Tarwi, cycling from Surabaya to Jakarta at the age of 79 years

Tarwi (right) and Puspita Mustika, ready to travel 1,100 km. (Photo: Surya Travel/Tribun News)

IO – Tarwi cannot be separated from the bicycle. The gold medallist in team bicycle racing with his compa- triots such as Sapari and Theo Gun- awan at the Games of New Emerging Forces (Ganefo) in 1966 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, is still actively ped- alling his bicycle.

In fact, at the age of 79, he plans to travel 1,100 km from Surabaya to Jakarta with the headline “Tour de Java 1,100 km is Back”. Starting from the State University of Surabaya (Unesa) on 17 September.

“I want to repeat the trip from Surabaya to Jakarta. In 2002, I did it, only at that time, I didn’t say where I had gone. 4 days later I gave the news to the family that I was already in Ja- karta,” said Tarwi.

Now 18 years have passed, that desire has returned to the fore even though the COVID-19 pandemic is still lurking. “I want to show the young generation to remain produc- tive and not give up, as suggested by President Jokowi. We have to keep up the spirit. And speci cally for cycling, this time I got permission from my family but had to be accompanied during the trip.”

Tarwi will be accompanied by a former racer he coached, Puspita Mustika Adya. “In the past, I was trained by Pak Tarwi, now it is my turn to accompany him throughout the trip,” said Puspita.

Tarwi will start with a distance of 210 km from Surabaya – Rembang on 17 September. The next day, Sep- tember 18, he will cover a distance of 138 km from Rembang to Semarang, followed by September 19 taking the 120 km of Semarang – Solo route.

After a day’s rest on September 20, Tarwi will continue his de Java tour on September 21 covering a dis- tance of 170 km from Yogyakarta – Purwokerto. Purwokerto – Cirebon as far as 147 km will be covered on 22 September. Furthermore, on 23 Sep- tember Tarwi will race the distance from Cirebon to Bandung as far as 136 km.

He shall rest on September 24 before continuing from Bandung to Sukabumi for a distance of 95 km on September 25. Sukabumi – Jakarta with a distance of 115 km will be the last of Tarwi’s Tour de Java on 26 September.

The Tarwi family is very support- ive of his plan. His only daughter Ony Cristiana Dewi will be the chief organizer of this event. She could not stand against her father’s will.

“If we don’t allow it, I’m afraid that he will get sick. So far, he has often been cycling from Surabaya to Malang. So now he asks to be allowed cycling from Surabaya to Jakarta. If he is not allowed, we fear it will be like that in 2002 when suddenly he was already in Jakarta. That’s why now we make the program as well as documentation during the trip,” ex- plained Ony.

Tarwi underwent a physical test at the Surabaya State University (Un- esa) sports laboratory, Achilles Sport Science And Fitness Center (ASS- FC), last Tuesday, September 8. In

the most sophisticated laboratory in Eastern Indonesia, he passed various tests such as blood pressure, lung capacity, sit and reach, Vo2 Max, and lactic acid tests.

“Pak Tarwi’s wish is very cool. At the age of 79 this September, he wants to cycle to Jakarta. It’s a rarity,” said Une- sa Rector, Prof. Dr. Nurhasan, M. Kes.

Director of Achilles SSFC Unesa, Prof. Dr. On Setiono Mkes shook his head when he saw the results of Tarwi’s test. According to him, the physical strength of the man from Lamongan is equivalent to that of a man tens of years younger.

“The important thing is when Pak Tarwi is on a trip to Jakarta, he must be accompanied by a coach to pro- vide input on when to rest. For the bicycle rhythm to remain stable and to avoid fatigue. I admit that his en- thusiasm is very high like a ghter.”

Unesa will also include an expert team to monitor physical conditions as research material. As conveyed by Expert Tester at Achilles SSFC, Doni Ardy Kusuma.

“We have a lot of data on the physical strength of the athletes, but we don’t have 79-year-olds like Pak Tarwi. Therefore, we will accompany Pak Tarwi’s trip so that he can pro- vide input to the Unesa team as well,” said Doni.

When he nishes in Jakarta, Tarwi’s name will be recorded at the Indonesian Record Museum (MURI) as a 79-year-old man who had cycled from Surabaya to Jakarta – a 1100 km. journey. (rp)