With the Winter drawing to a close as the summer heat kicks in here in Southern India, we thought it would be good to look back and give you a sneak peak at the Kerala cycling holidays that Art of Bicycle Trips has organised over the last six months.
Although Kerala is a relatively small state of India, it still offers a variety of riding for riders of all capabilities. From the amateurs to the pros, we feel happy to have shared this unique region of South Asia with everyone who cycled with us over the cycle touring season of 2015.
So, let’s jump into a time-machine and travel “Into the Past.”
1. People are awesome!
People are really, really awesome and we are always very thrilled to host folks from around the world, from different walks of life.
Starting from the 6 year-old Nicholas to 80 years-young Liz, age was no matter and everyone we biked with had an exuberant ‘cycling spirit’ that is so inspiring!
They championed all the different terrain that Kerala offered, from the low-lands(below sea level) to mountain ranges over 1500 metres tall, with a little help from friends. And anytime they needed that extra bit of support, the Art of Bicycle Trips crew was there for them, cheering them on always.
2. Monsoon biking in Kerala
To bike in the rainy season almost never seems like a good idea. But hey, we rode during the last monsoons, with Richard and Nancy for the ever popular classic Kerala bike tour and Oh boy! Oh boy! It was the absolute best cycling experience we have ever had!
Through the cloudy-wormhole, searching for the windmills in the lowlands, after biking to Top station, Munnar
Cycling through Kerala’s lush tea plantations and spice farms, the scenery! The greenery! Unbeatable!
Waterfalls often crop up along many hillsides during the monsoons and it is always a splash!
3. Cycling though Misty-Mighty Western Ghats
The rains also bring with rolling blankets of fog and riding through the misty mountains in Munnar was thrilling and refreshing.
No words can express the feeling of riding in and out of the mist – we felt like we were in heaven!
Liz and her friends are seen biking here to Munnar Top station
After riding on sunny coastal roads for most part of the year, the cool chill was more than welcome during this monsoon cycling holiday. Sometimes it became so nippy that we even had to put the windcheaters on and to do so in tropical Kerala feels very novel I must say.
4. Watching Elephants in the wild and along the roads
We were biking downhill in Munnar and voila! We saw a herd of elephants grazing in the grasslands just like that.
We got to see these big, gentle elephants up close as they walked up from the river after being bathed by their mahouts. Its really something to experience these giants at such close range!
Bathing Elephants during a Kerala Cycling Tour
5. Not-to-be-missed culinary treats
Food is a highlight of our trips and we make sure that people have enough options to satisfy their taste buds with the local cuisine.
Some of the best bits of our cycling holidays often occur at the table during long post-ride meals that nourish the mind, the body and the soul.
A simple Indian lunch served on an island in the backwaters during a Kerala cycling tour
6. Supporting the local traders
Whether it is Sheela-Chechi who cooks and serves delicious lunch at the backwater island; Vinoth-ettan, the fisherman, who takes us on a canoe ride; Sajeeb, the tuk-tuk driver who assists our cycling trips; Kunjappan-chettan a traditional boat-maker; all these local men and women are an integral part of our cycling holidays and we are always amazed by their knowledge, their kindness and their warm hospitality and are very grateful for their service.
Your cycling holiday can impact many lives here & we try and involve the locals in tours often.
At Kunjappan-chetan’s boatmaking workshop
We hope you enjoyed this insider’s view of our Kerala cycling holidays. If you are thinking about going on a cycling holiday in South/Southeast Asia, then please do have a look at our cycling holiday itineraries first. Also, feel free to write to us classic at artofbicycletrips dot com so that we can get your dream holiday going.