Long distance cycling in India
Updated: Jun 27
Like everything else India presents a characteristic contrasting image when it comes to cycles use and also long distance cycling. Poor routinely cycle anything between 50 to 100 kilometers on any typical working day and also travel by cycle to their native villages once in a while not worrying too much about the distance whether it is 1000 km or more. There is also a set of cyclists who do such stupendous long distance cycling in search of salvation, literally. There are groups of adventure seekers who may even be quite rich who take to cycling and cover long distances simply to visit their favourite temples or shrines. For example there are regular cyclist groups that do the Delhi- Shirdi (1400 km) Delhi-Vaishno Devi 600 km, Delhi Amritsar (400 km) and so on.
Meet 55 year Parimal kanji, travelling all the way from Kolkata with his cycle, very few clothes and some biscuits crossed many states, stuck in Kashmir during the lockdown. Now he already crossed Leh city and heading towards Manali. He will be crossing Himachal, Uttarakhand, Nepal, Sikkim, all northeast states and finally back to home Kolkata. Most importantly he is extremely happy and contented for being on this long odyssey, a facebook post says.
Shravan Kumar, an engineer from Manglore (Karnataka) has taken up a seemingly impossible task to cover entire length and breadth of India with an empty pocket and gearless cycle. He has already got his luggage stolen while passing through Delhi.
There is the third set, usually adventure seeking youth who go on the Himalayan circuits or the coastal stretches from Goa, Mangalore or Vizag. Delhi to Leh Ladakh region is quite a popular adventure cycling stretch of a rigorous 700 journey one way.
The usual long distance V Loggers are quite a few in India even though their numbers are expanding by the day. Part of the problem is to with money or the lack of opportunities to raise it as the adventure cyclist travels. The circuits are plenty as India is a tough but varying terrain to cycle with. The amenities on the way and the campaign sites are quite poor in the remote regions of the country discouraging adventure seeking cyclists.
www.cycletofuture.com may try and address this segment of travelers and try to encourage senior citizens or elderly of over 50 years of age to start travelling long distances in comfort. Though on the face of it facilities are not available, the people in remote villages more than make up for the lack of amenities for the wayward travelers. Hospitality of people in India is quite famous and one can trust strangers especially in quite villages tucked away in obscurity to provide for help when needed for the adventure traveler.