Cycling through Uttar Pradesh Safety

#1 Feb 26th, 2017, 15:50
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#1
Hi folks, I'm a British and plan to travel through Uttar Pradesh by bike on my own. I will be coming from the Nepal border at Sunauli then cycle towards Faizabad. I will then take a train(hopefully) to Jhansi Junction. From there I will cycle to Orccha etc then down to Omkareshwar. I wanted to ask if it is safe to cycle around UP as i've never been to India before. Also what would be good interesting places to visit on the stretch to Faizabad.
#2 Feb 26th, 2017, 18:41
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Well from my perspective, Uttar Pradesh is the most unsafe region in the country. If you are taking Basti/Gorakhpur route, that's kind of the worst in Uttar Pradesh. From my point, yoi are choosing the riskiest region of the country.
#3 Feb 26th, 2017, 20:46
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Hi.
I do admire your plan, but India is so different to Europe. I hope you have done your homework well?
Taking a bike onto a train should be fairly easy, but you may need to wrap it in sacking, and place in luggage van.
I recommend this YouTube cycling video to get a flavour


Good Luck !

Edwin.
#4 Feb 26th, 2017, 23:30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nkapil View Post Well from my perspective, Uttar Pradesh is the most unsafe region in the country. If you are taking Basti/Gorakhpur route, that's kind of the worst in Uttar Pradesh. From my point, yoi are choosing the riskiest region of the country.
Unsafe for what? The roads, muggings, the food? I've read a few cycle journals on crazyguyonabike and didn't seem to be dangerous but have heard a few people telling me its dangerous not sure why..
#5 Feb 27th, 2017, 05:23
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Rightly or wrongly, that area is thought of by some as "bandit country". The impression seems to be that it might be the most lawless area, so robbery or worse might be more likely there.
I have been told this myself by Indians from other parts, but it may be rubbish. My feeling is that the biggest danger is a road accident. Upset tummy is often a problem for visitors, but cycling does not alter that risk.
I don't imagine for one moment that you would be attacked anywhere in India, but you might need to keep a close eye on your bike and gear, to keep it secure.
Indian road surfaces are often very poor, potholed and rough, with lots of dust and fumes.
Apart from watching other's cycle videos on Youtube, I don't know how you will get a realistic idea... reading about it is not going to impart the full picture, I feel.

Good Luck,

Edwin
#6 Feb 27th, 2017, 05:35
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Forget about tenting and be sure to find hotel/lodge before sundown .. keep bike in room.
Fly bright flag on bike .. imagine the worst and you will be fine.
#7 Feb 27th, 2017, 08:05
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#7
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Originally Posted by themightyboo View Post Unsafe for what? The roads, muggings, the food? I've read a few cycle journals on crazyguyonabike and didn't seem to be dangerous but have heard a few people telling me its dangerous not sure why..
Unsafe because this is lawless and Kidnapping prone area. You may have heard in travel advisory that Kashmir, Manipur are unsafe ans dangerous. But from my travel experience Manipur etc are far safer than this. In general this is because of the people.
OIH rightly said forget about tents (if you insist)
#8 Feb 27th, 2017, 09:55
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I am with Edwin. It is the road accidents that would be my #1 worry. Roads are often narrow - and the driving practices are not safe for bicyclists. Given the lack of protection on bicycles, an accident can be fatal or life changing (not in a good way) in the best of circumstances. In India, with hardly any emergency road care - it'd be far worse.

Please note that a lot of Indians use bicycles to get around town and outskirts. That's OK in my view. It is long distance biking on roads with high-speed traffic that I'd be most worried about. Indians are, by and large, skilled drivers that do co-exist with bicyclists but the safety margins they operate with relative to bicycles isn't acceptable.

I bicycle a fair bit, at least from March to November, and am originally from UP. I'd not dream of doing a long bicycle trip in India. [Actually correct that - I do dream of doing Manali-Leh but it's never going to happen given the driving practices I have seen.]
#9 Feb 27th, 2017, 10:38
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Experienced cyclists are usually apt at plotting routes that avoid major roads.
Although .. there’s probably still an award waiting for the first to cycle, and survive, the entire length of India’s Grand Trunk Road in this modern era.
#10 Feb 27th, 2017, 21:13
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Thanks Nkapil, Edwin, Old IndiaHand etc. Given me food for thought especially the roads. What about down the coast from Bangladesh to West Bengal, Orissa? Are these states ok? Or cycling across India coast to coast (in the south)? Any thoughts appreciated…thanks guys
#11 Feb 27th, 2017, 21:31
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#11
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldandRambling View Post My feeling is that the biggest danger is a road accident.
Quote:
Originally Posted by kmalik View Post I am with Edwin.
I agree. Road safety is of prime importance, but then it is true for whole of India if you are cycling. The plus point is that Indian traffic is well tuned to slow moving traffic, so you will find cycles along with BMW's.

I have cycled in most north Indian states, and while I found Rajasthan to be much safer about two decades back, the story now is no different and each place is equally safe or unsafe.

So go ahead, day cycling is no more unsafe in UP than any other place, in fact, you will be center of attraction, and this may be more troubling to you . Also, UP boasts the only cycle highway in India, 207 Kms long, between Etawah and Agra, you will have a nice time cycling on this trek if you add it to your plan.

India's first cycle highway
If you find my posts confrontationist, please bear, I am an old frustrated guy who has nothing better to do than sit on rocking chair and curse the world whole day
#12 Feb 28th, 2017, 02:01
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May be but I remain skeptical as I have seen the behavior on the roads. Indian drivers are quite skillful and used to smaller vehicles and even animals. Yet, they also often have the mindset that bigger the vehicle, more the road belongs to them and the margin of safety they work with is very small.

http://sites.ndtv.com/roadsafety/cyc...rth-risk-2482/

As for the comment "experienced bicyclist...", my concern is more about the experience of the drivers one is sharing the road with. And, it does happen - around the world but more so in places where bicyclists have fewer / no rights. While the number of bicycle accidents might be modest, bicyclists face a higher risk of crash-related injury and deaths than occupants of motor vehicles do. And, India has a high road accident record and situation...

The following links are not about India but relevant nonetheless as the road situations are likely similar.

http://www.treehugger.com/bikes/rip-...-accident.html

http://www.news24.com/World/News/Man...ident-20150221
#13 Feb 28th, 2017, 03:30
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#13
What experience have you had of foreign cycling, themightyboo? I assume you are cycling in Nepal beforehand?
It is not the route that concerns me...
The state of the roads, traffic, driving standards are similar in the whole of India.
Have you viewed the video I linked to, as it shows quite well the UK cyclist himself being knocked over, as well as the traffic on both sides of the road, the many near misses, potholes and dust and sheer potential for upset?

You may be lucky to find "backroads" but these are likely to be in even worse repair.

It is what it is, a dodgy but exciting and very rewarding thing to do if all goes well.

Public transport in India, bus or train, is very cheap. Maybe try your bike ride, and if it turns out to not be what you expected, store the bike and travel more by some other mode?

Good Luck,

Edwin.
#14 Feb 28th, 2017, 05:11
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Rather than being influenced by anxious rumblings from those of little experience .. and supposing you want real practical information of which roads to take, contact this person … https://auth.lonelyplanet.com/profiles/albin_3
#15 Feb 28th, 2017, 05:47
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If you bothered to look - the NDTV link in my post consists of experiences and relevant expert opinion from those bicycling in India.

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