“Life is like riding a bicycle — to keep your balance, you must keep moving.”
Albert Einstein made many wise observations in his time, but the keen cyclist-scientist knew better than most the transformative power of time on two wheels: he claimed to have developed his famous Theory of Relativity whilst out on a ride.
A Pedalling Paradise
Discover where time on two wheels might take you, on this four-hour guided journey through the rolling green hills and historic rural villages of northern Bali.
MOUNT BATUR VIEW
After a 60-minute drive from COMO Uma Ubud, you begin your journey at the beautiful Kintamani district in Bali’s northernmost point. Here you have the best view on the island of the active volcano, Mount Batur. The distinctive ‘caldera’ depression — a remnant of past eruptions — is a reminder of nature’s raw power. In the tiny, tranquil village of Abuan you will collect your bicycle. It’s the perfect mode of transport to observe how the natural world is woven into Balinese life and culture at every level.
Saddle up and start your cycle past ancient Hindu temples and shrines — swathed in clouds of incense and morning prayers — and weave your way out of the bustling market of Abuan Village. From here you will freewheel down secret village paths, far from any traffic. It’s the perfect way to find your pace, and to feel the clear mountain air permeate every part of your being as you take in the lush, green hills cultivated with striking fields of rice.
Up here in the hills, the plentiful water needed to cultivate Bali’s iconic rice terraces is harder to find. Undeterred, the ingenious farmers of this area have been finessing the art of dry cultivation for generations. As you begin to find your rhythm, the fruits of their labour are visible all around you. Depending on the season, the scents and sights of plump orange tangerines and bursting yellow marigolds await. Our expert guide can arrange time with local farmers who can give insight into a life lived in tune with nature’s cycles.
A FAMILY TEMPLE
Weaving downhill, you will start to see how neatly the Balinese have nestled their homes within these idyllic surroundings. With your guide, you’ll be welcomed through the richly decorated boundary wall of a local farming family, via a gateway flanked by carved stone guardians. Inside you’ll discover how Balinese cosmology is written into architecture, with each building placed on the four points of the compass: the North building for keeping holy relics safe; the East building for life’s most important ceremonies, such as weddings and funerals; the South building for housing the kitchen; and the West building — fittingly — for welcoming guests. Finally, you’ll pay homage at the spiritual heart of the home: the ‘Merajan’, or family temple.
As you near the final stop on your journey, the road starts to pass through flatter terrain — a relief for tired legs! Your reward for the morning’s efforts will now be fully repaid as you glide into the beautiful village of Keliki. It’s famous for artisanal workshops, including a distinctive miniature painting style. Take time to browse, talk and learn among the Keliki locals, or enjoy a moment of well-earned rest with a cool drink. When you’re ready to leave, a private car will collect you for the 15-minute drive back to COMO Uma Ubud, for a massage at our wellness retreat, and a well-earned lunch.
Our activities team at COMO Uma Ubud can arrange your private cycling tour, as well as many other outdoor adventures.