Manglayang Mountain is one of the favorite bicycle routes located in East Bandung. A combination of forests, valleys and extreme terrains becomes an attraction of the area.
The mountain is as high as 1,800 meters is the eastern-most mildstone from the chain of mountains in Lembang. Its ridge contains many trajectory paths in forest pine owned by Perhutani.
There are two easy ways to get there. First is from Bandung. Head the vehicle toward Ujungberung, then go up through Palintang village. Second is from Lembang, could be accessed through Maribaya, Cibodas village and continue to Bukit Tunggul quinine plantation.
This morning we started traveling from Tunggul Bukit, the bikes directly accelerate entering the oldest quinine plantation area in Indonesia. Plantation roads made of chipped asphalts mixed with sands make it a good path due to the bikes that we are using are all mountain or AM type with tire widths above two inches.
We call it the Stage 1, climbing roads exploring hills between the valley of Palasari Mountain. Ramp after ramp continues to be passed for an hour until the end of stage 1 in an open field known as Karpet. This is actually the peak of a hill between Manglayang and Palasari Mountain. In the field with a height about 1,600 meters above sea level, cyclists can rest while enjoying simple foods in a stall.
After getting enough rest, we continued with our travel. Stage 2 is a single track inside the forest. This is a dreamy route for mountain cyclists. Roads decline through vegetable plantation after departing from the Karpet. Cyclists are required to wear glasses to protect their eyes from tree branches. Before entering the pine forest, there is an extreme drop ending in a small river. The drop is highly desired by downhillers.
After the river, a pine forest welcomes cyclists. The small road zig-zags between trees that are decades old. It requires good handling skills and its better not to go too fast. Besides taking risks, the exotic view of the forest is too good to miss.
The next route is dominated by small roads with gorges. At several points, there are no spaces between the small road and the gorge. Adrenaline pumps when going through this track. The end of stage 2 is the border between the pine forest and the residents’ garden, called Genteng.
Stage 3, or the last stage, is not less challenging. Spoiled with soil roads that is quite wide with long downhills, cyclists will be shaken along the garden track up to the village. After going through the small village, the landscape changes to become a paddy field view.
At the end of the bicycle track is a bamboo plantation and the path zig-zags passing through rice fields.
Kiara Payung Camp Site can be considered as the finish line of stage 3, but there is one more that is usually called the bonus track, that climbs down Kiara Payung hill until the end of the point in IPDN gate. It starts from a field, exploring small roads in a cemetery, then cruises down to a corn field.
Exiting the corn field, the dirt road ends. Then, an asphalt road takes cyclists to the campus area of IPDN. The total distance from Bukit Tunggul to Jatinangor is about 30 kilometers and took 6 hours of travel, with an elevation drop of 900 meters (from 1,600 meters above sea level to 700 meters above sea level). – Tempo