All Smiles in Flores

Earlier this month, set against the backdrop of Flores Island, Indonesia, HUNT supported rider Boru geared up to take on extreme self-supported challenge – Lintang Flores. 

This ultra race is known for its vast and varied terrain, covering 1000km with a staggering 19,000-meter elevation gain, all to be completed within the cut off time of 100-hours.

Boru crossed the finish line in 1st place with an impressive time of 70-hours, here is what he had to say about the event:

Aerial shot of a climb, Boru in aero position

I never made it as far east as Flores when I rode through Indonesia last year, so when I heard of a new ultra race happening there I knew I had to go over and take part. For all of us who take part in ultra cycling there is a desire to explore new places and understand the world we live in through the bike a little bit more. The chance to see eastern Indonesia through a race was something I couldn’t miss.

I also wanted to ride the race because of the initiatives it supports in the local community here. In Indonesia, the further east you go the less populated it becomes and there are signs that not all the people here live with the same basic needs that we take for granted. As I looked into Lintang Flores more, I saw that part of the race entry is donated to the Stunting Prevention Community for Maumere’s Children, a condition of impaired growth from lack of adequate nutrition in children. There can be quite a contrast in ultra races in that often you’re riding very expensive equipment in places where the thought of spending so much money on a bicycle is absurd, as meeting basic necessities takes urgent precedent. I wanted to take part in an ultra race that recognises this and is actively supporting the communities whose roads we are guests on.

Aerial shot of a climb, Boru in aero position

The most interesting part of the race was just how supportive the people of Flores are. And it’s not just the children, it’s every generation. By the end of the race, my face hurt just as much as my legs from the amount of smiling in those 1000km. 
All day hearing ‘Hello Mr!’ Or ‘Istirahat dulu!’ (“Rest first!”), getting supportive beeps or even in the nighttime, in the rain, being accompanied by a stranger on a motorbike by your side, or a truck hanging back, for hours on end just to give you some extra light so that you can ride more safely. It never ceased to amaze me how the most stern looks of curiosity can transform into the most wonderful and welcoming smiles you’ve ever seen. It’s hard to stay long in that headspace of doubt and struggle that ultra racing brings when you have such happiness and joy from the people around you.”

Cycling caps, Boru after the race, group photo of racers

Boru rides...

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April 22, 2024 — Jacob Rubio