Rumble in the Jungle 2016

Mumble In The Jungle – Part Four

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Our man Jason Miles sends the final part of his Rumble In The Jungle diary from Sri Lanka.

Rumble in the Jungle 2016

Hello from the jungle! Well, hello from Sri Lanka’s second-biggest city anyway. Today’s 4th and final stage started with a 20 kilometre neutral road section in less-than-scorching temperatures. In fact, it was like a warm day in Manchester. Perfect!

Rumble in the Jungle rain
Like a home from home.

Some of the South African riders weren’t keen though and were wearing coats and thermals.
Anyway, back to the 20k neutral start. We all had to ride behind the rather chaotic and sometimes lacking-in-skill motorcycles (one of the poor chaps crashed his motorbike on a bend in front of us). Bear in mind the motorcyles were there for safety reasons…

Then, the moment we’d all been training hard for all week, a massive climb up a mountain! This one was just a baby one though, a mere 500 metres of ascent, most of it 10 or 12% of gradient.

After that the remainder of the stage was downhill to Kandy, as we descended the temperature and humidity gradually rose, as did the number of tuktuks and lorries on the roads. We also saw an increase in the number of smelly puddles and out-of-control dogs on the dirt and rocky trails.

I made it to the finish just in time for the rain to start and was rewarded with a very tasty samosa which reminded me of a Findus Crispy Pancake. But much spicier.

Jason Miles, Rumble in the Jungle 2016
“Would you like to see a party trick? I can inhale a samosa in 0.1 seconds”

Rumble in the Jungle has been a tiring but brilliant and hugely entertaining way to experience the ‘real’ Sri Lanka – the hidden mountain villages, the riot of colour around every bend in the trail, the tough but rewarding riding and the wonderful people here who apparently can’t stop smiling.

Read previous parts here:
Part 1.
Part 2.
Part 3.

You can also seem more pictures on Jason’s Instagram.

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David started mountain biking in the 90’s, by which he means “Ineptly jumping a Saracen Kili Racer off anything available in a nearby industrial estate”. After growing up and living in some extremely flat places, David moved to Yorkshire specifically for the mountain biking. This felt like a horrible mistake at first, because the hills are so steep, but you get used to them pretty quickly. Previously, David trifled with road and BMX, but mountain bikes always won. He’s most at peace battering down a rough trail, quietly fixing everything that does to a bike, or trying to figure out if that one click of compression damping has made things marginally better or worse. The inept jumping continues to this day.

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