Rancabali Outback Exploring, Part 1

Rancabali Outback Exploring, Part 1

Could there awe-inspiring, unexplored routes left around Bandung?

The city has, indeed, plenty to offer. Gambung Loop is, arguably, the most popular one; so is roadie-friendly Wayang-Windu route. Cisanti Loop has also been my personal favorite. For shorter, sub-fondo routes, Eurad Pass seemed to be local cyclists’ favorite, while Sukawana Tea Plantation has become my personal preference recently. Yet even their magical charm faded, bit by bit, the more we rode them, over and over again…

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Through Ancient Caldera: Eurad Extended Ride

Through Ancient Caldera: Eurad Extended Ride

“Shall we extend the ride?”

It was Rizky Subangkit who asked us, one by one. We were riding through the rural road at casual pace by then, still thinking we were going back home before midday.

Casual, after all, was how it all began. Our plan was to ride to the top of Eurad Pass, enjoy the brunch and hang out, then descend back to the city—a morning picnic. That was why I only filled one bidon, and donned simple cargo short instead of a cargo bib. And we did stick to the plan early in the morning; taking the ride easy along Cijengkol, and heading further to the north, as the layer of clouds began crumbling in the sky… until he asked us.

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2022 Bandung Outback: A Journal

2022 Bandung Outback: A Journal

“I might’ve started the day with the wrong foot, but it shouldn’t ruin the whole ride,” I told myself.

There I was, standing in the middle of hilly banana plantation in West Cipada, immersing myself in the view of Mt. Burangrang to the east, and glimpse of infamous Gede-Pangrango twin volcanoes to the west, feeling small and free at the same time. The air was cool, and the sky was cloudy, with a dash of gentle morning sun. After a hard struggle caused by my own foolishness, I could finally take a deliberate deep breath, and put myself at ease.

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Cisanti – Kertamanah: A Ride of Remembrance

Cisanti – Kertamanah: A Ride of Remembrance

Why do we ride?

It was early morning in the middle of March—a month after my own birthday, and a day after Surely’s own first one. The sky was painted in thick, moody haze; I was riding across southern Bandung’s vast ricefield, and the road seemed to lead nowhere but empty white space. Yet, I knew exactly where I was going.

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Bandung All Terrain Challenge 2020: Another Lesson on Gravel Endurance Ride

Bandung All Terrain Challenge 2020: Another Lesson on Gravel Endurance Ride

“See? We meet again.”

@asep_hadian’s words were as daunting as classic movie’s bad guy’s, when he passed me by on Pacet climb, km 56 of the ride. Held by @audaxrandonesia and @dirtxclouds, the 200k 2020 Bandung All Terrain Challenge started from @bikesystem.id and began with flattish, uneventful ride to Ciparay, the first checkpoint, at km 49. Starting at 5.00 a.m., I was one among the firsts to arrive. There was confusion among participants about the exact checkpoint location, until @storyonsaddle showed up carrying the barcode to scan. He reminded me not to stop too long, but I took my time regardless—snacking and drinking, while watching others passed me by.

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Kamojang Pass: A Ride of Nostalgia

Kamojang Pass: A Ride of Nostalgia

Kamojang Pass has been calling for a while, and I must finally go.

It began as a whisper; seeing @bayuwhy on the first day of Palintang Pass Double Weekend Ride brought back the memory of him taking me to the arduous climb of the pass. I promised myself to return to Kamojang Pass since then, but it had remained a mere wish; that was, until flurry of follow-up calls came one after another: @dwisl’s ride photos, @fixedonyourflow’s (cancelled) endurance ride plan, and @hndrsyam’s ride log—as if Kamojang Pass was reminding me of the promise I had made.

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Cisanti Loop - A Sunday Gravel Fest

Cisanti Loop – A Sunday Gravel Fest

It’s been a while since last time I had such a fun ride.

Sunday, August 2nd of 2020, 5.45 a.m., four cyclists who had never ridden together—or even didn’t know each other before—gathered in Alfamart in Gedebage. It all started with a direct message from @xtoredy asking me to ride with him while he was in Bandung. Once the plan was set, he invited his friend @anggawis to join the ride; likewise, I invited fellow Bandung cyclist @derryfa to join, too. So there we were, four cyclists who had never ridden together, brought together for a Sunday gravel fest.

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Batujajar Bunker Excursion Ride

Batujajar Bunker Excursion Ride

There it was: another hidden gem of Bandung Barat.

I saw it on @fahmyrhamadan’s Instagram Stories for the first time: Gravel road across vast ricefield, grassy meadow next to a beautiful lake view, under gentle sunrise’s warmth—it seemed like a promising cycling playground. Even better, it wasn’t particularly far from home; located next to Saguling dam, it doesn’t involve any steep or prolonged climb, too. I wondered if riding there would be as delightful as it seemed…

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2020 Post-Ramadan Warm-up Ride: Eurad Pass

2020 Post-Ramadan Warm-up Ride: Eurad Pass

Let me start with an honest confession: an epic gravel adventure was what I was longing for.

After only doing easy city strolls during Ramadan month, however, I reckon it’d be wiser for me to go on a warm-up ride instead—something harder than mere city rides, yet isn’t as demanding as long gravel trip. Palintang Pass is normally my go-to choice; after recent repeated trips there, though, I decided to ride another nearby mountain pass: The Eurad Pass.

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Saguling Loop: 2020 February Century Ride

Saguling Loop: 2020 February Century Ride

Is Saguling Loop a great cycling route?

I’ve been wondering about it myself—the route has been sitting on my ride plan list for the past few years. Unlike my usual preference, it doesn’t involve a mountain pass. With total elevation gain of almost 1400 m, however, it was comparable to my previous mountain pass century rides, thanks to its pronounced hilly terrain alone. Somehow, it has always fallen out of my personal favor—that is, until fellow cyclists @storyonsaddle and @foldinggram actually rode it, and inspired me to take it for my birthday solo ride.

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