Anyone bike toured in India?
I spent a lot of time traveling in Asia, mostly Nepal and India. I spend about 6 months a year here, mostly trekking in the Himalayas. I have spent more than twenty winters goofing around here.
I was thinking of building a bike (Surly Troll) and trying bike touring here next winter. I have been renting mountain bikes and doing short day trips to get a feeling for it.
Today I went for a four hour bike ride. I try different bikes to see how I want the build a bike Troll to be, and also to try bike travel here. The roads are atrocious and full of potholes. There is a never ending stream of traffic. Evryone rides their horn endlessly as a way of clearing traffic as they go. As the big diesels pass, the honk their horn and belch a black cloud of diesel fumes. The roads are dusty, and so I am in a constant swirl of dust. At the end of the ride my lungs are 'charred'. Along the major roads is an endless string of scruffy towns. As I pass each one I am glad I wasnt born there. There are places to stay in each of these villages, but they seem to be dormitories for the dirty truckdrivers. Is there some point to this?
I am just wondering if anyone has traveled by bike here, and found it a pleasant experience. Maybe as I get farther away from towns it is nicer?
Are you kidding? With all the awesome places in the world to ride, why would you put up with this? Not to mention winding up in an Indian hospital can't be good either.
Originally Posted by alaskadude
Originally Posted by flatfendershop
That's like somebody riding through downtown NYC panning bike touring throughout America.
You can head to the mountains and less populated areas for a different experience. Just like you don't have to bike tour in a big city in America you can head to a national park or a rural area.
I spent several weeks bike touring Baja Mexico. There were a handful of days travelling through cities like Tijuana, Ensenada, La Paz and Cabo. Those days were nothing like the other 95% of the tour. I started in TJ and if I assumed the whole tour was going to be like that I wouldn't have been excited to continue.
To the OP there are great India bike tour journals online and there are also organized tours [my friend is leading one in Jan 2014] to get you headed out into an enjoyable area for cycling in that country.
Cycle Touring Southern India
Tips For Cycling Tajikistan?s Pamir Highway | TravellingTwo: Bicycle Touring Around The World
crazyguyonabike.com: Bicycle Touring: Journals by Locale: India
Amazon.com: bicycle touring india: Books
OK, thanks for those websites. Thats why I was asking. I have been on like 50 treks/hikes into the Himalayas--Everest trek and all that stuff-- in the last 30 years, spread over about 20 winters I spent here. Up there of course, in the Himalayas, lots of clean air and no people and unusual cultures. I just had this idea to try bike travel, and gave it a try a few days around phokara Nepal where I am right now. I know people bike travel here in Asia, so I was just making sure it is something I want to do before I freight a bike all the way here next winter. I live in Alaska, and escape the minus fifty below Zero by bumming around Asia every winter.
But right outside the cities here in Nepal is an ecological nightmare--not pleasant bike riding!
Another suggestion is to use some of the bike traveller websites [this one isn't ideal when it comes to India] to find some travel partners to share the tour.
You can get a reasonable bike in India if you don't want to bring your own. Obviously won't be as nice, but at the end of the tour you can give it away and not ever deal with the hassles of flying with your own bike.
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