|Here are some pictures from a trip to Indonesia in December, 2001.
I was in Singapore making presentations at Synopsys' Regional Training
and to local customers. Bob Hwang suggested we go over to Batam,
a nearby island in Indonesia. Bob said the ride was 70 or 100 km (40-60
miles) in 90 degree weather. This sounded reasonable as I had been
doing training rides of 40km in 60 degree temps, so doubling the mileage
was doable, though the heat would be a bit much.
But little did I know..
Click on the thumbnails to see a large image
|We started from the Batam
View Beach Resort and rode through crowded roads for 25 miles.
Then we turned down a deserted 4 lane road, and crossed over this gorgeous
bridge, similar to the one being built in Boston for the Big Dig.
Note that we rode on the left (British) side.
|Here is Bob and Katrina on the bridge. What a couple of tri-atheletes! There were 5 more bridges on the road, though the rest were more conventional. The roads were almost deserted, with about one car passing us every mile. With no cross streets, we used our brakes about twice in 40 miles. My rear-view mirror was definately not needed.|
|We rode for several hours down the end of Kelong Road. You can see the jungle, ocean, and islands of Indonesia in the background. Katrina, a teacher in Singapore (between me and Bob) pulled me along when I burned out in the end. Turns out Kelong Road was 40 miles long, so the ride was a total of 70+100 km, or 110 miles! I gave up after 68 miles and took a taxi back to the hotel.|
|Here is Katrina, Tamsin, and me with a bad case of sweatband hair.
The road was hilly, and cut through the jungle. Anywhere the vegetation
was slashed, there was lots of erosion.
It was almost spooky to ride for miles without using the brakes. There were no side roads, almost no houses, and no traffic to speak of. Just nice rolling hills, high heat, and humidity.
|At the end of Kelong Road is a "restaurant" on this pier. Bob
picked a few fresh fish and squid out of a box and we had them cooked with
chili peppers for lunch.
We were the only people there for lunch. It is deserted most of the week, except for Sunday, the only day off for the locals.
|The fish were on ice, but not the drinks. We all downed several
liters to replenish after the ride.
(On the way back to Boston I bought "The Restaurant at the End of the Universe" which reminded me a little of this place, at the end of the line.)
|With a little food inside, we all felt much better. Turns out we all had Carnac shoes, but I was the only one foolish enough to wear sleeves in the broiling heat.|
|Tamsin is a great all-around athlete, able to ride in a flat-back aero postion on the bike, and then support exhausted cyclists after lunch!|
|If the taxi back to the resort didn't show up, there was always a boat...
Bob and the ladies rode the 40 miles back, into a headwind while I hobbled around the hotel. Afterwards we all had some great massages. Did you know that "Shiatsu" is Japanese for "Please beat the stuffing out of me."
Later the next week I also went for a ride in Singapore with Bob. We left the Ritz Carlton at 6:30am and rode to Sentosa Island, an amusement park near downtown. I was very worried about this ride as I was scheduled to give a VERA presentation later that day, and had crashed twice before when riding before an internal presentation. In spite of hitting a storm grate, ripping my tire on a big chunk of glass (rear tire, of course) and cruising through the "canyons" of downtown Singapore, surrounded by taxis and skyscrapers, there was no crash.
Last updated 1/16/02