Bike Crash in Bali
Hiring a bike on holiday is a must for us! for the last 20 years, getting a bike when we are away, has meant that we see so much more than getting taxis or drivers for the day. On top of that, you can leave the villa/hotel at the drop of a hat, go out and scout restaurants, get to places easily and quickly.
We always make sure the bikes we get are roadworthy and even take our own helmets away with us (primarily so that we don't have to wear the sweat soaked ones that come with the hire). And to top it off, we have our own intercom system so that we can communicate easily when we are riding. So, I like to think we are pretty seasoned when it comes to hiring a bike abroad.
I always tell people that say it's not safe, that it's not you that you have to worry about when you are on the roads, but the other drivers, and in Bali specifically, the other drivers are just as worried about having an accident, so everyone watches out for each other.
Thailand, Malasia and Indonesia are just a few of the places we have rented bikes, but last year was the first time in North Bali. The difference I saw immediately, was that although the roads are just as busy, they are narrower, and when a car overtakes you, it more often than not goes into the lane with oncoming traffic. This means, you are always driving near the kerb. When the accident happened, a car pulled alongside us as we were doing about 30MPH. I can only think that a car was overtaking on the other side of the road and the driver next to us wanted to avoid a head on crash, because he just veered across and drove straight into us. He took out the bike by hitting the handlebar first, which made us fall into the car. If it hadn't been for the helmets, it would have been much worse, but the Bali Road Tatoo that we both got, and the three broken ribs was enough. The driver of the car stopped up the road, presumably to see if we were dead, then drove off when he saw locals picking us up off the road. Once we got the bike back up, a local guided us to a hospital to be looked at. The cost of the cleaning of the wounds and medication, came to c£15, unbelievable!
Unfortunately, the next 5 weeks of the holiday were marred by the pain and having to pull the sheets off the open wounds every morning, and the massages were slightly curtailed, but it has not put us off hiring bikes. We have just got back from Bali again this year, and what we saw by having the bike was more than worth the risk of another accident. Having the accident has actually made me a safer driver to, I am a lot more aware of what is happening on the road and around me. So, I would still recommend, if you are away, hire a bike!