Word of Batata 2 seems to have been very grass roots, a Google image search right now fetched up pictures of potatoes not bikes. As luck would have it, Deus family member Anom, was plugged in and bought word back just a week prior to the event. Batata 2 is an Enduro / Adventure run of some 100 km’s. For something with so little digital footprint, it lured an amazing 3000 Indonesians from all over to Tanah Lot Bali.
Eight of us went in. We were riding a hodgepodge of bikes. A Deus customized KLX with alloy Dakar homage tank, a couple of Bali Dogs with knobby tires. A little Yamaha's DT, Honda GL 100, a back street modified Suzuki GSX 150, a bog standard KLX 150 and David’s new toy, the only real enduro bike of the bunch, a Suzuki TS 125. We met at the Deus Temple at six early and once all amassed, rode out, pack like, towards Tanah Lot. As we rode more and more bikes joined the pageant until arriving at Tanah Lot we were literally in a slow moving queue that funneled us in and straight out the other side and before any off us knew what was going on, we had started.
The first section was slow going due to the congestion. We were on one of the little service paths that are crammed between rice paddies. It’s here the 3000 rode. This was never designed to take 30 let alone the swarm that were upon it now. Looking forward or over ones should and back all you could see was bike traffic denser that Kuta at peak hour. Look out to the sides and your presented with Balinese vista’s of beauty. This was a situation that repeated itself through out the day.
It was all going along swimmingly until it came to a grinding halt. The track had liquefied, totally disintegrated into mud. A couple of thousand riders in front of us had made syrup of it. Jungle on one side and tiered rice paddies rising from the road on the right made sure we couldn’t skirt it. Slowly the riders around us crept forward. Our time came to openly thrash and walk the bikes through this mud pie taking with it the first two casualties. A clutch on the Deus KLX and one of the Bali Dog’s had it’s electrics die, then to add injury to insult, there was the stripping of it’s kick start arm. We mended as best we could and moved slowly ahead.
Hill climb was the next obstacle. A little hill sleek with mud and heavily rutted from traffic gave us occasion to bounce about as we full throttled first up and along. The locals from the area had gathered along either side and cheered, laughed and sighed as one at a time the rag tag hoard of MX’s threw themselves at it. Young entrepreneurs were about selling bottled water. Mothers sat with sons and daughters.
We moved off and in. The ricefields were giving way to more and more jungle. Up we went, first gear burning out. Riding along ridge tops, virgin jungle splayed out either side. Down we slid the other side a wash out. We came back into the low lands, crossed through a river just above a dam and once again motored away into a zigzag trip through way too many rice fields. Track had lost it’s meaning, they were now all mud baths. On we rode getting closer and closer to the coast until finally we were there.
The beach was a breath of fresh air. We ride sand. We know it. Opening the bikes up we flew along the high water mark heading southward. Inland for a little way around a headland before coming back to the sand for another play. We did this five or six times until a beach ended in a stack of boulders formed something that can be construed for a lot of things, though hardly the way out. So mustering last strengths of bodies and bikes, first gear selected we hit it at hi-revs and skeeted into, up and finally over.
One last black sand beach, out and up some road, into the rice fields and then we were back where we started. Late afternoon. Ten hours of bouncing about. Finished. Fatigued. Frichen awesome.
Something tells me this wont be the last time the Deus Bali Scramblers go dirt. You coming next time?