TRIPS MANAGER Ė COLIN FREESTONE

I grew up on Sydneyís Maroubra beach in the 40 - 60s, where I developed a deep love of the water and the sea. I was a member of the local Surf Life Saving Club and did beach patrols on weekends. I body surfed, caught waves on a Malibu, paddled a ski and rowed in the surf club boat. In those days Maroubra was reputed to have the biggest and roughest waves of all Sydneyís many beaches.In the early 60sI started practicing Yoga in secret because in those years only weirdos had anything to do with strange mystical traditions from the Orient I developed a high level of abdominal flexibility and used to perform 'belly dances' at after game rugby functions. I still practice these asanas and teach the rudiments of them on the cycle trips. Currently I am a student teacher of Iyenger Yoga.

Iím now 72. Iíve retained my love of the sea and swim year round on Sydneyís northern beaches.


I graduated in Commerce from the University of NSW in 1965. At school and university I played Rugby and toured New Zealand with Australian universities. I was a volunteer teacher in Malaysia (1966 - 1967) with Australian Volunteers Abroad. It was there that I became attracted to the Malay - Indonesian culture and language. Iíve taught at various Australian universities (1975 - 1993), have written several textbooks on South East Asia and over a 40 year period Iíve organized more than 48 group tours to Indonesia. Apart from the cycle groups I've organized field placementts for teachers, nurses and social workers.


Sensing a need for better understanding between Australia and Indonesia in 1994 I set up Indonesian Cultural Communications, an educational management business that provides consultancy services to the Indonesian government. We still have an office in Jakarta.


Iím a NAATI accredited (highest level) Indonesian language interpreter and translator. I donít own a car so cycle most everywhere, including Jakarta at peak hours. My love of cycling, yoga and swimming is matched by a 50 year interest in Indonesian culture. Iím married to Tjut Hadisah Freestone (originally from Aceh, Sumatra) with two grown up children (Rendra and Chairani). Through these trips I hope to link up with different types of people and share with them my passions for cycling, yoga, the outdoors and Indonesian culture and language.


These trips are not money making ventures. Theyíre opportunities to do what I love doing and to share it with others. But having said that at the end of the day I do need to be able to balance the books.


The idea of leading cycle tours to Sulawesi began in 2000 when my son Rendra and I, on mini wheel Bromptons, took the shortest route northwards from Makassar to Toraja Land. In August 2006 we took a longer and far more scenic circular route all around South Sulawesi on Bike Fridays. In January 2009 we led an outrageous 27 day 1200 km tour through South Sulawesi. Inspired by the fun and success of that trip, since then Iíve organized 21 more trips in Central and North Sulawesi, Bali and Flores. Sumba is on the drawing board.


These 22 trips have allowed me to develop approaches and modus operandi that seem to work for the riders who participate in these East Indonesian cycle adventure tours. While ? riders have taken one of these trips ? have signed up for more than one trip.


Iím as keen as I was when I first started these tours. I love the feeling of getting fitter as I prepare myself for a trip. I love working with participants in their preparations for a trip. I love the camaraderie of the group and bonhomie with the locals we meet along the way, the physical challenge (and reaching the top) of the ascents and the buzz of the descents on the other side, yarning with the locals we meet along the way, the simple uncomplicated wholesome food and problem solving the unexpected.


Feel free to email me at colinsfreestone@gmail.com






© Cycle Indonesia 2016.