Indonesia, Sulawesi Selatan, Kabupaten Sinjai, Manipi
Another batch of pictures from my tour in South Sulawesi in June 2011. It was cold, foggy and raining every day.
The absurdity of bicycle touring:
The most memorable moments in bike touring are the disasters. When I had a puncture in the Qinlin Mountains on Chinese New Year 2006 and my pump didn't work and I would have frozen to death if not the World Wildlife Fund jeep had coincidentially passed and rescued me. Or when I rode up to the Thuringian Forest, dressed for a warm spring afternoon, only to be welcomed by a blizzard up there. Or when it was raining all day on the mountain road from Sinjai to Malino (pictured) and it was getting late and I couldn't find a place to stay. To mention but a few favourite disasters of my life (not even including the accident, although I could).
This is what makes this activity (some call it "hobby") so special and so different from, say, watching TV, or having a meeting in the office, or, pushing weights in the gym. The disasters remind you of the real issues in life, such as hunger, coldness or being lost. Not a paper jam in the fax machine or low batteries in the remote control.
Nevertheless - and this is the absurdity in it - although I know all this to be true, I would never provoke it. I always set out with the bike in perfect condition, well lubricated, clean even. I study the weather report, bring all the maps, some food and the tools. I would never ride without the pump in the hope that I may get lost with a flat tyre in the snow storm. That would be wrong.