Cycle South South Sulawesi Indonesia Cycle South South Sulawesi Indonesia
Colin Freestone

Tour Leader

Colin Freestone in Pondok
I grew up on Maroubra beach (Sydney, Australia) in the 40s - 60s. There I developed a deep love of the water and the sea. I was a member of the local Surf Life Saving Club and did beach patrols on weekends. I body surfed, caught waves on a Malibu, paddled a ski and rowed in the club surfboat. In those days Maroubra was reputed to have the biggest and roughest waves of all Sydney’s beaches.

I’m now 66. I’ve retained my love of the sea and swim year round on Sydney’s northern beaches.
I graduated in Commerce from the University of NSW in 1965. At school and university I played Rugby and toured New Zealand with Australian universities (we won one only of 7 games). I was a volunteer teacher in Malaysia (1966 - 1967) with Australian Volunteers Abroad. There I became attracted to the Malay - Indonesian culture and language. I’ve taught at various Australian universities (1975 - 1993), have written several textbooks on South East Asia and over a 40 year period I’ve organized more than 30 group tours to Indonesia.

Sensing a need for better understanding between Australia and Indonesia in 1994 I set up Indonesian Cultural Communications (ICC), an educational management business that provides consultancy services to the Indonesian government. We still have an office in Jakarta.
Colin Freestone with Sulawesi farmer
I’m an officially accredited (NAATI) to highest level, Indonesian language interpreter and translator. I don’t have a car. I cycle most everywhere, including Jakarta. My love of cycling, Yoga and swimming is matched by a 40 year interest in Indonesian culture. I’m married to Tjut Hadisah Freestone (originally from Aceh, Sumatra) with two grown up children.

Through Sulawesi cycle trips I hope to link up with different types of people and share with them my passions for cycling, Yoga, the outdoors and Indonesian culture. For me, the Sulawesi cycle trips are not a money making venture. They’re an opportunity to do what I love doing and to share it with others.

Colin Freestone in Sulawesi Perahu The idea of leading cycle tours to Sulawesi began in 2000 when my son Rendra and I, on mini wheel Bromptons, took the shortest route northwards from Makassar to Toraja Land. In August 2006 we took a longer and far more scenic circular route all around South Sulawesi on Bike Fridays. In January 2009 we led a 27 day 1200 km tour through South Sulawesi. Inspired by the success of that trip I decided to follow it up with a shorter one for people with less time. I took 5 people on that (South South Sulawesi) trip and we had a ball. So much so that four of them signed up for the February 2010 trip to Toraja Land. On that trip we did 760 km in a 13 day period (9 cycle days) and it too was a knockout.

There is little doubt that Toraja Land provides the best , everything considered, cycle touring, and for this reason this trip with MCVCC is limited to that area.

These three trips have allowed me to develop approaches and modus operandi that seem to work for the riders who participate in these Sulawesi.cycle adventure tours.
Colin Freestone in Sulawesi pondok
I’m as keen as I was when I first started these tours. I love the feeling of getting fitter as I prepare myself for a trip. I love working with participants in their preparations for a trip. I love the camaraderie and bonhomie of the group, the physical challenge (and reaching the top) of the ascents (and the buzz of the descents too), yarning with the locals we meet along the way, the simple wholesome food and problem solving the unexpected.

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