The biggest question I had before this trip was, “Am I crazy?” I'm an out-of-shape, middle-aged woman who hasn’t been on a bicycle in 8 months. Why would I consider going a bike tour in Sri Lanka?...
Remember Jaz, our Grasshopper Adventures Guest Support Specialist and her Father-daughter Vietnam cycle trip last year? Keeping things in the family, this year she accompanied her mother on our classic Sri Lanka by Bike tour. Jessica (her mother) kindly shared her honest experience from initial trepidation through to reflections on the journey...
Well, for one thing, it was called “Sri Lanka The Easy Way” and for another thing, it was an opportunity to spend a week with my daughter. Also, everything I knew about Sri Lanka sounded great – though I knew very little – and I was in desperate need of a vacation.
So resisting further second thoughts I decided to go.
Besides the big question, there were all the secondary questions: Who else will be on this trip? Will I like them? Will they think less of me if I can’t pedal up the hills? What’s Sri Lankan food like, anyway?
I am pleased to report that the other members of the tour were delightful, and I liked them all. No one made me feel bad when I couldn’t pedal up a few of the bigger hills, and there was no sense of competition at all, just pure fun and adventure.
While there were a couple of steep challenges that I wasn’t quite up for, the rest of the ride was a joy. I didn't know that Grasshopper offers e-bikes as an option on tours in Sri Lanka*, I only found out after the trip. I am sure e-bikes would have made those climbs a lot easier for me.
*Our fleet in Sri Lanka is being upgraded so e-bikes are currently unavailable
We rode on a variety of road surfaces, and generally stayed away from any traffic. The long downhill stretches offered gorgeous views over the valleys, and the only reason I was often the last to the bottom of a hill was that I made sure to stop now and then to take photos.
I loved the fact that we had enough time to really enjoy the hotels where we stayed. I took advantage of a couple of fantastic swimming pools and walked along the beach early one morning. I ate more food than I should have because we were presented with one spectacular buffet after another, which meant I could try Sri Lankan foods knowing I could always go back for a hundred other options if I craved something more familiar.
So the answer to the big question is that I was not actually crazy, and now I am so grateful for having taken the leap of faith and booked the trip. It was a fantastic get-away from the stresses of everyday life and work. I felt both challenged and well taken care of, and while I’m still an out-of-shape middle-aged woman I will likely be back on a bike again sooner rather than later.