If you think that this is a story of #solitude, you are mistaken.This is the story of our epic #bikepacking ride to Solo from Jakarta.
8 riders. 5 days. 660 km. 8.000 meters elevation gain.
The road less traveled was made of tarmac, gravel, dirt, mud, and rocks. These are the roads you need to explore to conquer the toughest mountains in Java, Indonesia.
DAY 01: JAKARTA – SUBANG
The first-day-excitement! We started the journey on a planned 220+ km flat route from Cyclo Coffee Jakarta. The sun appeared to show its excitement as well and turn the day into a blistering, long hot day in along an industrious route filled with cars and trucks.
After a 2-hour refreshment break at the 100 km mark, the journey continues through dirt roads for more than 30 km. Only realizing how challenging that was, we made adjustments to the planned 220+ KMs route.
The team contemplating as they are taking the right route or not
We had multiple stops to stretch our legs, shake out tired hands, and repair several lovely tires. Let’s just say, inner-tire problems were an integral part of the day. (Good practice folks!)
Me showing the boys my tube changing skills
Despite the challenge, the view becomes an antidote for our tired hands and legs. By the end of the day, no regrets on choosing this route. First destination Subang was reached at 5 pm. We spent the night and recharged ourselves. Our journey has just begun.
DAY 02: SUBANG – KUNINGAN
Good weather with a clear sky, and a grueling first day of real climbing.
Here is a sneak peek for the day’s 140 km route with 1.500 meters of elevation gain.
The views we saw on our second day made all the climbing worth it.
Farm fields, teak forests, and... wait for it….no cars at all.
Our decision to shorten the route on the first day was a good call. We would have missed these views in the night and no street lights meant that we would have been riding in pitch-black darkness.
Side wind, headwind, and some good climbing accompanied us throughout day 2.
Mt. Cereme watching over us, as we struggle with its epic long climbs. A perfect sunset shot at the opening of a climb to call it a day for us.
DAY 3: KUNINGAN – PURWOKERTO
The longest distance in the menu; rolling hills as side dishes.
Yesterday, Mt. Cereme gave us her worst. Today, she was kind to us and bestowed what every climb can give: good long downhills (until it started rolling of course).
Lunch is always served hot by the small canteen on the side streets to fill in our empty stomach and legs.
Unprocessed #outsideisfree moment as we took a small break on the breath-taking view.
Truck vs cyclist has taken its small casualty as Rihan and Rayza hit the deck, with great luck they escaped with minor injuries and minor mechanical problems.
Arrived safely at Purwokerto at around 8 PM we hit the famous Ayam Goreng Sae Niki nearby Alun-Alun Purwokerto to call it a day.
DAY 4: PURWOKERTO – TEMANGGUNG
3 days down, 2 more to go. As this map shows, the worst climbs are far from over for us.
As the riding distance gets shorter, elevation gains get higher. In short, you never win. We start our day pretty easy, cruising through the road before we started the climbs.
Just before the climbs, we followed our mandatory rule for lunch. Lunch is imperative. So we filled our stomach at the local canteen.
Slightly behind schedule, we pushed (climbed) our way through and finally made it to Wonosobo where we stopped by at a coffee shop at Consina Wonosobo. The sun began to set as we go towards with more climbs to pass Mt. Sindoro & Mt. Sumbing. We finished up the day on the descend to Temanggung.
As the sun goes down, thick fog started to accumulate, and the temperature started to drop. Our ride became more dangerous and unpredictable.
Stopped at a small restaurant not far from this picture. We had our hot drinks, filled our stomach, layered up, and adjusted our gears to descend into a thick fog where visibility was only 2 bikes ahead (no pictures here as we can’t use the camera to see and focus on anything).
Finally, a good friend’s epic mansion (mas Diqi) became our shelter or the day.
DAY 5: TEMANGGUNG – SOLO
We cannot thank mas Diqi enough as we may have abused Mas Diqi’s hospitality while we rested at his place, destroyed his living room, and messed up his schedules.
After final preps of our bikes and gears, breakfast, coffee-- off we go!
The final day awaits, as we went to the most challenging route of the trip: to pass two mountains with 2000 m elevation gain and 107Km to go.
Check out this beautiful elevation profile by Veloviewer.
The route turned out to be a path less-traveled with many climbs, adding more smiles on our face (or not). Like they say, more smiles more miles. (or not). However, we never regretted the path we took, and there are million unexplained reasons why. These few pictures can probably explain better than my words…
Several stops were made to ensure our heart doesn’t explode to the stress of climbing and to do some repairing action, where usually one person is busy fixing his bike while the rest laugh and giving only the wrong tips.
Finally, we arrived at Ketep Pass, the highest point of today’s route. Unfortunately, the sky was a bit cloudy so both mountains peak was not clearly seen in this picture.
But, this is not the end of it, still, some climbs ahead to pass between those mountains. Of course, while passing the valley, we did what any cyclist would do….
A quick Wefie of the group!
21 August 2018, 8 PM, We reached Solo and to end our trip we took the last photo of the crew with everyone giving their best smile of happiness (or pain)
We've recorded all of our ride at Strava, check out these links should you want to explore the route yourself:
Day 1 | JAKARTA – SUBANG
Day 2 | SUBANG – KUNINGAN
Day 3 | KUNINGAN – PURWOKERTO
Day 4 | PURWOKERTO – TEMANGGUNG
Day 5 | TEMANGGUNG – SOLO
- An adventure bikes
- Several frame bags and rain jacket
- Lots of snacks (and cash to buy more food)
- Tubes, pumps, and tools
- One pair of bibs and jersey from Temple Project (yes only one!)
- Good pairs of legs, friends, and packed a bunch of jokes and a great attitude.
That's it for our 2018 adventure ride, stay tuned for our next #bikepacking adventure, until then #lookprogoslow!
Willing to know more about arranging your own #bikeadventure ride? Feel free to contact Riefa, as he will guide you how to prepare your mental, physics and logistics for the ride