Mumble In The Jungle – Part 1

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Jason Miles is in Sri Lanka, racing the Rumble in the Jungle. He’s been telegraphing his reports in and we’ll be following his progress here.

Rumble in the Jungle 5
Budda overlooking bus journeys and chicken soups
Rumble in the Jungle 4
Just like Prestwich then. Only even wetter

Come in Capt. Chippendale…are you receiving me?

It’s very hot in Sri Lanka, the bothersome humidity is making moving around a sweaty affair and I’ve not even started the cycling part yet.
We’ve arrived at our hotel near Kuda Oya before the first stage tomorrow. It was a six-hour, arse-clenchingly terrifying coach drive from Negombo, where there seemed to be no limit to the risks that Sri Lankan motorists would take. Buddha was watching over us though, cos we’re not dead.

Rumble in the Jungle 3
Never underestimate the local talent

I had a coconut for my lunch. I didn’t trust anything else. Last night I ate a chicken curry that I swear was a tin of chicken soup with some on-the-bone meat in it. I’m also quite sure that one of those bones was a skull…

Over and out…

(more tomorrrow, after the mountain biking)

Rumble in the Jungle 2
It’s all smiles at the start
Rumble in the Jungle 1
Lovely views. You have to earn them though. 20km of climbing!

Day One – Let’s race!

It seems like yesterday’s hot and humid weather wasn’t a flash in the pan, it’s hot and humid today too. We started day 1 of the mountain bike race at Kuda Oya where I conducted my pre-race nervous business in a ‘long-drop’ khazi. The entirely manual flushing mechanism (a bucket) was the second lowest point of the day.
The lowest point of the day was on the way to the highest point, geographically speaking. A 20km, 2000+metre, steep, rocky and loose climb to the finish line at Haputale in 30-plus degrees has set the scene for the rest of the week. This race isn’t for messers.
I got a bit of cramp but I think I’m off to a reasonable start…

Over and out, more tomorrow!

Chipps Chippendale

Singletrackworld's Editor At Large

With 23 years as Editor of Singletrack World Magazine, Chipps is the longest-running mountain bike magazine editor in the world. He started in the bike trade in 1990 and became a full time mountain bike journalist at the start of 1994. Over the last 30 years as a bike writer and photographer, he has seen mountain bike culture flourish, strengthen and diversify and bike technology go from rigid steel frames to fully suspended carbon fibre (and sometimes back to rigid steel as well.)

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