Friday, July 1, 2011

Bromo Volcano, super trip 2011

If there are something that I will retain from my rides on 2011,
then ultimately my trip to Bromo Volcano will be one of them.

Bromo is located on East Java, about 3 to 4 hours driving from Surabaya.
So we were 4, I am the only native Indonesian, the other are French,
somehow, one of them knows cycling route around Bromo much better than me..!

Four of us start riding around 8 in the morning,
First decent from our hotel to the caldera was the best decent I ever made,
the bikes were struggling for a grip on wet loose sands,
with riders put their body way behind the saddle....
I kept braking almost all times..
I just dont want to knock myself out on the first round

then we climb the other side of the caldera,
my lungs were working hard to cope with 2300m of altitude here,
and after few hours, we were going around the ridge of the caldera.

By noon we went down to the caldera again,
at that time the loose sand was not wet anymore,
and the wind blew those sands constantly,
passing thru this mini sandstorm,
we returned to our hotel from the other side,

This round circuit was only about 26km,
but I never, ever imagine that this "soft" sandy place
was so demanding...

Sunday, May 15, 2011

leisure MTB ride

In the last few months I join a group of recreational MTB riders in my
simple reason, after commuting inside city with my road bike or folding bike,
then riding on trails little bit away from city traffic is good.

The MTB that I am using is not a brand new one,
in fact it is old hardtail MTB of the club (not even mine.....),

but the bike got a decent frame, disk-brakes, and Deore combo shifter.

Most of us passed our forty already, so we are not racy rider,
only sometimes we participated in "semi competitive" event
like Le Grandeur Bike Jamboree.

Our rides mostly are on the outskirt of Balikpapan,

sometimes the track is hard, but it never long track,
longest one takes about 3 hours to finish.

The best part of our weekend ride is table in club house,
where we can have few beers before heading home.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Electric Assistance Bike

I have seen some advertorial of electric bicycle,
but none of them is make me interested.
They are heavy and weird, look more like kids toy than a bicycle.

But recently I found something different,
one online shop in Bandung is offering a conversion kit
that could be installed easily on conventional 26" mountain bike.

For me that was a good news,
since what I want is a bicycle with electric assistance,
rather than electric toy with pedal.

I placed an order for their cheapest model, 250W/24V, front wheel kit.
My order arrived in about a week time,
in a well packed 25kg carton box, 77x68x20cm.

Inside the box I found front wheel set
with electric motor hub and wide tire,
battery box-controller-rear rack,
brake handles and accelerator control, and charger.

Those are heavy, front tire weights 7kg, battery box alone 9kg,
rear racks–controller and cable about 2kg easy.

Few things to be considered:
1. This kit is NOT compatible with disk brake,
2. Old bicycle with lugs for rear rack will suit better for installation.
3. I have to buy another set of shifter, the reason is I want to use
the supplied brake handle since it is equipped with
power cut-off switch. So I bought a set of cheap friction shifter.

Installing the kit is not too difficult,
I managed to install in less then 4 hours,
including swabbing tire with 26x1.75, and installing new shifter.

After installation, final weight of my old MTB is whooping 30kg
compare to 13kg before.

While this kit is easy to install,
instruction and video provided with the kit are not providing enough

I also found few loose spoke and experiencing loose cable connection,
so I have to open the battery box.
Good thing is the seller is helpful,
he replies to my mail and help me trouble shooting the installation.

Guess who is delighted with this kit installation,
yes my 11years old daughter, she can climb uphill with much less effort,
and she becomes the fastest rider among her friends.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Lombok , a solo trip on my Hasa

After Manado, Bali, Perth, and Palu....
just all in the sudden Lombok comes across my mind,

few of my expatriates colleagues praised Lombok,
as nice, quite and natural place, so different from crowded Bali.

Lihat Peta Lebih Besar

So on one Saturday morning, Jan 2011,
I board on Lion Air flight, with my backpack.
my only baggage was my folding bike.
after a short transit in Surabaya,

I arrive in Selaparang Airport, Lombok at 14:30.

As usual, I assembled the bike in the airport,
pumped the tire, rearranging my luggage,
using the bike bag as big backpack,
and I was ready to cycle to the hotel around 15:00

The weather was nice, little bit cloudy, and not too humid,
The road from Ampenan to Senggigi was not too wide,
but it was nice paved and smooth.

Even though the road was next the shoreline,
it is not always flat, there are few hills that demands power.
Cycling slowly and enjoying the scenery,

I arrived in Sheraton Hotel Senggigi at about 16:15,
it took me an hour for 12km distance....

after checking in and deposing my luggage I continued to cycle north
and my colleagues were right, Lombok is still green and natural,
and cycling along the contoured coast line is a real pleasure.

after passing Mangsit beach I came back to Senggigi,
wandering around the village, having dinner and came back to the hotel.

On next morning, breakfast in Sheraton was wonderful,
while some guests were checking out,
I prepared my bike for a trip to the south.

At 08:30 I headed south, passing Ampenan, Mataram, and Praya.
I arrived Praya almost noon time, then passing Batujai dam
and new airport that was still under construction.

The scenery is different,
if the north of Senggigi is shoreline and green hills,
in area south of Mataram is relatively flat land with rice field.
there are more traffic in south then the north.

Few sections of the road is still under improvement,
some heavy equipment working on those sections.

Rain fell when I was at Sade, Sasak Village.
It was 13:00, and Kuta is still 8km further to the South.
but this time I did not insist, I stopped there.

After few minutes waiting I put my bike on small pick up car,
and heading back to the town, I had to change the car 2 times,
but finally I arrived in Cakranegara around 14:30.
Having lunch there at 2M restaurant, and heading back to Senggigi.

Next morning, it was Monday morning and my last day in Lombok,
I check out around 10:00,
and cycling out of Senggigi with big bag on my back.
I wandered around the Ampenan and Mataram,
asking a shoe fitter to patch my bike bag,
and finally big rain fells at the time I arrived in the airport

It was 14:00, so I have enough time to pack my bike and checking in.
my flight was at 17:00, with an hour transit in Surabaya,

I arrived back home at 21:30,
somehow something still wondering my mind,
should I come back to Lombok, just to take hills north of Senggigi....???