We had read some bike riding reviews and decided to go ahead and take the plunge. Just so happens the driver at our villa was the cousin of Bob - the owner and operator of Bali on bike tours.

I would echo what plenty of others have written. Bob is a great host. Very attentive and knowledgeable. But firstly we stopped off at a coffee plantation and enjoyed a lesson in the local fruits they grew at this particular farm. We then tried a variety of tees and coffees and had some coconut pancakes for breakfast.

Next stop was the mountains and the volcano. You can still see the damage caused by the last significant eruption in the 1970's. It was then time to pick our bikes and set off on the bike ride.

Our youngest was unfamiliar with handbrakes (up to now he had only used backbrakes) and didn't feel comfortable on the roads. No sweat he hopped in the vehicle that followed us along the way. A little further down the track some of the girls also gave up and were also to become passengers. The rest of us continued with Bob - at a very leisurely pace. The ride is more of a cruise. Only the very occasional uphill section (and extremely brief at that) but more so long sections where the norm is applying gentle brakes so you can take in the scenery. The roads are mostly small fairly narrow sealed roads (with potholes or some sections that are a bit rough) - but hardly anything scary for any competent rider. When traveling through some busier sections or when passing through some larger towns they even send an advance vehicle where the driver jumps out and acts like a traffic cop and halts the traffic so that your group can sail through without any hairy moments.

We made a few stops along the way, firstly at a family where they showed what could be done with bamboo. Then at a temple. Bob and team have so much to say. It really is a challenge to absorb it all. All up the bike ride would have taken approximately 3 hours. Make sure you apply plenty of sunscreen though.

At the end you arrive in Bob's town. He invites you in to have lunch in his own compound/house. The food was simply delicious. Of the best Balinese/Indonesian fare we have experienced anywhere. The only problem is there was too much of it. Despite having had four servings there was still loads left. Kids washed theirs down with sprite, me, a couple of Bintangs!

So in summary. Don't expect a real work out. This is not an energetic ride. What it is though is a great way to see and experience the true rural Balinese way of life. With loads of narration along the way. So very different from the standard Bali holidays. Highly recommended.

Sydney, Australia