The Malenadu Cycling Getaway
Don’t be put off by the idea of riding in the rain. With warm temperatures of 28-30 degrees, centigrade, intermittent showers, lush green hills, numerous waterfalls, rich wildlife, jaw-dropping landscapes, steaming hot local food, next to nothing traffic and helpful people; cycling the Monsoons is a once in a lifetime experience!
The arrival of the “monsoon rains” in India is an annual phenomenon, and quite literally, an “emotion” for the people and wildlife in the Western Ghats. The southern peninsular region of India along its western coastline has a long ridge of mountain ranges called the Western Ghats. Life in the rainforests around the Western Ghats comes alive in the monsoons, especially for the largely agrarian population of people and the wildlife in the forest that celebrates this time of abundance.
This 4-day cycling tour through the Western Ghats is a medium intensity trail. Prepare to get wet, ride through stretches of challenging climbs, scenic countryside roads that will excite the traveller in you. Enjoy beautiful picturesque views and stop at the numerous waterfalls en route. Expect encounters with snakes, scorpions, and other amphibian life on your night trek along with amazing local food and humble, fun people – all put together as an unforgettable experience. Let’s celebrate the grand Indian Monsoons with Unventured.
Who can do this tour?
The terrain in the Western Ghats is a mix of gentle climbs and steady descents, combined with plenty of flat roads, which makes it a delight for a cycling enthusiast. Cyclists should be physically fit with at least a moderate degree of cycling experience. Once you sign up, you must make the effort to put in some practice rides before joining the trail. The total distance cycled over 4 days is about 250 kilometres through quaint villages and the rainforest with rolling and flat terrains. This tour is graded as medium intensity, in terms of distance and gradient climbing, since most of the rides will be done on tarmac roads with the exception of some off-road trails.
The Unventured ‘Malenadu Getaway’ trail explores a ridge of mountain ranges. You’ll trail through small hamlets and the quaint countryside while exploring the region’s culture, natural diversity, history, and flavours. On this Unventured trail, various essences of this region have been blended in with:
Explore the region at the pace of a pedal, trailing through the “Malenadu” region of Karnataka. Experience the monsoons at their best and discover how this region transforms with each day. This 4-day trail begins and ends in Bangalore and includes approximate 250 kilometres of cycling. This short getaway has been curated with an ample amount of active adventure, blending in with the region’s cultural storytelling and local explorations.
We depart Bengaluru early in the morning, at 05.30 am and drive to Sakleshpur. Our breakfast will be en route at a local eatery. Post reaching Sakleshpur, we freshen up and change into our cycling gear. Have a hearty lunch, and hop up your bicycles for a 50 Km ride through the lush green Sakleshpur landscape.
Arrive at your abode for the night – a beautiful resort nestled into the mountains, surrounded by the greenery of the Western Ghats. Spend your evening at leisure, and attend a briefing session in the evening, by the campfire.
You will ride from Mudigere crossing over water bodies to a nature camp stay situated inside the Kudremukh National Park. Your ride will take you through coffee estates and lush green farms. In the evening, your hosts will cook some simple “malenadu” cuisine. It’s ideal to warm up your rain-soaked muscles.
You will ride through the Kudremukh national park to reach the temple town of Sringeri. The ancient temple of the goddess is close to 1,200 years old. After a quick lunch in Sringeri, we’ll continue our ride to the rainforest heartland of the tour in Agumbe. With plenty of opportunity for identifying unique amphibians and reptiles that emerge during this very specific time of the year.
Post breakfast, bid farewell to the hosts at your homestay, hop on your bikes and begin your final ride of this tour, towards the Kavaladurga Fort. Enjoy a picnic lunch at the fort.. Post visiting the fort, we bid adieu to your bikes and start our drive towards Bengaluru.
Preparedness – Physical & Mental
The monsoon trail is graded medium intensity, merely in terms of distance and some stretches of gradient climbs since most of the rides will be done mostly on tarmac roads. The tour itself has a good blend of nature, culture, local flavours, and some senses of history and culture. We suggest that you start mountain biking a few days before this trip. This is to ensure you take away the unfamiliarity with mountain bikes that occurs due to lack of practice and physical unpreparedness; so you don’t hold up the other prepared participants. This tour will include a personal guide, mechanic, and a designated driver.
Accommodation will be in 3-star quality homestays with simple food and good hygienic bathrooms offered on a twin-sharing basis.
A team of 6 – 12 riders will be supported by one van with a carrier, which will carry both the riders and bikes, along with a spare cycle, lunch packs, and water. Throughout the day, this vehicle will ride with the riders.