Have you done the Rail Trail (or any other of New Zealand’s fabulous cycle trails)?
Loved it and keen to combine cycling with an exotic holiday?
So lets go cycling in India!
India? Really? The country renowned for its huge population, crazy traffic and lack of lane adherence? Where you might just have to queue up at traffic lights with a camel or bullock pulled cart or even an elephant?
Yes India I tell you!
Cycling worldwide has been exploding in popularity. It has even been talked up as being the “new golf” And until recently India was only an option for the dedicated cyclist – the super fit embarking on trans-Himalayan expeditions or battle hardy backpackers criss-crossing the subcontinent while telling us how they live on less that $10 a day.
India Cycle Trails is changing this…
carefully crafted itineraries that immerse travellers in the culture, colour and scenic beauty of rural India whilst not omitting the ‘must see’ sights.
Travellers can now be assured of an authentic cycling holiday that is safe and comfortable and even more importantly achievable for most people with an average to good level of fitness.
Headed up by Digvijay (Divi) Singh Kandari, a 17 year veteran of Adventure Travel in India, India Cycle Trails operates a number of “Easy to Moderate” cycle tours – each one carefully crafted to immerse travellers in the culture, colour and scenic beauty of rural India whilst not omitting the ‘must see’ sights.
Tours are designed so travellers cover 20-60km a day on their bikes (with a support vehicle available at all times) with vehicle transfers helping the group cover the necessary distances and ensuring the tour is varied, interesting and safe.
Days spent sightseeing in busy spots like Delhi, Jaipur, Agra, Mumbai and Mysore are naturally done off the bike.
Small Group or Private Tours – the choice is yours.
Currently India Cycle Trails offer three small group tours that run on set dates of offer and each can also be booked as private tours. Join-in small group tours depart with 4 people and private tours with a minimum of 2 people.
- Rajasthan Cycling the Land of Maharajas – 12 days
The quintessential cycling tour of Rajasthan, India’s largest and most colourful state. Includes the Goldern Triangle. Stays in Heritage Hotels and 4.5 star Hotels
- Cycle the Konkan Coast for Mumbai to Goa – 9 days
Delectable food and beautiful beaches lapped by the Arabian Sea. Explore the coastal culture of this special slice of Maharashtra. Beach Resorts, seafood, coconut and spice!
- South India Cycle Tour – Bangalore to Cochin – 12 days
Travelling through three southern states. Immerse yourself the nature of wildlife sanctifies, misty tea plantations and Kerala’s backwaters. Stays in in boutique resorts and inns, plantation home-stays as well as a traditional houseboat.
There is also a private tour. ‘Hike and Bike’ tour of the Kumaon Himalayas in the northern state of Uttarakhand that incorporates a two day wildlife safari in Corbett National Park and visit to Agra to see the Taj and Agra Fort.
First Time to India? The Land of Maharajas is a great option.
The Land of Maharajas is not surprisingly the most popular option as travellers often head to Rajasthan on their first foray to the Indian Subcontinent.
This cycle tour certainly ticks the boxes with the “Golden Triangle” Delhi, Jaipur and Agra all included as well as the Blue City of Jodhpur and the grandly decorated havelis of the Shekhawati area.
However it is what you do off the well worn tourist routes that makes this tour something special. Experiences such as meeting the Bishnoi people who live round huts with thatched conical roofs in small hamlets called Dhannis near Khimsar or viewing an Opium Ceremony with a local family in a village in the Luni countryside near Jodhpur.
You won’t be ‘slumming it’ for your accommodation. Heritage Stays in palaces and good 4.5 star hotels are included as are the majority of the meals and India Cycle Trails famous picnic lunches on cycling days.
Bike comfort and reliability are pretty essential on any tour. And even more so if you are not are more of an occasional or like me a cruisey cyclist content to peddle away at a steady pace.
I spent 8 years working in cycling tours both designing cycle tours for the Otago Central Rail Trail as well as working with cycle tour operations in South East Asia, so I was keen to try out India Cycle Trails German touring bikes for myself.
Smooth is probably the first adjective that springs to mind. I couldn’t believe how easy my ride was on India’s less than often even road surfaces. My bike took it all in its stride.
I was also impressed with the “European” style curved handlebars and how both the stem and handle bar heights can be easily adjusted. Super important if like me you have weak wrists (I’ve broken both), arthritis or shorter arms.
The Saddle was wide, comfy and well sprung. There are a range of frame sizes for different cyclists heights and a step-thru ladies frame.
The bikes are light and easy to manoeuvre – a big contrast to the weight of the “Sherman Tank” bikes that I rode when I did a (fabulous but definitely not for the timid cyclist) tour of Old Delhi with tour company Delhi by Bike.
Keen for Adventure of the Motorised Kind?
For those that are keen to fulfill the dream of a riding a Royal Enfield in India. These itineraries can be adapted for motorbikes. Divi recently completed the Konkan Coast tour by Royal Enfield which he tells me was the perfect combination of adventure, delectable Konkani Food and relaxation on the beautiful coastal beaches.
What about on Foot?
Divi is also a mine of information for those keen on hiking in India, hailing from Uttarakhand. The mountains are in his blood and he can confidently say he has covered 95% of India now over the course of this career including neighbouring Bhutan.
When I enjoyed a couple of delicious home cooked meals (Divi’s wife Asha is an amazing cook) in their family home their is plenty of photographic evidence of his hiking expeditions particularly in his beloved Indian Himalayas.
REQUEST THE E-BROCHURE
Indafrica are India Cycle Trails international sales and marketing office.
Get in contact with us to request a copy of the India Cycle Trails E-Brochure using the form below.