Riders across the world face plenty of different challenges. From mountainous landscapes to urban sprawls, each ride is different and every habitat has its own hangups.
Jakarta-based cyclist Sigi Wimala takes the challenges of riding around Indonesia’s capital on the chin.
“You've got to be lightning-fast with your reflexes and constantly aware of your surroundings. It's like being a superhero, dodging through the throngs of other vehicles and pedestrians.
Jakarta is loud, hot and humid – and its traffic jams are notorious. It can be intimidating at times, but that’s part of the fun.
“There’s nothing quite like that sense of freedom and connection you get when you're zipping through the city on two wheels. It's a unique experience that can't be duplicated by any other mode of transport.”
Wimala is a working mother, something that parents the world over will immediately recognise as placing major demands on one’s time. To balance the needs of her career and her family with her goals, aims and ambitions on the bike is a tricky task. She must squeeze in rides where she can, be as efficient as possible with that time, and still find ways to enjoy the experience – rather than it being just another task to complete.
When conditions allow, riding around Jakarta and the neighbouring roads can provide a breath of fresh air and a memorable experience with the diversity of old and new neighbourhoods around the nation’s capital. Wimala talks us through a ride that combines peacefulness, history and that trademark Jakarta chaos.
“First, I would start in the heart of Jakarta, where all the action begins. The best time to start the ride would be really early in the morning, preferably before the rush hour. The freshness in the air, the emptiness of the roads, and the subtle dawn light provide the perfect warm-up for the ride.
“I would pedal towards the old city, Kota Lama. The colonial-style architecture and vintage buildings lined along the streets almost take you back to the past. It is an excellent bike tour for history enthusiasts or architecture aficionados, with several museums to explore.
“Next, I would head towards Central Jakarta district to experience the vibrant street food culture and bustling sounds of street vendors.”
A quick food stop is always welcome on a longer ride, wherever you are in the world. It gives riders time to soak in the experiences they’ve had so far and fuel up for what’s to come.
“After the satisfying breakfast break, I would proceed to the iconic Istiqlal Mosque and the Jakarta Cathedral to admire the grandeur and beauty of the architecture that honours the religious multiculturalism of the region.
“Finally, I would pedal towards Menteng, a verdant and peaceful neighbourhood that makes you forget how close it is to the capital. You could relax and unwind while riding past streets lined with magnificent colonial houses, lush parks and greens – without feeling stressed by the city's chaos.”
Of course, training in urban conditions isn’t always easy. When you’ve got a structured session to follow, the last thing you need is a traffic light to stop you mid-interval. High pollution levels from all that traffic can make breathing hard during an effort dangerous over time.
“I like to do sessions on my indoor trainer. Although the training can sometimes be tedious, it has proven to be beneficial in strengthening my mental fortitude.
Training indoors is often a means to an end. It’s not as enjoyable as riding outside, getting to experience nature and the natural undulations of the roads. But, it does serve an important purpose and makes following a structured training session far easier – and faster – than doing it outside.
“To make the experience more enjoyable and engaging, I like to create playlists for different training modes – whether it's for easy rides, intervals, long endurance rides, or even when tackling challenging climbs. The music helps to set the tone for the ride, and it really helps to motivate me when I feel like quitting. Nearly all my playlists feature Daft Punk at the moment.”
For her rides indoors and out, Sigi favours the Women’s Training Jersey, Training Bib 3.0 and Training Sock – all of which deliver the high breathability she relies on in the soaring temperatures and high humidity of Jakarta. Off the bike, she’s often seen in the vibrant Mars colourway of our Training Crew paired with the Training Sweat Short in toffee.
Check out the collection here.