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With reasonable fitness, a bit of preparation and a ton of common sense, a cyclist will enjoy an incomparable travel experience almost anywhere in the archipelago. The well-maintained roads of Bali, Lombok, East Java and South Sulawesi are suitable for cyclists of all ability levels, while the adventurous can head for the hills along the length of Sumatra or Nusa Tenggara. Practical tips:

  • Rest during the hottest hours of the day to avoid the tropical heat.
  • Avoid most traffic problems by keeping to back roads or even jumping on a truck or bus to cover dangerous sections.
  • Expect to be a constant focus of attention.
  • You can rent bikes fairly easily in tourist centres; just ask at your accommodation. Rates range from 30,000Rp and up per day.
  • Many tourist areas, particularly Bali, Lombok and Yogyakarta, offer organised, vehicle-supported bicycle tours.
  • At major sights you can usually find a parking attendant to keep an eye on your bicycle for 5000Rp.

Cycling is gaining popularity among Indonesians, and bicycle clubs will be delighted to aid a foreign guest. Bike to Work (www.b2w-indonesia.or.id) has an extensive national network.