Surakarta bicycle shop Rukun Makmur
Surakarta is better known as Solo, one of the interesting cities in Central Java. I had been briefly in Solo many years ago but had not properly explored it until April 2010 when I cycled into the city from the direction Sragen, north of Surakarta.
Although the road to Solo in the last kilometers had been busy, it was quite easy to enter the city and find a hotel in the city center. To my surprise the center was not very busy at all. It seemed the city was dominated more by bechaks then by cars or motorbikes.
I however had a problem with my old friend Jim, my bicycle. My crank had been loose and that was not a good sign, I expected I had to change it. Would I be able to find a bicycle shop in Solo that would be able to fix it?
Bicycle shop Rukun Makmur
I asked in the hotel and to my surprise they knew! "Walk to the main road, Jl Slamet Riyadi and go right. Opposite of the street there is a good one", they said. And to my surprise there was a good bike shop.
I brought my bicycle in and the owner looked briefly, then called the mechanic, chatted a bit and told me I had to change the crank, explaining what the problem was. I was already expecting this so I told them what they could offer me. The owner took me upstairs and showed me the cranks he had available. I choose the best he had, a Shimano Deore, which was fine with me.
I asked if it could be done the same day but they didn't seem to hear me. By the time I was downstairs again, it turned out the mechanic had already started working. It took about an hour. The mechanic checked a few other things, a little maintenance on brakes and gears and together with a new pair of pedals I expected quite a bill. It was no more then US$85, a huge amount for locals (and I regularly get questions why to spend so much on maintenance as new bicycles in Asia, like here in Indonesia or Malaysia can be as cheap as US $50-75). Of course not the same quality. My problem was solved and that was the most important thing.
For those who need the full address of the Surakarta bike shop Rukun Makmur:
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The beauty of east Java
A bicycle has the advantage to explore much more. In the case of East Java this is certainly true:
Solo, a gem in central Java
Solo can indeed be called a gem. With plenty to explore and surprises around the corner, Solo is a must visit for a couple of days in Central Java.