Cycling can be a great way to explore Indonesia. It is a tremendous way to tour the countryside at a controlled pace. The people that you meet along the way will make your trip even more memorable.
Biking has always been popular with tourists on Bali. Unfortunately, most roads are too narrow for bikers and cars, so take a bike ride at your own risk if you can’t find designated trails and paths. For a special bike ride, visit the Ubud area to recreate Julia Roberts’ cycling scene in Eat, Pray, Love. The Bukit Campuhan area has a walking and biking path along the hill. It offers a peaceful ride through the grass and trees.
In Yogyakarta and many parts of Java, bicycles have always been common among the locals. Today, bikers are coming out in droves in Jakarta. Last June and July, cycling in the city increased by 500 percent. In high-volume travel areas, bike traffic increased by 1,000 percent.
The city is attempting to shift away from its car-oriented transportation system. It is improving connectivity between five intercity train stations to metro and Transjakarta stations, with 44 more stations to follow. It’s also improving pedestrian access to the terminals. For these efforts and others, Jakarta earned the Sustainability Transport Award for 2021.
Investments in the walking environment have resulted in 205 kilometers of new sidewalks for pedestrians. A bike-sharing system with 120 bikes and six stations has become popular. Parking was built at some transit stations, and a 63 km bicycle lane was established. The city is planning a 500-kilometer cycling network. A 200 km long protected bicycle lane is currently being developed.
“The public enthusiasm for cycling in Jakarta should be a wake-up call for municipal governments everywhere that just building for cars is no longer good enough,” says Heather Thompson, ITDP CEO. “Whether it’s a pandemic, a climate-change related weather event, or an air quality crisis, Jakarta’s success shows us the value of having all options for transit available to keep the city moving.”
Be prepared. The heat, humidity and frequent rainstorms in Indonesia can be a challenge. As you gain just a little elevation, the temperatures begin to drop. If you get high enough on the islands, it can actually get cold.
“My advice is to stick to designated bike paths,” said Gary Chandler, author of the Language and Travel Guide To Indonesia. “Cars and trucks frequently bump into each other on the narrow roads. A bicycle doesn’t stand a chance.”
Indonesia is the fourth-largest nation in the world with more than 267 million people. The country has more than 17,500 islands, including Bali, Borneo, Java, Lombok, Sumatra and Sulawesi.