“Is going on a long ride, on Chinese New Year, a good idea?” my wife asked.
I had to admit she had a point. In Indonesia, Chinese New Year is identical with rain. Weather forecast predicted 80% chance of rain as early as 10 am, and 100% afterward. Despite the certainty of rain, however, I was firm with the plan of exploring new cycling route in Pangalengan—especially after my last rain ride to Palintang.
Workload, family, and health issue, among others, mean it was impossible for me to participate in #raphafestive500. Still, I feel the need to end the year with at least a century ride. A solo cycling trip to remind myself why I ride…
It started with a surprise: a direct message from the guy behind Racmmer’s official distributor here in Indonesia. Apparently he had just stumbled upon my previous review of the brand’s jersey, and decided to hand me a gift as a sign of appreciation—an offer I’m not dumb enough to turn down. I was given full freedom to choose whichever model I’d like, but he suggested me to give their newest model a try: the top-of-the-range IDR 260K / USD 19 Racmmer Elite jersey, updated with new, claimed-better, cut and fabric. With the possibility of writing another review, following his suggestion and choosing the model was a no-brainer option for me.
Disclosure: while the product reviewed here is provided by Racmmer, the content is based on my honest judgment and opinion.
Stretching 24 km in southern Bandung region, Gambung Pass doesn’t share the fame of Ciwidey and Pangalengan, the two well-known tourism destinations that it connects. Rarely taken by tourists, however, the twisty road featured beautiful forest, tea plantation, and gravel sections along the way, making it a perfect route for enthusiasts seeking pure cycling experience away from bustling city traffic.
“How hard could it be?” I wondered, as I contemplated my cycling plan to Pangandaran. Crashing waves on gentle-sloped shore, with plenty inns, hotels, and attractions around—Pangandaran bay is definitely the most famous beach in West Java, frequently visited by tourists all-year round. Just a hair over 200 km mark from Bandung, the capital city of the province, it has also become a popular cycling destination for those interested in testing their endurance for randonneuring and long-distance cyclotouring. “How hard could it be?” I wondered, as I remembered the century rides I’ve finished in the past; considering the terrain and road surface, I thought it would only be marginally harder.
It turned out, however, Bandung – Pangandaran double century cycling trip is a different kind of beast altogether…
Can I get a decent cycling helmet for around IDR 300K (USD 20)? That was the question that popped in my head when I set out to buy a replacement—the previous one I had was comfortable, but after 5 years of use, it had crumbled into an ugly blob of black polystyrene on my head. Apparently, the choice was limited to either cheap, garish multipurpose model, or famous brand’s Chinese knock-offs with doubtful quality; apparently, until I stumbled upon Polygon Speed, the road helmet from Indonesia’s most famous cycling company.
Finding a proper cycling jersey in Indonesian market was tough. There were only two basic options available on the market: either you get yourself baggy MTB jersey full of texts, logos, and colors that practically turn you into a rolling dorky banner on two wheels, or you spend a fortune for sleek, stylish jersey from established brands. I was contemplating going on the third route—the full custom-printed jersey—when I stumbled upon Racmmer, a cycling apparel brand which offered the style and elegance of the established brand’s, for fraction of the price.
As someone who rides all road, I preferred the comfort and freedom of tight-fit road short instead of the baggy MTB one, but also wanted pocket for extra space to carry things. Reading through the budding trend of gravel-specific clothing, I realized, I wasn’t alone. Yet even in developed worlds, road short with pockets is still a rarity. It was, therefore, surprising to find that in Indonesian market, one local brand—Singletrek—had been making such road short for a while.
Just recently, my cycling mitts finally crumbled after years of hard use. I was thinking about getting myself a simple Decathlon’s cycling mitts when I stumbled upon Avelio, a budding local cycling glove brand, currently running an aggressive online marketing campaign. I thought to myself, why not give them a go?
Situated in the western border of Bandung, Rajamandala Karst Complex—often known as Citatah—is arguably the most unique geological feature of Bandung. Originated as the seabed of shallow, coral reef-rich water, the region was uplifted gradually by tectonic plate movement to form lands approximately twenty seven millions years ago, far older than any other volcanic-origin geological landmarks. Unfortunately, the natural beauty and scientific treasures it contained are under threat of destruction by limestone mining operation in the region. Exploring the area, therefore, is urgent.