In a traffic congested city like Jakarta, it would be hard enough to get your way on foot without worrying of being side swept by a car. Nevertheless, many tourists and visitors continue to suggest that the best way to truly experience the heat, the landscape, the culture and the city is to tour by bike.
Ernest Hemingway once said, “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.”
Still, we all need to be cautious when touring the dangerous paths of Indonesia by bike. Motorists may respect your choice of transportation but it is still better to travel safely. Westhill Consulting Travel and Tours have gathered these simple tips to keep in mind whenever you are cycling your way in the city:
1. There are caveats along the way and these warnings shouldn’t be ignored. Any city biker alive in the city very well know this and of course, it only takes common sense to understand them in the city
2. You have to know and accept that you're a cyclist and at the bottom end of the totem pole.
3. You have to have the humility to acknowledge other forms of motor transport and be willing to concede the rights of way in acquiesce to the honks of the other.
4. You have to have the mental discipline to forget the probabilities and risks that you face from stupid drivers behind you, and proceed from Point A to B in a very steady and conservative line on the road and a cool head. If for any reason there is an obstruction in your path, you should quickly and certainly (no doubts!) determine if there is traffic behind you or not and whether it is safe to overtake. If in doubt, always be ready to choose to be conservative and to dismount. You should also not be averse to momentarily riding on the dusty shoulder of the road if the oncoming traffic looks like it's going to crowded.
5. Please always be reminded to wear all the lights, blinkers, bright shirts and helmets and please always review the most important parts of your bike and if it needs repair. It may look geeky, but geeky also communicates that you have done all that is expected of you as a safe biker and places all other responsibility on others.