The history of cycle tourism is not very old. In fact, around 1980, the movement took off in right earnest in many countries of the world, due to the interest shown in it by commercial organisations. Some companies have sponsored cyclists with accommodation, route information, guides and support.
A large number of riders enjoying group experience as well as independent individual riders riding for the love of it have benefited from it. The scale attained by bicycle tourism is difficult to estimate because it is still informal in nature. However, the movement is experiencing a global upswing with millions across national barriers.
Bicycle tours are independent of distance and time. It is relevant to recall the anecdote cited by French cycle tourist Jacques Sirat who prided in cycle touring for 5 years feeling humbled when he met an Australian who had been on the road for all of 27 years. What exactly delights an individual to savour the experience of cycle tour? Irrespective of the time and distance, bicycling liberates the individual from the shackles of consumption. It is inexpensive, reasonably fast, healthy, environmentally friendly mode of transport and draws one close to nature.
Bettina Selby rightly described the thrill of cycling how it made her independent as no other transport would; sans fuel, sans documents and minimal maintenance. And above all, it rolls along at the right speed without missing any surrounding sight and finally, gives an opportunity to make lots of friends.
An activity that is so exhilarating needs to be looked into for the joy of sharing. With distances and times widely varying, depending on the fitness, speed, a number of stops and the zeal of the rider, there are many types of cycle tours.
There is hardly a better way to see the world. It practically encompasses people of all ages, shapes, sizes and last of all, ability. Nothing stops the children, the young and not so young, women and men fall for the lures of the bike in circulation catering to all tastes and activities making riding a pleasure. Keeping that in mind, what is the motivation to egg you on to the road on a bike?
Cycling in India has emerged from the cocoon of being the poor man’s mode of transport to a means of exploration and learning. The destinations in India are revered across the world for its myriad charms. Cycling has transformed the way you journey across the country imbibing the diverse cultures, practices and the beauty of the land and its people. It is a good means to combine leisure activities with the physical, spiritual and sightseeing.
Best time for cycling tours in India:
India is a vast country stretching from Kashmir in the North to Kanyakumari in the South, Gujarat and Rajasthan in the West to the Andamans in the East, and not to forget the mystic charm of the North-East and the quaint beauty of Sikkim. The best time for cycling tours is practically all through the year depending on which circuit, terrain and the region you choose to try.
Best places for cycling tours in India:
Irrespective of whether you are a casual cyclist or a hardened enthusiast, you are spoilt for choice in India to explore on bicycle. You have many circuits with varied terrains and topography to choose from Manali-Leh, the North East, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Goa and the urban conglomerates of Delhi and Mumbai. You may break the ice by exploring the Mumbai cycling routes and then graduating to the more challenging ones in the North and the North East.
Read More : Biking through Ladakh: A beginner’s guide
Mumbai offers a range of rejuvenating experiences to the cycling tourists. The best time to explore the city and its hidden gems is in the morning. Devoid of the city rush in the early hours of the day, you can have a free run of the streets and the majestic sights of the colonial legacy so abundant in the urban environments. The vicinity of the city has equally exciting options in Diksal waterfalls and Bhivpuri. Those, who are keen on more gruelling cycling tours, may try out the 140 km Mumbai cycling routes to the mountains in Rohida. Along the way, you are overwhelmed by the mountainous Bhor and one of the largest plateaus in Raireshwar. Moreover, the cycling tour is a great way to explore the Karjat to Kondivade route.
Mumbai on the west coast nestling in the laps of the Arabian Sea is well-connected globally and nationally, and well exemplified by the frequency of Chennai to Mumbai flights. The Mumbai cycling routes are sure to attract your imagination with the down to earth offerings of the “Irani Chai” on the streets to the rustic allures of the Western Ghats just a few pedals away for the emerging breed of cycling travellers.