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Deus Does it Right in Bali

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All great celebrations tend to happen once a year. Birthdays, Christmas, subscription renewal to Playboy and happiest of all…. Deus Slidetoberfest in Bali, a combo of motos and surfing set in the idyllic location of Indonesia’s beaches and rice paddy fields. It’s a free-for-all mash-up that leaves everyone smiling and exhausted.

Now in its seventh year, the competition has a charm and carefree attitude ripped straight out of On Any Sunday. To add to the nostalgia, half the competitions use bikes from that era. The vintage class always brings cheers from the crowd and the incessant reminiscing of the over-30s.

“Yeah, I had a Yama-Honda-kawi-zuki back in the day.”

“Learned how to do wheelies on that pig!!”

“That bike would last forever, not like today’s throw away bikes!”

The best I’ve heard was “I lost my virginity because of that bike over there...” Vintage class seems to be more effective than Viagra.

The first day’s race was a new one named the Swank Rally. The race starts with each rider hitting a stopwatch and tearing off with a few corners on the south end of the Pangkungtibah motocross track before shooting off onto the nearby beach for a sand straightaway, allowing for a fun wide-open throttle next to the waves. Shortly after, you come to a rivermouth crossing that sets up for a long rice paddy field trek before bringing you back to a few tight turns to the beach and back to the finish/starting line to hit the stopwatch and reporting your time. It’s all honor system and all fun.

Day two finds you back at the trek but this time it’s standard motocross racing. Anyone can enter the race so you find some big differentiation in skill levels. Show up with a bike, or rent one there and jump in with everyone else. Wear boots or an old pair of Chucks, no real heavy rules except for a helmet and smile. There’ll probably be someone better than you, but that also means that there will be someone worse than you, too.

Day three brings everyone to the beach in Canggu where the surf comp is held. All different types of boards are ridden and the wave sliding is something else to watch. There are quite a few pros who show up to this event but it might even be worth jumping in just to get a few uncrowded waves to be shared with four other people at a time.

The fourth and final day brings the flat track race. This year’s flat track moved from the beach to a crushed gravel oval in front of the Deus Temple. This event had the standard turn left that comes with a flat track race, and created all the screams and squeals that are tough to decipher. Was that howl coming from the tires or the crowd? Probably both. There doesn’t seem to be more than a few minutes that go by without someone or something shrieking in fun and pure enjoyment.

And waiting a whole year until it happens again just doesn’t seem fair.