By Jarrod Partridge on 11 April, 2017
Have you ever heard the saying ‘it only takes two people to start a race’? Never has a truer phrase been spoken when it comes to men and cycling. From telling everyone in earshot that they haven’t been training at all for the next big event to ripping legs off on what was supposed to be a ‘recovery ride’, we’ve seen it all.
However, that all changes when guys go on a cycling holiday in Bali.
Maybe it’s the soft warm air, the cheap and bountiful Bintang’s, or the multiple daily massages. Who knows?
Cycling in Bali with UpShift Tours is a unique experience. Away from the hustle and bustle of places like Kuta and into the quiet country roads of Canggu or Ubud, life rolls along at an easier pace and it’s nice to slow down and smell the rice fields.
That’s not to say there’s no competitive side to things! With relatively untapped Strava segments up for grabs, there is always a bit of an edge to any ride, especially when King Of The Mountain’s and virtual trophies are on the line. After former-pro Rochelle Gilmore visited the island and bagged a lot of trophies, will your ego be ok if you finish second best?
If you have been to Bali before, but never left the beaches of Kuta or Seminyak, you probably wouldn’t know about the big climbs. Bali is made up of a lot of volcanoes, and they’re perfect for cycling up.
To the west, you have a 7km climb to the Unesco World Heritage listed Jatiluwih Rice Fields. 7km may not sound like much, but when the first 40km of the day have all been slightly uphill, it’s enough to cook your legs and make you stop for a brew at the top.
Further west there is the climb to the temple on the lake, Pura Ulun Danu Bratan. Unrelenting and steep, this climb has been compared to cycling up Mt Hotham. Many feel it is even tougher than one of Victoria’s toughest climbs.
To the north of Ubud you have the big one, Mt Kintamani. The view at the top of the Mt Batur caldera is stunning, but you have to work for it. 35km at 4-5%, no breaks, no corners, just one smooth road all the way to the top. 35km up does mean 35km straight down, and for the brave, an opportunity to touch 90km/h or more through the stunning Tegalalang rice fields.
After a full morning of cycling, recovery and hydration are key. An in-room massage followed by beers in the pool trading war stories will definitely help the pins for the days ahead.
For the more adventurous, there’s so much more to do in Bali than just drinking in Kuta. There’s the best coffee in Bali at Revolver Espresso in Seminyak, coffee plantations where you can try Luwak coffee (coffee beans that have been digested by a skunk-like animal, then roasted - Yum), silver making or cooking classes so you can impress your partner when you get home. There are also endless markets and temples if you want to bring a little culture to your life. If none of this is of interest - beers in the pool it is!