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Bali 144 Challenge, Bali, Indonesia

By Fransisca Harlijanto Bali 08 May 2019

Twelve Squared’s Bali 144 Challenge is the first in a series of cycling events that the apparel and accessories brand will be organising throughout Indonesia. Let them take you on the planned route for this four-member team event taking place on the 14th September 2019.

Bali 144 Challenge is a four-member team adventure event, designed to encourage a culture of helping and supporting your teammates. Teams can decide whether they wish to ride or race the route, with prizes up for grabs for those who choose to race. Those wishing not to compete can take the challenge as an opportunity to complete a stunning bucket list ride in cycling heaven with their mates (within an eight hour cut-off time) with the support of road marshals, food/drink stations, medic, support vehicles, and in the company of fellow cyclists from the region.

Starting and ending in Ubud, in the foothills of the majestic Kintamani, the 144 km (12 Squared) 2,400 meter elevation route has been painstakingly designed by experienced cyclists to take riders through some of the best – if lesser known – areas for cycling in Bali. A lot of thought and research has been put into the design of the route to ensure that the roads used are as traffic free and smooth as possible.

The 144 Challenge starts at Sens Hotel and your first left turn is just before the bustling Ubud Market, straight down south through the main drag with its quaint cafes and restaurants. The riders may find it a little cold as Ubud will be around 17 degrees in the morning but the overall temperature will be comfortable – averaging 31 at the highest and 22 at the lowest.

As you head west and pass a popular river rafting drop off point, you will be greeted with gradual climbs, lush paddy fields, villages, sleeping dogs, and Mount Batur in the distance.

After you turn right up north, you might see people showering, doing morning ‘rituals’ and washing clothes by the river. You can ‘high five’ school kids who always get excited to see so many cyclists passing through, or even witness a mapeed (ceremonial walk bringing offerings to the Gods).

Coming up towards Petang, you will head back down south for a stretch of fast downhills and rollers after turning right by Sangeh Monkey forest. Unfortunately those little critters hang out a little further into the forest so you will not get to see them. It is however worth a visit after you finish the challenge.

Some cultural things you might notice when you’re cycling across Bali are offerings left on the roads, the locals call it “Sesajen”; big temples in Kintamani, a lot of statues that represent the Gods, Deities, and animals which are sacred to the locals.

Many interesting mixes of road surfaces and rollers will keep you entertained before making your way back north to Plaga, where your eyes can enjoy marigold fields. This is where the climbs get a little steeper, around 20 km from Plaga Bridge to Pura Puncak Penulisan. You will then have a little kicker as you pass a waterfall with lots of highly dense areas to keep you cool as the day progresses.

What can you do post-ride?

If you still have the legs after the challenge, you can stumble into Ubud Market to get that one shirt you’ve always wanted, gift-shopping for your friends, try some rujak buah (fruit salad with peanut sauce), eat Babi Guling (Bali’s infamous roasted pig) and also buy a wooden ‘lolok’ bottle opener. We bet everybody will try opening a bottle with it.

About Twelve Squared

Twelve Squared is an Indonesia-based premium cycling apparel and accessories brand.

Our activities are centred around creating fun avenues for cyclists to push their limits, whether through embarking on cycling adventures over challenging terrain or distances, or exploring new ideas and concepts in the world of cycling. As the sport of cycling is constantly changing, we believe cyclists should try to stay ahead of the game by thinking outside the box, challenging existing norms, and in the process growing in depth as cyclists.

With ‘Get Out of Your Square’ as our motto, we would like to challenge cyclists in their passion of cycling and getting out of their comfort zone.

Total distance: 145.15 km
Max elevation: 1624 m
Total climbing: 2158 m
Total time: 05:44:19
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