Well, I did say before we left on our latest trip to Bali that this time we would do a bike ride while in Ubud…
Of course I was picturing a leisurely cycle through the rice paddies…..
What I got was an off road quad biking adventure.
Nothing like disturbing the peaceful, fresh mountain air tranquility of the Balinese countryside with petrol fumes and revving engines!
Having said that – it can be a fun way to get around the back-tracks and see the locals at work in the fields, the kids on their way to school, the other quad bike groups running up the back of each other while trying to film everything on their smart-phones… (TIP..driving and filming at the same time…not recommended!)
There are several companies offering Quad Bike adventures from Ubud, so it’s handy to know a few things first.
1. Never pay the advertised price – you should be able to get a least half off – $35US a person is what we paid for about 3 and a half hours (two on the bikes plus a coffee plantation tour) – the advertised price was $70 per person – will generally be cheaper to book off the street – but research your preferred company and tour first.
2. Unless you are really comfortable with driving a manual – make sure they have automatics. remember it’s a third world country so maintenance is not necessarily first world standards – the gears and clutch can be pretty touchy and you are often only just above idling speed. Hill starts might require pushing from behind!
3. Where closed shoes and clothing that is not too loose (ie no scarves etc)
4. Make sure they include safety gear (helmets, knee pads, elbow pads)
5. Have a go on a practice track or similar before setting out – to familiarise yourself with a bike.
6. If in doubt go tandem with a guide – or someone who can ride.
7. Have fun!
Some of the companies offering quad bike tours – many of these offer other adventure experiences such as eco-cycling, tubing, white water rafting.
Bali Intaran Tours http://www.baliintaran.com
Best Bali Tours http://www.bestbalitours.com/quadbikesbali.html
Bali Paddy Adventure http://www.paddyadventurebali.com