Bali 144 Challenge is a team adventure event. As we want to encourage a culture of helping and supporting your teammates, this is a team-only event with 4 riders per team. This team concept is one that we are all familiar with in UCI racing. Teams may decide whether they wish to ride or to race the route; to encourage competition and to up the ante for those wishing to race, prizes will be given to teams completing the route in the fastest times. Those wishing not to compete may take the Challenge as an opportunity to complete yet another bucket list ride in cycling heaven with their buddies (within an 8 hour cut-off time) with the support of road marshalls, food/drink stations, medic, support vehicles, and in the company of fellow cyclists from the region.
Starting and ending in Ubud, in the foothills of the majestic Kintamani, the 144km (12 Squared) 2400 meter elevation gain route has been painstakingly designed by experienced cyclists to take riders through some of the best if lesser known areas for cycling in Bali. A lot of thought and research has been put into the design of the route to ensure that the roads used are as mostly traffic free and as smooth as possible.
The 144 Challenge starts at Sens Hotel and your first left turn is just before the bustling Ubud Market, straight down south through the main drag with loads of quaint cafes and restaurants. The cyclists may find it a little cold as Ubud will be around 17degrees in the morning but the overall temperature will be comfortable, as the average temperature will be 31 at the highest and 22 at the lowest.
As you head west and pass a popular river rafting drop off point, you will be greeted with gradual climbs, lush paddy fields, villages, sleeping dogs, and Mount Batur in the distance.
After you turn right up north, you might see people showering and do morning ‘rituals’, washing clothes by the river, you can high five school kids who always get excited to see so many cyclists passing through, or even witnessing a mapeed (ceremonial walk bringing offerings to the Gods)
Coming up towards Petang, you will head back down south for a stretch of fast downhills and rollers after turning right by Sangeh Monkey forest. Unfortunately, those little critters hang out a little further down south so you will not get to see them. Ubud’s monkey forest is worth a visit after you finish the challenge.
Some things you might notice when you’re cycling across Bali are mostly cultural things such as offerings left on the roads, the locals call it “Sesajen”, big temples in Kintamani, also a lot of statues that represent the Gods, Deities, and animals which is sacred to the locals.
Many interesting mix of road surfaces and rollers will keep you entertained before making your way back North to Plaga, where your eyes can enjoy some marigolds fields. Here is where the climbs get a little steeper, around 20km from Plaga Bridge to Pura Puncak Penulisan. You will then have a little kicker as you pass a waterfall with lots of highly dense areas to keep you cool as the day progresses.
Maybe if you still have the legs after the challenge, you can stumble into Ubud Market to get that one shirt you’ve always wanted, gift-shopping for your friends, try some rujak buah (fruit salad with peanut sauce), eat Babi Guling (Bali’s infamous roasted pig) and also buy wooden ‘lolok’ bottle opener. We bet everybody will try opening a bottle with it.