Challenging Pusuk Pass Route
If you are a cyclist and you don’t want to miss a day without cycling while you are in Lombok, you don’t need to worry. Lombok offers many great routes for road bikers and challenging tracks for MTB riders as well. There are also many cycling clubs that do both road and mountain biking. So, you have lots of friends in Lombok.
For the road riders, the most popular routes are the one that goes from Mataram to Senggigi then to Malimbu. The second popular route, but much harder, is the one that goes from Mataram to Pusuk Pass. For a more challenging route, you can take either route and then continue with the next one.
This week I tried the Mataram – Pusuk – Tanjung route round trip, joining with the more experienced and skilled riders from the Lombok Bikecycle Club (LBC) whose members include the Governor of West Nusa Tenggara province Dr Zainul Majdi and the chairman of West Nusa Tenggara sports committee, Mr. Andy Hadianto.
We leaved Mataram at about 6.30 from, going north easily at an average speed of 25 km per hour until me passed Gunung Sari area. From here on the road was ascending gradually with difficult curves and climbs making it very hard to travel at a high speed. Actually, I traveled at about 10 km per hour or less. Even I made some stops when my leg muscles started to plea for a break. The main group who were more experienced and skillful leaved me at this point. No hard feeling. They deserved the speed and I needed some breaks.
After struggling for an hour, I managed to arrive at Pusuk Pass, fortunately the main group were patient enough to wait for me at a hut at the top of the pass cooling themselves with some cold drinks. And, as always, after taking some group photos, we continued our trip to Tanjung.
The trip from Pusuk Pass to Tanjung was the reward for our struggle climbing the road to Pusuk Pass as the road from here was just descending. You just let your bike roll at above 40 km per hour and enjoy the forest scenery. But they road was so busy with cars and motorcycles that you need to slow down your bike. It took only about 30 minutes to arrive at Tanjung, the capital North Lombok district. Total distance from Mataram to Tanjung was 35 km and it was taken in about two hours.
The trip back was the real challenge. After having a breakfast and as the temperature became hotter; and the traffic became busier, and you became too tired, you had to ride back to Mataram. That what happened to me. When it took two hours for the outgoing trip, it took 3.5 hours on the return trip. Some bikers took the Malimbu – Senggigi route on their way back to Mataram. It was a less challenging route with less climbs, but it was a hotter route as you rode on an open road with less trees along it.
So, in total I rode for about 5.5 hours round trip for 70 km distance. I was very tired. But I enjoyed very much.
So, next time you visit Lombok and want to ride on a road bike, just find out local bike clubs on the Facebook and make an appointment. You can rent or borrow a bike as well. Because in Lombok we have a motto: One Bike, a Million Friends. (LI/KM)
Bikes: Polygone, Orbea BMC, Trek