the course. Bottled beverages and food items will also be available in sponsor-assigned quantities or otherwise for sale.
Teams registration covers all transportation requirements for the following items:
- Transport of team crates from Manila to the finish line in Sulangan, Eastern Samar.
- Ferry transfer of riders and bicycles from Matnog Port to San Isidro, Western Samar. Van transfer of riders and bicycles from Sulangan, Eastern Samar to Tacloban City for exit by air or by ship via Ormic City. All travel expenses beyond Tacloban City are at the expense of participants.
- Travel coverage of DNF (did not finish) and disqualified riders and equipment will only be up to the nearest exit point in the course (airport, ferry or bus terminal), race management will not be under any obligation to provide accommodations or support not directly related to the event.
- Participants may request for special travel arrangements such as private transportation ahead of time and at their own cost. Car and van rentals may be arranged directly or through the event management.
- Helicopter and aircraft rental including fuel costs and other fees for private use or emergencies is not covered by registration and will be at cost to participant.
STAGE 1: Manila – Pagbilao, Quezon
A mostly urban ride with heavy vehicular traffic all the way to Tiaong, Quezon. The starting stage will be mostly a neutral ride to give participants the chance to know each other and become acclimated to the road conditions. Terrain is mostly flat with some gentle hills from Calamba all the way to Alaminos.
STAGE 2: Pagbilao – Calauag Junction
The terrain on day two starts out gently with a climb shortly thereafter going up Mount Pinagbanderahan in the Quezon National Forest Park, otherwise known as Bitukang Manok. There is a good downhill section heading to Atimonan before hitting the windy coastal highway to Gumaca and the rolling hills of Calauag.
STAGE 3: Calauag – Naga City
The ride to Tagkawayan is an endurance ride because of the length and the numerous hills along the way. But it’s in Sipocot that endurance becomes a factor on the hilly road whose terrain can only be best described as a relentless tidal wave of hills tjat you have to climb and descend before you can reach the main highway that leads to Naga, which is still a good distance away from that point.
STAGE 4: Naga – Daraga, Albay
The road leading out of Naga is beautifully flat, riding through rice fields and small communities along the Maharlika Highway. It’s when you get to Salvation and all the way to Camalig that the road pitches up and provides a serious challenge. The good news is that there is a long downhill at the end of this stage that brings you right up to the town of Daraga. Along the way, the the route goes past the famous Cagsawa ruins but it will be night-time so there won’t be much to see but a sign pointing in its direction.
STAGE 5: Daraga – Matnog Port
The road out of Daraga is a climb, no build up just a straight climb to the top of a big hill that provides one of the best views of Mount Mayon on a clear day. This is a long stage, marked by long stretches of highway and challenging hills especially in the municipality of Irosin, which, is the last town before the long descent to the port of Matnog, the farthest point south of the Maharlika Highway on the Island of Luzon.
FERRY TRANSFER (+/- 2 hours) to San Isidro, a small port town twenty kilometers from Allen in the northern part of Western Samar. The route was chosen because of the more reliable ferry schedules and the newer more comfortable boats that service the route. The downside is there are no real accommodations in San Isidro except for a small beach resort composed of four small huts about three kilometers from the port. The stop here will be the most basic on the entire ride.
STAGE 6: San Isidro, Samar – Catbalogan City
The coastal roads of this area in Samar are often in bad shape, this is where caution is best practiced especially on the descents. This section serves as a good introduction to the roads in Samar because of their proximity to the coast, the abundance of nature and climbs. In a nutshell, the roads from this stage onward will mainly be about climbing and long distances. It’s best to condition the mind for this kind of climbing because this is where you will know if you will make it to the 1000km mark or not.
STAGE 7: Catbalogan – Tacloban City, Leyte
This is a long stage, and the climbing begins immediately. The ride out if town is an introduction to what is the mountain stage of the event, and at this point you would already have 800kms in your legs, your bike is pushed to a high level of mechanical limit and will be showing it. The name of the game at this point will be consistency and also skill in using the right gear and effort on the climbs that will not exhaust both rider and bicycle to the point of abandoning the ride just one stage away from the finish line.
STAGE 8: Tacloban – Sulangan, Eastern Samar (FINISH)
This is the final stage. The highlight of the event and the best part is the dawn crossing of the San Juanico Bridge. The first half of the stage will be extremely flat and will favor teams that learn the basics of riding in each other’s slipstream, as professional cyclists would in a team time trial. The stage is 140 kilometers long to be ridden mostly under the midday sun and with the second half of the stage set in the hills of Salcedo and Mercedes before the road heads downward to Guiuan. From there, the route takes riders over an old causeway to the Island of Calicoan with its limestone cliffs and lush vegetation. The island used to be the site of a large US Navy base where the attack on Japanese forces was launched in World War II. Finally, the road straightens out and the vegetation gives way to sand and an expansive view of the powerful waves rolling in from the Pacific Ocean. From this point, it will only be four kilometers of riding left before another bridge takes participants to Leboon Island and the finish line in front of the church of San Antonio de Padua, the legendary patron saint of the town of Sulangan – the exact place where the category 5 typhoon named Yolanda historically made landfall in the Philippines in 2013.
Detailed stage profiles and terrain descriptions including Strava data from our test rides will be available in a future update.