And after the stage - clean up.

This first stage captured so much about my experience at Rumble in the Jungle. We rode and raced through everyday life, seeing villages going about their daily business. Idle dogs watched us ride by, village stall owners cheered us on, children waved at us from the front gates of their schools, and works in the plantations watched us with curiosity.

Unlike riding a mountain bike event in a flash vineyard in the south west of Australia, or within the buffed out trails of a mountain bike park, the routes of Rumble in the Jungle took all the riders right up close to the people, the terrain, and the lifestyle through which the race passed.

The following days in the hill country had us tackling climbs that wrapped around the hillsides from below waterfalls to above them. We passed through mountain communities, through sub-alpine national parks, along singletrack with just about the perfect gradient so you barely touched your brakes through rhododendron forests, and past streams that spilled fresh water down into the valleys below.