Indonesia part 2

 After our second day of riding in Bali  we flew to the City of Yojakarta, here we rode on Mt. Merapi an active Volcano that last blew 2 years ago. It was a hard climb getting up onto the Lava flows but it was spectacular to be there. There are some jeep roads that have been built in the last 2 years and we visited a place where they rent motorcycles and have built a small track to play on. They track was not made for MTB riding but I gave it a go and had the locals screaming. It got me thinking though that this area would be an easy place to build a great MTB trail down through the Lava fields, the dirt is a bit loose but easy to work with and already there are lots of natural features to play with. A nice massage at the hotel had me ready for the next day when we visited the World Heritage Sites of Prambanan and Ratu Boku, a mixture of an old 8th century palace and temples. Nice backroad touring around this area

  Last stop of our trip was a mountain city called Bandung, the 3rd largest city in Indonesia, it is well know for the cool weather since it’s located up in the mountains. We were met early in the morning and we rode right through the city with all its scooters, dirty trucks and cars, this turned out to be the most exciting part of the ride as once we got out of the city and started climbing the ride turned into a steep climb then a rest stop at the top and then we U-turned straight back down the road we had climbed up and back into the City. The rest stop at the top was something I had never seen before, bike racks were built everywhere and a couple of small cafes selling snacks to tired bike riders. We were told that on weekends this was the main destination for all the local and many Jakarta City based riders.  Big billboards advertising upcoming events and ridng info and even on this  weekday many riders kept coming by. I really would like to go back to this area and ride on of the big events that seem to happen quite often, I was told some of them attract 2000 riders with riders of all capabilities participating.

  Overall I had a super fun and interesting time, the local culture is so much different than here in Japan and even further from where I grew up in Canada. Traffic was ridiculous but with its freeform stlye it somehow works. When I think about all the places that I saw with POTENTIAL for MTB riding and the amount of riders I saw I can’t wait to go back again and see what progress the Indonesian riders have made.
 Thanks to all those who organized this trip for us, we were met and picked up at each airport, driven to our hotels and riding spots and without them we would still be waiting at the airport wondering what to do !

 Paul

Indonesia – MTB touring

 Last week I went to Indonesia to do a little MTB riding. Garuda Airways asked myself and Akira-san to travel down there and check out a few different places they are considering for using for a MTB tour. Over 6 days we visited 3 different locations, the first was the Island of Bali.

  Bali is well know for its beaches and culture. We were met at the Airport and driven to our hotel in Kuta, watching all the scooters and cars work their way through the city was super entertainment , I was happy to be a passenger.  There are  a few  adventure tour companies offering some whitewater rafting and MTB tours. After a  nice breakfast with an excellent view of Lake Batur we were driven to our ride starting point The ride  we did was quite easy, mainly downhill on dirt roads with a bit of single track through the rice fields. We saw villages and some beautiful countryside that you would not find without a bike and guide Personally I would like to spend much more time exploring the area around Mt. Batur where I saw lots of good looking roads and trails that I think would make for a more challenging ride. Day 2 saw us meet in the morning for our Balinese Village Tour. First we rode through an Elephant camp then through some typical rural villages. It was nice to stop and check out a local family’s living compound as it was much different than anything I had experienced before. When we rode past some kids playing in the local swimming hole I wanted to jump in with them, the water looked perfect. The rides we did here in Bali were set up more  tourists than cyclists , nice easy rides but for a cyclist with some fitness I think we need to work on making the rides longer and more challenging.

 

 

MIdori Yama Family Relay

   Over the years we have met many wonderful people through Freeride Adventures, it is usually quite easy to make friends because we all have one thing in common, BICYCLES. The last few years quite a few families have been coming to ride with us and we thought it might be nice to do something differrent and try and introduce our new customer/friends to each other.

  We decided to gather at Midoriyama in Yokohama for a relay race. There was no presure to win the races our only goal was to enjoy the day. I was very happy when I warmed up on the course because it had a few challenging sections and each lap should easily be under 10 minutes for  each of us.  At the end we had 2 teams on the podium and smiles all around, a very successful day and we are looking forward to next years event. Thanks to those who came and played.
  Paul