From the lap of luxury, to the lap of the gods.
The day started by meeting Isabelle the tour operator. She went over the details of the next 2 weeks and introduced us to Ketut, legendary mountain biking guide, and Made our driver. It is so good to be semi-pro!
She assured us that the rest of our accomodation would not be so luxurious. No more hotel branded mineral water, no more choices of danish for breakfast, no more icy cold beers delivered to the pool deck with complimentary nuts, no library, no art gallery. We are going to see the real Bali, and are going to do it tough.
The 2 hour drive from Sanur to Kintamani wound through rural Balinese lushy lushness; rice paddies, vegetable gardens, fruit orchards, and jungle filled river valleys – fifty shades of green.
When we arrived at the start point for the ride, we were met by a crazy Dutchman called Eric, he was to join us for this day’s riding only. He was jolly, and kept us amused by falling off at regular intervals.
The first half of the ride, up until lunch was fairly intense. It started with tight, slippery, overgrown single track, following the rim of the Mt. Batur crater. Neither of us had been on a bike for a few weeks, and as we had just ascended from sea level to 1700m, the lungs and legs were soon burning.
After dropping in to the caldera, and a welcome stop for lunch, the rest of the ride was considerably easier. Rough jeep tracks, interspersed with sweet single track through vegetable fields. The last 3k was along the quarry truck track through a lava field; hot, dry, dusty and surreal. Luckily there were some ladies trying to sell us trinkets where our vehicles were parked, ’cause thats just what you look for at the end of a hard ride – souvenier shopping!
Eric was so enthused about the ride, he was considering another day of riding. We said this first day was complimentary, but he would have to pay us, or buy us beers if he came again.
For those playing at home we rode
27k in 2:15, ascended 422m, and descended 1063m. I forgot to run Strava, so no new segments today. Sad face!