A holiday ride

Sakal Times
Wednesday, 4 December 2019

Cycling tours are not only enjoyable but those opting for them do their bit for the environment

With green on your mind, bicycle tours are one of the best ways to show that you love the environment without compromising on the chance to enjoy nature’s beauty. “The effects of climate change can be felt across the world. To save humanity from destruction, a huge amount of effort is required. Apart from other major steps, a little easier one would be to promote cycling. Bicycle tours in India have become a trend in the last few years with many companies organising short to medium trips encouraging people to understand the health benefits of cycling and its importance in saving the world from environmental catastrophe,” says Amit Jain, founder of Rising Star Tours and Travels.

Tours are mostly organised on Sunday mornings where the participants are required to travel a short distance on cycle. “The objective is to make others find inspiration after watching these groups cycling around. Many tour operators are organising these tours in scenic places where people usually go in their cars. The problem in promoting these tours on a large scale is the absence of cycling infrastructure in the country. In fact, the already congested city spaces cannot accommodate separate cycling tracks. The solution to such a problem is to educate the people in cities to respect cyclists on the road and give way to them instead of scoffing at someone who is toiling hard to contribute towards saving the planet,” he says. 

Newer cities that are being planned should have separate cycling tracks.  “A similar step was taken by UP when it built cycle tracks along many roads but all of them are unused and in some cases neglected. In times when people are not inclined towards cycling and yet show concern about pollution, these bicycle tours come as a breather and should be promoted at a larger scale. The short bicycle tours prevalent in major cities such as Delhi and other tourist places should be extended to other places as well. The number of people showing interest in these tours is low but with growing pollution and increasing acceptance of healthy living, these tours are expected to gain traction soon,” he says.

There are bicycle tours available to explore Rajasthan, Kerala and various other places across India. “It is always fascinating to take these bicycle tours such as from Bay of Bengal to the Arabian Sea. These tours help the traveller enjoy the surroundings at leisure such as forests or mountains, and pass through history. India is brimming with rich cultural heritage, cuisine and scenery, these bicycle tours turn out to be impressive to say the least,” he shares.  

A handful of foreigners also opt for road cycling, coast to coast. These tours are little expensive and meant for people who want to test their endurance. “In fact, as of now, these bicycle tours are targeted at foreigners because of low acceptance among Indian masses,” Jain adds.

One should try one of these bicycle tours to see how life turns out refreshingly well after you complete it. “Choose the routes where you can enjoy the tough climbs and then get rewarded with cool mountain air and also get the panoramic views of the surroundings. If you go to Kerala on a bicycle tour, then you can enjoy the sight of houseboats, Kerala’s wildlife, fishing villages, and also see the beautiful shores of the Arabian Sea,” says Jain. 

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