Bicycle travel, how safe/ practical is it?

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#1 Mar 2nd, 2005, 11:59
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  • xealot is offline
#1
This may sound like a really stupid idea but I would like to do some travel via bicycle around india. I'm not talking about riding the length of the country or anything but i would like to be able to say travel between small towns in rural areas.

I want to keep my everyday supplies down to a minimum so I will be travelling initially with only a medium sixed backpack. This will contain diary/camera + accessories, first aid and toiletries minimal clothing, selfsupporting mosquito net (not a tent it will just be a very small pop up mosquito net with a netting floor as well), a silk sleeping sack and a few other odds and ends.

Once i've been in india for a little while I would like buy a bike which i can (somehow??) atach a crate or basket to the back of so I can carry a few extra items... small ground sheet and larger tarp with ropes (incase of rain) a small kero cooker, just enough to boil up some water for rice and tea, bottled water ... plus any other essentials that i or anyone else comes up with.

The idea would be to never spend more than 2 nights on the road before i reach another location ... so that i can always replenish kero/water/rice easily.

anyways they're the detailas, my actual questions are...

* Is this stupidly ridiculously unsafe?
* Am i going to be getting caught in the rain every second day or is India fairly dry outside of monsoon (i'm not some prissy lady whos gonna freak about getting a bit wet but I don't want to be in a position where i can't even get my clothes dry before it starts raining again)?
* Are there areas where this is feasible ... eg are settlements close enough to each other to be able to find accomodation with 2-3 days riding? (i'm happy to stay just about anywhere but would like the safety of knowing i can turn around and return to an inhabited location within a reasonable period)
* Is this sleeping out thing going to work? eg are there places wheere i will be able to stop and set up camp without bothering anyone?
* i could have sworn i had more questions than that ... so any general advice on the idea would be muchly appreciated.


Basically the aim of this is to see some of rural India without having to worry about a motorbike breaking down or paying someone to drive me everywhere. I want to be free as a bird and I understand that has its dangers in a foreign country but ... i want to anyway! All warnings/advice shall be heeded i promise.


Thankyou all sooo much for helping this clueless young Aussie!
#2 Mar 2nd, 2005, 14:03
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  • seventies'hippy is offline
#2
Is this stupidly ridiculously unsafe?
* Am i going to be getting caught in the rain every second day or is India fairly dry outside of monsoon (i'm not some prissy lady whos gonna freak about getting a bit wet but I don't want to be in a position where i can't even get my clothes dry before it starts raining again)?
* Are there areas where this is feasible ... eg are settlements close enough to each other to be able to find accomodation with 2-3 days riding? (i'm happy to stay just about anywhere but would like the safety of knowing i can turn around and return to an inhabited location within a reasonable period)
* Is this sleeping out thing going to work? eg are there places wheere i will be able to stop and set up camp without bothering anyone?
* i could have sworn i had more questions than that ... so any general advice on the idea would be muchly appreciated.
*****************

Hi xealot, Ummmmmm, I would say no to your questions, don't do it,,,,,
I'm thinking you're female! ,,,,, Aussy Sheila even, but still No to the bicycling as a means of transport around the country.
Once you've been to India I think you'll probably agree,,,,,,,,,,,,

But if you're really determined have a look Here
#3 Mar 2nd, 2005, 15:08
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  • xealot is offline
#3
It would have been nice to get a positive response ... but at least i wasn't expecting it

Thanks very much Seventies I've had a quick look at the site and it looks fantastic, maybe if I can find a travel partner I'll still attemp it (fingers crossed) ... it would be so amazing to do...

thanks again!
#4 Mar 2nd, 2005, 15:11
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#4

Many of my friends done it!

Hi
this is in reply to ur post.

I have seen my friends from France and Germany has already done over year and year..cycling around India.
And yes there can be few tips on safety.U need to work on few cultural difference and a good smile..that all.

And plan it any season other than monsoon.
Need more tips?
let me know.
wish u miles of smiles
sanjay
#5 Mar 2nd, 2005, 15:20
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#5
If you are a man, you have nothing to worry. Just make sure you plan your routes and confirm the safety of the route before going (Important!!). Don't stay out in the open. Stay in cheap lodges you will find in rural places. Infact, if you find a dhaba, you may ask the owner to provide you a cot and you can sleep outside. Get a mobile with roaming, atleast to call the local police in case of emergency. Travel in day time and not after sunset. After all, you need a place to stay and go around the village etc.
I think you should be ok.

If you are a lady, don't even think of it, even if your boy friend is Guv Schwarzenegger.
#6 Mar 2nd, 2005, 15:26
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#6
kaushiks: lol i'm a lady but thanks none the less ....

what if my boyfriend is The Rock?
#7 Mar 2nd, 2005, 16:48
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#7
I found your post intriguing. What a great idea! reckless it may be...?

here is a site I found of an Australian woman who cycled around South India:

http://www.australiancyclist.com.au/...php?s=12&a=503
#8 Mar 2nd, 2005, 17:06
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#8
Ah! The Rock! Nah! No use. James bond might help but get one bicycle each.
#9 Mar 2nd, 2005, 20:13
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#9
For a woman who's bicycled solo halfway across the world, check out Josie Dew's books, she's done India as well (in *The Wind In My Wheels* and possibly others). Her stories are a fun read and make it seem it's doable, if not always easy, but I reckon you could have figured that out for yourself. Part of the fun in reading is her attitute towards hardships actually, you'd probably need a similar attitude.
#10 Mar 2nd, 2005, 21:40
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#10
There we were, in deepest Madhya Pradesh, miles away from any tourbusses, on very lonely roads . . .
when what should appear, but a spandexed woman on a touring bike!!!!

So someone's doing it!
#11 Mar 2nd, 2005, 22:20
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#11
Travelling in car was frightening enough for me, I could never imagine riding a bike on those roads, I am not sure you could pay me enough. Are you familiar with the driving and roads in India? Perhaps I am overreacting but I would strongly recommend becoming familiar with the roads there before considering travel by bike.
#12 Mar 3rd, 2005, 04:15
belkin_wonder_boy Future Member
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#12
FWIW, my (Indian) friend who lives in Delhi says (Indian) women are discouraged from riding bicycles. She herself was very roughly pushed off of hers by a group of young men who apparently disapproved of women riding bicycles, and she never rode one again (she was in her thirties at the time). She wasn't a spandex-clad "cyclist," she was dressed in a salwar kameez riding an old bike around her southern Delhi middle-class neighborhood. I don't know how foreign women riding bicycles are perceived.
#13 Mar 3rd, 2005, 05:13
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#13
Here are some of the hazards for a single female bicyclist:

1. no proper roads or bike paths. you'll have to share the road with monster lorry and bus wallahs who believe in the mantra -- might is right, and will quite eager to push you off the orad
2. road surfaces are pretty bad. plan on fixing bent rims and punctures
3. stray dogs and cattle - especially the dogs who like to attack moving vehicles
4. snakes and other animals if you decide to camp in the open
5. as bijapuri put it, the attention you will recieve from men ( and women) who will look at you like you arrived from another planet
#14 Mar 3rd, 2005, 05:28
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#14
Quote:
Originally Posted by traceyam FWIW, my (Indian) friend who lives in Delhi says (Indian) women are discouraged from riding bicycles. She herself was very roughly pushed off of hers by a group of young men who apparently disapproved of women riding bicycles
This is absolute humbug.
#15 Mar 3rd, 2005, 08:55
belkin_wonder_boy Future Member
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#15
kaushiks, what part do you think is humbug?
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