Cycling around the Bali countryside is an absolute delight and with a multitude of tour companies offering specialised cycling tours all over the island, including mountain biking for those want something a little more challenging. Basically, there’s a tour to suit everyone from the youngest member of the family to the oldest, from sedate to extreme.
Unless you’re hitting the mountain slopes on a mountain bike, cycling tours usually stick to quiet country roads and pathways which means you actually get to see the real Bali away from the crowded tourist attractions. We did a downhill tour starting on the lower slopes of Mount Batur and spent a fabulous morning cycling through rice fields, delightful river valleys and quiet rural villages where locals returned every smile and wave. Our group comprised of six children between us ranging in ages from 7-12 years and all handled the ride easily with regular stops along the way to admire the scenery, touring a traditional Balinese family compound, paddling in shin deep mud alongside villagers planting rice and even getting involved in harvesting. With several guides along, our large group was able to split into smaller groups that could set their own pace.
Most tour companies have a bikes of all sizes, provide helmets, refreshments and a support vehicle following along behind just in case you run into problems. Obviously though, you should be confirming all this before you go ahead and book a tour.
If you prefer to cycle independently, you can hire bikes just about anywhere in Bali for as little as US$2 a day. Some resorts and hotels loan bikes to guests free of charge. Although I wouldn’t recommend cycling on any of Bali’s busy roadways, you only have to go back a street or two to find quiet village laneways. There are also nice wide beach paths running along the top of many of the beaches in the busy southern tourist hubs. Otherwise, organise a private car to drop you out into the countryside and explore until your heart’s content.