On A Cycling Expedition in India? 5 Tips
If your clock is not ticking very fast and you have ample amount of time to explore the beautiful roads and places of the country, then a cycling expedition is what you are looking for. However, before you tie up your laces and start paddling around the country, there are a handful of things that must be taken care of. What you carry for the worst circumstances and how you deal with the unexpected situations is going to be the mirror reflection of the success of this trip. So here are the 5 most important tips to get you up and running for a flawless trip on your bicycle.
- Stay Equipped with the Best Tools
Although a cycling expedition would save you a lot of money that you would have spent on getting your flights and trains booked, yet you should definitely spend a fraction of it in buying the best bullet proof tyres with 36 spokes and the basic set of tools to help you fix minor faults in this extremely simple machine. A Gaffa tape, cable ties and a couple of hose clamps should be on the top of your checklist. Don’t forget to watch a couple of videos about how to add or remove different parts including the panniers before you leave.
- Happy Go Lucky- Make Your Mind to Stay Anywhere Anytime
Since you do not have engines to power up your trip, it is very likely that you will fall behind your schedule at times. You might not get a chance to stay in a decent hotel every day. Stay calm and never panic. You should always be enthusiastic about enjoying a tent stay or spending a night in a mud hut in some remote village far away from the hustle and bustle of the metropolitan cities.
I remember surviving a night under a bamboo tree in my sleeping bag and I count it as an unforgettable proud memory.
- Cover Distance Smartly
No matter what vehicle you are travelling on, the quote ‘speed thrills but kills’ is really worthwhile. Do not get yourself ragged by cycling at high speeds for longer intervals. Keep yourself informed about the kind of roads and then decide the number of kilometres you cover accordingly. Taking a train or a bus to skip a monotonous city to get out of it is never a bad idea. Some off-road trips only allow you to cover 30-40 kilometres a day, just keep going and enjoy your ride.
- Carry Less Luggage and More Memories
A cycling expedition is supposed to make you go wild. How about a trip with only 2 set of clothes? You should never toil your bicycle by carrying unnecessary stuff. The front panniers can be troublesome while you traverse the unpaved roads. Keeping your tools in the handbag above the suspension forks can increase the stability of your vehicle and add to a smooth riding experience.
I always carry detachable back panniers to keep myself versatile with options of leaving them behind in extreme conditions. Travel light and carry the unimaginable memories home. They are weightless!
- Stay Self Reliant and Enjoy Your Ride
Travel books and maps can help you find ways while you are riding in the outskirts of the cities. You should definitely keep general purpose antibiotics and a first aid kit. Riding a bicycle during the day time can get you dehydrated very quickly. Always carry rehydration sachets and nuts to keep you active and vibrant throughout the day. A cycling expedition is not about planning itineraries and following them. It is about being carefree and adventurous. It is about being spontaneous and energetic. Stay friendly and talk to a lot of local people on your way to gather knowledge and help you keep moving.
A trip on bicycle is full of ups and downs. You will always face the unforeseen. Apart from eating well and staying fit, you should always take care of these tips for an insouciant cycling experience. Staying flexible and changing plans on the go can help you treasure some incredible experiences.
Rohit Agarwal is a writer by profession. He is currently travelling and exploring some of the most remote and unreachable places in the country while trying to pen down his thoughts and feelings. Rohit’s experiences are shared on tranindiatravels.com and many other websites and blogs.