After a helluva hiatus, we were finally able to resuscitate the Deus Sunday ride. Rebranded and flying under the brand new name of the Deus ‘Kumpul-kumpul’, which literally means ‘Get Together’ in Bahasa Indonesia.

For the first foray, we thought it best to keep things manageable and invited a select few from other garages and riding groups around Bali to join us. Eleven Garage, Bckyrd Garage, RSM Garage, Afternoon Cruisin, Excel Turbin and G6K. Thirty from them and with the Temple Rats we were forty neat.

Meeting at the Temple at eight, though individuals trickled in until after nine, there was the usual meet and greet as well as a gander at the rides before the heat of the day told us to saddle up. Some housekeeping first, let everyone know what we were doing and where we were going. Undoubtedly the group would get separated along the way.

An hour until pit stop one, the Tegelalang Terraced Ricefields. We sort of got everyone in and out and on time and headed through the top edge of Denpasar along the bottom of Ubud before turning left and heading into the hills.

Sure enough, we had splintered into three parties, that surprisingly enough, arrived within minutes of each other.

Parking up and chatting, we eagerly awaited the van and its cargo, a supply of iced Deus coffee latte’s. The thought stuck, you couldn’t do this pre-pandemic. Back then the road would’ve been back to back tour buses and throngs of tourists that surge, to and fro, being attacked by touts who pick off the stragglers and lure them into shops and bars. Today the place was almost empty except for us. Shops and restaurants boarded over. Hibernating. Deserted.

We drank, saddled up and moved on. Kintamani in our sights, another forty minutes up the hill. The incline proved tough for a few of the older bikes and they fell, by the way, needing an additional rest stop or two to make it up on the rim. A beautiful clear day greeted us there. The view of Mt Batur sitting smack bang in the bowl of an ageless volcano the backdrop. The air crisp and crackling. Gone was the temperate climate left a couple of hundred vertical metres behind.

The group camaraderie had taken hold and people mingled and circulated. Other groups rode past. Road bikes in one. Old Vespa’s in another. We weren’t the only ones taking advantage of this day.

The last leg of the outbound journey, we’d get there in another forty. The first ten minutes took us off east around the rim of the extinct volcano until a right fork plunged us south and back down towards Gianya.  Market gardens and small villages were strewn the length of the one-lane road that was masquerading as the main thoroughfare. We flashed past with all our built-up momentum and enthusiasm, plunging deeper and deeper into that wonderful vague blur of green. What started out as one after another still managed to fracture up into three groups. With the exception of three stragglers in, the rest of us made it there almost on the dot of one.

Off to one side and down below the canopy hidden from view, a small warung laid claim to the foot of the concrete bridge that straddles this breath-taking valley. This was our final destination. We all clattered down the numerous steep moss-covered stairs to alight at her base. People spread out into the floor of the jungle. The line of the lowest point was traced through her base by a bubbling brook that gave life to everything around. Clothing discarded and in underwear, the available swimsuits, people slid over the big stones and slipped into the cooling waters, washing both the road and any lasting effects of the morning away.

We set about awaiting our lunch, the establishment was booked and had promised our fare, however, they’d awaited our arrival to begin to prepare, this laid our afternoon somewhat bare. A beer or two while lunch cooked? why not. It was then we noticed that most of the Garages had a little sideline in Arak and wallowing in the cool waters little flasks soon appeared and you knew the effects were working as bird song disappeared behind laughter.

We drank then ate and then talked for a good hour and more. Laughter echoed up and down the ravine. All good signs the day had gone well. The afternoon encroached pushing us to pack up our things, we all moved up and out of this chasm of enchantment.

One last distraction before people headed for home. The Slow Race. Who could cross the dirt-floored carpark the slowest? A balancing act on bikes. We ran through several heats until there was a final four. The Vespa nearly had it before the foot on the floor giving the prize to the XSR155. An unlikely candidate but a well-deserved win. But come to think of it, after the day we’d all had. We were all winners.

When all was said and done, we set off home.

Can’t wait for the next one!


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