The Pekanbaru stage of the nationwide bicycle race Sepeda Nusantara 2018 is slated to be held in the Riau capital on Oct. 21, and authorities there are hoping its effect will outlast the day.
“The event is an opportunity for Pekanbaru to promote our region as an investment center and tourist destination,” Zulfahmi Adrian, Pekanbaru’s Youth and Sports Agency head, said in Pekanbaru, as quoted by news agency Antara.
Adrian said the city was ready for the event, with the committee making final preparations ahead of the race. He added that Sepeda Nusantara, which translates to “Archipelago Bike”, involved thousands of participants from around the country and was overseen by the Youth and Sports Ministry.
Adrian explained that the ministry was working together with 70 cities and regencies across 34 provinces around the country, each of which organizes the bike race leg in their respective region.
“Seventy regencies and cities will hold this event, and each was given time to hold it between May and November 2018. In Pekanbaru, it will take place on Oct. 21,” Adrian said.
Pekanbaru authorities are set to highlight tourist destinations and the local investment potential through the race, with the route passing through highlighted spots of the city. A festival is also slated to be held one day prior to the race, boasting culinary delights as well as side events, such as a bike decoration competition and a BMX freestyle show.
Launched by Youth and Sports Minister Imam Nahrawi in Jakarta in May, Sepeda Nusantara celebrates President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s fondness of cycling as a sportive activity, which also reflects in the head of state’s choice of gifts when conducting regional visits.
“This is the [expression] of President Jokowi’s habit, who gives encouragement with bicycle prizes. This activity is an invitation to Indonesians to stay healthy, fit and always be cheerful in all circumstances,” said Imam during the launch earlier this year, as quoted by Antara.