Bali by Bike

2:58 pm Unknown 0 Comments

When work announced there was going to be a trip for a conference a there was some excitement that it was going to be somewhere warm during the cold Australian winter.
So when Bali was confirmed I started to lookup places to ride and was inspired to take my bike. There was a contact from my racing days that used to take event photos - Jarrod Partridge who had started a travel company to do proper high end road bike tours. 
As I had never travelled to that part of the world I had a million questions and he was kind enough to answer them, set me up with some custom riding experiences and contacts with the local ex-pat riding community.

The first day was initially a nervous ride around the south in Nusa Dua. The area near my hotel had a lot to give:
- Skinny back roads
- Coastal vistas
- Punchy roller coaster terrain
- Plus we rode up to the massive statue that had finished being erected! It was visible from every angle in the south!!

By the end of the day I was weaving through traffic and overtaking scooters. What stayed with me was the crackle of powerlines on the side of the road and the dogs that would wander out on the road or try to think about chasing us. I think that was the biggest barrier to going out for a ride on my own. Although I was pretty stoked to grab a few QOM segments in the region. 

The next day I had lined up a 100km ride to the hills with the locals. I may have bitten off more than I could chew with this one. We had a group of 5 locals take off a little later than we expected and were running into the local traffic and lunch! We navigated around the parades and ate all remaining food in our pockets. The heat got to me - I had to launch myself up the final 12-15% punchy climbs up to the rim of the volcano. Lungs were screaming and legs were empty! 

The views from the top were worth it! 

The ride down back to the start was exciting and memorable. A chain of riders leapfrogging each other, faster than expected down the back-roads. At one point we were stopped by traffic outside a village with the Police directing things. I thought it was another parade until we heard the gun shots. The local riders got very nervous and got us out of there very quickly. By the end of the ride we were back in the flow of traffic and I was drafting scooters and made it back in time for my driver to take me home. I was very happy to jump in the pool when I got back!

During the conference we had team building events - one was to build a bike for a child in need and donate this to the charity.

The second event was to do a "race around the world" style of event to undertake activities and follow clues to dinner on the final night - one activity was to cycle downhill MTB through some rice fields. It was great!

A week later after the work conference was completed I did one more ride with my mate Kat Lee along the coast line. It was lovely to see the water temple, and rolling hills. I would love to come back to Bali again and with some forward planning, I could definitely take my bike again.

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