A video doing the rounds on Instagram is the ultimate proof that you shouldn’t attempt to learn to ride a scooter in Bali, despite it being the best way to get around.
Bali isn’t necessarily the stress-free land of Bintangs, beautiful beaches and beach club resorts you’ve been led to believe. It’s a country with a thriving population whose primary mode of transportation is the humble scooter. Bali is a small country, with small roads, at least, once you get into the main populous areas such as Canggu. It’s in places like this where driving a car doesn’t make sense: they’re too big and you just end up getting stuck behind an army of scooters.
So, while it would likely be common knowledge for anyone travelling to Bali – although, to be honest, it wasn’t common knowledge to me before I went for the first time – a scooter is the only way to go. But, as one video posted by Instagram account The Canggu Pole shows, it’s probably wise that you have some idea of how to ride a scooter before you hand over some cash to rent one for the duration of your stay.
WATCH: Man’s Scooter Prang Shows Why You Shouldn’t Learn To Ride One In Bali
The video in question shows an inexperienced scooter rider setting off, only to lose control and crash into a car just seconds later. The caption for the video reads, “I’ll never get enough of this man 🤦🏽♂️🤦🏽♂️ Why would you try to learn ride a bike here in Bali?? Do people think the road is soft here or something.”
The majority of the comments were in agreement with the caption and in amazement at what the rider recorded in the video was doing. Even world champion surfer Kelly Slater commented (although they were more words of encouragement for people not having a clue what they’re doing when riding in Bali): “If these people didn’t ride scooters we’d never have these clips to watch,” he said.
One user spoke to the seriousness of inexperience “Literally everyone you meet here will try to convince you that it’s ‘super easy’ and ‘part of the experience’ to drive a scooter here. If you try to state facts like how many accidents happen every day, you’re just uncool or paranoid. This video should be played at immigration.”
I can personally sympathise with the scooter rider in the video. I’d never ridden a scooter before going to Bali (unless you count a fear-induced 500-metres in Ibiza in 2012) so admittedly, I was hesitant about getting on one again. But, as mentioned earlier, a scooter is the best way to get around Bali and so I decided to strap on a helmet and find out how hard it could be.
I did prefer going on the back and letting one of my friends ride, and I used the rather long path down to my villa for practice runs before getting out on the open road. The majority of the time I was ok, although on the odd occasion I was riding and one of my friends was at the back, I definitely felt a greater sense of fear. More so because I didn’t want to injure them and face ridicule on the plane journey home.
I did have an unfortunate meeting of my scooter and another one parked up outside a breakfast cafe, and of course, with my luck, the owner of said crash barrier scooter saw and came out. Fortunately, their scooter came off unscathed. I can’t say the same for the scooter second in line, that her scooter fell into. Oops.
I may have a different outlook to some others who think riding a scooter for the first time will be accident and worry-free. I feel like I personally don’t have much of an ego, so being able to say “I’m not riding one” or “I don’t know how so I’m happy for someone else to,” is pretty easy. But, if you do go to Bali and you want to hire a scooter for the first time, please think about taking some lessons either before you go or when you get there.
You wouldn’t want to end up on accounts such as The Canggu Pole where the entire world can see how much of a boob you are.