Bali by Bike – Nyepi Special
Are you looking for a cycling holiday that doesn’t cramp your relaxation style?
Pack your bags and your bike and enjoy five days of captivating cycling in Bali with UpShift Tours as we take you on a stylish ride through this magical Indonesian island. Using pedal power alone, we’ll introduce you to the traditional village life of the locals and take in the sweeping vistas of the quiet back roads.
This March, we have a cycling holiday with a difference, as we will be incorporating the Balinese New Year celebration known as ‘Nyepi’ into the trip.
Every year, Bali celebrates Nyepi, the ‘Day of Silence’ to ring in the New Year. It is a day of silence, self-reflection, fasting, and meditation for the Balinese. As such, there is to be no work, no entertainment, no travel, no anything that can interfere with this process.
The night before, however, is a completely different story, and one of the most incredible nights you could ever experience. It is the night of the Ngrupuk parade!
‘Nyepi Eve’ is when the Ngrupuk Parade happens on the streets of Bali, and ‘Ogoh-Ogoh’ are paraded to a central meeting point in each town.
We will be there to see all the action, and take in the excitement before Nyepi, the Day of Silence…
Life is always better when viewed from two wheels under your own power, and Bali is no exception.
If you’re someone who likes to experience a different country and different culture in a different way, then this trip is perfect for you. If you’re someone who hates the idea of a lazy holiday then this is the perfect alternative.
Your Bali cycling tour includes:
- 8 nights luxury accommodation
- Full ride support
- 5 days cycling
- Meals and drinks (alcohol not included)
- Airport transfers
- Nutritional products
- Professional photos and videos
- Free laundry service
- Afternoon activities including cooking class, silver making, yoga and massage
- Insider knowledge and guides to accompany you to the Ogoh-Ogoh parade for Nyepi
- Nyepi Day food and drinks
Your six-night accommodation & ride package is split over two stunning locations. The villages of Canggu and Ubud have been carefully selected to get the most scenery, best roads and serious adventure from your morning rides. Of course, being Bali, they are also home to some of the best eateries the island has on offer.
Full ride support:
Our ride support crew starts with our lead rider. This passionate Balinese rider knows the roads and traffic conditions inside out. His number one priority is your safety. He will guide you smoothly around the course and home again. We back him up with a motorbike guide up front, the driver is a cycling specialist and knows how to handle himself around a peloton. He will stop traffic to give you priority passage at intersections and communicate to and between riders. Following is a support van full of cold drinks, snacks, and spare parts as well as anything you don’t want to cycle with.
It’s like being on a professional cycling team for a week:
The van also contains your change of shoes and anything else you might want for when you slip out of the cleats to visit the temples, markets or just enjoy a coffee. Finally, you have media support, a professional sports photographer who will snap you as you go, share images, and provide footage of the day ready for you to upload to social media, along with your Strava results at the end of the day.
Our aim is to showcase the best of Bali, in different lights; scenery in the morning on stunning 3-4 hour rides, local activities in the afternoon and relaxing in the evenings with local fare and a refreshing beverage or two.
We have carefully selected a range of activities that will compliment your cultural rides, nothing too physical, we focus on culture and experience to give you ride improving yoga, silver making demonstrations, and cooking classes. We are happy to assist you in different activities if you desire, maybe something more strenuous, like a 3am hike up a volcano to view the sunrise. It is also possible to book beauty treatments, please discuss with our staff.
Our package includes everything except flights, spending money, and alcohol.
We have breakfast and lunch in the villa, meaning the food is guaranteed fresh and organic wherever possible. We can also cater to any meal requirements you may have. Dinner is at a local restaurant, giving you the chance to experience the different flavours and atmosphere of Bali’s amazing social life.
5 days cycling: Please see our itinerary below or click for printable version.
RIDE ZERO. Arrival
Cool off while we unpack and assemble your bike (if your bike is off limits, we understand, you can certainly put it together yourself or supervise our crew while you take in a welcome drink.)
We introduce you all at our first ‘Besok Meeting’ where we give you the run-down of the UpShift structure, what to expect, road conditions and any details you need for your next days ride. From there we head out for a sunset dinner and drinks in the rice fields.
Kicking back in a cool breeze is the perfect way to strip back the pressures of home life, get to know your riding buddies, and dig your toes into holiday mode. Enjoy it while you can, because after this, we get down to business.
RIDE ONE. Starting Canggu
Ease into the first day of cycling in Bali with a traditional Balinese breakfast. Then it’s a quick intro to your ride support crew for the week.
We leave at 6:30 am and cycle west, taking in the villages of the Tabanan region before heading to Tanah Lot. The day may seem short but riding in the tropics can come as a bit of a shock to the system. This is your acclimatisation day, so there are no punishing climbs on the menu just yet.
Instead, we ride a 60-kilometre loop through the green growing rice villages and take a break at the breathtaking Tanah Lot temple to take in views, a banana or two, and water.
Tanah Lot is one of the most iconic images of Bali, set on its own island the shrine was built into the rock sometime in the 16th century. This pilgrimage temple is considered a holy place and blessings take place daily, with locals fording the straight if necessary to reach the holy base.
Heading home we stop for coffee in one of Canggu’s world-class cafes to keep our riding to coffee ratio in check! By the end of the ride, any nerves or reservations you may have had initially about riding in Bali have vanished, leaving you relaxed and excited for the more serious days in the saddle ahead.
Come home and cool off with a shower and post ride massage, maybe a dip in the pool. Our complimentary 30-minute massage will release any tight spots in the comfort of your own villa room. Lunch will be served, catering to any food allergies and keeping to healthy organic ingredients.
The afternoon can then be spent keeping cool in the villa pool, or strolling through the rice fields for some photos before heading out for a private beginner yoga class, targeting the muscles that cycles use, and possibly abuse! In the evening we will gather for ‘Besok’ to break down the next days ride, answer any questions and get you excited for tomorrow. After that, we venture out for a relaxing grilled seafood dinner overlooking the pounding surf waves of Martha and the Muffins famous Echo Beach.
RIDE TWO. Canggu Loop
After breakfast we head inland banking our first 100-kilometre day, visiting the stunning Jatiluwih rice terraces.
This one is a must. No cycling holiday in Bali is complete without a ride through the Tabanan region to the world-famous Jatiluwih rice terraces. This dramatic landscape is photogenic 365 days a year, making it perfect for selfies that cause jealousy back home. The breathtaking ride to the summit includes 600 metres of climbing and plenty of opportunities to pocket Strava segments on this little-used road.
Leaving at dawn, the kilometres tick by unnoticed as you’re bathed in the soft air and warm glow of sunrise in paradise. With ‘only’ 600 metres of climbing, the ascent to the rice terraces is gentle for the most part.
In the closing stages the incline increases leaving those quads feeling the burn. Shortly before the summit, there is a lookout that offers a welcome respite from the climbing, and panoramic views of the surrounding rice terrace covered mountains. From there, it is only three kilometres to the summit.
At the top, Billy’s Terrace Café is the perfect spot for a refreshing juice and a snack, as the open-air dining area gives you an elevated view of the whole region. After cooling off, take a walk around the summit and take in the vastness of this incredible destination.
What goes up must come down, so after pausing to take in the stunning vistas you’ll descend all the way back to Canggu for more coffee, passing through rice fields unseen by the tour buses. We like to take the road less travelled.
Once home, you will again have time for a swim and shower before our masseuse arrives to massage away the climb. After lunch, you can choose to relax in the villa or have our driver take you into Seminyak for an afternoon of leisure. Haggle for a bargain, get some souvenirs, enjoy an $8 hour-long full body massage, or chill with a cold drink and watch the world go by. For the best coffee in Bali, make sure you check out Revolver Espresso.
For dinner, we head to El Passo to watch the sun go down over the rice fields.
RIDE THREE. Leaving Canggu
Early in the morning we go inland again, this time to see the lake and temple at the Pura Ulun Danu Bratan before turning east to Ubud and our new villa.
To get there, you’ll climb 1400 metres in approximately 50 kilometres, with the roads steadily heading upwards almost from our Canggu front door. This ride has us on some of the smoothest roads in Bali. At times, it’s like being on a magic carpet. On the climb, we also have an opportunity to take in views of some of the most impressive volcanoes in the region; Batur, Kintamani, and Agung.
For those with strong legs or ahead of the pack, you can climb a further ten kilometres with motorbike support to a forested area for additional Strava segments and glimpses of playful monkeys. Rolling back down the hill you can join the rest of the group and swap your cleats for shoes and visit the beautiful temple on the lake where you may be lucky enough to witness a Balinese ceremony taking place.
You’ll almost fly off the mountain, descending at speeds of 80km/h at times, and then jump straight into the pool while lunch is prepared.
While you’re out riding, our driver collects your bags and takes them to the villa in Ubud.
Of course, we haven’t forgotten your 30-minute in-house massage while lunch is prepared. After lunch, we will visit a Luwak coffee plantation and the sacred Monkey Forest, a cool and beautiful ancient forest grove where you have the option to feed the monkeys. All you do is hold the banana, and the monkey will climb up your leg, sit on your shoulder, peel the banana, and have a snack!
Then it’s time for the Besok meeting and dinner at Putus Wild Ginger.
RIDE FOUR. Rest Day
After a small sleep in, we will take a gentle spin to Tirta Empul, the most important and most holy water temple in all of Bali. Here you can purify yourself in the traditional Balinese way by slipping into the icy cold waters and bowing under the one or all of the 11 water spouts that flow into the pool. We have special early morning access, so this can be done in peace, without huge crowds that are seen here throughout the day. On the loop back we pass the ruins of Gunung Kawi where you are welcome to go for a wander (there are steps to get to the valley, a lot of them).
From Tirta Empul we will be home before lunch and still fresh, so for those who are adventurous, this is your day. Everything in Bali is possible, so you’re welcome to hire a scooter and go exploring solo or arrange an extra activity through us. We can help you with moto hire but it is recommended you have an international drivers licence on hand.
For the non- adrenalin junkies we head to a traditional Balinese kitchen to learn the art of Balinese cooking. Everything is created from scratch, step by step, and you’ll have recipes to keep and recreate true Bali cuisine at home.
Dinner is your own cooking, so enjoy!
RIDE FIVE. Challenge Day
Our final day sees us leave Ubud and ride through the famous Gianyar region on our way to the Kintamani volcano, where after 35 kilometres of climbing we will be met by the staggering beauty of Mt Batur and the surrounding lakes.
There’s no easy way to say this. 35 kilometres straight up, 35 kilometres straight down. That’s 1500 metres of climbing and a massive sense of accomplishment at the summit. We have an option to increase the distance of the ride by riding a longer route to the base of the climb. This climb rivals anything you will find in Europe, but is still relatively unknown, meaning you’re in with a pretty good chance of earning yourself a Strava KOM to brag about!
At the top, the views of Mt Batur are unbelievable. From the picturesque lake to the scorched black slopes of Batur, you’re going to spend as much time taking in the views as you will taking selfies.
We then enjoy one of the highlights of the trip: 35 kilometres descending through the amazing rice fields of the Tegalalang region.
This is the perfect place to practice your aero tuck as the roads are smooth and quiet. Towards the end of the descent, the riding gets a little more technical, and you’ll find yourself buzzing through the ambience of Bali’s central heart, a feeling so amazing you won’t be able to wipe the smile off your face!
In the afternoon, after a massage in your room, of course, we will venture into Ubud to visit the Ubud Market. These markets are great for picking up a bargain or taking snaps on your camera, the colours and variety are stunning.
If you’d like to create your own souvenir we have a silver making demonstration ready that enables you to choose your own design and help create your own masterpiece.
Dinner will be at Fair Warung Bale, a restaurant that makes exquisite meals and uses 100% of its profits to fund hospitals and clinics throughout the most underprivileged parts of Bali.
There is also an option to see a Kecak dance in the evening for those who like to stay up late.
Day 6 – Nyepi Eve. The day before Nyepi is one of the most exciting in Bali, as there is a buzz in the air as preparations are made for the party that will unfold.
Finishing touches are put on Ogoh-Ogah, special foods are made ready for the following day, and both adults and children wait impatiently for the parade to get under way!
In the morning we will travel back to Canggu (option to ride or drive, depending on your legs) andspend the afternoon relaxing, ready for a late night.
In the evening, we will go to the village of Munggu, renowned as having some of the best Ogoh-Ogoh in Bali, to take in the most spectacular night of the Balinese year.
Day 7 – Nyepi Day. Shhhhhh. Can you hear that? That’s the sound of Bali, completely silent.
From 6am on Nyepi Day until 6am the following day, not a soul is allowed out onto the streets.
The cacophony of noise that is the Ogoh-Ogoh parade is designed to scare the evil spirits away, so on Nyepi Day, we all need to hide so that if the spirits return, they can no longer find Bali, and go elsewhere.
While we will be allowed into the villa grounds and to (quietly) use the pool, at night we must keep music or computer screens turned down low.
Nyepi Day is an incredible day to sleep, relax, reconnect with yourself, sleep some more, eat, sleep again, and finish it off with one of the most spectacular star gazing experiences you will ever have.
BYE DAY. If you need more sleep, sleep in! When you’re ready, have breakfast, then pack up before being driven to the airport or to your next destination.
Be sure to have all the contacts saved from your group and upload any pics you didn’t get around to earlier.
$3800 Inclusive of GST (price does not include flights)
Have a partner who isn’t a rider?
Non-riding partners share your room (twin King singles available on request)
Have support and company to explore while you ride, or can travel in sag wagon.
Participate in all activities.
$2400 Inclusive of GST (price does not include flights)
Please note the following items are not included in your package price:
- Additional spa treatments (30-minute massage included daily)
- Additional drinks
- Additional meals (ie 2nd breakfast at a café)
- Personal purchases (ie toiletries, clothing souvenirs)
- Additional activities outside those listed on the Itinerary