Day 338. 110km. Solo – Madiun

Posted: April 3, 2016 in Cycling, Indonesia
Tags: , , , , ,

At the end of a pub-crawl the participants cannot walk, crawl out of the last pub and somehow make it home in the dark. The same is true for a volcano crawl, especially when the last road climbs to 2000m. I got cramp, walked up the last 400m and whizzed down the last 50km. I arrived well and truly in the dark.



Before leaving, I didn’t check on how far Madiun was, nor how high the volcano pass was. I had a leisurely breakfast with my new biking friends in Solo. It was great to meet them. I wish them all the best with their plans to improve Solo as a cycling city.

Cycling friends in Solo

Cycling friends in Solo

I had a date in Madiun this evening – with a lovely warmshowers host that Clement stayed with. Actually, my host Ammia later told me that she couldn’t be there, but had booked and paid for a hotel for me, and arranged lots of friends to meet up with me. I had to be there.

After a lot of climbing, I stopped for lunch, and looked at just how high this mountain was. I was at 800m altitude, and the pass was 2000m. The last 12km climbed 1200m. Ouch!

Note to others doing this pass – don’t take the old road (called the alternative road). It is much much steeper.

View of the much less steep new road from my vantage point on the old road

View of the much less steep new road from my vantage point on the old road

If I didn’t have my date in Madiun, I would have stopped, and finished the pass tomorrow. While walking up the mountain, realising that I was going to have to cycle down in the dark, I decided to accept any lift that I might have been offered to the top. I had cramp, and couldn’t cycle. I was hot and bothered and just wanted to get there. Many cars passed with their windows down, giving me the thumbs up.
‘How are you, mister?’
That got a chuckle.
No lift was offered, and I was not at the point of actively asking for one yet. I kept on going, and at 17.15 was at the top. I have no pictures of the views – there were none. Everything was in cloud the whole way.

I made it down the windy dangerous bit before dark, and then zoomed down the straight downhill roads all the way to Madiun. When I arrived I felt a great sense of achievement. 2000m and 110km in one day. I’m glad noone offered me a lift!

Thanks to Ammia, my warmshowers host, and all her friends in Madiun for a lovely evening. I enjoyed today!

  1. Eliza Waters says:

    Whew, amazing! Take care of yourself, okay?

  2. Great big mountains out there! As Eliza comments ‘take care of yourself’. Hope you’re taking it easy before pushing on. I’ve missed a couple of weeks – will check out your back posts. Australia is getting closer by the day!

  3. AndrewGills says:

    Wow!!! I’ve done that pass on a motorbike …. Full respect for your doing it on a bicycle

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