«

»

CYCLING BALI DAY 2: VOLCANO CLIMB!

cycling bali - Bali's central mountains- Mt Batur

 

CYCLING BALI DAY 2: VOLCANO CLIMB!

I had big plans for today: 88 km / 54 miles of cycling in mountains. That entailed 35 km up the flanks of volcanic Mt. Batur to Batur’s crater rim, another 7 km uphill along the crater rim itself, 36+ km downhill to Bali’s north coast, then a final 10 km to the city of Singaraja on flat, but congested, coastal roads. As it turned out, my day consisted entirely of Volcano Climb…

cycling bali - Bali's central mountains- Mt Batur

Rice fields along road

Pathetically, I fell far short of my goal, reaching only the crater rim for the day. I’d previously had suspicions about my big ambitions, especially since I hadn’t done a long cycling trip for ages. But I also felt confident that I could tackle it, especially after yesterday’s easy cycling up to Ubud.

cycling bali - Bali's central mountains- Mt Batur

Chicken cages for sale, roadside

According to my motorbike trip notes, the road grade up from Ubud to Mt. Batur was very slight, comparable to the roads from Sanur to Ubud, which I’d cycled yesterday. Oops… I quickly discovered that road steepness on a motorbike is an entirely different experience from that on a bicycle. Whereas yesterday, pedaling from Sanur to Ubud, I had completed the entire ride in my middle gears, today I was pedaling in my two lowest gears. Yeah, big difference in the road grade. Hello?

The steepness slowed me down from my usual 20 km/hour to about 10-12 km/hour. Mid-trip I estimated that the 37 km climb I’d expected to complete in 2 hours would take me at least 3 hours. Hmmm. Three hours entirely uphill? Yeow. Not my idea of a fun ride. But I pressed on…

cycling bali - Bali's central mountains- Mt Batur
cycling bali - Bali's central mountains- Mt Batur

Actually, the first 2 1/2 hours went well. I maintained good stamina and energy. While grinding along I was also able to enjoy the beautiful scenery and intriguing sights slowly rolling by. I stopped regularly to take photos.

cycling bali - Bali's central mountains- Mt Batur

Ceremony decorations on sale along the road up volcano

But after 2 hours I began to wear down and run out of fuel. I stopped to eat and rest. Refueled, I headed up but soon lost steam. I began pedaling slower and slower as the road got steeper and steeper. Another hour went by. I’d only cycled about 7 or 8 km. Wow. 3 1/2  hours of riding and I was still nowhere near the top. I pressed on slowly… I saw road markers: 9 km to the top… 7 km more… By then I was nearly finished physically. I. just. could. not. go. much. further. Some rain blew in. I stopped to escape it (= rest again)… then on I went… 5 km… 3 km… By then I was walking… and… I hit the wall.  Physically, I was completely finished. Man. What to do?

After huffing and puffing a while, I got out of my predicament by hailing down a small delivery truck and asking him to lug me up to the crater rim. He took pity on me, tied my bicycle on the back of his truck, squeezed me into his cab with his young wife and baby, and drove me up to the crater rim. I was mighty glad, too, because those last 3 km were the very steepest of the entire road. I’d have never made it.

cycling bali - Bali's central mountains- Mt Batur

Driver who gave me a lift up last 3 km to Batur crater rim

The young driver deposited me on top of the crater, untied my bike, and went on his merry way. I collapsed on the sidewalk overlooking the sprawling crater innards spread before me and rested. I’d done my very best, but had not quite make it entirely by leg power. Never mind, I was on the crater at long last.

cycling bali - Bali's central mountains- Mt Batur

Lake Batur, inside Batur crater, with hilly crater rim behind

Eventually I had enough energy to stand up, seek a toilet, then look for food. I even remounted my bike and cycled 2 km to the ornate Kintamani Temple, where I finally found a good place to eat, rest, and escape the chilly rain that passed through. While there I was entertained by some silly local kids and enjoyed views of the pretty temple.

cycling bali - Bali's central mountains- Mt Batur

Temple at Kinatmani town on Batur crater rim

cycling bali - Bali's central mountains- Mt Batur

Row of temple ‘guards’ at Kintamani Temple

cycling bali - Bali's central mountains- Mt Batur

Kids at Kintamani

Initially I thought I might recover my strength and press on to my original goal. But I gradually gave up, opting to spend the night on the crater rim in Kintamani market town. Luckily, as I’d guessed, there was one lone guesthouse and they had a spare room. Yippie. I suffered through an ice cold bucket shower then wandered around for the rest of the afternoon. At least I was well prepared for the crater rim’s cold weather. I bundled up in my new pants, 2 pair of socks, 2 long-sleeved shirts and a bandana to keep my ears warm. It worked. That night I slept in all my clothes, huddled under 2 blankets in my cute little room until dawn. I started the next day witnessing a sunrise over the volcanic crater.

Then on to Day 3: Cruising Down Volcanic Ridge Lines.

 

Cycling Bali Guidebook - Lash - LashWorldTour - travel book

Cycling Bali Guidebook – Lash – LashWorldTour – travel book

 

If you’re inspired to cycle around Bali, check out my guidebook-

Cycling Bali: Guide to Circumnavigating Bali by Bicycle

 

——————————————————————————————————————————————–

2 pings

  1. BICYCLING DAY 1: Seaside Resort Town up to Bali's Aritistic Heartland | LashWorldTour

    […] will display here (config: default)« PHOTO GALLERY #4: ROAD TRIP AROUND RURAL BALIBICYCLING DAY 2: VOLCANO CLIMB! » BICYCLING DAY 1: Seaside Resort Town up to Bali’s Aritistic Heartland 2010/11/19 by […]

  2. CYCLING BALI DAY 13: HOME AGAIN, HOME AGAIN, DIGGITY DIG... | LashWorldTour

    […] along Bali’s north coast, with Agung smiling down on me from her northern side. On other days Bali’s Mt. Batur had partially defeated me as I grinded up it’s southern flanks to the crater rim. I’d been rescued on the final 3 […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


× one = 9

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>