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|Year and Month||March, 2012|
|Number of Days||3 days|
|Crew||One (Me, Myself & I)|
|Activities||Camping, photography, connecting with locals|
|Weather||Hot and Sunny (during day time)|
|Route||Colombo –> Chilaw –> Kurunegala –> Colombo|
|Tips, Notes and Special remark||
|Comments||Discuss this trip report, provide feedback or make suggestions at Lakdasun Forum on the thread|
It has been donkeys years since I did a bicycle tour and about six months back I was looking at some old pictures of me and my friends on tour and it suddenly dawned on me that I need to do a another tour soon.
The first thing I did was to check my old touring bike and to see if it was still usable.
I soon realized that I needed a new bike as the old girl was in pretty bad shape and refitting her is going to cost me a lot.
Increasingly many people have started using mountain bikes for touring so I thought of giving it a try. After looking around for a mountain bike that can be used for touring (not all mountain bikes can be used for this purpose) I bought myself a reconditioned GT Tempest.
Once the bike was bought it was time to do the customizations this took me 6months mainly because I had to design and fabricate most of the accessories and even had to import a few items.
By mid-March the bike was finally complete and it was time to do a test run.
So 3 days were set and I was ready to go BUT I dint have a route to travel on and it was finally decided that I will ride up to Chilaw using the coastal road and come back. 3 days for this tour was too much and I was determined to ride more.
Day 1 (Friday, 30.03.2012)
|Distance traveled||79.56 Km|
|Time spent paddling||6:50:45|
|Average speed||11.60 Km per hour|
|Maximum speed||24.10 Km per hour|
It was 5.10 in the morning when I left my home in Colombo. I exited Colombo using the bridge connecting to Handala and went along the Uswetakeiyawa road towards Negambo. For the most part the road was in very good shape and was able to reach Negambo by 8am.
Passing Negambo I continued along the coast towards Porutota. Once reaching Porutota I had a look at the map and according to it I had to turn towards Kochchikade because of the river mouth was blocking my way and the only bridge to cross the river was in Kochchikade!! For most part of my journey I’ve been travelling on back roads and at this point I wasn’t very keen on going to Kochchikade and traveling on the main road to. So I decided to take a gamble and headed towards the river mouth to find a crossing point.
I was in luck and my gamble paid off, when I reached the river mouth it was blocked with sand and I saw a local pushing a bike across it. After having a chat with that local I had my breakfast and decided to do the crossing (to get a better idea checkout the “Google Earth File Attached ).
The crossing was tough as my bike was very heavy it sank in the soft sand and I had a tough time pushing it. But once across I managed to find my way to Waikkala and from their I had to travel on the main road up to Nainamadama. And form that point I turned left and was back on the coastal road to Chilaw.
Around noon I found a lonely place on the beach and decided to prepare my lunch. I had brought my cooking set which includes a pot with a lid, a small alcohol stove, fuel, dish wash, hand wash, lunch sheets and a plate. Since my culinary skills weren’t so great my lunch was a simple affair!! Maggi Noodles and a ready to eat fish curry.
I only had another 15Km to go and since I was in no hurry I had a rest till 2pm under some trees on the beach and continued on my journey to Chilaw. By 3.30pm Chilaw was in sight and once in Chilaw found a place to spend the night (Chilaw Rest House)
Now that I have reached Chilaw and found a place to stay, my next big question was where do I go from here?? Looked at all the maps that I had with me and I still couldn’t find an interesting place to go to. So it was finally decided to return home.
Day 2 (Saturday, 31.03.2012)
|Distance traveled||75.46 Km|
|Time spent paddling||6:43:11|
|Average speed||11.20 Km per hour|
|Maximum speed||29.60 Km per hour|
Next day morning I was ready to go home and then when I was just about to leave it occurred to me that I could go to Kurunegala!!
Once my mind was set there was no turning back, I knew that the road was uphill (most motorist do not notice that Kurunegala is uphill because for them the small hills go unnoticed) and paddling a fully loaded touring bike is no joke.
It was 5.30am when I left the rest house and my estimate was that there will be around 80Km to Kurunegala. This is very much doable in a day even riding uphill.
As dawn was breaking the road to Wariyapola was breathtaking. Paddy fields lined the road. The traffic on this road was also very much less than I expected.
Around 7.45am I was feeling a bit hungry so I opened a can of fruit and had it as breakfast. From this point onwards the road proved to be quite a challenge as there were plenty of small hills to climb. The climbing and descending was never ending, nevertheless I enjoyed every bit of this section. By 11.10am I was in Wariyapola and from there Kurunegala was only 20Km a way!!
After battling many more hills and having lunch on the way I was finally in Kurunegala. My first task was to find a place to stay, after inquiring I found a place on the Kurunegala – Negambo road called the Blue sky hotel. It was a bit expensive but since it was on the Negambo road and they also had a room available on the ground floor I decided to take it.
So the final night in my tour was also spent in a hotel this was a bit disappointing because I had all the camping equipment with me (my bike is a mobile Home the only thing that I don’t have onboard is a kitchen sink!!)
Day 3 (Sunday, 01.04.2012)
|Distance traveled||92.36 Km|
|Time spent paddling||7:52:54|
|Average speed||11.70 Km per hour|
|Maximum speed||32.00 Km per hour|
The alarm went off at 2.00 am and the first thing that I did was to look out of the window to check if it was raining because the previous night it rained heavily. By 3.00am I was back on the road. My initial thought was to extend my tour and cycle from Kurunegala to Dambulla and from there to Trinco but sanity prevailed and I decided to end my tour and head back to Colombo, after all this was only a test ride!!
The initial part of the ride back to Colombo was a bit boring because when I left Kurunegala it was dark and I did not get much of a chance to enjoy the scenery but once the sun was up it became magical again.
The route that I took from Kurunegala was on the Negambo road up to Giriulla and via Diwulapitiya, Minuwangoda and came to Ja-Ela and from there to Colombo. By 11.30am I was back home.