Cycling is the new ‘hobby’ in town and the trend has caught on with the young and the young at heart alike. People are not only getting their bums on a saddle for health reason, but some of them are taking it a step ahead and even commuting to work; the next logical thing will be the growing popularity of cycling holidays in India.
The Indian subcontinent is blessed with some spectacular routes and trails for a perfect cycling holiday, leisure or adventure, alike! Here is a quick guide for all of you who are interested in getting started on a cycling holiday, but not very sure what to expect.
What to expect: – Cycling holidays can be of the varying degree of ease/ difficulty or challenge depending on your level of comfort and expertise on the bicycle. There is no hard and fast rule about it and it doesn’t have to be a challenging or extreme adventure, it can be a leisure ride as well, so don’t feel daunted or discouraged, just choose hats right for you.
What tour to choose: – The most common one for beginners is the bike & hike type of tours. Mostly done over a period of 2/ 3 days of cycling with some hiking in between to make it an enjoyable trip. You can also choose to do back roads in the plains like Rajasthan and discover the local culture & heritage.
Amateur or budding cyclists, who have been cycling regularly for some time, can attempt climbing some medium gradients. The picturesque hills of Kumaon are one of the best places to get started; It has the right combination of uphill & downhills for beginners and is also breathtakingly beautiful with minimal traffic and well-maintained roads. The perfect holiday option!!!
For riders who have done considerable amount of long distance riding (100+kms); they can take their cycling to the next level by signing up for some endurance rides; Kumaon again has some spectacular trails and climbs to satiate the challenger; a right combination of kilometers and uphills makes it a great option for someone trying to challenge their limits.
Ideally, an extended weekend of 3 – 4 days with approx 400-500 Kilometers makes for a great adventure sports holiday. The easy availability of emergency rescue options makes it a safe destination for adventure seekers.
Last but not the least, people who are already masters in climbing and are ready for some extreme adventure the Manali- Leh ride is an ultimate adventure holiday to sign up. Read more on our blog for more details about it (http://www.cycleit.in/blog/manali-to-leh-the-ultimate-adventure-on-2-wheels-a-saddle)
What next – Choose your level of cycling experience and pick a tour that will make your holiday an enjoyable and learning experience. It’s always a good idea to start with less challenge more fun and then up-the-ante as you go.
After you choose the trip it’s equally important to choose the right tour operator. A good tour operator should have a well-laid safety and security procedures like emergency evacuation plan, or response team, arrangements for immediate medical help, preferably a medic on board or ambulance on call in case of emergency and a team trained in first aid.
Apart from this the operator’s know how the region is and their focus on nutrition & hydration and also the ability to provide not only hygienic but comfortable accommodation should be checked.
If you plan to rent your cycles, ensure you take the specifications in advance and the operator gives you bikes that are in good condition and right fit bikes as per your height. [read more about choosing a good operator – http://www.cycleit.in/blog/how-to-choose-the-right-adventure-tour-partner]