Friday, January 14, 2011

Mountain Biking to Cape Bakaro in Manokwari City

Last week I rode my mountain bike to Cape Bakaro of Manokwari city. It was in the afternoon of 4.30 p.m. that I and my friend Peddy Tanguni were cycling. He is a computer teacher at a high vocational school in this city. The beautiful white sandy beach with blue sea water of the Dorey bay was on our side. The road from Kampung Ambon to Pasir Putih beach was not quite, in fact, it was quite busy with beach goers who drove their cars and motorcycles. Sometimes I had to ride my bike along the edge of the road to make way for the cars to pass by us because from the opposite direction there were also vehicles moving back to the city.
The weather was still bright when I and Peddy arrived at the fish calling station near the Bakaro village. city dwellers like to come here to watch a man calling sea fish to the shore using his whistle and termites (as the food to attract the fish). At that time we did not ask the fish caller to do his usual performance. We only sat on the bench facing the raging sea of the tip of Cape Bakaro. Actually it should be a perfect spot for surfers but with all of big rocks scattered around the shallow waters area, surfing will be a dangerous thing to do here.
Peddy brought a can of soft-drink which he bought from a kiosk. It was a can of Sprite. He bought one for me too. Taking a rest and drinking the softdrink, we sat on the bench enjoying the breeze from the tropical sea of New Guinea island (also called West Papua). I and Peddy were talking about the price of a good mountain bike made of carbon fiber shown at Polygon cycle website - an Indonesian bike manufacturer.
Peddy's mountain bike was made by United - also an Indonesian bike manufacturer. Its front and rear gears were Shimano tourney. My bike was a Dirt Jump mountain bike with gears supplied by Shimano Alivio. Its seems that most of the gears for mountain bikes in Indonesia were supplied by Shimano - a Japanese company that specializes its business in producing bicycle parts and sport fishing gears.
Around 30 minutes later, we returned to our bicycle and began riding back to Manokwari city again. I asked him to ride his bicycle a head of me because I did not wear my glasses.
When we were approaching Pasir Putih beach I saw a young Papuan boy who was riding his BMX. I used to have one like what he had when I was in junior high school. I asked him to stop to strike up a conversation with him. I asked him if he was interested in joining a race and how much his bicycle was when he bought the bicycle. Unfortunately, he could not answer my question because it was not his bike. He borrowed it from his friend. I was sad to hear from him that the price of a new bicycle was too expensive for him (around 1.6 to 2.5 million rupiahs for a low quality ones with no gears). It's my main concern when trying to promote cycling among teenagers and young adults in Manokwari city. I hope that one day, a large bike shop will be opened in this city to sell bicycles in more affordable prices. When the price of bicycle in Manokwari is still expensive, it will be very difficult for us to promote cycling culture in West Papua). by Charles Roring