Photographer Victor Lucas takes the trip of a lifetime to Indonesia to find out about Polygon bikes and their first venture into World Cup downhill racing…
From Dirt Issue 136 – June 2013
Words by Victor Lucas. Photos by Victor Lucas.They say there’s no better way to get to know people than on a wild travelling adventure into the unknown. Well this is more or less exactly how I spent a week in Indonesia with the Hutchinson UR team. Starting with an epic ordeal of travel from all corners of the Globe, the plan was to get the whole team together to visit their new sponsor Polygon Bikes, take in the local culture and of course do a bit of bike riding.
Paris, 6am. It’s snowing. I’m standing outside in the freezing cold, waiting for a bus. I wish I wore a jacket and I’m thinking how much I hate Charles de Gaul airport – it’s just way too big, the terminal numbers are ridiculous – 2d65 for example, and they really love to lose my bags there. But it’s not all bad, I’m on my way to a new country…Indonesia. Heck I’ve never even been to Asia before. With my board shorts packed, a tube of factor 50 and a bottle of malaria pills that might make me hallucinate, I have no idea what to expect.
As mentioned, I’m on my way to join the Hutchinson UR team on a visit to their new team sponsor Polygon Bicycles. Who’s that you say? Well we haven’t really heard much about them before in Europe, but it turns out that this is the biggest bicycle company in Indonesia we are talking about here. And that’s a big thing. In a country of 200 million people, scattered around 40,000 islands, the bicycle is a vital part of daily life. Polygon is a family business built up from nothing over the last 50 years, and now they churn out over 1000 bikes every day in their factory on the edge of Indonesia’s third biggest city, Surabaya. I am excited to see what this place is like.
After four connecting flights and 19 hours in the air, it’s a bit hard to keep the buzz going. But as soon as I get off the last flight, the culture shock hits from every angle…it’s loud, crazy and crowded, with people rushing everywhere. ‘Psst Mister, need a taxi? Carry your luggage?’ I get asked at least 20 times before meeting the local company–man who took me on a break–neck drive through the most insane traffic I have ever witnessed.>>