Tell Mike O' where to go .... Cycling In Donesia ...

Hi SydneyCyclistes .... 

Yes another fine instalment of TMOWTG. It may even be followed by the odd WITWIMB

I sorta feel I should visit our nation's closest neighbour and have a few weeks' leave coming up in the next month.

Anyone done much cycle touring around Indonesia? And preferably recently, not back in the days when the Wheelers were putting together "SouthEast Asia on a Shoestring" in a Singapore guesthouse :-)

I'm thinking the issues would be traffic, road conditions, hills etc. 

Perhaps the easiest intro would be to fly into Bali and then head into the hinterland and maybe nip across to Lombok for a lap thereof...

Or maybe fly into Yogjakarta and out of Denpasar?

Thoughts? Experiences? Dire warnings?

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Spoke to an Indonesian and she suggested looking up Persatuan balap speda Indonesia 

Second closest neighbour - closest would be PNG.

On surf safaris, I've travelled overland on Lombok and moreso in Sumbawa, which is the next Island to the east.

Of the two Sumbawa is probably the better. Roads are quieter. Traffic mainly consists of small jeeps and bongo vans. Terrain is more varied, and the villagers are very friendly to visitors.  I understand that Flores is also a nice island to visit, but have not been. You might see a Komodo dragon...

I'd avoid riding in Bali itself, the roads are just too hairy with many buses and trucks being driven with little regard for human life. The number of motor scooter fatalities in Bali attests to that.

Audax Indonesia doesn't seem hugely active and you have missed their 27-28 April 600km event. Their whole calendar seems only focused on just the qualifiers (200,300, 500, 600) for Paris-Brest-Paris 1200 in August for which they have 14 riders pre-registered but that's mostly how Audax Australia started in 1981.

Most Asian countries (including Australia +40% over 2015 to 102) have big increases over their 2015 registrations including Japan (105%  / 429),  India (640% / 386), Thailand (50% / 104), Sth Korea (460% / 79), Philippines (320% / 55), Malaysia (1100%, 3>36), Taiwan (67) and China (47) slightly down from 2015. So seems long distance cycling is booming in Asia.

Haven't been to Indonesia since two work trips to Jakarta in 1993 and it looked like a scary place to ride then, felt like the set for A Year Living Dangerously but interesting (we were "IT consultants" to the Ministry of Finance)

Wow, they had 41 people registered for the Yogjakarta 600km event, seems there is a link to a route on that page too.

Would have been perfect Michael, starts and ends within 4kms of the Yogyakarta International Airport and passes by several active volcanoes, what more could you want? For you I am sure they would run it again. And Borobudur only a few kms off the route.

Yogyakarta Audax will again present charming and iconic lines of bicycling. With the main menu 600 km BRM is limited to 40 hours, Audax Yogyakarta on Saturday April 27. After the start, cyclists were taken to enjoy the breezy incline towards Wonosari through Bukit Bintang. Then it leads to Sukoharjo via Semanu with its rolling lane menu.

From Sukoharjo, cyclists can rest a little on the flat lane to Klaten before returning to sweating along the back of Mount Merapi with the highest elevation of 420 meters. The route with a total elevation gain of 3500 meters continues to penetrate the Borobudur Temple area. After passing Borobudur, the speed of the bike will increase and can be a moment of recovery as it passes through the descent towards Wates and Purworejo. The flat road in Kebumen and returning to Yogyakarta via the South coast of Java Island presents its own challenges with the wind blowing from the South Sea.

Yogyakarta is the right place for ultra cyclists in Indonesia to complete the final step of getting the Super Randonneurs as a condition to participate in the 1200 km Paris Brest Paris grand event in August 2019. Prepare yourself and your bike, use the headlights (white) and rear (red) ,

Colin Freestone has been taking tours to Sulawesi and Flores for years. Never been, but his tour reports always sound interesting.


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