After big-time success in 2008, the Tour of Nilgiris is back this year with an updated route and a donation plan instead of fees. Starting from Bangalore and wending its way through Mysore, Hassan, Madikeri, Irupu and Sultanbathery, the cycling tour covers just over 900km and spans six days of hard biking. The organizers—a bunch of biking enthusiasts—say the tour is open to anyone above 18 with a serviceable bike and the physical ability to ride 100-120km every day. Good support is part of the deal, so if a rider can’t meet the target for the day, he (and his bicycle) will be picked up by sweeper vehicles and deposited at the destination (but oh, the ignominy.) Sameer Shisodia, who did the gruelling tour last year, recalls every stage presenting its own challenges—most of them mental.
Pedal power: The Nilgiris tour means covering 100-120km every day.
If you think you’re up to it, you’ll need to make a donation of Rs12,000 to the RideACycle Foundation, a not-for-profit advocacy group promoting sustainable transport which takes care of accommodation, food, support, medical care, et al. In addition, you’ll need to deposit between Rs4,000 and Rs6,000, depending on sponsorships snagged, to confirm your place on the tour.
The tour begins on 15 December with a briefing. Click here for details.