Tripin 2019 - page 47

Photo by Neshantha Jayamaha
Ivan pushed back from the table slightly, rocking
on the back two legs of his chair. He folded his
hands behind his head and took a deep breath, a
smile unfolded across his face, “It’s breathtaking,”
he said in an almost blissful state before he went
on. “You know the most amazing rides are in and
around the tea plantation areas in the center of the
island. When are you going to get a chance to ride
through perfectly terraced, manicured tea estates?
It’s a treat for the eye, vibrant with color, the rich
blue sky, the lush tea bushes and then to contrast
it all, tea pluckers scattered throughout the hills
with their brightly colored sarees and gold jewelry
catching the light. Oh man! Sometimes I just have to
stop and take it all in.”
Ivan Brown, a British National, has lived and worked
in Sri Lanka for over 19 years. Biking has been
second nature for him as an escape. He recalled a
memory of when he was 5, after a disagreement
with his parents, decided to leave home. Filling his
father’s rucksack he rode off on his bike. Not too
long after he fell off his bike and returned home,
announcing to his parents, “I’m back but I’ll go
another day.” From that point on he never stopped
riding off on his bike to find solace.
That solace seems easy to find for mountain bikers
in Sri Lanka. Filled with lush scenery and friendly
smiles, it’s likely the best way to get-away. Ivan
spoke of how he initially did solo rides around Sri
Lanka. “I would put my mountain bike in the back of
my car during the holidays and go off exploring. My
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