Saturday, November 14, 2009
basic city map available at www.north-sulawesi.org/maps/manado.gif
View Larger Map
Budget Hotels in MANADO:
1. Manado Bersehati Hotel, at town, close to city center
+62 431 855 022
Jl. Sudirman No. 20
coordinate on my GPS (old garmin !!)
1º29'23.6'' N - 124º50'31.5'' E
you need to pay 100k - 150k rupiah / night for basic room
alternatively more comfortable room is available at 250k rupiah
2. Vina Hotel, about 1km outside airport
not an option if you want to go around town
but ideal if you need to catch a flight early next morning
+62 431 812 874
at about the same rate as Bersehati,
with 140k rupiah / night,
we will have a bigger room, but no television and not air-conditioned.
Restaurants in MANADO:
Several restaurants located around Jl. Boulevard, close to Ritzy hotel
- Raja Sate, sea food, typical manado dish, and sate
- Angel Fish, sea food
- Sapo, chinese food
coordinate on my GPS ( 3 resto above are really close)
1º28'51.5'' N - 124º50'05.5'' E
Just in front of Raja Sate, behind Sapo, we can find amusement area,
go-cart rental, karaoke, shopping malls, futsal field, etc.
Close to this amusement area,
there is other restaurant too which is also well known.
- d'Terrace, sea food, typical manado dish
coordinate on my GPS
1º29'14.4'' N - 124º50'05.3'' E
Restaurant in TOMOHON:
I forgot the name
on the main city street, next to big fish pond
coordinate on my GPS
1º19'48.2'' N - 124º50'19.2'' E
Flight to Manado
departure from Balikpapan 19:00, arrival in Manado 20:35
return from Manado 07:00, arrival in Balikpapan 08:40
Other domestic flights available to Jakarta / Surabaya / Ternate etc.
Garuda, Lion Air, Merpati, Wings Air, Sriwijaya, Xpress Air, etc.
I made several trips with my folding bike already.
But some of those were turned to be not too much bike trip.
Often they were just going to the bus station or airport,
fold the bike, get into the vehicle,
arrive at the destination, unfold the bike and go.
But this time, I have long enough holiday,
so I take the opportunity for a special bike trip around Manado.
Flight from Balikpapan arrived in Manado at 20:50 local time,
I recovered my Hasa folding bike, my only luggage,
unfolded the bike and heading to town.
The good thing is, Manado airport located at higher plateau,
about 80m above sea level, so I just needed a minimum pedaling
to go to town and find my hotel.
I have stayed several nights there,
but the best bike trip I did was on the last day,
where I biked from Manado, going uphill to Tomohon and Tondano,
and back to Manado via Airmadidi.
I started early in the morning, checking out from Bersehati Hotel at 08:00.
The hotel let me left my belonging with them,
so I can climb uphill to Tomohon with no backpack .
Tomohon is just 25km from Manado, but it took me 3 hours
to climb 700meter, using the grainy gear of my 16" Hasa.
My speed while climbing were merely 7-8 km/hr,
and I had to stop to take a breath for several times.
Luckily the scenery was superb,
green hills and big trees with a view to the sea below,
going uphill at Tinoor was something that
will stay long in my memory.
At my stop points I bought local fruits, manggis,
which were very sweet, that cost me merely Rp1000 a piece.
Few kilometers before Tomohon the road get flatter,
and I gained some speed.
In Tomohon I took a coffe stop at small warung,
and heading to Tondano.
Arriving in Tondano just slightly before 13:00,
Tondano was located at high plateau, surrounded by mountains,
with a big lake next to it.
Just before the town, beautiful rice field welcoming me.
The town was almost flat, the mountains around look so close,
and the big trees on its ridge were so clear, as if we can touch them.
The weather was nice, and the temperature was around 25C.
Car traffic was rare, but lot of horse cart were around,
just too bad I did not have enough time to take a tour on it.
I took my lunch there, again in another small warung,
the menu was yellow rice with dried fish and big cup of coffe.
Here I got 2 options, go back to Manado via Tomohon,
just like my way in, or continue to take a route via Airmadidi.
A local shop owner told me that the road to Manado via Airmadidi
is decending all the way down,
so it did not take me too long to decide.
Yes the road was decending, but not all the way.
The first 4kms from Tondano to Tonsea Lama was climbing,
and then it went down sharply,
with lot of sharp turns around the cliffs.
I was just coasting down for almost 40minutes,
hoping that my brake pads last.
Just before Airmadidi, the road was climbing again,
and I was just pedaling patiently,
and at 14:30 I arrived in Airmadidi.
From Airmadidi, joining the main road from Bitung to Manado,
I took a short cut to airport via Dimembe village,
and I arrived at Vina Hotel, next to airport at 16:00.
I was tired after biking for 80 kms in the mountainous route,
so I hired a car to go to town to recover my bagpack
that I left on Bersehati Hotel.
I considered that taking Vina hotel in the last day was a good decision,
since the hotel was so close to the airport,
and my flight back to Balikpapan was so early next morning.
I am happy with this trip,
The green hills and mountains around Manado are still full of big trees,
People are so friendly, they smiles alot,
especially while looking at my 16" Hasa bike.
Foods and hotels are not expensive neither,
Definitely I will come back to this area someday.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
opportunity arises, I cannot refuse to participate in cross country
The latest opportunity came on 28 June 09, it was a cross country ride
around Sungai Wain area, about 20 km outside Balikpapan.
In general, the track was not too hard, not too hilly, and at that
time it was relatively dry too. It was about 11 km ride around Sungai
Wain forrest park, and all participants were able to finish the ride
I managed to finish at moderate timing using my "semi" mountain bike.
I said so since my Polygon Premier is a ladies version, with twisted
grip shifter, and equipped with touring tire 26 x 1.5".
To help me climbing, the chain ring had been modified, from 48-38-28 to 42-32-22.
We were 6 in our group, using various mountain bikes, from a simple
basic hardtail bike like mine, to advance full suspension bike like Specialized.
About 200 people were participating in that ride, and at finish line we were
welcomed by singers, food stalls, and various prizes.
One of our colleagues even won one of the doorprizes and got another bike.
So we went home happily at mid-day with more bicycles on the pick-up truck....
Thursday, June 4, 2009
I can find a small piece of special rice field,
it is a small piece of heaven in its simplicity
it is small portion of rice field, irrigated by natural water source,
the water flows out from the bottom of the cliff
and just before joining the main river below,
the water stream makes the lower land wet,
so the farmer can grow the rice all year long.
and this the only rice field irrigated by natural water source in this area
all of the others rice field around there, are irrigated by man-made irrigation
many years ago, here was my run-away place,
whenever I lost motivation at school,
whenever my brother or sisters did not respect my privacy,
whenever my parents asked me un-believable things,
whenever any nice girl refused my phone call,
I would go here, washing my face on water source,
and often I stayed for a while to talked with the farmers there,
and everytime I gained my spirit back,
and I could face my world with better view.
I arrived there around 10 am, parked my bicycle on the shade,
there are still a lot of trees there, even there were more in the past,
the farmers are there too, but they dont know me anymore,
I walked for couple meters and find the water source,
the water still flows out of the ground, even it is not as strong as before,
but at least, the water that coming out is as clean and as clear as before
there were young couple washing their clotches in the source
they smiled to me and put their stuff aside, and share the place with me,
even before I asked them,
I lowered my hand on the water stream,
and using palm of my both hands to take water and washing my face,
I closed my eyes,and let clear, fresh and cool water flowed over my face,
splashing my polo shirt, and made it wet almost immediately
my face was in contact with flowing water for few seconds only,
but in that short time,
the water from the source was showing me its magic,
I felt that every spash crossing my face flows with fresh spirit,
washing my tired face and mind,
No, I am not running away from anything this time,
Back in Balikpapan, I have a job and a family, and ordinary middle class life,
and for sure my wife never refused my phone call neither.
However, I would never refuse the magical effect of this clear water neither,
I just let it works, my hand repeately taking more water,
and on each drop of water,
my mind is filled, by a nice combination of fresh and peaceful feeling,
When I am done, I opened my eyes,
the couple who were there to wash their clotches were still smiling,
I thanked them and heading back to my bicycle
pedalling my bike back to my parents home was easier and lighter,
as if the water source has bringing me a new life, like it always did
in the past.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
I ordered the bike by phone to a bike shop in Jakarta,
transferred the money thru ATM, and about 10 days later,
the bike was ready for me. Like every new bike,
I had to adjust the brake, cables, changing the seat, and adding few accessories,
before making the bike comfortable to be used for commuting.
Within a year I logged 1200km, mainly by commuting to work.
My other folder, 16" Hasa F2, now is used by my eldest daughter,
Carla, who turns 9 this year.
This Dahon MUP8, is more comfortable to ride than Hasa F2,
mainly due its longer wheelbase, and I believe also due to its bigger tire size.
But it is also true that my Hasa F2, is more portable.
I found out that to fit inside my wife's car, Toyota Rush,
the MUP8 seat post needs to be pushed down and steering post needs to be folded.
The height of Toyota Rush cabin on the back is just not enough to accomodate
the bike if we only fold it on its main hinge.
I forced the bike inside the car once with the steering post
and seat post sticking up, I ended up scratching car's interiors
and got good comments from my wife for my stubbornness.
The bike was drawing some attentions too, and some of my colleagues
also bought folding bikes of various brands after observing mine.
I also found new friends with this folding bike,
one that I am still remember is,....
one day there was a pizza delivery boy who put a pizza on top of my rear rack.
I asked him who ordered the pizza and he said a name of a young lady.
Soon the pizza was gone, but when I saw the lady later on,
I told her that I want a slice of pizza,
since I had seen the pizza was sitting for a while on my rack,
...she just smiled and we started to talk, and to my surprise,
despite her elegant appearance and nice-chic-classy look,
she is also a down to earth person, and very pleasant to talk with,
and we becoming friend after.
Who said that ladies care only flashy cars,
some of them interested in folding bikes too,...!
So my 2 cents is,
suppose we have more ladies like her,
there will be more men getting motivated to ride bicycles,
instead of driving cars.......
again, it's only my 2cents for Earth Day.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
I made my first holiday trip, without my parents, to Bali.
It is still living in my memory, I climbed to bus from Malang
on one early evening with my schoolmate Wayan.
One of Wayan's relatives, few years older than us, went with us,
accompanying us all the way. Without him, our parents would never let us go.
We arrived in Gilimanuk early morning, then took a smaller bus
to continue our trip to Singaradja.
And from Singaradja, we took another car, modified Mitsubishi pick up,
to go uphill further north to Suwuk, a village outside Singaraja,
For 2 weeks we were there,
we were doing what kids at our age doing on the country side,
wandering around rice fields, disturbing birds, grabbing fruits from Wayans garden,
and watching wedding ceremony in the neigborhood.
In fact, apart of wedding ceremony which was slightly special,
we were doing things that we could easily do in Malang, my own home.
But still, being in Bali made the whole things special.
Back home my parents seemed happy, they were smiling all the times
and they listened to all of my stories with enthusiasme.
Now, in 2009, 30 years after my first trip, I made another trip
to this paradise island. And I went there ,,,,A L O N E,,,my wife granted
a permission to visit his younger brother, and helping him
moving his family to another house.
To make the trip nostalgic, I started my trip from Malang,
took the cheapest bus I could find that late afternoon,
and tried to sleep while the bus heading East to Bali during the night.
The bus arrived in Denpasar around 8 am, and my brother in law picking me up.
After quick breakfast in his place, the first thing I asked him was my folding bike.
And yes, my folding bike (...well, one of them..), has arrived there earlier than me,
and it was ready. So I wandered Sanur Beach, and after running around for a while,
I decided to stay in one of the hotels there.
I could see a puzzle in my brother in law's eyes, but he let me go.
It was amazing to biked around that area, there is a bike path next to the beach,
just between the beach and hotels, where we can enjoy nice environment,
with a lot of trees protecting us from hot sun.
At night time Sanur area is alive with its restaurants and live musics,
sure I could not resist the temptations and stayed around for few beers.
Next afternoon I was too tired to take a bus to Surabaya, so I took Lion Air flight,
and heading home. I left my folding bike in Bali since I am planning to come back soon.
But maybe I will have to change the plan, at home my wife was slightly quite,
she listened to me, but not as my parents did 30 years ago,..
I kept talking about how nice it was biking around the beach with my folding bike,
and being in peace with myself since I was alone,...
Finally she smiled, and said that I can go back to Bali anytime I want.
It just too good to be true,...so I know from the way she smiled,
that next time it will be impossible to go there alone,....
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Kharg island, where we were in, is not too big, it has an airstrip, and tanker loading terminal. The Iranians using this terminal to load the oils to big ships for export.
As strategic island for Iranians, it has special rules for foreigners; we must stay in a special camp, away from the locals, and we are not allowed to drive any car.
After work, our life was rather boring, gym and recreational room inside our camp were too small, and we could not going out of the camp easily because the driver was not always available.
One of my colleagues there got an idea to buy a bicycle to explore the island, and once he showed me photos of his bike trip around the island, I was sold.
Casual cycling ride is always one of my interest, and it was also good to do some kind of outdoor activities after work.
So not too long after that, I brought a bicycle into the island, ZOOM folding bike, a typical low end folder, with 16 inch wheel and 5 speed.
This Zoom folders I bought in a shop close to Changi road, Singapore. In that time, on every trip to Iran, I made a few hours stop over in Singapore, and another stop overnight in Dubai.
Going from Spore was not a problem, bike was inside the box, tires being deflated, and SQ check in staff handling and labeling it quickly and efficiently as usual.
On terminal 2 arrival in Dubai, I have to wait almost 15 minutes since it was cleared through special bagage section. However, once it came out, Dubai custom officers did not even give any looks.
After staying overnight in Dubai, the next day I took another flight to Iran, this was a charter flight, chartered by a company that hiring us.
On transit in Busher airport in Iran, we have to check out all of our baggage and Iranian custom officers checking them in a long table. All of the passanger baggage must be opened and examined by the officers. Some items need special clearance, like western magazines, discs, and electronics. They checked my bike, exchanging few words with our translator there, laughing, and passed the bike on. Our translator did not even translate officers comments to me, he just gave me a big smile and continued his job. In short, I have no problem to bring the bike all the way from Spore to Iran.
As typical low end bike, it's frame was so flexible and filmsy, the brake was poor, and it's 5 speed freewheel was over geared. The seat post was also slipping, and I have to insert a piece of rubber to avoid it slips further.
I adapted my ridding style for this bike, pedaling gently, no push-pull on the handlebar, and braking lightly.
But for the price, the bike served me very well. At first I used it to run around our camp during lunch break. Once I was familiar with the bike, then I used it to visit working sites too. Instead of calling the driver and waiting for a car, I just biked and got to the site myself. It took more or less the same time, but the greatest thing was a feeling of being free and independent. And it is also released me from being bored passing the time in front of PC at work and television in my room after.
I did not install cyclometer on this folder, but by counting and timing my cadence, I estimate that I can maintain around 16-18 km/h with easy riding style.
My colleague who used MTB, at full pace, could cycling around the island for 2 full laps during lunch break. I did try with this folder, and I made one lap with enough spare time to take shower before going back to work. From my timing, I thought the distance that I took was just slightly more than 20km, mostly along the coast. Here we could see remainings of old tanker that was hit by Iraqi bombs during Iran-Iraq war long time ago.
Several weeks later, few of other colleagues started also to cycle around. Most of them bought low end MTB available at local bike shop in the island. So on few occasions we were having group riding around the island on the lunch break.
This Zoom bike served me for several months, and during the time it was almost trouble free except few flat tires. But then it ended so sudden in rather bizzare circumstances.
One colleague came from Dubai but he could not do his job right away and he must wait the others to finish. I saw him waiting for long days, and as courtesy I allowed him use my bike to go around.
He just used my bike for 2 days, but apparently he pushed it just hard enough to break the steering post, just below the post hinge.
Strangely, for me it was not a big loss neither, since it happened just when I was about to be transferred back to my home country. So finally, at the end of my 3 years assignment there, I have one less baggage to take home, my broken ZOOM bike.
Friday, February 13, 2009
So the capacity of this Isuzu Panther is reduced from 8 to 5 people in this configuration.
Apart of this, my car does not have a proper holder for its spare tire, so the tire cannot be stored underneath the body, but it has to go inside the car, reducing the available baggage space further.
But I never have any problem to put small Hasa inside the Panther, thanks to its small wheel and short wheelbase.
We can see that by just folding the frame in the main hinge, this United folder can fit inside the car. The seatpost and steering post can stay as it is, no need to retract them in. However, the handlebar of this United model is integrated with the post, in a form of a welded T bar. So to avoid the handlebar touching car's backdoor, the steering post need to be folded too.
Some accessories installed on steering post, like handlebar bag and bottle cage, need to be oriented properly to avoid interference while folding.
It is not too dificult to fit a 20" folder inside Karimun, in overall it takes about 1 minute, and the car will be ready to go.
Good thing about this old Karimun, 2002 model, is that it has enough height to accomodate the bicycle.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
This is the first bike I amused with on my adult life. At that time we were back from an assignment in France, and we stayed in my sister in law house in Jakarta for while. My sister in law, Rina, wanted to clean her garage out, and the bike, that she bought in Japan, was included on her list.
Rina was using the bike daily when she lived in Japan, going to groceries, bringing her kids to school, running errands, etc.
Once she came back to Jakarta, soon she realized that around her neighborhood in Fatmawati area was almost impossible to bike safely. So the bike was abandonned for a while in her garage.
My wife asked her if we could use the bike, and to our blessing, Rina didn't mind. So we transported the bike to Malang with the rest of our personnal belonging, and I found a bike shop in Malang to recondition the bike.
It required a new tire set, truing, greasing and cleaning,....and it was ready to go. Few months in Malang and we moved again to Jogyakarta, and again we transported the bike to Jogya.
The bike showed its greatest utility when we were in Jogya. At first we lived in a small house with a small access alley, so the bike was much more practical than our car.
Our daugther Carla, she was 3 years at that time, was our regular passenger on this bike.
After moving into bigger house, I bought another bike, a UNITED 20" folder, for myself, and then just like an addict, I bought more bicycles. A low end MTB - Polygon Premier, then road bike, also a low end - Polygon Wonder, and then a nice build folder, 16" Hasa F2.
With so much bikes, this Bridgestone still had a lot of usage, mainly for my wife. It served us very well at that time in Jogya.
End of July 2006, new chapter started, we moved again, this time from Jogya to Balikpapan. I packed all my newer bikes, and I planned to left United folder and this Bridgestone behind. Sure enough my wife complaining, saying that she was never enjoy any bike I bought more recently and the best one for her was the Bridgestone.
So the bike went to Balikpapan with the rest of our belonging.
Few months passed by in our new home in Balikpapan, I gained milages on my other bikes, except this Bridgestone. It was too heavy for hilly area of Balikpapan where we lived, and its 4 speed was just in-adequate.
Soon it was left on one corner, and finally I asked a good friend to send the bike back to Malang.
So here it is now, the bike hanging in our stairs in my parents home in Malang, waiting for us to come.
It still looks strong and sturdy and heavy,..it is buit for last, and it will,...
It has been in Nagoya, Jakarta, Malang, Jogya, Balikpapan, and back to Malang,..and maybe more cities next time.
Sunday, February 8, 2009
So on one Saturday in Feb 09, we have a nice day after one rainy week. I rolled my Polygon Stratos out, gave the tires few pumps, and rolling out from housing complex near the airport.
I passed downtown Balikpapan with a breeze on relatively flat road. Further down I reach Lapangan Merdeka, the city squarre.
It was almost 10am when I got there, so people who usualy jogging around the squarre were retired already.
From this Merdeka squarre, I took the road uphill, passing thru the guard house, and climbing into the Pertamina Housing Complex.
The houses there were nice, big and spacious, it has green grass, trees, and gardens, also quiet and pleasant, really not a common thing in Indonesia nowadays.
The road was quiet and smooth, but I have to use the lowest gear available on my Stratos to climb.
On one spot I stopped to take a breath, and enjoy the view around, looking to the calm sea, and also to the growing city below. Really nice view, especially in a clear weather.
Balikpapan, like all other cities in Indonesia, is growing, and it grows far too fast for itself. I can see some construction activities from upthere, and dense houses on the kampung below.
So this Pertamina Housing Complex, part of old Balikpapan, with its green trees, nice hills, quiet surroundings, and beautiful view to the sea below, is becoming one oasis in town. And it always be one of the best corner of Balikpapan.
Saturday, January 31, 2009
On my latest visit to Malang, this January 09, I was lucky enough arriving there on a good weather.
I took my old United folding bike around the town. Going down from Dinoyo area to city stadium, passing across Sumbersari and military cemetery, where main universities in Malang are located. I went further to city stadium, passing Ijen street, and after joining Kayutangan, I went north.
This north-south street, Celaket and Kayutangan is the main artery of the city, the main buildings and public services are located around this axis. City public hospital and main police station, and further to south we will find post office, regency office, and also mosque and church.
In ther past, before opening of some shopping malls, this area was much more alive with shops and even some cinemas.
So I went north up Celaket road, the good thing is part of Celaket road has special lane on its most left side for slow moving vehicles including bicycles. And the lane is not too exposed to the sun by a good number of mahogany along the road.
Sure enough just like any other city in Indonesia, cyclist still need to deal with angkot ; a stop and go public vehicles, parked cars, potholes, and street vendors selling foods like bakso or soto on their charriots.
I passed 3 hours riding along, going back to my parents home in Dinoyo area taking the reverse way, arrived there noon time, folding my bike and stored it, keep it in the corner upstairs until my next visit.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Riding my Stratos road bike, it takes about 25 minutes, on a flat road along Balikpapan east coast.
Like other area in Balikpapan, this road is getting more crowdeed, with more buildings popping up. A lot of companies supporting mining, constructions and oil & gas activities built their base-office along Manggar road, between the Airport and the bridge.
Once we reach the bridge, the area looks different. Traditionally, Manggar is fishermen homes. Local fishermen built their houses above the water, supported by wooden poles. Their boats, mostly less than 10 meter long, tied along one another below their homes. And just next to the bridge, there is a local market, selling fishes, fruits, and other daily stuffs. Some shops are playing pirated music on their 'loud' speakers.
Like my other visit to the bridge, I just go there, make 180 degree turn, take pictures and heading back home.
My remark this time is seems that the bridge is vibrating more anytime a heavy loads passing by, soon it has to be upgraded I think.
First to modify was seat post, I asked a welder to put an extension to suit my height. Second my LBS put 48T chainring and a new sealed BB on. Last modification was changing single speed freewheel to 3 speed coaster brake hub.
True those modifications cost more than the bike itself, but for me the results were satisfying.
Now this humble UNITED has enough gearing to ease my feet taking few slopes.
When I moved out from Jogyakarta to Balikpapan, I did not bring this bike with me. I left it in Jogya, but then I brought the bike to Malang, since I visit Malang more often.
And till today, whenever I am in Malang, I will be rolling around on my UNITED.