Hi there fellow BF riders and owners! 

Last January I ran a 27 day 1200 km tour to the spidery shaped Indonesian island of Sulawesi. On that trip, there were 10 BF cyclists. Inspired by the enthusiastic responses of riders to the trip I’ve planned two more for 2009, each to different parts of the island, each with different focus.

I began planning cycle trips to Sulawesi back in 1996 when I visited Indonesia’s spice capital, Makassar, largest city on the island.
I travelled down to the southern coast past the home of Indonesia’s wooden sailing boats and on to the white sand beaches at Cape Bira. I was struck by the beauty of the agricultural and coastal landscapes, the timeless villages, the quiet country roads, the unconjested towns and a distinct lack of commercialism. I thought this’d be a great place to cycle around.

In 2000 Rendra (son) and I did just that. We took Bromptons and soon found that as good a folder as the Brompton is, it is not up to mountains and long distance touring. Luckily I met Roger Covell, an Australian BF owner. This led me to Margaret Day then David and Bronwyn Laing who allowed me to try, in January 2001, a New World Tourist. By February I was the proud owner of a brand new yellow NWT. To get up to BF speed I attended a Margaret Day Australian BF gathering in the Barossa Valley.

In 2005 I traded my aging NWT for a new red one, while attending, with daughter. Pactour’s Arizona Desert Camp. The camp was a knockout. Held in the clean, clear, cool air of a mountain desert, there were well planned trips, good talks and a supportive community of people. Fondness for my decision to buy a BF and become part of the BF community grow rapidly during that week in Arizona...and continues to grow.

I don’t drive, due to an eye condition, so my NWT is both functional and recreational. I take it just about everywhere. Desert Camp inspired me to get serious about organizing a trip to Sulawesi for other cyclists.

In August 2006 son and I returned to the island to explore the feasibility of taking a group there. We were thrilled with what we found. Every day brought surprises and delights. Most visitors to South Sulawesi fly into Makassar in the southwest and then take the road north to Tana Toraja, in the middle of the island. On our first trip we too took that route. On our second trip we took a circular route: went south to the bottom of the island, turned east, north up the east coast and then westwards back inland to the mountains of mystical Tana Toraja.

On the return to Makassar we cut down the middle of the island thus avoiding the the busy roads that most people take. On this trip we had the needs of a group in mind. Accommodation? Food? The culture? What to do apart from cycling? Traffic? The roads? The people? The toilets? Could every day be a good one? We discovered a terrific range of ever changing scenery, mostly uncrowded sealed roads, cycle respectful drivers, warm hospitable people, very friendly towards foreigners. We got to really like the custom of villagers selling fruits in season from roadside stalls, where tired, thirsty and hungry cyclists can lie down, rest and enjoy mango, watermelon, rambutan or durian.

I want to share, through cycling, my love, knowledge and experience of Indonesian life and culture. I are bilingual and bicultural. I’ve had over 40 years of work, family and recreational association with Indonesia. I’ve lived and worked in Central Java, Jakarta and Sulawesi as well as having worked as a volunteer teacher in Malaysia for two years.

During the 9 (6 cycle) days of this trip we will circumnavigate the southern part of the province of South Sulawesi: Makassar (spice capital of Indonesia) Malino (1500m above sea level, waterfalls and tea plantations), Sinjai (east coast), Tana Beru (home of Indonesia’s sailing boast building), Cape Bira (white sand beaches) and the horse province of Jeneponto.

The route is 500 km, average 85 km per cycle day with 4-5 days of hilly to mountainous terrain, through non-tourist Indonesia. A 6 day and daily Short Ride options are available.

Each day will include a led Yoga session and at four of the five overnight spots swimming will be available. There’s heaps more info at www.cycleindonesia.com.au Hope to see you Friday Folks along. Best wishes from Sydney.

There’s heaps more info at www.cycleindonesia.com.au

Hope to see you Friday folks along.
Best wishes from Sydney.

Colin Freestone