Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Cycling in Manokwari

I like riding my mountain bike in the afternoons as my way to refresh my mind after the usual 9 to 5 working time at my work. For me cycling is my hobby. I can spend one hour exploring the coastal road on the west of Manokwari town. I usually leave home at 4 and reach the Bakaro beach at around 5.15. I will sit there for a while at a gazebo to see the waves landing on the rocky beach before riding back to Kompleks Missi. The bicycle that I use is the Cozmic DX 2.0. It is a dirt jump bike that was manufactured by Polygon. Polygon is a famous bicycle manufacturer in Indonesia. The company has produced various types of bicycles from the ones that are suitable for office workers to the mountain bikes that are good for terrains in West Papua's north coast.
Georgie, a university student from the United Kingdom was cycling in Manokwari
British student was cycling in Manokwari

Two days ago, I accompanied Georgie - a British girl who is doing research on rhododenron flowers in the mountain range of Arfak. She said that she likes cycling but she is not used to riding the bike that I lent to her. It was a Celine 3.0 - a bike for ladies. She told me that she is not familiar with the gears.
That afternoon (17 May 2012), we went up some slopes behind my house to meet Mrs. Fonataba. She was an old Papuan artist who made various kinds of handcrafts for tourists. Georgie bought some bracelet, and necklaces.
After buying those souvenirs, we continued our trip down some slopes next to the Catholic church of Manokwari to Aggrem area. Along the way, boys yelled at her. A beautiful girl like her would always attract the attention of many people particularly when she was not wearing a helmet. As a matter of fact, we deliberately did not use helmets to attract the attention of city dwellers of Manokwari so that they would take up cycling not only as their hobby but lifestyle. I don't recommend anybody ride bicycle without wearing helmet in a city where vehicles run fast. It's too dangerous.
Arriving in Anggrem, we met Bert Suruan - another Papuan artist who creates paintings in oil color. Most of his artworks are about Papuan people in their daily activities and birds of paradise. Then we walked to the beach where some wooden boats were parking at a small jetty. A lot of children gathered around us. I asked Georgie to give her camera to me. I turned it on and began making some pictures of her and the Papuan children. We continued walking to the jetty where Georgie took more pictures of children jumping into the sea.
Fifteen minutes later, we walked back to Bert's art gallery again but stopped for a while at a betel nut vendor. Georgie bought one package of pinang. She wanted to try it. Chewing betel nut, betel pepper and lime power made her drunk and dizzy. She didn't like it but it was a fun experience. While she was still "flying", a Papuan woman handed a baby to her. She received the baby with her both hands and allowed me to take picture of her and the Papuan baby.
We left Anggrem by bike for another Papuan artist Mr. Josef Awom. She bought a wood carving of fish. We returned to my house after eating fried chicken, fresh vegetables and chilli sauce. I was surprised to see that Georgie likes eating chilli sauce. It was a nice experience cycling with Georgie - the British girl.
Cambridge a model cycling city
According to Georgie, the percentage of cyclists in Cambridge is quite high compared to other cities and towns in England. Georgie alone lives in London. She often rides her bike to campus. I hope that after watching I and Georgie cycling that afternoon, more city dwellers of Manokwari will be interested in taking up bike commuting as their lifestyle. by Charles Roring
Also read:
Bike Commuting
Mountain Biking in the Rainforest
How to Reduce Dependency on Fossil Fuels

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