Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Cycle Bali Chapter Five: The Ubud Climb

Day 4 of our Bali biking adventure was perhaps the highlight of our trip in terms of riding. We were to tackle the uphill journey from Sanur to Ubud. The distance was around 21km one way. And because we were riding north, the route would be mostly uphill.

We started early at about 8am and before we knew it, we were on the road making our way towards Ubud. The most challenging portion of the route occured midway along the journey when we met a new friend (a 6km upslope). It must have been adrenaline that was kicking in that kept us pedaling. We've never seen/rode on a slope like that. It brought new meaning to the term eye opener. Our eyes were literally open!

Along the upslope, a few locals on their motorbikes tried engaging us in conversations, asking us where we were heading towards. The first time it happened, we were understandably kind of worried. I mean here we are battling the upslope and there is this guy on a motorbike, riding alongside us. Were we going to get mugged in broad daylight, at our most vulnerable or what?

Fortunately, nothing of that sort happened. The locals that rode alongside us were in fact very encouraging. When we told them that we were heading towards Ubud, they pointed at our bikes and gave a resounding thumbs up! Maybe thats where all that adrenaline came from...

We came across a few historic structures from the old Dutch regime...

The skys were not so promising as we approached Ubud though. See the cloud patterns below? the left was the direction towards Ubud. The clouds were visibly darker as we rode towards Ubud.

We decided to stop by a drinks stall midway as we monitored the weather condition. The weather forecast a thunderstorm in Ubud. The last time we were at Ubud a year ago, it was also raining. There's just something about rain, Ubud and us...

We were about 6 km away from our destination but the forming dark clouds, coupled with the weather forecast meant that there was a possibility we had to u-turn back towards Sanur.

After a short rest stop, we gave it one last shot at completing the ride to Ubud. However, after another km, we saw cars coming from Ubud wet and drenched. That was the sign to turn back.

Usually, we prefer to take different routes back during our rides. That also meant that we could get lost. And we did. So we stopped by the road, took out our map and figured we should go left towards Sanur.

100 m down, we see a sign board that says Sanur Right...

Thank goodness for the road sign. Our ride downwards was truly enjoyable. It was mostly downhill. Food for thought, maybe next time we can consider taking a cab up to Ubud and ride/roll down towards Sanur.

Came across more padi fields along the way...

Smiling for the cam...

Gwyn's bike just fell over...

Our brommies in Bali!

We came across this local. He was riding barefoot, with a huge load on his bike and handling himself well on the road. Respect!

Hasta La Vista, we will be back for you, Ubud!

To read about the rest of our Bali adventure, click here


  1. Getting lost is part of the fun! Well done Gywn and Kewin. I am very inspired by ur journey....hmmm Bali sounds like fun!

  2. Taiwoon, it is! We will definitely do it again and explore further up north beyond Ubud.

    Maybe, we shd plan for a trip or something...