Had gone on cycling tour - from Bangalore to Jaipur. Tour summary is
given below. My blog has the daily postings for those interested
Overall a beautiful tour – full of great experiences.
The tour was from Bangalore to Jaipur via Kolhapur, Pune, Bombay and
Ahemadabad. Around 2400 KM’s, done over 22 days with two days of
break. Used to ride around 10 hours a day, around 120 KM on an average
everyday with lots of breaks for tea an mini meals. Started on
Saturday 15th of May and ended the tour on Saturday 5th of June.
Earlier plan was to go to Jaisalmer. Dropped that plan since Jaisalmer
was not connected by the Golden Quadrilateral highways and in any case
I would have run of time. The earlier route was straight up via
Solapur –Aurangabad – Indore-Ratlam. Changed the route after the first
few days since this route was on regular NH and not the Golden
Quadrilateral ones and also this route turned out to be an arterial
route. Check out the daily blog notings for comparisons between the
different type of highways.
Nice and comfortable ride – around 1.5 X times tougher than the
Kanyakumari ride (which was a luxurious one). Overall level of effort
at around 65%. Average cruising speeds ranged from 12kmph to 20+ kmph
depending on terrain. Kept around 20 to 25% of the total time for
regular breaks. Wind direction throughout was from west to east and
pretty strong at places. That resulted in cross wind most of the way
till Bombay and post that it was mostly diagonal tail till Jaipur.
Temperature levels far lower than what I was expecting. Most of the
days the first half (till 12 pm) temperatures were around 38 and the
second half temperatures around 41. Highest at Gadag (North Karnataka)
with standing peak heat at around 48 and riding temperature of around
45 with consistently high temperatures throughout the day accompanied
with warm winds. I mostly ride in the day/ afternoon times and enjoy
riding in heat. Gujarat an Rajasthan turned out to be a bit of flop
show in that respect.
Used to try and finish the ride by around 4 pm and keep a buffer of an
hour to find accommodation. Night stays used to be in lodges / hotels.
Overall the terrain seemed to be uphill till Belgaum and then downhill
till Mumbai followed by straight terrain till Jaipur. The only piece
of hilly terrain was right at the beginning of Rajasthan from the
border towns of Ratanpur/ Shamalji to Udaipur. The approach to
Satara , approach to Pune (Katraj Ghat) and the Khopoli Ghats (Mumbai)
were nice long downhills. Lot of rolling terrains till Mumbai, but
nothing too steep barring a handful of small and steep rolls.
Distinct change in cultural aspects as I proceeded through four
states. Breakfasts of Idli/ Dosa in Karnataka turned to Vada Pav/ Poha
in Maharashtra and Alu Paratha in Rajasthan. Had great mutton in
Kolhapur, my favourite King Burgers in Pune and Kathiyawadi in
The prosperity of Gujarat is very perceptible.People are more gentle
and the roadside dhabas / restaurants very clean. Next in terms of
prosperity seemed Karnataka. Rajasthan seemed the poorest states
amongst the ones I rode and a little higher tendency amongst shop
owners to overcharge and try to con you out of your money.
Knowing the local lingo gives you a clear advantage as I found in
Maharashtra (I can speak Marathi ) and Rajasthan (my hindi is fairly
good and with more of a central India kind of accent)
Had felt funny riding into Pune, since that’s we are settled.
Had to change tyre and tubes around two times. Got it done from the
Took two breaks of a day each after riding for around seven days. The
first one at Kolhapur and the second one at Baroda.
Saw two cycle yatris on the way. The first one I saw some where near
Kolhapur I think. Regular cycle with a huge amount of stuff. The other
one I saw while on way to Udaipur. Had been on cycle for the past six
month. Across the India tour. Carrying a huge amount of stuff in the
trunk in his back and a front career.
At most of the dhabas, the folks used to think that I am a religious
yatri. The way they asked me, seemed that they almost wanted me to say
a yes. Were very surprised when I said it was out of interest/ hobby
and not a religious yatra and I could see a perceptible loss of
Some remarkable sights were the Khopoli Ghats before Mumbai , fort of
Chittaurgarh and the Mewar hills in Rajasthan. First time I was riding
through the ghats in a cycle. A very long and fast downhill with a
beautiful view of the plains below. For the Chittaur fort, it was the
first time I had seen it. Its a longish approach from the highway into
Chittaur town. And the first sight of the fort was astounding. The
fort seemed to form the hilltop boundry for the whole of the huge hill
in front of me. Really long fort and seemed well preserved too. Mewar
hills were a new experience. The whole Ratanpur to Udaipur route was
through the Mewar range, which comprised of a whole range of small
hilltops. The hilltops were not too high and it almost seemed that
there was a house on top of every hilltop and a shop at the bottom of
Had a very funny feeling from end of ride till almost two weeks after
that. Felt funny taking a taxi to Delhi airport from Jaipur and then
taking the flight. Felt funny going to office, reading morning paper,
browsing on internet, watching TV. Felt as if I was doing all these
tasks for the first time. Was planning to start to write down a ride
summary (s) for a past few weeks, but never came around to doing it