Top 5 Bikes For Long Cruising in India

Bikes Life can often consume you with the mundane routine of everyday living. And the very minute you kick start your bike and go on for a ride, away from the humdrum of the city, you feel a sense of freedom and detachment with the various complications surrounding you.

That one ride relieves you of all your stress and re-energizes you in ways you cannot put down into words. It makes you feel unstoppable and free from the world. A real bike enthusiast can often romanticise with this very feeling of joy and full of passion. Today the bike enthusiast in you is on for a ride as we bring you the top 5 best bikes for long cruising in India. So keep calm and bike on.


1) Bajaj Avenger Cruise 220

The very first thing that comes to mind when we speak about the Bajaj Avenger is the tagline ‘Feel Like God’. Cruising on the Avenger Street indeed gives you a heavenly vibe and makes you feel like God. The Avenger can set any street on fire with its dark shades and sporty mag wheels.

The Baja Avenger Cruise is equipped with a 220cc DTS-I engine with twin spark plugs to add more power to all your rides. The engine is oil-cooled at all times as we all need a cool head while cruising to longer destinations.

One of the best things about the Avenger is the street control handlebar that provides manoeuvring through narrow streets or long highways with god-like ease. The bike has a low-slung seating to make your rides comfortable at all times.

2) Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500

There are bikes, and then there is a Royal Enfield. The name says it all. The Thunderbird 500 is your quintessential cruiser made for open skies, unhurried riding and a weekend on the saddle. Powered by a 499 cc twin spark air-cooled engine, the Thunderbird has many thoughtful inclusions like a 20-litre fuel tank that provides you 550-700 km range at a stretch, making every trip feel like a breeze for the rider.

Other notable features include a square swingarm rear suspension that keeps the rear tyre in contact with the ground on small slopes and hilly areas. The set-in cruiser stance and well-padded bucket seat give you the perfect riding position for all your trips.

To top it all the Thunderbird 500 looks better, handles better and still maintains the charisma and personality that Royal Enfields are known for. This cruiser comes at a price of Rs 2,03,000. (Ex-showroom Delhi)

Read More:-My Dream Cycle Tour – Munnar

3) Royal Enfield Himalayan

Making a surprise entry into our list of cruisers is the Himalayan. It’s Royal Enfield’s most versatile bike, be it on the road or off the road, this motorcycle can take the rider everywhere, and it’s the only motorcycle that you will ever need.
The long-travel suspension, natural upright riding position and a torquey engine provides you with a comfortable ride through the streets, or the highways or even the mountain areas.

Equipped with an LS410 Single cylinder 4-stroke engine, the Himalayan is powered by a strong low-end torque that makes it widely usable in all riding conditions. An adventurers favourite, the Himalayan has been priced at Rs 1,56,000 lakh. (Ex-showroom Delhi)

4) Hyosung Aquila Pro 650

Soul of a cruiser, the heart of a racer. This is the perfect description for the Aquila Pro 650 by Hyosung. It packs a punch with its old school looks and a superbike vibe at the same time. Powered by a 647cc, V-twin cylinder water cooled engine that generates 74 BHP and 62.1 NM of torque.

This mean machine can claim a top speed of around 195 km/hr. One of the best things about the Aquila Pro is the 705 mm of seat height that allows for a comfortable seating position for the bikers.

Born to cruise, the Aquila Pro 650 comes at the cost of Rs 4,99,000 lakh. (Ex-showroom Mumbai)

5) Harley Davidson Street 750

Last but not the least, this cruiser list is incomplete without mentioning a Harley. Built for the Indian audience, the Harley-Davidson Street is a rider’s delight. One can tame the urban grid as well as the highways with this revolutionary Indian favourite.

Beneath this rebellion cafe racer lurks a liquid-cooled 750cc Revolution X™ V-Twin engine that makes you beat traffic in no time. When modern civilisation throws tantrums at you, Street 750 is born to tackle the demands of the urban landscape.

The best part about this Street beauty is that it’s the most affordable bike of the Harley Davidson. And they made it accessible the right and the authentic way that Harleys are known for. Milwaukee steel fuel tank, premium paint job and the 3-D chrome badge. This has been built for the great Indian dream. It comes at the cost of Rs 5,25,000 lakh. (Ex-showroom New Delhi)

Dreams Do Come True

Having one of the mean machines mentioned in our list seems like a long lost dream. But don’t you worry. We have got everything covered for you. With Sqrrl BYOD you can get started with the simplest and most efficient way of getting one of these ticked off from your bucket list.
Here’s a quick example of how you can fulfil your dreams with Sqrrl BYOD.

My Dream Cycle Tour – Munnar

Standing a 1500+ meters above sea level, with a cooler climate compared to the Keralan coast, conquering the tea carpeted mighty mountains of western ghats on pedal power give you a sense of achievement.

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If you love cycling in mountains and you are in Kerala, Munnar is a must to be explored on a bike.

Lets take a virtual ride through Munnar, Kerala and you can see for yourself.

The starting point of the ride is the foothills of western ghats, near the small town of Neriamangalam, along side rubber and pineapple plantations. With an easy start and few downhills to begin with, we get to warm up our legs before slowly hitting the climbs. We cycle through a forested section with bamboo groves and tall trees on one side.

If you are cycling during monsoon or just after, you are welcomed by little waterfalls on the way. Stop by and wash your face and feet in this chilled water flowing from the mountains. A short break at the waterfalls and voila! You are completely refreshed and ready to hit more climbs leading towards Munnar.

Learn More:- When and How to deal with bad weather

Along the way you can see and experience, the Periyar River deep in  the valley, a hydro-electric project, churches, a basket weaving community settlement from neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu, water gushing out through one or more open sluice gates of Kallarkutty dam (if you are biking in August) and few toddy shops serving spicy curries with tapioca. Toddy is a locally brewed alcohol made from coconut or palm flower bud sap. You have to try it when here to know why it is popular in these parts!

Soon you will reach Chithirapuram and that is when you will say “Wow! This is so beautiful.” This is the first stretch of tea plantation that you see. Munnar town is just 6 km away from here. Munnar is culturally very different from other parts of Kerala. It has a predominant Tamil culture due to the settlement of migrants from Tamil Nadu who came here to work in the plantations.

The story is that the British found it very hard to get people from Kerala to work in tea plantations, so they finally brought in people from Tamil Nadu who where ready to do the hard work and this changed the landscape of Munnar!

To this day, the women from these communities pluck the tea leaves in the estates here while the men work in tea factories that process the leaves. The town of Munnar is quite small and it is packed with people and shops. When in Munnar, you can visit tea museum and learn about the history of Munnar – which is intertwined with that of tea.

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Another place you can visit is establishment called Srishti. Srishti was started by TATA group to rehabilitate the physically and mentally challenged children of tea plantation workers.  But hey wait, the ride to Munnar is not complete without cycling to Top Station. A steady climb that takes you to an altitude of 2000 m and to the highest point in Kerala. If you wish to ride and explore this beautiful part of Kerala by bicycle, be sure to check out the link provided here.

With this third and final post, this series of blog posts that describe Dibin’s dream cycling tour route through Kerala now comes to an end. You can read the first part about cycling Fort Kochi here and the second part about cycling the backwaters of Kerala here.
If you are considering cycling through Kerala, feel free to write to Dibin our Kerala and Sri Lanka bike tour expert classic(at)artofbicycletrips(dot)com for inputs. Cheers!

When and How to deal with bad weather

bad weather Unless you live in someplace like Southern California you will have to cope with a variety of different conditions when cycling your bike throughout the year. In Ireland this winter has been particularly wet and windy and many have found themselves facing the conundrum of whether or not they should go training and then how should they approach the different conditions that they face. Hopefully this will help clarify much of those questions :

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Above all else you must know why you are going out in bad conditions. Will it improve your fitness. Will it improve your bike handling. Will you be a better cyclist at the end of that day. Is it safe to go out. If you do not answer yes to most of these questions, stay at home.
Heavy rain and strong winds

A1 and A2 racers who want to win races will need to be able to race in these conditions so they need to train in them too. Half the bunch in any domestic race have cracked as soon as the road gets damp so there is a better chance of getting that elusive victory on wet days if you have trained for it. A3 and A4 riders can make up their own minds on this. You do need a certain amount of experience and skill to ride in bad conditions.

Sportive riders aiming for the Wicklow 200 or the Sean Kelly Tour 160k need to be able to handle bad conditions as they may have to face them on the day of the event.

Riders who set different challenges for themselves must be prepared for any conditions. Last year when attempting to climb the height of Mt Everest in a day I had to face some of the worst wind and rain the Comeragh mountains had to offer. I had trained on the climb in a snow blizzard so knew that no matter how bad it got, I had trained in worse, and this was the difference between being able to finish the challenge and not.

Anyone aiming to just get around The Ring of Kerry or whose main aim is the local Sunday spin can roll over in bed and enjoy a guilt free lie in when the rain beats against the window.

The bike :

Deep section carbon rims look great but are like a sail in the wind. The shallower the rims the better if you are planning on training on very windy days. 25mm tyres such as Continental Grand Prix 4 Seasons or Schwalbe Durano Plus are hard wearing, have strong puncture resistance but importantly also have good grip in the wet.

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Many love Gatorskins but they are very slippy in the wet, as they have a harder rubber compound. Mudguards are good but can catch the wind on very blustery days.

Food and drinks :

It is important to remember to eat and drink on wet and windy days. With so much water engulfing you it is easy to forget to drink but you are still sweating and this fluid needs to be replaced. Open all energy bar wrappers beforehand and make it as easy as you can for yourself to eat. Don’t stop for coffee if you are wet as you will get cold and the chance of picking up a chill increases ten fold.

Mentality :

On Sunday morning when the rain is beating against the window don’t moan about it. The first person to hear that is yourself and you are already making life hard for yourself. Ignore the weather as much as possible. You are going training so that’s it. Know that 99.9% of the time it is not as bad as it sounds from inside.

When you are out remind yourself that the air is cleaner and you are able to breathe in pure filtered oxygen. You are also doing something that many who are confined to hospital beds would love to be able to do so thank your lucky stars.

Read More:- 15 most annoying habits shown by cyclists
The Route :

Choose a sheltered route as much as possible. Stay away from main roads if you are alone. Quiet back roads with plenty of cover in the shadow of a mountain can offer great protection from strong winds. The back road from Clonmel to Carrick is a good example of this, although the surface is like the Gaza Strip.


Keep out 2 feet from the edge of the road to allow for gusts that may move you sideways. Always look up ahead for gates or openings in the ditch or wall. Spread your weight across the bike. Lean out on the hoods rather than up on top of the bars.

Keep your arms relaxed and if you do feel a gust don’t go rigid. Let the bike find it’s way. Keep pedalling at a slightly lower cadence than usual. You have much less control over the bike if you are freewheeling.

Snow and Ice

This is much more dangerous. Sticking to main roads that have been gritted is the only road option but many will choose to either go Mountain biking or hit the Turbo trainer, especially when there is a high risk of black ice. When snow is falling before it freezes it can be similar to training in rain but once it freezes it turns to ice which is a cyclists worst enemy.

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When you get home :

Rinse down your bike with a hose to remove as much dirt and grime as possible, especially from around the brakes and the rims. With a little practice you can also degrease the chain and cassette too, all in under 3 minutes so that you don’t get cold standing around in wet gear.

Spray on some light oil onto the moving parts to stop any rust forming.

I normally try to wash the bike properly at least once per week too.

On very wet and cold days I normally have a Lemsip when I get in the door to warm up and kill any bugs before they get a chance to cause a cold or sore throat.

Don’t hang around in wet gear. Get into a hot shower asap and the wrap up well afterwards.

Wash your gear straight away too. On really muddy days rinse off in a sink first. Close all zips and place anything with velcro into an old pillow case.

Safety is always a key factor. A heavy rider is less likely to get blown off the road whilst a 50kg climber will float away like a discarded Mars bar wrapper. Know your limits and abilities but also know that there is a great sense of satisfaction from going training on those bad days when you could have stayed in bed.

15 most annoying habits shown by cyclists


Cycling with others can be great fun, the shared experience of riding along some crisp tarmac, enjoying the fresh air and stimulating conversation. It can also be quite irritating. Some riders have annoying habits that can build in their irritation during a long stint in the saddle. Here are some of the worst.

1. The Snot Rocket

Placing one finger carefully over one nostril and firing out a slug of snot from the other one is one sure-fire way of clearing your nasal passages – which is all well and good, as long as it’s not directed at the rider behind you or done when you’re stopped at the traffic lights in front of a group of horrified on-lookers.

2. The moaner

We’re cyclists, and therefore always like a bit of moaning, but there’s a limit. The weather’s too hot, the weather’s too cold, the roads are rubbish, your bike is creaking, someone else’s bike is creaking, did you see that stupid article about annoying cycling habits on that website… etc. There’s a saying that pain is weakness leaving the body and moaning is it going back in.

3. Rampant pothole pointer

Let’s be clear – as politicians like to say – that pointing out genuine hazards on the road for other members of your riding group to avoid is a very good thing. Potentially life-saving, in fact. But there are those that point at every little blemish on the road’s surface, causing undue alarm and swerving, and making it hard to determine when a real danger arrives.

4. Not pointing out potholes

… And following on, there’s nothing worse than riding in a group to have your back and/or front wheel nearly broken by an unseen chasm in the tarmac. Or tyre-shredding pile of glass. Or angry-looking venomous snake.

5. Know-it-all

“You need to get in the right gear, mate”. “Oh no, I wouldn’t eat that if I were you”. “You’re going to boil in that jacket on the first hill”. “Your saddle isn’t high enough you know”. We all know someone who likes to dispense advice, whether it is welcome or not.


6. No turn at the front, AKA the lazy sprinter

You know the sort. Hanging at the back of the pack on group rides, chatting away and not putting their nose into the wind at the front. Until the last 500 metres, when they can claim the ‘victory’ with their fresh legs after everyone else has been dragging them around the lanes for three hours.

7. Cheery fit person

“Afternoon!” says the super-fit, super-fast cyclist as they zip past you on a hill so steep you are struggling to fight off the effects of gravity. They weren’t even out of breath.

8. The secret guffer

What’s that odour? Could it be a farmyard? Then the realisation dawns on you that you have breathed in gases that were resident in the rider-in-front’s digestive tract just a mere few seconds before. Not nice, really.

Read More- 6 road trips in India every motorbiker must go for!

9. Confession addict

Some riders treat cycling as a mobile confessional, telling you their cycling shortfalls and woes, such as how they haven’t been out much in the past few weeks, or that they haven’t oiled their chain for a month. Before vanishing up the road.

10. Drink nicker

There’s often someone who hasn’t brought enough drink, or perhaps not brought a drink at all. So they ask whether they can have a swig of yours, thereby depriving you of your fluid intake. This is perfectly excusable until the same person does the same thing on the next ride.

11. KOM hero

There are those who launch themselves at top speed along some seemingly insignificant stretch of road. You usually find them sat in a crumpled heap a little way further on breathlessly muttering ‘Strava segment’.


12. Put the phone away

Selfies while cycling. No thanks.

13. Route bore

Someone who produces an Ordnance Survey map out of their back pocket before you have even turned one pedal stroke, and then proceeds to describe the many route permutations that you could or could not take. It doesn’t matter how many times you look at your watch, there’s always another lane that could be included in there or avoided. “I don’t care, let’s just get going”.

14. Wheelsucker

Related to the ‘lazy sprinter’ (see above), the true wheelsucker doesn’t even bother to try and keep up on the climbs, instead getting dropped – meaning that you have to wait for them at the top. And your thanks for waiting for them? Getting attacked on the next downhill or flat section after they have sat on your back wheel to get their breath back.

15. Litter lout

While the preceding points may have you shaking your head in disagreement and ready to post an angry reply in the comment section, there is no conceivable excuse for riders who chuck their gel wrappers, old tubes and anything else at the roadside.

6 road trips in India every motorbiker must go for!

Motorbiker only a biker can tell how amazing an experience it is to be riding through roads that are beautiful. That feeling of the soothing breeze blowing you over, and the ever changing drama of nature’s changing forms are things that can’t be explained within the limits of a few words. The good part is that our country is home to routes that are highly suited for motorbiking enthusiasts. Routes that are challenging, yet, showcase the best of what Mother Nature can enthrall a traveller with.

Here are some of the best motorbiking trips and routes in India. Ride solo, or pick the one you love and let the wheels take you on a journey to remember…

Delhi to Leh

Although it is one of the most popular motorbiking trips in the country, a ride from Delhi to Leh can throw up huge challenges to even the best bikers. A trip which lasts for about 15 days, the ride from Delhi to Leh is filled with myriad adventures and sights that are stunning to say the least. This route takes a rider through Chandigarh and then to Manali, from where the real climb begins.


The landscape gradually changes from urban cities to Himalayan villages and snowy mountains and finally ends in the rocky and stark desert-like terrain of Leh. Dangers on the way are many as the route takes a biker through some of the toughest roads in the country, including Khardung La, the highest motorable pass in the world.

Shimla to Spiti Valley

A motorcycle ride from Shimla to Spiti Valley will let you get enchanted with some of the most stunning sceneries one can experience in Himachal Pradesh. Right from the mix of green and snowy hills of the Shimla region, the landscape gradually changes towards a more rocky yet more beautiful valley on the upper reaches of the state.

While on one hand are the charming snow-capped peaks, on the other are waterfalls, gorges and the occasional green meadows with herds of sheep grazing in Kinnaur and then the sudden starkness of Spiti Valley. The ride is strenuous and full of challenges due to the snake-like narrow mountain roads, sharp inclines, and rocky terrain making it even more difficult.

Bangalore to Kannur

If you are a motorcycling enthusiast living in the city of Bangalore, feel lucky for you have one of the most beautiful routes to ride on. We are talking about the journey from the urban town of Bangalore to the lush green environs of Kannur in Kerala. The ride is picturesque and makes a rider feel great with amazing views of roving cliffs and mesmerising greens of the valleys.


Besides, there are several lakes on the way, where bikers can make pit stops and have delicious meals at the local restaurants. For reaching Kannur from Bangalore, a biker has to ride across beautiful destinations like Nagarhole, Tholpatty, and then Kuthuparamba from Manandvady, and finally Kuthuparamba before reaching Kannur.

Siliguri to Yuksom

Keen nature lovers and travellers would agree that the eastern part of the country is home to some of the most beautiful mountains in the country. You can have one of the best motorbiking experiences on roads connecting Darjeeling and Sikkim. On one hand are the stunning panoramic views of Mt. Kanchenjunga and other great Himalayan ranges, lush green environs on the other are a great charm as well.

Some of the highlights of the motorbiking trip from the town of Siliguri in West Bengal to Yuksom in Sikkim are the colourful towns of Kalimpong, Pelling and Gangtok, which also make for great pit stops for the journey.

Bhalukpong to Tawang

If you are keen to enjoy natural beauty of the northeastern part of India, a motorbike ride from Bhalukpong to Tawang is one of the best ways to experience that. While this route is known to showcase the best of this region’s vegetation, birds, flora and fauna, it also proves to be challenging for riders at more places than one.

There are tricky turns on the twisting mountain roads, high inclinations, landslide areas to cross, waterfalls passing through the way and a lot more that can make the journey a tricky one. The snow-covered roads, usually around year end, make it an even more exciting experience.

Read More- Cycling the Southern Loop of Yellowstone National Park

Mumbai to Trivandrum

Although it is not one of the most common routes to go on a motorbiking trip, a ride from Mumbai to Trivandrum will offer the finest combination of sea and hills. This coastal ride takes a rider through numerous beaches and unparalleled beauty of these lush green hills of the Western Ghats.

With this one, you get to ride across some amazing coastal destinations, including the hugely popular beach town of Goa, and the tourist-friendly towns of Kochi and Alleppey in Kerala. On this route, a rider can enjoy the beauty of nature’s varied forms including beaches, hills, forests and the backwaters as well.

Cycling the Southern Loop of Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park is one of the most famous outdoor areas in the world – known for its stunning scenery, impressive animal life, and (most of all) its widespread thermal activity. Yellowstone, after all, is located in the caldera of one of the world’s largest super-volcanoes. It’s no surprise then that the planet’s most well known geyser (Old Faithful) calls Yellowstone National Park its home.

While Old Faithful may be the attraction most visitors to Yellowstone National Park come to see, there is a whole lot more to this protected parkland than just a single regularly erupting pocket of hot water. Yellowstone National Park, while not necessarily known as a cycling destination of any kind, is actually a fantastic place to conduct a short 3-7 day cycling adventure… as you will see if you simply watch the video below.

Yellowstone National Park

In this article we’ll be discussing what it’s like to cycle around the southern loop of Yellowstone National Park – parking your car near the Grant Village Visitor Center on the western edge of Yellowstone Lake and then cycling in a circle for approximately 3 days (95 mi / 152 km) while stopping along the way to explore some of Yellowstone’s most iconic geysers, thermal pools, waterfalls, rivers and other points of interest.

Driving to Yellowstone & Parking Your Vehicle

While it is possible to cycle into Yellowstone National Park on your bicycle, most people who visit the Park come in a motor vehicle. If you’re coming to Yellowstone in a motor vehicle with the goal of cycling around the Park for several days, then you’ll need to find a place to safely park your car for the days you are away on your bike… and the best place to do that is at the Grant Village Visitor Center on the western edge of Yellowstone Lake.

Just outside the Grant Village Visitor Center is the backcountry office. Go into that office and tell them you are planning to cycle around the Park for a few days and that you need a safe place to park your car for the days you’ll be away on your bike.

The people in the backcountry office will ask about your intended route and then, they should, give you a permit to place in the window of your vehicle. This permit is basically a piece of paper that says which day you plan to return to your vehicle… and states that you are away on a multi-day bike trip.

Once you’ve received that permit for your vehicle, ask the people in the backcountry office where you should park your car, truck or van. The location of these parking spots may change depending on the time of year you visit the Park and which person you ask. When I visited Yellowstone National Park in late September, I was asked to park my van in the parking lot across from the US Post Office right outside the Grant Village Visitor Center.

Place the permit for your vehicle in the front window of your car, truck or van and then load up your bicycle. Your bike tour through Yellowstone National Park begins right now!

Read More- Five Bike Rides in Five National Parks

Camping & Permits

Wild camping or free camping (whatever you want to call it) is not allowed in Yellowstone National Park. You can’t just camp wherever you want (unfortunately). If you are planning to cycle across the Park, you need to camp in either one of the large, designated group campgrounds or in one of the few backcountry campgrounds scattered throughout the Park.

During my 3-day bike tour in Yellowstone National Park, I spent two nights camping in the larger established campgrounds and a single night camped out in one of the backcountry campsites along my route.

If you are traveling on a bicycle, there’s no need to make reservations in advance if you plan to spend the night at the large established campsites. Each campground has a designated area for hikers and bikers… and if you show up at one of these campgrounds on your bicycle, they will make room for you – no matter what! (Don’t quote me on that though.)

If, however, you plan to spend the night at one of the backcountry campsites, some advanced planning is required. First of all, not all backcountry campsites are accessible by bicycle. In fact, most of the backcountry campsites are only accessible on foot and most trails in Yellowstone do not allow bicycles of any kind. So, do your research in advance and know before you go, which campgrounds you’ll be able to access with your bicycle.

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Once you do decide on the backcountry campsites you want to stay at, you’ll need to get a permit before you can camp. To get this permit, simply pay a visit to the backcountry office in the Grant Village Visitor Center before you take off on your tour. Tell them where you want to camp and which night(s) you plan to stay there. If no other campers have already claimed that campsite, you’ll be issued a permit for a single night of camping in that location.

As you can see, backcountry camping is risky and does require both some planning and good luck, as these campsites can fill up fast in the prime tourist season (summer)… and you might discover, only upon reaching the Park, that the backcountry campground you wanted to stay at is already booked and you can no longer camp there.

What to See & Do

There are a million things to stop and see, do and explore in Yellowstone National Park. If you’re cycling the southern loop of the Park, however, I recommend you stop and see:

  • West Thumb Geyser Basin
  • Natural Bridge of Yellowstone
  • LeHardy’s Rapids
  • The Mud Volcano
  • Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone
  • Norris Geyser Basin
  • Artist’s Paintpots
  • Firehole Falls
  • Grand Prismatic Spring
  • Biscuit Basin
  • Black Sand Basin
  • Old Faithful
  • Lone Star Geyser

Each and every one of these attractions has been marked on my cycling map of the southern loop of Yellowstone National Park. Click here to download the map.

Roads in Yellowstone

Before going to Yellowstone, I had been told that the roads in the Park were really bad, narrow and dangerous. Other tourists in the Park echoed these sentiments… and the Park Rangers themselves warned me to be careful when cycling around the Park on my own, as the roads were narrow and the drivers would be distracted.

Despite all the negative things I had been told about cycling in Yellowstone National Park, I decided to give the Park a try… and to be completely honest, I don’t know what everyone was talking about!

I found the roads in Yellowstone to be on par with any of the roads one might cycle in the United States. Yes, there were a lot of cars (usually passing in big groups with 20-30 vehicles driving past all at once, and then a short time afterward with no vehicles passing at all). And yes, the shoulders were kind of narrow in some sections, but if you are accustomed to cycling in the road anywhere else in the world (or anywhere else in North America), you’ll find the roads in Yellowstone National Park to be about the same as what you would expect just about anywhere else.

Traffic is drastically higher in the summer months, so keep that in mind. Non-peak seasons are the best time to visit Yellowstone National Park if you are planning to go there with a cycling trip in mind.

Be sure to pay attention to the vehicles around you. Drivers are limited to going no more than 45 miles per hour when they are within the Park (which is a good thing), but those same drivers are often times distracted by the animals and natural features around them, and they may not be looking for a cyclist on the side of the roadway. Make yourself visible, use a mirror if you think it will make you feel more comfortable, and stay alert for distracted or reckless drivers whenever you are cycling on the roads within Yellowstone National Park.

Important Things to Keep in Mind

First of all, theft is not a big concern when you are cycling in Yellowstone National Park, but it’s a good idea to bring a good bike lock with you when touring Yellowstone by bicycle. Not only will you need to use your bike lock when staying in the large established campgrounds, but you will also want to use your bike lock any time you step away from your bicycle to explore the numerous geyser basins, waterfalls and other tourist attractions within the park. When you do leave your bicycle, be sure to remove any valuable items from your bicycle and carry those items with you as you walk around the Park.

Secondly, there are large, dangerous animals in Yellowstone National Park and these animals are a serious threat to individuals traveling on a bicycle. Do not approach bison or bear within the Park and be sure to practice safe food handling techniques when camping in the established campgrounds and in backcountry campsites. While the larger campgrounds will have metal bear boxes provided for you in which you can store your food and toiletries, hanging your food is a recommend practice when spending the night in any of the backcountry campsites.

Finally, be sure to practice safe cycling while in the Park… and be a good representative of the cycling community for bikers who may come after you. Cycle only on the roads and trails where bicycles are allowed; wear a helmet; ride safely in the shoulders and take the lane only when necessary; smile; be friendly; act smart; pick up your trash; properly dispose of your waste when backcountry camping; share your campsite with other cyclists when need be; and be a good representative of the cycling community.

Got Questions? If you have any questions about cycling the southern loop of Yellowstone National Park… or you need help planning your own Yellowstone cycling adventure, leave a comment at the bottom of this page and I (or someone else in the Bicycle Touring Pro community) will respond to you within a matter of hours/days.

Five Bike Rides in Five National Parks

Your national parks are some of the most scenic places in the world. Why not explore them by bike and go on that adventure you crave, away from your office and the daily grind? Your parks look even better from the saddle of a bicycle, at a slower pace, and with fresh air and the sun warming your face instead of the glare of your computer screen.

Even better, you can do one of the following rides on Bike Your Park Day and National Public Lands Day, always the last weekend in September, which means national parks offer free admission that day — even for those entering the park by bike. To spark your wanderlust, we’ve got five great bike rides through U.S. national parks, as well as opportunities to join a group and ride these parks on Bike Your Park Day.

National Parks

Grand Canyon National Park Ride along the South Rim of the Grand Canyon car-free for seven miles one-way. This inclusive ride offers jaw-dropping views of the canyon with nine designated viewpoints. Ride out and back for 14 miles or turn around sooner. Either way, stop at Verkamp’s Visitor Center to view exhibits about one of the seven natural wonders of the world followed by a break at Bright Angel Bicycles & Mather Point Café for a postride espresso.

If you’re joining Bike Your Park Day, you can register your own Grand Canyon National Park ride or join the Grand Canyon National Park Greenways Trail Ride.

Natchez Trace Parkway

With 444 miles of scenic drive winding through three states, the opportunities on the Natchez Trace Parkway are endless. Ride along the parkway for a week and stay at bicycle-only campgrounds along the way. Or just hop on the Ridgeland Multi-Use Path that parallels the parkway for five miles for a traffic-free experience. It’s worth a stop at the Reservoir Overlook 3.5 miles from Ridgeland, Mississippi. Grab a picnic lunch or refreshing drink in town and ride to the overlook to rest and enjoy the view.

Register your own Natchez Trace Parkway ride or join Visit Ridgeland’s ride with Mayor John McGee.

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Acadia National Park

Ride all or part of the 45 miles of carriage roads in Acadia National Park car-free. John D. Rockefeller, Jr., financed the carriage roads for horses, hikers, cyclists, and cross-country skiers between 1913 and 1940. Local granite was used for the road material and wild blueberries and native ferns elegantly line the roads. Ride around Eagle Lake and take a respite from your bikes to hike Conners Nubble, a 3.5-mile out-and-back jaunt.

Register your own Acadia National Park ride or join Bicycle Tour de Force of Maine.

National Mall

Urban parks count, too! Get around the mall at a quicker pace to allow yourself more time to stop and see the sights, including the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, Vietnam War Memorial, and Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. Don’t have a bike? No problem. Borrow one from the Capitol Bike Share and extend your ride to the Mount Vernon Trail or C&O Canal Towpath. Be sure to treat yourself to one of the many restaurants in the Washington D.C. area postride.

Register your own National Mall ride as part of Bike Your Park Day.

Lassen Volcanic National Park

National Parks1

This northern California park is abundant with hydrothermal sites, scenic views, and high-elevation riding. Ride 28 miles one-way through this volcanic wonderland to the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center at 6,700 feet elevation. The road through Lassen Volcanic National Park isn’t as busy as other national parks and the road is in good condition. The climb is moderate, but you should still treat yourself to a panini at Lassen Café & Gift. Take it to go and soak in the view before gliding down the hill.

Register your own Lassen Volcanic National Park ride or join the Anywhere, Anytime ride from Old Station (north of Lassen NP) to the peak and back.

If none of these rides through national parks works for you, register your own ride in any public lands or join one of the hundreds of rides already planned for Bike Your Park Day on the last weekend in September.

How Many Calories Do You Burn Cycling?

Riding a bike is intense exercise, and you burn a lot of calories doing it. But how many calories do you burn cycling? This post shows you how to calculate how many calories you burn while cycling.

Burn Cycling

The short answer to the  question of how many calories you burn cycling is: really a lot of calories! You burn calories all the time, of course, even while you are sleeping. These are the calories that are required to keep your body functioning. But once you start cycling as well as just existing, you need extra calories.

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If you weigh 150 pounds and you bike at an average easy pace, you will burn up 400 calories in an hour. That’s a lot of calories burned cycling – enough that if you bike an hour or two a day, which happens naturally if you’re commuting, it becomes pretty hard to put on weight – and relatively easy to lose weight.

Work out How Many Calories are Burned Cycling in an Hour

To work out how many calories you burn in an hour, while cycling at an easy, average pace of between 15 and 20 kilometers per hour (10 to 12 miles per hour), do this:

  1. Start with your weight in pounds, e.g. 180 pounds
  2. Divide this by 2.2 to give you your weight in kg, in this case, 81.8
  3. Multiply 81.8 by 6, to give you 490 calories per hour – pretty cool!

Of course, if you go faster, you burn even more calories – so get on your bike and get going! And the more weight you lose, the faster you will go, the more calories you will burn, the more weight you will lose, the faster you will go … it’s great to be stuck in a GOOD cycle! With so many calories burned cycling, it’s no wonder so many cyclists end up in such GOOD SHAPE!

Burn Cycling1

How Much Weight can you Lose by Cycling?

If the average person cycles for three hours a week, he or she will burn off an extra 1,470 calories a week. In a year, this will amount to 76,440 calories burned cycling. pound of body fat equates to approximately 3,500 calories. So 76,440 calories burned could see you losing 22 pounds a year – without cutting down on food.

You Can Lose Weight Cycling INDOORS!

If you are on the large size, it may be intimidating to go outside and ride a bike. Well, first of all, do NOT be intimidated! Our permanently popular post, a Guide for Fat Cyclists, will give you a LOT of encouragement about going out and cycling, even if you don’t look like a greyhound.

But if you are still feeling a little shy, remember that you can get all the great benefits of cycling within the privacy of your own home. You can simply buy a gadget that converts your regular bike into an indoor trainer. Check out our in-depth comparison of the features and prices of 5 of the best indoor bike trainers right here.

Revolt RV400 – First Ride Review

Electric vehicles have been in a very confusing state in the country. There was a sea of concepts which were displayed at the last Auto Expo but not one actually made it into the real life production form which you can buy and is good enough to replace your traditional ICE powered vehicles. But things may change soon.


Not long ago we were invited to get our hands on the Revolt RV400 which is pitted as India’s first fully electric motorcycle. So is this really the answer India needs? And does all the show has the go? Read below to find out.

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The Revolt RV400 is a compact looking motorcycle packing a number of eye catching bits here and there which certainly makes it interesting to look at. At the front you get these intimidating looking LED headlamps which are used in a very compact assembly, and reminds of the aftermarket headlamps which KTM used to sell for 125 and 200 Duke, in the European market. The USDs at the front are thick and give it a muscular appeal. And that along with the nicely executed side panels does make it a decent looking motorcycle.

At the rear sits a white-dipped mono shock, and the silver finished sub-frame which has been left exposed just like some premium motorcycles do. Furthermore, it makes use of smart looking LEDs tail lamps at the back, and a sleek aluminum swing arm which looks neatly designed. In terms of overall size it really is a compact motorcycle and if you are anywhere above 5’10” with average built it may look smaller on you.

Being a beacon of innovation, the EVs are supposed to be packed with all the bells and whistles that can make the world go gaga and the RV400 does have a fair share of such features in its pocket. To start off with, it gets a fully digital instrument panel which displays all the necessary information like current speed, battery level, ODO, range, ambient temperature and ampere range. The display is plain and simple, and the fonts are large enough for easy readability even when its sunny outside. It also gets three riding modes,  keyless-start function and a dedicated phone application which syncs-in data from the motorbike and displays the same in an intelligent format on your smartphone.

For starters, it gets a 3.24KWh battery which has been placed under the compartment designed at the same place as a fuel tank in the regular bikes. It is easily accessible with a twist of a key, and the tank flap snaps opens in no time. This battery juices up 3KW motor which is claimed to return 50Nm of peak torque (that’s the territory of say a 500cc motorcycle). But stop jumping on your shoes just yet, there is more to it than just the numbers.

How does it ride?

Well, frankly, its hard to judge an electric bike from the regular standards. It is a completely different feeling that wheels are being powered by a motor and there is no fire inside which is propelling the motorcycle forward. You just twist the throttle and with an abrupt jerk you are off the start line, without a sound. To my surprise, the pull was strong throughout till the upper limit, say 65kmph which was the fastest we could do at a Go-Kart test track. The torque hits instantly as soon as you twist the throttle in the EVs, and that isn’t hard to experience even on the RV400. But in comparison it still isn’t anywhere close to the rush a 50 Nm internal combustion engine delivers.

Though the bike is undoubtedly quick on its feet when it comes to 0-60km/h runs, but there is a point of concern underneath which needs to be addressed. The on-off throttle transitions without using the brakes are totally fine, but when you are on the move and bound to pull the brake levers in stop and go situations, there is a certain power gap of milli-seconds which isn’t found on the regular bikes. So apart from controlling the throttle abruptness, even this ‘power-gap’ needs attention. There was also some discussion around its regenerative-braking, may be this has to do something with the above concern as applying the brakes deactivates the throttle which makes smooth corners impossible and thus will also prove to be tedious in bumper to bumper traffic.

Throwing light on its power modes (Sport, Normal and Eco), these can be easily selected from the button provided on the handle-bar. The Sport, as the name says, is the only exciting mode of them all. It has been rated to propel the bike up to electronically restricted 85km/h but returns the lowest range of 85-90kms. The Normal mode sits in-between, and we find not much use of the same and then comes the Eco mode which is for typical commuters who just want to squeeze out the highest range of around 155kms on a single charge.

The RV400 though isn’t completely a silent motorbike, there is a button added to the bar which turns on/off soundtrack from speakers which imitates the sound of an ICE powered bike. But at the same time, it is merely just a poor imitation and the bike doesn’t sound anything close to the real thing.

It weighs 108kgs (approximately) and it sure feels that light, nimble and compact. In terms of handling, there is nothing to complain about and it handles just like say a typical light weight motorbike does. But we still need to put it though its paces on everyday roads which sounds like a real test.

Talking about the ergonomics, it isn’t hard to see that this might be a certified daily commuter in terms of comfort at least. The handle bar is higher set, the single seat is wide and nicely designed for all kinds of riders and the foot pegs position is almost mid set. And all of this, combines to make the the RV400 an ideal motorcycle for your daily office commute.

Electric bikes still have a long way to go when it comes to convincing an average two-wheeler rider to choose them over the conventional bikes. But if you really are open to the change then the Revolt RV400 is currently your closest shot at it. With the recent revision in the GST charges and additional benefits from the FAME II subsidies, the company has priced it at INR 1,29,463 (ex-showroom) but even at this cost the RV400 is nothing but an expensive appliance to invest in and still needs some minor improvements to prove as a worthwhile product.

Top 10 Cycling Trends for 2018

Cycling Trends

We all remember our very first bikes, and think about how much has changed in the cycling world since!

Remember downtube shifters of the 70s? Those things are now in the past. The advancements in cycling over the years have made our rides smoother, faster and more comfortable, and bikes more durable and light.

Think back to last year, since then road bikes have become faster, shifting is going digital, and mountain bikes are changing their frame geometry. It’s exciting to see what changes and trends will continue into 2018 and beyond.

So whether you’re a newbie to cycling (maybe considering your first tour), or a committed cyclist takes a peek at a few of our predicted top cycling trends in 2018 before you hit the road or the trail.

1. Manufacturers Are Going Aero

Time trial/triathlon bikes are no longer the only bikes being built for speed and aerodynamics. Ever since the UCI has declared a 6.8 kg minimum race bike weight limit, many top-of-the-line road bikes can’t get much lighter, but they can continue to get faster through better aerodynamic design.

For example, Giant’s new Propel Disc aero road bikes are first of its kind for the popular bike manufacturer. First seen last year in the Tour de France, the Propel Disc is now available on the public market. Giant claims it has the highest stiffness-to-weight ratio of any bike in its class and has lower drag coefficients due to the addition of disc brakes.

The Specialized Tarmac has a new D-shaped frame and new seat tube and Seatpost design that makes it more aerodynamic. The new Orca Aero from Orbea is a beautiful aerodynamic design that pushes the boundaries of speed. You’ll start seeing many of these new bikes at all the big cycling tours in the coming racing season.

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2. Disc Brakes Are Becoming Mainstream in Road Cycling

Once the brake system just for mountain bikes, disc brakes are continuing to become more mainstream in road cycling. The pro cyclists are still trialing the disc brakes in the peloton, but they are likely to become standard in road bikes in the coming years.

German pro cyclist, Marcel Kittel, road last year on a Specialized Venge ViAS Disc on the Quick-Step Floors team. He became the first rider to win a stage of the Tour de France on a bike with disc brakes. Many of the high-end 2018 bikes come standard with disc brakes, like the Trek Emonda, Giant Propel, Scott Foil, and more.

3. Gravel Bikes Continue to Gain Popularity

We said it last year—gravel bikes are becoming more popular worldwide in 2018. Gravel bikes are a versatile bike on and off the road making it attractive to a variety of riders. Last year gravel bikes exploded in popularity across the United States and they are growing rapidly into the international market.

Gravel events are also popping up everywhere—there might just be one on a forest road near you!

4. Wheels and Tires Are Still Getting Wider for Road Bikes

Once again, we predicted this last year. The trend is still continuing into 2018. While 25mm wide tires are still the standard for road bikes, 28mm isn’t uncommon.

Unlike like traditional rim brakes, disc brakes allow manufacturers to offer more clearance for wider tires and wheels. We predict that the 27.5 x 2.6 width will become the momentary “standard” this year.

5. Power Meters For All Budgets

Power meters are no longer for just the pro cyclists and the wealthy. With new technology and new manufacturers jumping into the market, power meters are becoming more affordable. Shimano, one of the cyclist’s largest component manufacturers, has finally decided to dip their toes into the game this year.

While the jury is still out on the new Shimano Dura-Ace R9100-P power meter, Garmin has released the new Garmin Vector 3, which measures leg power independently. The budget-friendly Vector 3S, which measures one leg and doubles it for total power, will gain more attraction this year due to its price tag under $600 USD.

6. Indoor Training is Getting Smart

Smart trainers are becoming more popular, like Zwift, TrainerRoad, and other apps. The new Wahoo Kickr Climb is the first of its kind by simulating climbing. The indoor trainer adjusts the front end of your bike to simulate real-time grade changes. You can ascend hills up to a 20% grade and descend down to a -10% to mimic real road conditions.

7. Mountain Bike Frames Are Changing

Cycling Trends

Not only are road bikes getting more aerodynamic, but mountain bike frames are changing. The top tubes are getting longer and the head angles are getting slacker. With the changes in the top of the frame, offset forks are becoming shorter to adapt to the wheelbase. The Transition Sentinel is pushing the design of mountain bikes with its new steeper seat tubes.

Longer travel 29ers are becoming popular. The Orbea Rallon is an innovative design that is leading the trend of slacked-out 29ers enduro race bikes. The new geometry turns these popular cross-country and enduro racing bikes into a fun all-mountain trail bike, too.

8. Shifting to Digital Shifters

Both mountain and road shifter are continuing to go digital. While we predict that digital shifting is not going to stick for mountain bikes in 2018, it will continue to grow in the road cycling industry.

FSA just released their new K-Force WE groupset and Shimano has updated its Ultegra Di2 set this year. While we’d like to see digital electronic shifting on the lower end models of bikes, that is probably not going to happen this year.

9. Integrated Cockpits Are Coming

Once mainly reserved for TT/triathlon bikes, integrated cockpits are becoming more popular in road bikes as road bikes continue to become more aerodynamic. Integrated cockpits have their pros and cons. They can help tidy up cable routing and save weight. But, if you ever want to change the length of your stem or make any changes to your bar angle, you can’t do that without swapping out the whole assembly.

10. eBikes Will Continue to Become Popular

It doesn’t matter if you think riding an e-bike is cheating or not. They are continuing to become popular for both mountain and road bikes. The Market Urbanism Report predicts that 2018 will be the year of the e-bike.

Many bike manufacturers are making them now, like Giant, Bianchi, and Focus. Cities like San Francisco and New York City have electric bike-share programs that are a huge hit with commuters and tourists.

eBikes are not just commuter bikes either. The Focus Project Y looks just like your fancy road bike, but with a hidden motor inside. It just might be the perfect commuting or touring bicycle. Our bike partner, Orbea has a collection of road, mountain, leisure, and urban e-bikes to meet all your riding needs.

Give an eBike a try—we think everyone should love them.

Are You Ready to Ride?

With over 30 years of cycling tour experience, we’ve seen a lot of changes in the industry. If all these 2018 bike trends are making you excited to ride, why don’t you get in touch today and start planning your ultimate bicycle adventure? We’d be happy to talk shop and share a few more of our favorite new trends this year. We offer awesome bike trips around the world, and you can even try some of the latest technology with our top-of-the-line Orbea bikes.

If you’d like to find out more about how you can go about planning your ultimate cycling adventure, sign up for our free email course.