Eyelids were heavy and bodies moved in rote. No one was doing anything fast. Some questioned whether riding from the safety of Canggu into the back blocks of Bali was even a good idea after a massive night of music and mayhem the night before.
People come to Bali and see the bucket list of brochure items. Never ones for the norm, today we were plotting a course that would take our family and friends out of that cozy place.
But forty strong did finally wheel out of the carpark, albeit roughly forty minutes after the appointed time, we throttled up the road as a pack and set off, and the great thing about it, for most people, we were heading for parts unknown.
Today also happened to be Saraswati day, the Balinese festival for Knowledge, a certain irony may have been missed by most as we took our clan of countable through small villages where the locals were setting about with offerings and ceremony. We didn’t loiter slowly riding through. Our route took us up the side of the second largest mountain in Bali, Mount Batukaru. We literally went as high as the road went before it doubled back on itself and we fell back down the lush green sparsely populated valley.
A tricky right, perhaps taken at speed with a gap in the pack and an error of judgment, saw us lose a chunk of the party. But you know when things are meant to be, a flat tire up the hill and a couple of riders doing a backtrack, somehow we managed to pick up all of the delinquent riders and put them on the good path to lunch.
We stopped in the mountains overlooking the hills and the northern coastline. We dined with a spectacular view as entrée. We slowed down. People moved freely in the massive open-air restaurant perched on a hill.
The road home was a bit of a splinter. But that made it simpler. Some wanted to go fast and the others wanted to enjoy the visual offerings. We broke into about four smaller groups and made our way back over the mountain range and across the rice fields home.
This may not be what Slidetoberfest should be or was, but I got to tell you. It ain’t half bad.
We'd be remiss if we didn't thank the Bengkel Boys for getting us on the road and keeping us there throughout the day.
Images by Phoenix Naman and Harry Mark