India in 28 days

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sajjyp
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India in 28 days

Postby sajjyp » Wed Oct 03, 2012 09:27 am

Yep you read right!

Hi,

I am thinking of cycling from the northern border to the southern tip of India in 4 weeks. This isn't as insane as it sounds because it is roughly twice the distance of JOGLE. Any advice???

estampida
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Re: India in 28 days

Postby estampida » Wed Oct 03, 2012 09:48 am

but not the same roads, or the same safety

and what about spare parts, and mosquito / water borne disease......... crime..............

how many languages do they speak in india , how many of them can you speak, Urdu would be handy for 10% of the population, just another 900 million people you need to communicate with...

how close do you think you will get to the cashmere region as a white westerner?? without being arrested or kidnapped.....

it goes on and on, quite frankly I will expect so see your name on the news as Brit tourist goes missing....

sajjyp
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Re: India in 28 days

Postby sajjyp » Wed Oct 03, 2012 10:04 am

Agreed re roads.

Spare parts: buy a bike there. Indian bike thats popular and jobs a good un.

Languages: Hindi, English a bit of urdu/punjabi.

Starting point would be Pathankot, yes near Kashmir boarder. I'm of Indian heritage and have relatives in Amritsar so they would escort me for the beginning bit to Amritsar.

Security is an issue, but it is also an issue cycling JOGLE to be fair.

Thanks for your post though

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Hoopdriver
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Re: India in 28 days

Postby Hoopdriver » Wed Oct 03, 2012 10:45 am

I can see where you would have several advantages over most folks for doing this rid, but to equate security concerns where you plan to ride with those on LEJOG seems a bit cavalier to say the least.

sajjyp
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Re: India in 28 days

Postby sajjyp » Wed Oct 03, 2012 10:51 am

The cavalier response was not my intention, obviously didn't word that right.

Any advice Hoopdriver? guessing you have cycled extensively around the globe

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Hoopdriver
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Re: India in 28 days

Postby Hoopdriver » Wed Oct 03, 2012 11:24 am

I wish I could help.

I have indeed ridden a little in India, but short stuff, nothing on the extent you are planning to do - the majority of my 'rugged', long-haul, expedition-style touring experience has been in outback Australia and Africa. What I did see of riding in India was fascinating and colourful - risky but not unreasonably so, but then this was also years ago, before the heightened security issues and in any case I was nowhere near Kashmir.

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cycladelic
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Re: India in 28 days

Postby cycladelic » Fri Oct 05, 2012 03:21 am

"buy a bike there. Indian bike thats popular and jobs a good un." ...I am not so sure about this: Most Indian bikes - like Hero - have no gears. You will be walking a hell of a lot.

However, IMO, security is not that big a deal. I toured Kashmir about 25 years ago and the locals were incredibly friendly. I doubt they've changed very much.

Fast forward - I cycled north to Mumbai from Kerala a year or so ago: I'd allow a couple of weeks just for that leg. It really depends on what your goal is, but I don't get this so-many-miles in a certain timeframe mentality. Mine is simply to enjoy a country, stop when I want and soak things up. Your tour sounds like an endurance.

My blog of touring India can be seen here:

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?o=1 ... 7360&v=2Pr

Best of luck

jc4lab
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Re: India in 28 days

Postby jc4lab » Fri Oct 05, 2012 13:52 pm

Been to wonderful India 3 times now .Hired a hero bike locally there but only to potter round...Must sees on a visit to India are Agra best at sunrise or sunset.I aslo rate Varanasi high on the list of must sees.but Raj Palace area of Rajistan was my favourite area in general.Jodphur Jaipiur Udiphur ,the November Camel fair at holy Puskar.Jaisalmir in the desert are all places that are sprecial and need aday/ half a day plus to see them properly.than whiz past on the bike on a rigid north to south agenda....Each visit of India is pure book writing stuff cos its so intense .Being conned at bit, arguing for hours over prices,pestering by touts and holymen giving you bracelets then demanding buckets of cash(sometimes includes a donation to be given to the holy providers of Tigerbeer), ,is all very intense and tires you daily , but you love it all and dont come to any harm..its a question of survival basics and avoiding Dehli belly is the hardest part...went veggie for the duration last time and it worked..but Indias brand of Coca cola then got me good and proper...Kerala,Hampi and the south are on the cards for me this year.

Would like to see the route you intend to take which Im sure will be good
Last edited by jc4lab on Sun Oct 07, 2012 08:16 am, edited 2 times in total.

satanas
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Re: India in 28 days

Postby satanas » Sat Oct 06, 2012 12:09 pm

Apart from basic food and water safety precautions, things should be fairly straightforward - maybe! I'd think Pathankot - altough not exactly scenic - should be perfectly safe. (Kashmir maybe not so much.) Unless you want to suffer or walk a lot, don't try to do it on a one speed roadster. Probably the most sensible choice is a 26" wheel MTB; some are available in India. Basic tyres and tubes (NB: Woods valves unless things have changed since 2009) are available, other spares are harder to come by so don't take old parts likely to wear out during your trip. Spares for bikes with derailleurs are rare and expensive - sometimes more exensive than in the west. Note also that it is virtually impossible to get decent tyres, so take these from the UK, and bear in mind that there are some truly horrendous thorns in places like Ladakh and the Nubra valley (though I don't suppose you'll be going there). I've ridden only in the Himalayas (HP and Ladakh), so can offer no suggestions about your route, but I'd say that I've felt totally safe in India; IMO the US is vastly more dangerous. Crime should be a non-issue outside cities, and violence is much more likely in western cities. As long as you exercise some care all should be well.

You should be fine with your languages, as long as you don't try to make people in the south speak Hindi(!). I've survived fine with English and a few words in other languages here and there. It is also fairly rare for Indians to travel by bicycle or motorcycle, so I'd expect people to be friendly and curious. I imagine you'll have a great time. :-)

derekb9037
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Re: India in 28 days

Postby derekb9037 » Fri Oct 12, 2012 17:58 pm

sajjyp, have you cycled LEJOG?

How long did it take you?

I did it in 5 days for charity, but we were doing 200 miles a day! You'll be doing less than 100 if you're fully loaded up. If your trip is twice that distance, then 4 weeks is cutting it fine indeed.

You'll certainly not have time to 'take it all in' I wouldn't have thought. But then maybe getting from A-B as quickly as possible is your goal?

satanas
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Re: India in 28 days

Postby satanas » Sat Oct 13, 2012 03:06 am

^ Given road conditions in India, I'd expect to cover *a lot* less than 100miles a day; in fact I'd say 100km/day is pretty optimistic in many places, i.e., mountains, unless you are going to carry nothing whatsoever. If you run short of time it is always (theoretically) possible to put the bike on a train, however, in practice it is much, much easier to go by bus than to attempt to deal with the railway bureaucracy about a bike. This might be easier for you as a Hindi speaker, or not... Buses are easy though.

jc4lab
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Re: India in 28 days

Postby jc4lab » Mon Oct 15, 2012 09:01 am

Im talking ten years ago now but My experience of India was that public transport aint easy.to use at all ...Planes booked up for six weeks..trains also fully booked up for a week or so with waiting lists often just standing roon only so dont know how you manage with a bike...you needed a tout to get your ticket if you want to fight in the queues....had to settle for noisy loud music night buses in the end unless prepared to wait days.. and but enjoyed though...I suppose it depends on the route but to.just easily hop on a train if you get in trouble cant be assumed. Essential to be able to handle breakdowns DIY.and keep going...

sajjyp
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Re: India in 28 days

Postby sajjyp » Tue Oct 16, 2012 17:49 pm

Cycladelic: you wrote "but I don't get this so-many-miles in a certain timeframe mentality. Mine is simply to enjoy a country, stop when I want and soak things up. Your tour sounds like an endurance.

My blog of touring India can be seen here:

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?o=1 ... 7360&v=2Pr

Best of luck"

Yeah, I would love to take months cycling the country but unfortunately I'm having to use annual leave from 2012/13 at the end of march and some from 2013/14 for the april part :( . I will read your blog with interest and thank you for the good luck wish

sajjyp
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Re: India in 28 days

Postby sajjyp » Tue Oct 16, 2012 17:53 pm

jc4lab: I am quite jealous of your endeavours so far. I will post the route when finalised. The initail aim is Pathankot, through to Chandigarh to ambala, to jaipur and then hug the west coast to cape comorin......well it is until I can map the gradients! Its looking like a 30 day stretch of 85 miles a day. Split between 4 hours until noon, then 3 til 7.

Oh and Yeah, I'd better get on a bike repair course now!! Thanks for your words

sajjyp
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Re: India in 28 days

Postby sajjyp » Tue Oct 16, 2012 17:55 pm

santanas: Again, thank you for the reply and I will take your words with me! :)

sajjyp
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Re: India in 28 days

Postby sajjyp » Tue Oct 16, 2012 18:00 pm

derekb9037: It took us 11 days for LEJOG with a support van. The aim is to have a support van in India, sorted by relatives so that should be relatively trustworthy but that depends on the driver. I would sincerely like to amble down the country but I can't get time off work.....its been a struggle just to get 35 days off in one go :(

Motivations for trying this? Its my ancestral home, I would like to visit my gran in the North before the inevitable happens so the remaining 25 days cycle will provide a bonus as to my aims. There is a lad who is going who probably would like to race the thing but thats not what its about. No records are being chased......just dreams :)

satanas
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Re: India in 28 days

Postby satanas » Tue Oct 16, 2012 18:11 pm

Sounds like an excellent decision - have a great trip! (I am leaving for India in 3 1/2 hours...)

Later,
Stephen

sajjyp
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Re: India in 28 days

Postby sajjyp » Wed Oct 17, 2012 16:12 pm

Santanas:

Stephen,

Bon voyage. Have a great one.

Regards

Saj


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