It’s christmas day and it’s 32 degrees celsius in Denpasar/Bali where I am sitting with my bike now after a 1550 kilometer bicycle ride.
Cycling from Jakarta to Bali has been a great experience going through the island of Java on my malaysian mountain bike.
After getting out of Jakarta with all it’s crazy traffic I went up along the north coast of Java which is fairly flat but also quite congested so I was rarely alone on the roads up there.
It was ok though as there are many locals traveling on two wheels so people are used to two wheeled traffic and generally nice to you as a cyclist.
Getting hit by a stray motorbike in Surabaya.
One exception I had was when a stray motorbike hit me one night in the streets of Surabaya.
I was arriving late to the city as I had cycled longer than I planned but I was in good mood even if it was coming down with a bit of rain and it was late at night.
Suddenly I heard a weird noise behind me like if someone was dragging a sledge across the road, but just as I turned around to see what it was I got hit from behind with full force and I flew off my bike but landed safely on the asphalt with no bruises at all apart from a tiny bruise on my left elbow.
What had hit me was a motorbike that had crashed at very high speed a few meters behind me and knocked the driver off the bike, but the bike continued along along the busy highway tumbling and sliding and it hit my bike from behind and send my bike flying across the road too, but I just fell off the bike and ended up on the asphalt unhurt.
I was quite happy that I did not have clip pedals on my bike as that would most likely had send me sliding down the highway too.
My bike seemed to be ok as well and I continued cycling down the road right away after having picked up the bike underneath a truck that almost hit it.
Cycling along wonderful coastline of northeast Java.
Surabaya was a pleasant surprise as I had heard it was nothing special but I enjoyed a couple of nice days there before heading towards Bali.
The northeast coast of Java was really nice with quite a few nice beaches and some nice fishing villages.
There was also some industry but it was not as massive as in the west of Java and the road system seemed to be better maintained in east Java and it was a joy cycling there and staying in small local towns where I was always the only tourist.
In two weeks of cycling across Java I only saw one other western tourist so this is a part of the globe where you can still get away from the tourism trail.
Cycling in rainy season in Indonesia.
I have done this cycling trip through Java in rainy season but it has actually been ok.
Most days it has just rained in late afternoon/early evening and usually just for a couple of hours and because of the heat the roads dry in a few minutes.
This means that you should not leave all cycling to late afternoon if you plan a cycling trip to Indonesia during rainy season, but all in all it’s perfectly doable in december when it’s quite wet here.
Arriving to wonderful Bali.
Arriving to the east coast of Java I took the ferry from Ketapang over to Bali.
Wonderful and totally overcrowded local ferry where I was the only foreigner again again together with around 50 local cars and 500 local scooters and the people who drove them.
I have never really bothered too much about visiting Bali as it has been known to be a big tourist island and I had the idea that it would all be full of australians coming for sun, sand and booze.
I quickly learned that these tourists are all just going to Kuta while the rest of the island is surprisingly free of mass tourism and it’s an absolutely gorgeous island once you are away from the concrete hell in Kuta.
Bali goes right on to my top 5 list of the prettiest islands I have seen in 27 years of travel to more than 70 countries and I totally loved the two days I spend cycling from the ferry port to Denpasar.
Getting my bike fixed for less than 2$.
On my first day in Bali I ralized that my bike had taken a bigger beating than I first thought when it was hit by a motorbike in Surabaya.
The spokes suddenly started to pop off the wheel and in 5 minutes I was unable to cycle any further.
The great thing about cycling in Asia though is that every village has at least one bicycle mechanic and my bike was fixed in less than an hour by a local bicycle mechanic and the price was 1,50$ for all the work and a couple of new spokes.
And there is more indonesian adventure to come.
So now I am relaxing for a couple of days here in Bali before I will take the ferry over to Lombok for some more cycling and then on to Sumbawa where I plan to finish my cycling trip at the Tambora volcano.
Cheers from the beach bar in Bali where it’s happy hour 🙂
It’s been great traveling from Jakarta to Bali by bicycle.