Pimp my Bicycle

DENPASAR ~ Fans of the popular MTV show Pimp My Ride can keep their triple exhausts and flashy paint jobs – for children in Bali, the vehicle of choice these days is a customized bicycle.

A bike-modification craze first hit the streets and alleyways of Bali about four months ago and now almost every self-respecting youngster has pimped-up peddle power.

Putu Iwan, an 18-year-old student said that he had modified his bicycle to make it look cool.

“Now I feel more confident riding it in public places,” he said proudly.

For 13-year-old Made Agus Prawira, it’s all about keeping up with the latest trend.

“I did the modification because most of my friends are doing it and I didn’t want to miss it,” he said.

The fad is creating a minor industry in Bali and motorcycle technicians now often have a sideline in bicycle modification. Costs vary depending on the look and materials that riders want.  I Made Sugata, a mechanic, said, “I normally use recycled materials when modifying bicycles. The quality is good and the price is cheaper.”

He charges between Rp10,000 (US$1.10) and Rp20, 000 for work on the bikes.

But for discerning riders, cost is no object – just like on Pimp My Ride.

Putu Iwan spent Rp400,000 to get the look and feel he wanted.

“Getting new material was important for me. It will be stronger than recycled, and safer. My bicycle is old; it was my grandfather’s,” he said.

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The Island

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