By Cam McCaul
For as long as I can remember, my answer to the following question has always remained consistent: "Where is the one place in the world you want to go but have not yet been?" My reply, "Bali." The fascination I've had with this tiny Indonesian island originally stemmed from its reputation for warm water and surf-able waves, but it wasn't until recently when I met a Balinese mountain biker in Whistler that I realized there's another huge reason to go explore Bali. Being a small but very populated island, it has become the perfect place for a trail bike adventure. Created by volcanic activity, the Balinese mountains seem to spring straight out of the ocean and into the sky.The tropical climate gives these mountains a lush jungle feel with rich roost-able dirt, and this all sounds like the perfect recipe for great riding…if there are trails. Well mountain bikers, we're in luck. When you combine bustling mountain villages with a lack of drivable roads, you get communities connected by singletrack.
While exploring these accidentally brilliant paths together with Chandra and Epz, the forest slowly began to appear clearer through the trees; we realized these neighborhoods aren’t the only ones connected by this singletrack. No matter where in the world you go, you find yourself running into these like-minded characters that share the same passion for pedaling and adventure. As we climbed and descended our way through the trails that linked these rural neighborhoods, we found ourselves cracking laughs and inside one-liners as if we had been riding buddies for ages. In a way, we had… we just hadn't met until now.
This trip allowed me to fully experience this island that has always been number one on my list of must-see destinations, but most importantly it reminded me how tightly knit our mountain bike community really is. You may not realize it, but as a mountain biker you have riding buddies all over the world. You just have to go meet them.