I’ve spent more time riding a bicycle during my past two weeks here in Bali than I have in the past 20 years, making me the idiot savant of Balinese bike riding. Or just an idiot. Therefore, follow these tips at your own risk.
Tips for Riding a Bicycle in Bali:
● Remember to ride on the left side of the road. Left side. As in, NOT on the right side. And unless you were born in a left-side-drive country (or spent considerable time in one), traffic circles are impossible to navigate properly, so don’t bother. Just ride straight across them instead. This (pretty much) works flawlessly.
● Be confident. Tell yourself, “I am protected by a magic shield.” This is Bali, not New York City. No one wants to hit you. No one even wants to scare you. So don’t worry for a minute about what anyone else is doing. Let THEM figure out how to get around YOU. Remember…you’re not just Queen of the road, you own the fucking road. Selfish? Eh. They have motors. You don’t.
● Should you find the cacophony of horns blaring at you unnerving, use it as a mantra instead. In no time you’ll achieve Bali Brain. However, exercise caution. In its extreme form, Bali Brain may induce extreme overconfidence, causing you to think you can overtake slowly moving cars. You cannot.
● When faced with two or more vehicles in a line heading straight for you (as they attempt to overtake one another), don’t panic. Remember you’re wearing your protective magic shield. It’s a simple game of chicken, and bicycle wins. So just pretend it’s not happening and forge ahead. This is Bali…trust me.
● When lost, ask where the beach is. If you can’t find anyone to ask, look for a cow. Cow equals man equals directions to the beach. You can always get home from the beach.