With the holiday season comes an urge to travel. Why not ditch those flight or train tickets and make a road trip with a cherished companion? Yes, we’re talking about your bicycle!
If planning a cycling vacation needs more time, 2017 is filled with long weekends. It’s the year to take your bicycle to see the country.
THE GOAN EXPERIENCE
Sun, sand and the sea? Yes please! Goa is known for it’s happening nightlife, beautiful beaches and yummy food. But did you know that you could cover the coastline from the North to the South of Goa (or the other way around) in a few days, on your bicycle? No? It’s time to change what you know about this ever popular coastal town while you explore it on your bicycle.
Take your bicycle from Canacona in the South to Arambol in the North and explore Goa like you have never before!
Total Distance: 103 km
Duration: 2-3 days
While covering 100 kilometres in a day is not a difficult task, if you plan on staying in Goa for a while, we suggest taking this 100 km ride at a leisurely pace, breaking your journey often to take in all that Goa has to offer. From Churches, to beaches and different local experience - you are sure to see a side of Goa you did not know existed.
India’s largest state and home to the Thar Desert and the Aravallis - Rajasthan has a lot to offer to a touring cyclist. Our pick from this vast state is a 600 kilometre long tour from Jaipur to Udaipur. Being situated in the Aravallis range, the terrain here is quite varied, making cycling all that more challenging and fun.
Plan your Rajasthan cycling expedition to travel from Jaipur to Jodhpur and end at Udaipur. Take your time, no need to hurry on this trip. Our suggestion would be to take a 15 km detour from Ajmer and visit Pushkar too.
Total Distance: 600km
Duration: 6-10 days
AATI KYA KHANDALA?
Well, not really - but close enough.
If you live in Mumbai or are visiting Mumbai on a long weekend, take off on your two wheels and make a trip to Lonavala. Since the opening of the Mumbai-Pune expressway, the old Mumbai- Pune highway has become a lot less congested, making it a BEAUTIFUL road to cycle on. Traversing through the Western Ghats, with climbs and scenery unparalleled, this is definitely one trip all cycling junkies out there must make.
Getting to Lonavala from Mumbai will take longer than the way back. You guessed it, the climbs. But rest assured, the way back is all downhill fun! Make the most of it and spend a night or two in Lonavala.
Total Distance: 160
Duration: 2-3 days
RIDE TO THE QUEEN OF THE HILLS
If riding in the hills, with glorious climbs and descents, passing by monasteries and tea estates excites you. It is time to explore the Eastern side of India on your bicycle - From Gangtok to Darjeeling. It is an experience to last a lifetime - for sure!
Start at Gangtok and make your way to Darjeeling via Rangpo and Kalimpong. If you are up for a challenge, and want some intense climbs, start at Darjeeling and make your way up to Sikkim on the same route.
Total Distance: 100 km
Duration: 3-5 days
THE EAST COAST TRAIL
If you fancy riding on beautiful open and comparatively flat roads, by coastal areas, then this is the perfect trail for you. Start at Chennai and make your way down to Rameshwaram via Pondicherry and Karaikal. As you progress further south the roads become narrower, tourists and vehicles less frequent and the sea gets bluer. Since the sun is quite constant and strong, we’d recommend avoiding this trail in the peak months of summer.
Total Distance: 550 km
Duration: 7-10 days
THE MIGHTY HIMALAYAS
It has been a dream of many cyclists and non-cyclists alike to visit the Himalayas. Imagine- cycling on one of the mighty mountain ranges of the world. An unparalleled experience for sure and something to cherish for life. With steep terrains, dangerous narrow roads, and views to die for - these routes are a definite must for adventurous folks out there looking for an adrenaline pumping experience on two wheels!
LEH TO SRINAGAR
Passing through high passes, and traveling through visibly different landscapes - this journey is a definite must do. Being located at a high altitude, it is strongly recommended that cyclists acclimatize properly and train effectively before attempting this route. The route from Leh to Srinagar passes through areas rich in history such as Kargil. Some massive and steep climbs to the Likir Plateau and to Lamayuru and through the second coldest place on Earth - Drass!
Indulge the adventurer in you as you climb and cross the ZojiLa pass, where the roads are messy and narrow and the gorges are deep. This ride is definitely not for the faint hearted.
Total Distance: 420 km
Difficulty: Difficult/ Expert
Duration: 7 - 10 days
MANALI TO LEH
Be it an experienced or a novice cyclist, the road from Manali to Leh is most certainly on one’s bucket list… and for a good reason! Riding on some of the hardest terrains, and traversing through some of the world’s highest passes is not an easy task and certainly requires guts and grit to do. With the growing popularity of the route, many cyclists venture out to conquer this route via the show bordered roads of the rothang pass.
If you are feeling a little more adventurous, don’t stop at Leh! Continue on to finish your journey at the world’s highest motorable road and pass - the KhardungLa.
This journey is sure to be an experience to brag about for years that follow.
But, do remember - Leh is a High altitude town, and to minimize risks of falling prey to High Altitude Sickness and worse get familiarized with how to ride in order to acclimatize yourself. Avoid pushing yourself too hard to cover more distance in a shorter time. Follow proper rules for acclimatization and you are rest assured to have the time of your life.
Total Distance: 700 km
Difficulty: Difficult/ Expert
Duration: 12-15 days
India is a country with incredible diversity in terms of culture, terrain and geography. A home to many mountains, hills, rivers and seas - cycling the country is sure to be an experience to cherish for life. Being as expansive a country, a cycling vacation done right is sure to leave you wanting to explore the entire country on two wheels more often.