In this bike-through series we are taking you for a bike ride from the Rizal towns of Taytay and Cainta all the way to the Ortigas Central Business District (CBD) in Pasig City. The route will be avoiding the busy corridor of Ortigas Avenue, and instead will explore a barely-known route through what used to be a railway in the early 20th century.
Bike commuting from Rizal to Ortigas Center
Rizal Province is directly connected to Metro Manila via Ortigas Avenue, one of the metro’s radial roads. As the towns of Taytay and Cainta are mostly residential in nature, subdivisions and villages are found all over the two towns. There are almost no other alternatives when biking, and Ortigas Avenue is the most direct way of getting into Metro Manila. It’s not necessarily the easiest and safest route however. Private vehicles and public utility vehicles all use the highway as well.
The COVID-19 pandemic has since encouraged a lot of people to consider biking to work. Some are making it their transport option not necessarily because they really love to bike — it’s more of the fact that we are struggling with our transportation system. Nonetheless, it’s becoming more and more important to make our streets safer for those new to bike commuting, and maybe it’s helpful as well to help them discover alternative paths to follow to their destinations.
For those coming from the East, the “old railway route” might be something worth considering!
The Old Railway Route
It’s not a well-known fact that this part of Rizal province used to have a railroad! The Manila Railroad (MRR) constructed eastward lines in the 1900s. One of these lines was bound for Antipolo, with a “Taytay station” branching off from the line.
The railway didn’t last too long, unfortunately. It closed down and the right of way (ROW) was eventually converted into narrow concrete roadways. What used to be places where trains pass are now streets used by tricycles and vehicles for residents along the roads.
These are the streets as they are called in each town / city:
- Victoria Street — Taytay/Cainta, Rizal (border)
- Parola Street — Cainta, Rizal
- Tramo Street — Pasig City
Newbie-friendly Cycling Corridor
The old railroad route is narrow — maybe only around five meters wide at some sections. Because of this, only tricycles and motorcycles pass by this road. Some vehicles also park on the side. Thus, it’s not as high-speed a corridor especially when compared to Ortigas Avenue.
This railroad path runs somewhat parallel to Ortigas Avenue. You can actually get to some areas of Pasig City by going through this path! Pedal your way from Taytay to Countryside, or even up to De Castro / Manggahan Floodway without passing the busy Ortigas Avenue!
As they say, it’s better to show than to simply describe! Watch below the bike-through from Taytay to Ortigas CBD!
The entire bike-through consists of three parts: Biking through the old railway route (mentioned above), then going by Ortigas Avenue to Tiendesitas (Ortigas East), and up to Ortigas Park in Ortigas CBD.
I tracked an hour for the entire commute. Some of it was due to taking photos along the route. At least, you can see that at a very leisurely and average pace of about 10 kph, you’ll eventually get to Ortigas in no time!
Especially for the newbies, always keep in mind that biking to work is not a race. Build up your confidence first, enjoy the surroundings, and you’ll eventually get to your destination!
Taytay to Manggahan Floodway, Pasig City
- Length: 5 km
- Travel time: 35 minutes
- Start Point: Taytay United Methodist Church, P. Ocampo / Highway 2000
- End point: Lucky Gold Mall, Manggahan Floodway, Pasig City
Manggahan Floodway to Tiendesitas
- Length: 2 km
- Travel time: 10 minutes
- Start Point: Lucky Gold Mall, Manggahan Floodway, Pasig City
- End point: Tiendesitas (Ortigas East)
Tiendesitas to Ortigas Center
- Length: 3 km
- Travel time: 15 minutes
- Start Point: Tiendesitas (Ortigas East)
- End point: Ortigas Park, Ortigas CBD
In this bike-through we explored the old Manila Railroad route as part of a prospective bike-to-work route to Ortigas CBD. This is a nice and less stressful alternative to Ortigas Avenue that might be of use to some of our new bike commuters exploring the city on their bicycles. Have you gone through this path before? Tell us your experiences!