Bike packing India
Sudhanshu Verma Photography
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-self portraits -Jaipur to Kanyakumari -solo backpacking trip -travel blogging -
Planning to tour across India on a bicycle ?
When I thought of doing the same I was told to be extremely careful of people out there and some blacklisted areas by unknown source. Yet I went on a long tour without any trouble and discovered the beautiful side of India - Welcoming People all over.
Before booking your flights for India ask yourself "Why India" ?
Beware of "people"
Never ever leave your bike outside your reach because out of excitement people will always try their best to know where is the petrol tank or battery in a cycle, other thing to take care that time is to keep eye on people with wrong intentions. Recently two cyclist parked their fully loaded touring bicycle outside a shopping area in Delhi and got robbed. Left with no panniers they flew back to other country.
Driving sense in India is a major problem, you will face reckless driving on highways. My suggestion is to stay on extreme left to avoid any risk while riding in India. I personally feel state highways are better than national highways as there is less traffic and you will be crossing many villages on the way.
Honking is an expression
If you think honking is an art then all Indians are artists. Its not an emergency or road block when we honk, we sometimes try creating new tunes from it.
Dhoom macha lee... is the famous one here.
Ignore just like this okay ?
Travelling to a different country has its own set of challenges and language is the most common one. However in India majority of people will understand your expressions or English. In rural India its difficult to make them understand your goals. It took me 10 mins to buy two bananas from a shop in a village.
Highways or your ways ?
I would say take your ways and live the unknown. But not many would do that because of safety concerns. Applications like Mapme will always be useful in India. There are some common routes for bicycle tourists in India you can find here.
Weather is really tricky in India, during the day time it will be really hot but after sunsets you will start feeling cold especially near desert regions like Jaisalmer.
Warmshower or couchsurf
Accommodations facilities like hotels, rode-side restaurants are available all over India, there are options to do wild camping in some areas but won't suggest much. Instead ask try pitching your tents near Gurudwara, temples, hotels along the road to avoid any risk of theft or animal attack. There huge number of adventure lovers in India and mostly are active on couch surf and warm showers, always check with your route and hosts.
Touring bike shops
Good Touring Bike shops in India are really scarce. You will only find good ones in some metropolitan cities like Banglore, Pune, Jaipur, Mumbai, Kochi etc (Contact me for the list).
"We need Ortlieb in India."
Write to us if you have more enquiries.