At the end of August 2014 we were fortunate enough to take ten days holiday in Bali, Indonesia. The Island is famed for it's beaches, culture, food and beautiful scenery amongst many other things. While we visited a number of the tourist sites and relaxed at the beach and pool, we also managed to fit in a little bit of biking, first hiring a scooter to get us around and then booking a dirt bike tour.
Earlier in the summer we had done a taster motocross day course in the UK at the Yamaha off Road Experience at Golding Barn Raceway in West Sussex, which we had both enjoyed and where we both picked up some new bike skills.
Once in Bali we took advantage of the relatively cheep prices for this kind of activity and the opportunity to ride into the countryside and see of the less obvious and more beautiful parts of Bali.
We booked a half day tour ride from Bali Dirt Bike Tours. The centre we used was based high up in the mountainous region of Papuan, which was an hour and half's drive from our where were staying in Seminyak. I'd recommend this for beginners as it's quite physical work and I'd suggest a full day or more for those with experience.
Our fees for the day included hotel pick up and drop off, kit, fuel, lunch, drinks and the bikes. Alisa rode a KLX125 and I hired the Kawasaki KLX250.
The region is great for dirt biking, due to the higher altitude it's much cooler than the coast, there are endless tracks, little villages and great jungle views. The team offer a range of rides to suit every ability.
Our ride started on the road so we could get used to the bikes. We then rode around a field to get a feel for them on less grippy surfaces. Then it was off onto the dirt tracks between villages and then into the jungle. The team were happy for us to go as slow or as fast as we liked, jumps and wheelies were encouraged, and would stop every so often to rest or check out the view, take photo's and hydrate.
The tracks are a mix of dirt, dust, and in some places lots of rocks and tree routes, but the more taxing roads came a little into the ride once we had found our rhythm. Later in the day the tracks eased, no doubt to compensate for riders who might be tired.
Our lunch break was at Tamblingan Lake where our guides had arranged for arranged for some food to be provided by the locals, sandwiches, chocolate - energy foods to keep us going. We had time to relax, eat, walk around and take photos, before the ride back up into the mountains.
The later part of the ride took us through little villages to one where a small motocross track was hidden between the buildings. Here we had the opportunity of relaxing or playing about on the track for an hour before finally heading back to base.
We had a great time and by the end of the afternoon we were both tired, a little saw from the effort, a little bruised from the occasional bike drop. But we were both smiling. If I ever get the opportunity to come back to Bali I'll book a longer tour and see some more of the fantastic countryside.