The mountain biking in Duri may not have included as many climbs as the riding in Balikpapan – but it made up for it in mud.
I had a much easier go of it keeping up with the pack here in Duri. The ride was more cross country than climbing and better suited for a rider of my experience. That’s definitely not to say it didn’t raise it own challenges.
We biked through palm plantations, two foot deep puddles, carried our bikes over fallen trees, forged across rushing ditches and crossed dubious bridges.
Thanks to my biking hosts Brian and Brenda I got my share of Sumatran mud treatment. I figure I fell a half dozen times during our two rides. The first led by Brenda included the ditch crossing and tree scaling the second fronted by Brian included the extra deep mud hole action.
During the second ride one of my compatriots was the camp's doctor – a South African guy who sounded a lot like Eddie Izzard and had a similar sardonic sense of humor, “ Having a bit of a laydown in the mud are we Michael? Yes that can be quite therapeutic – but, I’d consider unclipping that foot from the pedal – you may be cutting off circulation there.”
Mud baths aside, I really enjoyed the jaunt through the jungles of Sumatra and am indebted to those Duri mountain bikers.