There is no better way to enjoy a destination other than on foot, or on a bicycle! It gives you the luxury of slowly discovering a place and seeing things you might have missed otherwise, all the while with the wind in your hair.
INDIA DESTINATIONS TO EXPLORE BY BIKE
Although Indian can be quite overwhelming where the traffic conditions are concerned, there are some small quaint destinations that are best explored on two wheels. Pick up some safety gear like a helmet, knee and elbow pads, and if venturing out at night equip a head light and reflective clothing and you are all set. If you are staying at a homestay your host family may have a couple of bikes they will be happy to lend you.
The slow and easy pace of the city makes it perfect for exploring on bike. Small cobble stoned streets flanked by French architecture are great to ride your bicycle along. Take a few stops at the roadside cafes, freshen up, have a chat with the locals and you are set again. Cycles are available for hire in the coastal town of Pondicherry on a per day or longer basis.
Like Pondicherry, another coastal delight beckons you to explore it at an easy pace. The Kerala town has an enriching history with plenty of museums, monuments and historic structures to explore. The centre of the town is cobble-stoned and has wide roads to accommodate walkers and cyclists. These places are not crowded with other traffic. However, if you heading towards the local areas ensure that you use the bell or just walk with your cycle when the traffic is heavy. The centre of Fort Kochi is quite compact and easily lends itself to exploring on bike.
MOUNTAIN BIKE TRAILS IN INDIA
For the more hard core riders, there are a some destinations with exciting terrains and breathtaking views. There are many tour operators who can help with the logistics with planning a mountain cycle trek through some of India’s most spectacular locations.
The Manali-Ladakh road is a topographical wonder which is a biker’s haven. You will find plenty of cyclists on this route, but you have to be in top health and need time to get acclimatised to the altitude. Another route to explore is the Khardungla to Nubra Valley which is downhill. You can take a bus back when climbing up. Ensure that you sign up with a group so a back up vehicle and medical facilities are in tow.
The lush hills of Garhwal can be quite a thrilling challenge for those who prefer two wheels than one. Some of the routes that are familiar with cyclists are Tehri, Rishikesh, Dharasu and Uttarkashi. Ride along gurgling rivers and majestic mountains!
Another destination which is fast catching up on the cycling trails is Sikkim. As you cycle along Martam Village, it’s also a great opportunity to see the Rumtek monastery and the wonderful tea gardens along the way. As you go higher, you can explore places like Yuksam, Pemayantse and other villages.
HOMESTAYS FOR KEEN CYCLISTS
The Homestead in Corbett is set on a sprawling farm bordering the Corbett National Park. Bikes are available for cycling round the 150 acre farm.
Fort Rampura is a 700 year old fort. You can spend hours just exploring the wonders of this majestic Fort and walking around its perimeter. Cycles can be rented for 250 Rs/day.
Find out about the homestay experience and don't forget to check out our ideas on things to do in India or browse our India homestays.