Ready to Embrace the Charm of Tambora
TAMBORA BIKE CAMP
RUNIK SRI ASTUTI
As many as 51 Tambora Bike Camp participants from home and abroad are ready to pedal across Sumbawa Island to embrace the charming natural beauty from the west end to Doro Ncanga at the foot of Tambora Mountain. The activity, which starts on Thursday (14/4/2016) and lasts until Saturday (16/4/2016), is one of the events in the 2016 Tambora Charm Festival.
On Wednesday (13/4/2016), the participants gathered in Taliwang district, West Sumbawa regency. Kompas‘ chief editor, Budiman Tanuredjo, in his briefing reminded participants to meticulously prepare everything they needed. This is because, other than cycling, the participants will also be camping and taking care of all their personal needs without the help of organizers.
“The cycling concept is now different. It is not exploring, but bike camping, which is cycling and camping. This concept requires the participants to meet their own needs. The organizers will only provide lunch and dinner,” he said.
The technical implementation coordinator of the 2016 Tambora Bike Camp, Pipin Purnawan, added that the demand for the participants to take care of themselves requires them to bring quite a few things on their journey, like a pannier, along with tents and other equipment, including spare clothing.
The cyclists are not allowed to bring a support team or evacuation team. Nor do the organizers provide an evacuation team. The participants must prepare everything themselves and must be able to finish the journey on time.
Among the pieces of equipment that must be carried by participants are cooking tools, such as paraffin or spiritus stoves and food to be cooked or fast food. The stove will be important to meet any need for additional food as the organizers will only be providing main course meals.
The 51 participants mostly come from Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang and Bekasi. There are also participants from Maluku and Batam. Foreign participants from Malaysia and Singapore have also come to take part in the 2016 Tambora Bike Camp.
Despite the fact that there are fewer participants this year compared to last year, it does not mean the public interest in the Tambora Bike Camp activity has wavered. The facts on the field show otherwise. The number of participants who have registered has actually increased to 130 people. However, in the end the organizers only selected 51 participants.
The challenge of cycling and camping is felt by Ade Dewijanti, a participant from Jakarta. She feels overwhelmed because of all the equipment she has to bring. Apart from a tent, a participant must also bring personal things like spare clothes.
Ade was even forced to bring clothes that she thought were ugly because they will be thrown away after being used. She does not want to be burdened with carrying dirty clothes throughout the journey.
The abundance of luggage that has to be placed on the bike makes the bike heavier and more difficult to pedal. More energy will be used up when the participants have to set up their tents to rest and cook.
“It’s more convenient to sleep in a hotel or a place prepared by the organizers. After all, we are tired from pedaling and can rest straight away. It’s this difficulty that will be the challenge because I’m already here,” said Ade, who also likes to climb mountains.
Other than individual participants, the Tambora Bike Camp also has paired participants. There are at least four husband and wife pairs who are eager to explore the island dubbed “Bumi Gora”, which is known for its wild horse milk production. In fact, they cannot wait to ride their bikes along the island’s roads.
“This is my first time to Sumbawa. I have previously been to Lombok and explored other regions like Manado and Makassar,” said Stefanus, 53, who came with his wife, Yoke, 53.
Stefanus has prepared himself to ride and camp in Sumbawa by carrying out routine training. According to him, the eastern regions of Indonesia have an amazingly beautiful natural charm because they are still untouched. Moreover, the culture of the local people is unique and exotic. The natural beauty of Sumbawa is also the reason Irna Tanjung, 40, and Akhmad Faisal, 49, are taking part in the Tambora Bike Camp. In fact, the businesswoman is willing to leave her 2-year-old child because she did not want to miss the opportunity to enjoy the exotic Sumbawa and the appeal of Moyo Island.
“Sumbawa is really fairly level although it is hot. The air is clean and the atmosphere is different to other places. About having to camp, in my opinion, that actually makes cycling in Sumbawa even more interesting,” Irna said.
She added that the beauty of Sumbawa is even more complete with the appeal of Moyo Island. She is really excited about exploring Moyo, an island that was once visited by the late Lady Diana of England, to know Indonesia better.
Although there are many challenges, the participants are still able to enjoy the charm of Sumbawa. After being released on Thursday in the West Sumbawa regent’s office, the cyclists will follow a route that passes along Sumbawa Island’s northern ring road, commonly called the Poto-Sape Road.
The ride to Tambora is 162 kilometers long and will be divided into three stages. Whereas last year the cyclists covered more than 100 kilometers every day, this year the longest stage will be 82 kilometers long.
The longest route is the first stage, which is started in Taliwang village and finishes in Luk village, Rhee district. The participants will rest and camp on the beach.
The next day, the participants will start the second stage by crossing to Moyo Island on a fishing boat. After that, they will ride for 32 kilometers. The cyclists will be presented with the nautical charm of Moyo, which includes clear sea water, white sandy beaches, the Mata Jitu Waterfall and a coastal village atmosphere.
At night, the cyclists will camp in Moyo. The third and last segment will start with the participants crossing from Moyo to Sumbawa Island through Calabai Port in Dompu Regency.
From the port, which was used to export Sumbawa buffalo in the 1960s, the cyclists will ride again to finish off stage three, which will be 42 kilometers long. They will finish in the Doro Ncanga savanna, where the main event of the 2016 Tambora Charm Festival is held.