Cyclist enthusiasts are now discovering Bali as the new place to be and why not? The streets of the south may be clogged with traffic but the back roads of the north of the island are wonderful.
Cycling round Bali is the ultimate cycling experience, hearing the wind rustling through the rice paddies, catching the sound of a gamelan (traditional Balinese orchestra) practicing and enjoying the beautiful scent of the flowers.
Best Places to Cycle in Bali
The Bukit Peninsula is past the airport and far less congested than Denpasar and Kuta.
A good day’s ride would be to go counter clockwise from Jimbaran south, past the surf breaks and the temple at Ulu Watu.
You can than cycle across the bottom of the island on quiet village roads being sure to stop and take a break in Nusa Dua.
Whilst in the Tanjung Benoa area take some time to explore the mangroves before taking the trip back north and that one nasty bit of road past the airport.
Nusa Penida & Nusa Lembongan Nusa
These two islands are practically free of traffic and on offer here are lush jungle, white beaches, sheer cliffs and fantastic sea views.
Needless to say they are popular cycling destinations. If you are planning to cycle round Penida then you will need to take your bike with you.
Ubud has been popular with cyclists for along time and in fact there are many cycling tour companies based here.
The great thing about this area is that you can cycle along the many narrow mountain roads that head upwards from Ubud to ancient monuments and unimaginable views of rice terraces.
The roads around the east coast may be busy but are wide and every narrow lane that you find will take you to yet another almost deserted beach.
Go north from the coast and the area is serene and uncrowded.
A good road to focus on is the fantastic Sideman Road that passes lots of cool lodges.
These are for the ambitious cyclists but if you are able you will be well rewarded for your efforts especially in the Danau Bratan area.
This area is just wide open but for a good days ride you may want to try the following:
Go from Padangbai to the northeast where scattered resorts see their fair share of cyclists.
Or elsewhere in the north just about any road from the main coast road will offer you discoveries and serenity.
If you use Lovina as your base you will then have many day trips to choose from that will take you to temples and remote waterfalls.
A heavenly ride would be from west of Denpasar.
For those that love hills then take a trip up to Pura Luhur Batukau and have fun exploring the rice terraces.
Other than that just cycle and enjoy. The dense jungle rides and rice fields around Bajera, Kermabitan and Tabanan are just a delight.
Taking the main road to Gilimanuk will lead you to hidden temples, deserted beaches and rushing mountain streams.
Here a cyclist will get the exhilaration of exploration.
There are several attractions east of Mataram that would make good day trips such as going south to Banyumulek via Gunung Pengson and then back to Mataram.
You will find that some coastal roads have bends and hills that are reminiscent of a roller coaster such at going north from Mataram, via Senggigi to pemenang and the returning by the steep climb over the Pusuk Pass.
The more popular tours start up high in the central mountains at places such as Kintamani or Bedugal. You will be taken to the top of the mountain by the tour company and then you can ride down the quiet mountain roads enjoying village culture, lush scenery and tropical scents.
Archipelago Adventure (www.archipelago-adventure.com)Telephone: 0361-844-4624
This tour company offers a variety of tours including tours on Java.
In Bali the tours include jatiluwih, Danau Buyan and Mountain biking on trails from Kintamani.
Bali Bintang ([email protected])
This company offers two hours of downhill riding north of Ubud at Pejang. Following this you get a one-hour trek through the rice fields.
Bali Eco & Educational Cycling Tours
Telephone: 0361-957-557, 0813-3742-0420
Tours start at Kintamani and take quiet roads through fantastic scenery to Ubud.
Bali Fun & Action ([email protected])
A tour with this company will start in Kintamani, pass some ancient sites north of Ubud and ending with a village tour. A rice field trek is optional.
Bike-Baik Bali Countryside Tours (www.balibike.com)
Telephone: 0361-978053, 0813 3867-3852
Running down hill from Kintamani these tours have an emphasis on cultural immersion and there are many stops in tiny villages and rice farms.
Source : Bali & Lombok – The Lonely Planet