I confess. My butt cheeks didn't touch a bike seat all week. For while driving in and around Denpasar in search of a bicycle rental shop, I saw:
•A giant stone pedestal displaying the twisted wreckage of an automobile whose driver, a disfigured crash dummy doused in red paint, hung from a window. HATI-HATI was the pedestal's inscription: "Be careful."
•A sign reading, in English, BETTER LATE THEN [sic] END UP IN THE HOSPITAL.
•Two fruit-marketing mopeders broadsided by a truck, sending melons heavenward and the two bikers flying into traffic.
•Countless pieces of spirit-appeasing roadside statuary skirted in black-white-and-gray-checkered cloth. ("Black for evil spirits," said Mr. Ade, whom we will meet later, "white for nice spirits." And gray? "For in-between spirits.")
I also saw zero bicycle rental shops.
On the island's roadways, life in the slow lane moves at breakneck speed. So I forgot about seeing Bali by Schwinn, and instead purchased a shrink-wrapped guidebook called Bali, rented a Mitsubishi Super Kijang van and resolved to drive the 70 miles to Pancasari and the legendary golf course there.
As Denpasar receded and Bali's more breathtaking, break-down-and-weep-beautiful precincts passed the windows, I stripped the shrink-wrap from the guidebook and riffled through it for rudimentary directions to our destination. The introduction to the book began:
"Als die Erstauflage dieses Bali-Fuhrers...."
BALI ON ZERO RUPIAH A DAY