Thursday, December 6, 2007


I know, I know. You have too many questions to ask ! Please find the answers below. If you have a question which hasn’t been answered earlier, please post the question as a comment and I’ll try to answer it .

Q: What’s the exact route you’ll take during this trip ?

A: There are way too many variables to predict here. Many things can happen in a long trip like this. All I can tell you for now is that the tour will span all the way from Arunachal Pradesh till Gujrat. I will be passing through Assam, Meghalaya (likely), West Bengal, Bihar(yes!), parts of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and then Gujarat(hmm - Rann of Kutch if possible too).

Overall, the grand scheme is to ride from Kibi-thu (officially the eastern most point in India) to somewhere on the western coast in Gujarat. I have a plan B too : of riding till Ahmedabad. If I run out of time, plan B is what will happen.

As I write this, I haven’t got an Inner Line Permit to visit Arunachal Pradesh. Permit is needed (even for Indian citizens) to visit Arunachal.

Q: What’s the purpose of the trip ?

A: Nothing in particular. Before you ask me, I’m not pedalling for any cause. Maybe some other day I will. Sometimes I wonder myself what keeps me going. The closest I’ve come to understanding the real reason is “educating myself”. That seems abstract, but that’s the best I have for the moment.

However, if you are interested in contributing to causes, there are atleast a few people doing it. E.g., Balaji Bellary will be setting off soon on a tour of South India. He blogs at . He wants to raise money for education of kids - hopefully you can help !

Q: Which bicycle do you ride ? What do you carry along ?

A: It’s a hybrid bike built by KP and me. Of course, we had the able mechanic Lalu (Raja Cycle Mart, SJP Road, Bangalore) for all assistance. For more details, look at the “The Bike” page.

Q: What about overnight stays ?

A: There are lodges aplenty along the way. This time, I am thinking of trying to stay overnight in a Dhaba atleast once. Every morning, I decide the end point for the day after enquiring about the local conditions.

Q: How do you train for such trips ? How many kilometers a day do you intend to travel on an average ?

A: I ride everyday to office and back - a distance of 26kms. As training, I get up at 4 AM and ride 30-50kms, jog a bit and skip a bit. That’s about it. For this trip, the average will be close to 120 km/day.

Q: Such a long ride - won’t you get tired and bored ?

A: Tired, yes, at times. This will be my longest ride yet(I had done a 2300 km ride in 2005), but I’m sure I can pull this off. I will be carrying a small pack of dates to fire me up just in case I get drained of energy.

In a long tour like this, being bored for a day or two is not unexpected. But all the days of fun will more than compensate for that :-)

Q: What about punctures ?

A: I’m riding on good-as-new tyres. I carry spare tubes and a small puncture kit for emergency. You will also find a comprehensive list of all items in my bag in the same page.

Q: Is this safe ? Going to Bihar alone on a bicycle seems to be a bad idea. And on top of it, why carry the laptop and dSLR ?

A: I am hoping to return without problems. I’m sure most people will consider a lone cyclist harmless. In fact, people routinely mistake me for a student. Some think (especially true in the north-east) I’m from the armed forces and maintain a safe distance. My experience till now has been that things look worse from outside. Anyway, we will know more about this before long.

The laptop is generally in the bag and I take it out only in my room. I keep the dSLR in my sling bag. Every geek needs toys for company, and I am no different ;-)

Q: Any plans to publish a book with your experiences till now?

A: Not yet. Let me accumulate enough material first :-)

Q: Please suggest the best cycle to buy. My budget is under six thousand rupees.

A: Please post this question in a biking forum like

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