Idly Cycling

Before going on most holidays, I google ‘things to do in (insert destination here)…’ and Galle, Sri Lanka was no different. Except that not that many results came up. One that did catch my eye, and was mentioned a few times was a cycling trip around the paddy fields with Idle Bikes. I emailed my family to see if anyone would be keen to join me for a ride, and was surprised (but thrilled) when nearly everyone was on board.

15 of us were up bright and early on the Saturday morning for our 8am ride. They offer a few tours of different length, and although I was keen for the 3hr trip, most of my family were gunning for the 1hr! I decided to book us all in for a 1hr paddy field ride, with the option for those that wanted to extend the ride.

Our ride took us down village roads, along some pretty narrow paths between rice paddy fields, and into the rural areas surrounding Galle. It allowed us to see some of the agricultural side of the local area, as well as parts that seem to have been less affected by tourism.

We rode at a gentle pace, over relatively easy terrain- definitely fun for all of the family. The bikes were all of generally very good quality, with amazingly padded seats and great suspension. My uncle James got a flat tyre within minutes of us setting off, although we weren’t sure exactly who to blame for that….

Our ride gave me the opportunity to test out some Oakley Forehand Sunglasses that I was sent a while ago. They are definitely sportier than my other sunglasses, and felt snug wrapped around my face. I was also pleasantly surprised that they didn’t steam up as much as other glasses in the humid conditions. They are a similar shape to my Wayfarers, but feel a little tighter. I do like that they don’t shout ‘sport’s sunglasses’ in the same way that my old wrap-around ski sunnies do! They come in a variety of colours,  including black and tortoiseshell which would make brilliant all purpose sunglasses if the red is a little too bright for your taste.

After about 35 mins we stopped off for a very refreshing coconut water, drunk straight from the coconut. The taste reminded me of so many post-race Vita coco’s!

Once we’d enjoyed our water break, our group split into those that wanted to continue, and those that were turning back. I loved how many people were enjoying it and wanted to keep going, and wished that we’d gone for the more adventurous 3hr ride around the lake. Instead we continued through paddy fields, cycling past a temple – where Rob, overcome with something, tripped over nothing and went flying over his handlebars. Once it became clear that he wasn’t hurt, we all found it rather amusing! We were offered helmets, although as we weren’t riding on the main roads we decided we didn’t want/need them. Rob falling off his bike on the flat road did make us think that perhaps we should have opted for helmets, and we agreed that in the future, we should always get a helmet, just in case.

For just under £10 each, this was a lovely way to get off the beaten track a little, and get a bit of exercise into our holiday. When we were there the owner, Alex, was away with a group on a 5 day ride, so I’m sure that longer trips and tours are available. Our lovely guide, Ivo, was very helpful, although he did nearly undercharge us by a huge amount! Highly recommended activity for anyone that wants a break from their sun-lounger or surfboard!

An hour trip costs about £9 per person, with guide, bike hire and coconut stop included. You can speak to Idle Bikes about organising your preferred tour, and they seem very willing to accommodate. Visit www.idletours.com for more info. 

1 Comment

  1. 28th December 2013 / 1:19 pm

    Looks like really great fun and a good way to explore. I did something similar when I went to Berlin, as it’s so flat and accessible.