The landscape of India is that of striking contrasts! Cycling exists all over the country as a sport or even otherwise. The reason for its popularity is that neither age nor a social standing is a limitation. In fact, cycling is more rampant in rural India as it mainly works as a mode of transportation.
Diversity in landscape is offered on a platter and all we have to do is seize it. Get a bike, leave your claustrophobic cities and ride into nature. Explore yourself through the exploration of the unknown.
1. Manali to Spiti Valley
One of the most awe-inspiring trails in India with an unparallelled topography of contrasts of barren desert lands and green farmlands strategically surrounded by gigantic mountain ranges and traversed by a line of the Himalayas.
In this cycling route, you will cross the Rohtang and the Kunzum Pass. The distance is about 195kms. The terrain can be difficult at times so make sure you’re prepared with the right gear and equipment.
The best time to visit would be during the summer from mid- May to mid-October.
Ride to Spiti and experience the feeling of freedom at its peak.
2. Bomdila to Tawang
Almost the entire of Arunachal Pradesh is covered by the Himalayas. You will basically be riding through lush green hills, meandering rivers, snow-capped mountains and occasional fog zones.
The distance is about 170kms. The roads, which are partially two lanes are steep till Sela pass which is at 4025 meters and is also the highest point. The road from there then gets comparatively downhill. Make sure the gear of your bike has a proper speed combination.
The best time to visit is from October to early December and then from March to early May.
3. Siliguri to Darjeeling
This is one of the most beautiful stretches. The ride begins in the flatlands of Siliguri with forests and tea gardens on both sides. The climb up comprises of steep and hilly roads with major bends, a gradual transcendence into a completely different world of majestic mountains.
On a clear day, you could be lucky to see the entire range of Kanchenjunga along the road.
A distance of around 70kms takes you through the little towns of Kurseong, Sonada and Ghoom.
The climate is mainly chilly throughout the year so make sure to carry winter gear and a geared bike with a proper speed combination is essential.
The best time to visit Darjeeling is from April to November.
4. Shillong to Cherrapunji
Meghalaya is one of the wettest places in the world during the monsoons. Both Cherapunji and Mawsynram get the heaviest rainfall.
Riding in the rain sounds like a fantastic new adventure especially if the landscape around is of deep forested valleys, rivers, living root bridges and continuous waterfalls. Make sure you carry the right rain gear.
Cherapunji is situated in the southernmost part of the East Khasi Hills where the hills of India end and the floodplains of Bangladesh begin. The road will basically then be overlooking the Bangladesh plains.
The distance is around 60kms. The entire year is a good time to visit.
The best, however, would be September and October before the winters.
5. Chennai to Pondicherry
The East Coast road trip is a must-do if you’re in India.
The road takes you on a ride along the coastal line with palm trees on both sides and through some of the most beautiful attractions of Tamil Nadu like the Olive island and boat house of Muttukadu, the Covelong Beach and the Tiger Caves of Mahabalipuram.
The distance of approximately 140kms is a complete treat for all the senses. The climate is warm and humid almost throughout the year so make sure you are well prepared with your hydration kit.
Best time to visit is from March to October.
6. Mangalore to Goa
This would be one of your best rides along the coastal stretch. The landscape is absolutely stunning with a beautiful breeze from the sea through the palms and pines.
Udupi, the home of a serene Krishna temple falls on the way, followed by the Malpe beach. The highpoint of your ride is going to be at Maravante. The road there splits with the Arabian Sea on the left and Sauparnika river on the right with a backdrop of the Kodachadri hills.
Further north is again the charming land of Gokarna. The distance is approximately 358kms so it’s going to be a long ride. Go well prepared with the right gear and a hydration kit because of the warm and humid weather.
7. Coorg to Ooty
This stretch is the ultimate riding wonder. The landscape of Coorg is contrasting with a combination of taller and lower hills.
The route is the Nilgiris along several plantations of coffee, twisting roads of forests and hills. The hills are a combination of native indigenous trees, shrubs, and natural undergrowth.
The distance is approximately 236kms with an unpredictable weather of different weather patterns on the same day with occasional rain, mist and sun.
The best time to visit would be from October to April.
If you haven’t been mountain biking for long, a question that comes up is: What to take on a Mountain Bike Ride? To help you make the right choice, here is a checklist of items you can have before setting out on a MTB ride.