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.
Week 3! At this point we are quite accustomed to life on the road in Indonesia. We have a taste for the food, jet lag is long gone, and we know enough words and phrases to get by. We determine to stay the week in the city of Surabaya. Surabaya is Indonesia's second largest city after Jakarta, and in my opinion much nicer.
Before we get to Surabaya let's take a moment to discuss our dear friend Mr. Tatto. First and foremost let it be known that Tatto is a kind, generous, accommodating person who is genuinely doing the best he can. We love him for it. That being said, Tatto is our driver and translator. He does not speak English and has no sense of direction. When I say he does not speak English I mean he speaks just enough to thoroughly confuse and complicate every request, every conversation, and every situation. When I say he has no sense of direction I mean he is always lost, has no idea where anything is in this country, yet boldly heads on in any direction he fancies.
Here, after the Gresik show, we come to the full realization of how lost Tatto is. There is but one road between Gresik and Surabaya. It is one of the largest highways in the country. After traversing it several times, Tatto still has no idea how to find it, what exits we need, or even which direction it goes. By this time I have figured out the road situation, and with the help of my map (where is Tatto's map???) I offer direction. Soon we develop a pattern of getting lost, arguing about the directions I offer, then finally finding our location. In this fashion I have become the navigator....
So, what to do in Surabaya? Back home I have taken up rock climbing. Surabaya happens to have the only climbing gym in Indonesia. Jesse and Eric expressed interest in climbing. Perfect. Finding the gym turns into quite an adventure. I have a vague idea of where the gym is (having been to Surabaya before), but relating this information to Tatto is almost comical. He affirms understanding, but his actions reveal otherwise. Google maps to the rescue.
The gym is impressive considering Indonesian resources. We guess it's Western owned and sure enough, there's a tall bule (“caucasian”) hanging about. Eman Lacoste from Tennessee. What a small world! Eman moved to Surabaya to teach English, but his love of climbing lead him to open Class 5 Recreational Climbing Center.
We snag a two week membership and spend every day in the gym climbing. It is a perfect outlet for energy pent up from so much time sitting in hotels, cars and venues. Jesse and Eric are naturals, and immediately excel. Eman is very talkative. I imagine it must be nice to have some American company. He and I have climbed many of the same areas in Tennessee, so there is even a touch of southern comfort. Eman and his wife are good people. They take us out for some delicious soto ayam (chicken soup) and help us find a reasonable hotel near the gym. Hospitality not forgotten!
The flow of the week is relaxed. We spend time in some of the many, huge malls on every corner of Surabaya. Good food, interesting people watching, and fantastic local coffee! Eric's obsessive search for wifi is rewarded in the modern facilities and there is harmony in the universe.
Spending considerable time in cafes and restaurants we make an observation. Every store and food vendor has way too many employees. A coffee shop the size of my dining room has 10 people working. This is madness! We never have the same server, no one knows what is going on, and I don't even want to imagine what their wages must be. Supermarkets have an armada of employees! We literally trip over them in the isles. Ridiculous.
The final night in Surabaya we hit the lot with the local riders. They have been given permission to ride at night during the week behind the main government building on a side street. We immediately feel at home. The scene is the same, and although we cannot understand the language, we know they are saying the same things we do at our own spots.
The show this week is in the middle of a rice field between Mojokerto and Jombang. We have a two lane road divided by a massive concrete median. The sides drop off 3 feet into rice paddies. Super! We hit an early practice session while the venue is being constructed. Farmers and kids gather from who-knows-where. It's fun to just ride. This is the first free session we have had.
Time for the street ride! Ok, so we are meeting everyone at the venue. No one is here. OH! We are meeting 10km away in Jombang. Let's go then. We are riding the bikes there? No? Taking them in trucks? ….you want us to ride now? We CAN'T ride there? So trucks then? But not that truck? You know we are an hour late now....ok, so a different truck is coming. Who is in charge of this circus? Two hours late see Jesse and Eric riding, with my bike lost. Ah Indonesia!
Crazy Indo snack time!
Morning of the event and, what's this? Eric's F4i is running? It only took 3 weeks, and a box of wrong parts to find the burned plug in the wiring harness. Go team! Quick chain and sprocket change from the 600rr to the F4i sends Eric out for a morning of acclimation to the F4i. Bonus.
Bikes are “dialed”...I guess, and we spend a few hours enjoying the drag races. It is awesome to see these kids come out to every city of the series, giving it the fury every weekend. The entire series started from illegal street racing. Same story, different hemisphere.
Our mechanic, Eddie, has his personal bike at this event. Registered to race and itching to get on the track, our pit becomes a flurry of activity. All the mechanics are prepping the bike and gathering Eddie's racing gear. With assistance, Eddie slips into his racing suit. Something oddly familiar about this suit....sleek, almost aquatic looking. I recognize this brand from somewhere.... Body Glove. Eddie is racing in a wet suit. Of course he is. We stood there in awe as 3 grown adults frantically stuffed Eddie into an old purple wet suit before sending him down a race track on a super modified scooter. Dear lord.
To our horror, the single lane track we practiced on has been cut in half. We now have a riding area no wider than 10ft. Circles inevitably lead you over the tire barricade. Oh well, this is what we have to work with. Fast wheelies, stoppies, burnouts and christs: bread and butter.
After the show Tatto gets lost again on the way to the hotel. It's only the fifth time we have made this drive.
PART 7 COMING SOON!