Through 12 days, and across 842 kilometres, we'll cover Sri Lanka from one end to the other and come across an endless sea of tea plantations dotted with saree-clad pickers, postcard-perfect beaches, roads parked with rows of shimmying coconut palms and herds of wild elephants ambling about mangroves. Every bend is planted with old Portuguese or Dutch forts and every corner, crowded with ancient ruins and remnants of colonial architecture that lays bare the chequered relations between Sri Lanka's Sinhalese and Tamil communities. Then there are the florid Buddhist temples, rickety trains tirelessly chugging along the countryside and eateries boasting of crisp golden hoppers and the most fragrant of curries that'll keep you coming back for more.
Bicycles can be hired locally at a price of ₹19,026 for a standard bike, and ₹27,087 for a carbon bike. The bikes are Trek 2.1Cs and Specialised Allez or Roubaix (basically, really sturdy road bikes). If you're bringing your own bike, please make sure that it's a road bike and that it's in impeccable mechanical condition.
Essential spares and tools are carried by the guide on a support vehicle, if you're travelling with a tour company. Otherwise, it's recommended to carry a basic tool kit, a spare tube and a pump with yourselves.
This itinerary is recommended for experienced cyclists only. Those taking part should be physically fit, as the days on which a long distance needs to be covered or while cycling through the hills, it will become extremely strenuous. In the last nine days, an ascent of 7,557m will be scaled.
DIY or not
While it can be a do-it-yourself trip, it's highly recommended to head out with a tour company, mainly because of necessary provisions and to bridge the language barrier. This tour is organised by many tour companies, such as:
Spice Roads | Contact: +66 2381 7490
Grasshopper Adventures | Contact: +66 2280 0832
₹1,92,583 per person, from Negombo to Colombo, if you are travelling with Spice Roads. This includes accommodation, most meals, logistics for the trip (an English-speaking local guide etc) and a support vehicle.