My Unventured cycling experience in Yercaud remains second on my best cycling trails in India list after Manali Leh and here’s my story.
Planning Yercaud cycling.
A few months ago from March 2016, when I decided that I was visiting India from Japan during my spring break, I knew I wanted to do one of the Unventured expeditions. I was planning to do a week long trip to Bangalore to see my favourite people. Soon I found the cycling experience in Yercaud in the Unventured expeditions brochure starting from Bangalore and tentatively signed up for it. I was really looking forward to the Unventured cycling experience in Yercaud after the Manali Leh trail I did with them from two years ago.
My Manali Leh cycling experience with them was absolutely fantastic and I loved how it was not a race. I was treated as family and everyone had become a family from spending couple of weeks in the wilderness. We cycled together to thick and thin on all sorts of roads and slept under the starry skies. All those memories came flooding back as I reunited with them.
With our bags all packed, we started off from Bangalore late on Friday night and started our unforgettable weekend. We headed to Salem, a town in Tamil Nadu by a tempo traveller, the base for the Yercaud cycling trip. After a few hours of sleep at the travellers inn and good breakfast, we got on to the saddles and started riding towards the town of Yercaud. Soon after about 10kms we started climbing the famous 20 hairpin bends.
The traffic was minimal on that route and I felt safer than I had imagined. We found plenty of monkeys on the way. On this hot summer day, we stopped in between for a much needed watermelon break. It was probably the most cherished watermelon of my life. After the 21km climb, we finally made it at the end of the hairpin bends for lunch exhausted yet very happy. The delicious pulav with raita and curd rice filled our hungry tummies and brought even more joy to our faces.
A few kilometres of rolling terrain later we made it to our resort. It was a lovely place with independent rooms. After a hot shower, all of us caught up on each other’s stories and enjoyed the bonfire before the amazing dinner by the lake. I had a rasam soup with Salem curry and chicken ghee roast. To top it all, we ordered kulfi and crashed right after. We were on the second day of the Unventured cycling experience in Yercaud. On Sunday, after breakfast of coffee and ghee roast dosa, we did a loop around Yercaud town of 34kms rolling terrain.
What I really like about Unventured is that they give you the local experience. So Gurudeep, our tour guide made sure we stopped by at this lady who made these dollops. They were fantastic and we couldn’t stop hogging on to them.
After the loop, we went to the city and began our lunch with kulfi and ended it with buttermilk. What a way to do so right? I had onion uttapam here for the mail meal.
Heading down and back
Then we did the little bit of the climb to the beginning of the loops and rode straight down. I have always been scared to catch speed down hill and then having to break suddenly. I strongly enjoy riding slow and steady. So it took me a while to get used to the downhill of cycling in Yercaud but Guru, our guru guided me throughout. I felt like I was down in no time, and a few more kilometres later we were already in the city of Salem, loading up our cycles on to our support vehicle and heading back to Bangalore. The Unventured cycling experience in Yercaud was over before we could even realise.
The cycling experience in Yercaud was definitely a challenging trail due to the hot weather but at the same time, every bit was beautiful. As assured, I had a typical local experience and loved every bit of it. Guru, his team and the support vehicle took good care of me. I have always a great time with Unventured and I’m looking forward to more travels with them.