Aaron Twite, Jesse Toler and Eric "E-Brake" Pettit are embarking on a six week stunt adventure through the island country of Indonesia. Twite will be reporting for the duration of their trip right here on StuntBums.com! These boys are in for an epic ride so be sure to check back each week as their story progresses.
The next day we agreed to take a day to relax, sit around, and take it easy. We headed to a resort called Jeeva Klui in the Senggigi area of Lombok. Beach destination, comfortable couches, good food, Indonesian coffee (kopi), and a cool ocean breeze is a good way to waste a day.
Determined not to allow my injuries to slow us down, I arranged a car trip up in to the mountains around Rinjani. Soon we find ourselves on a road that more closely resembles an abandoned driveway through the jungle. Huge pot holes, washed out edges and landslide debris slow our progress, and soon the road turns to sharp switch backs and steep inclines. We are at the top. No more trees. Breath taking views of mountain peaks and pastured valleys. The temperature is cool and breezy, high 60's to low 70's. The locals are freezing.
After a scenic photo opp, we head down into the valley on the other side, through farms of onions, strawberries, coffee and chocolate, into the jungle again. Our next destination being forest waterfalls, we park and head down a well traveled trail. The first stop is a double tiered fall known as Sendang Gila, or “crazy pool”. Eric strips down to his underpants and joins some locals in a freezing shower. Further along the trail continues along an aqueduct, no doubt supplying fresh water to local villages below. Shortly we pass a dam system and further along the trail continues through the river. Finally we end at a mist filled gorge at the base of a huge falls. Jesse and Eric cannot resist swimming in the pool below. Fantastic.
Wednesday we finally make our way to the beaches of Kuta Lombok. It is better than we hoped: clear waters, coral sand beaches, mountains crashing into the ocean, bouldery outcroppings and a thunderous surf break crashing off shore several hundred feet. Thankfully Kuta Lombak is relatively unspoiled compared to overpopulated destinations like Bali. We take a beach walk, leading to a rocky waterfront hike and end the day at a local seafood restaurant. Fresh mahi-mahi, tuna, shrimp and local coffee complete a delicious meal. We spend about $40 on what would be a $200 meal in the states. Glorious.
Thursday it's back to “work”. Early flight from Lombok to the city of Surabaya on the island of Java. Surabaya is the second largest city in Indonesia. A port city of industry, Surabaya is also a bit more tidy than Jakarta. We are just outside the city in the town of Gresik. The largest hotel in Gresik provides us with beds and a cold shower.
Friday's agenda includes a press meeting and local “Rolling Thunder” street ride. Eric is eager to discover if his parts have arrived for the F4i. Of course they have not, so he resigns himself to the 600rr again. The press meeting starts right on schedule, 30 minutes late. In Indonesia things begin when they begin. An overly punctual person has no place here. Once again patience and a sense of humor are assets.
After the press meeting we jump on the stunt bikes and head to the event venue for the beginning of the street ride. Excitement. We are ready to do some damage! We arrive to find a smaller than expected crowd, but after a few stoppies, drifts and wheelies in the street they are ready to go! Jesse's battery dies. Of course it does. A good old push start revives the R6 and Jesse is ready to roll the dice on how long his bike will last on the street. Just before we head out we receive the disappointing news: the cops request no “action” from us. What follows is a hot, slow, unbearably dull bore-fest of a street parade. Wasted opportunity. High-fives and photos end the engagement and we head back to the hotel for cold showers.
This night the boss man arrives with parts for Eric's bike. Finally, some progress! Or not. Wrong parts. Perfect.
The street ride had revealed more problems. Jesse's charging system was clearly faulty and my R6 was running poorly, again. Strained translation and lots of theatrical miming gets the idea across to the mechanics...probably.
By this time we think the ignition may be faulty on the F4i. Those who ride F4i's can attest this is a fair assessment, but good luck convincing our mechanics! Saturday sees Eric transplanting parts from the F4i to the 600rr. The boys adjust the fuel pressure regulators on the R6's and claim to have solved Jesse's charging issues with the removal of some “thing” I cannot identify. Eric gets them going on his chain and sprocket and then follow it up with a master cylinder swap for Jesse. By this point test riding only leads to tragedy, so we resign the fates of the bikes to showtime.
We spend the rest of the afternoon watching the scooter drag races conducted on a closed city street. This event we pay attention to times and distances and calculate these kids are running as fast as 7 second 1/8 mile runs down pothole farms! Race gear ranges from leathers to skinny jeans and hoodies. To meet weight regulations some competitors zip tie or tape bricks to the chassis. Good to see zip tie is an international standard!
We share a pit area with a pro race team run by a bunch of kids no older than 19. We learn one of their tiny riders is ranked fourth in the nation and wins his class this night. This team has in it's possession an unreasonable amount of bear and cigarettes. Upon comparison with bike and gear branding, and a few poorly translated questions we discover they are in fact largely sponsored by beer and cigarettes. Of course they are!
Our first show is scheduled for 8. Without warning they decide we need to ride at 7. Ok then. Next show is for 9. This time we are ready. Make that 9:30. Sure. Ok 10. …right. Better make that “ride-when-it's-time-to ride- o' clock”. Of course. Right on schedule.
Thankfully the bikes make it through the show, overheating for all they're worth! Prompted for a 6 gear tire bursting burnout, Jesse smokes out the venue ending in a fantastic coolant reservoir explosion! At least this time he is ready for it and gets away clean.
Show two is in the bag. Everyone is safe. Crowds happy. Still longing for proper bikes, we do our best to adopt a thankful attitude of satisfaction. It is hard to take credit for a thing, when the knowledge of true potential is so overbearing. We do the best we can, with what we have.
PART 6 COMING SOON!