Instead of getting wasted at a bar or hanging out in some cafe, carry a tent, stove and few essentials on your bike and head out to enjoy your weekends to have an absolutely different experience!
With the rage of bicycle touring in India, I feel it's right time we get acquainted by the bikepacking culture. Bikepacking is a medium to set on self supported mountain biking trips, exploring new trails and camping at countless new spots.
Keep in mind that there are minimal camping gears to avoid heavy loads.
Imagine how bikepacking can be a great way to explore country side, also the trails where people mostly hike.
When I'm bicycle touring I carry along several different gears and necessities to tackle various terrains but while bikepacking I'd carry limited essentials to enjoy trail riding, Instead of 4 panniers I carry a large sea tube bag. Lesser the rig weighs more it will be enjoyable to ride on trails. In India people are unaware of these activities and cycling is limited to either a way of commuting or cutting down body fat. I won't go in the depths as of now but as bicycle touring is making it's way in our culture, I'm sure bikepacking will be next! I've seen people going to places on their bikes in India but most of us lack proper survival gears and unlike bicycle touring you can't get away with traditional ways in bikepacking as your bike's more prone to damages by riding on rough trails. Of course by some DIY tricks you can easily make your own bags to mount your gears safely.We hope to see some good brands like Ortlieb, Apidura, Blackburndesign flow streams into the Indian market soon. To know more about Bikepacking check this amazing website out.
Sambhar is a salt lake 100 km from Jaipur and is among the common places for star-gazing and camping, I've been here many times for astrophotography.
We chose to ride through villages so that we're able to enjoy some beautiful views. After crossing Jobner we found an amazing spot to camp. In monsoon Rajasthan is not less than a scenic hill station, it becomes lush green and some places stream stunning waterfalls too.We rode at a slow pace to avoid any kind of exertion on the way. It is always best and suggested to maintain a consistent speed till the end.
I was prepared to see this stunning light just after sunset, our few minutes on this bridge were breathtaking. It was dark already when we reached Phulera - the last town for finding shops after which the Salt lake begins. We bought all food items and started riding towards our destination in the dark, people were surprised to see us, many came enquiring about our bikes. Cycling has been a great medium to make people aware in remote villages. I feel they should also be part of this growing community.
Samid sufi with is innocent look
Chinmay joined us to enjoy some time out of his busy schedule at Kroytos
We reached Sambhar lake at around 10 PM which was truly a wild experience of riding in pitch dark surroundings. Everyone was stunned to see stars above their heads like a blanket. In all the damp,it took us a while to find a dry place to camp and our cycles got stuck in it as well. It's always advised to reach before the sun's down to avoid these conditions! After all the hardwork and our tents pitched, we cooked and had the best of our time.
I had the best biryani ever at Sambhar cooked by Shoaib, he sure is an amazing with cooking skills. He's got a place called Dastarkhaan and takes special orders of non veg in Jaipur.
Sunrise at sambhar has always been my favourite, it is best visible in winters when you'd get to see the sun rising from the horizon.
Next morning a few of us all left early to meet other plans. Jeetu and I rode later at a slower pace taking halts at various places to eat and hydrate as it was a lot hotter during the day.
If you've made your mind and want to have your first bikepacking trip, share with us and in the meanwhile stay tuned for the next blog as you'll uncover the Five most essential gears to start backpacking in India.
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