“The best thing I like about cycling is that you get to experience the roads in a different way. It is a form of meditation for me,” shares Kamal Bisht from Lakshmi Nagar, who has completed a distance of almost 1.25lakh km on a cycle. An avid rider, Bisht first covered India’s Golden Triangle (the route between Delhi-Agra-Jaipur) alone in January, 2017. Talking about Bisht’s dedication to cover this course all by himself, Gurleen Kaur from IP Extension, who started cycling in 2014, shares, “I had heard from my cycle club members that a man was going to attempt the route alone, and I thought he was crazy. So I met him during the flag off.”
Having realised that this is a journey that he would love to share with others, Bisht first conducted the ‘Tour de Golden Triangle’ (TDGT) with his cycling club in 2018. Now, he organises this as an open-for-all tour.
Saddle up stat
The sixth edition of TDGT—it is an adventure cycling trip covering Delhi, Alwar, Jaipur, and Agra—begins on Thursday. Kaur, who has been a participant and marshal in two TDGT events, will also be the marshal for this edition. TDGT’s group of six riders and Bisht will be accompanied with support vehicles for luggage, a technical support team, and a medical team along with a physiotherapist.
The tour flag off is at India Gate at 5:30am, and the team plans to complete the 800km ride and return to India Gate on February 27 evening. Starting early on a (hopefully) pleasant February morning, the cyclists will enjoy almost-empty Delhi roads before taking a scenic route via National Highway 8 towards their first destination, Alwar. The four-day trip allows the cyclists to enjoy nature as they travel. While on their way to Jaipur, the team will also take the route that cuts through the Bhangarh Fort.
Ride to de-stress
Keeping in mind the distance and endurance required for such a trip, TDGT has limited the number of participants this time. According to the tour guidelines, only those who have completed at least 200kms in a single ride under any cycle club affiliated with Audax India Randonneurs, an all-India organisation for randonneurs, can be part of this tour. “It is not easy to sit on the saddle for 200km for a day and then do the same the next without batting one’s eye,” points out Bisht.
Of the six enthusiastic riders is Prashant Kumar from Greater Noida West. Although he only started riding seriously about eight months ago, he has already completed 600 kms in a single ride. “What I love is that they included Alwar in this tour. Moreover, travelling via Bhangarh Fort will also be an adventure in itself,” shares Kumar.
Talking about her experience as a marshal for the tour, Kaur concludes, “My job is to push these people into doing something that they haven’t done before. Witnessing their accomplishment warms my heart.”