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 !