The Backwater Trail – A Unique Experience Amidst Wilderness

The Bike Affair

Exploring new places on bike is always fun.  Fitness is only the byproduct. Saayon Chakrabarti shares his experience of  last weekend's bike outing.

Having started cycling as a sport for only a few weeks, it took some amount of self-convincing to sign up for the 70km trail ride in the rustic trails of Anantagiri and Vikarabad. I had been on only one ride with TBA earlier (which was a short ride to Golkonda Fort) and the friendly and encouraging group at TBA gave me the confidence to sign up for the back water trails even though it was not strictly a "beginners" ride.

We started off the ride after a light lunch at the Deccan Trails Adventure Camps. Luckily, it had rained quite heavily the previous day and the 4 PM afternoon heat was not killing. We rode through dirt tracks and broken village road amidst acres and acres of lush green fields till we reached our first break which was beside a dilapidated temple in the middle of a pond.


We took in the serenity of the place and filled in our lungs with fresh air. There was a large mango tree and some of us had fun trying to climb it and get raw mangoes. 


We continued our journey and then encountered the first of the many "flats".A flat , even though a nightmare for a cyclist riding alone, was kind of fun with this group as it gave a much needed break to others while the specialists repaired it in minutes. It was also a good learning for us first timers as to how to repair a flat in the shortest possible time.

Moving on,we reached the Vikarabad main road and continued our climb uphill.For a cyclist, on a steep uphill, the only other thing apart from using lower gears that makes him keep paddling is the surety that there will soon be a downhill after the climb. Sure enough, soon we encountered downhill and were taught how to use controlled braking on a steep downhill. Here is when the second flat happened. And we go out second break! 

The break was a lot of fun since, we decided to halt at a tea stall and binge on chips and fries, while passersby stared at us oddly since we were 15 “geared up” people with shorts, goggles and jerseys! We were quite conspicuous and were also photographed by locals. But, the local kids made the best of it by borrowing our bikes for quick rides.
By this time, it was already around 8 PM and we decided not to continue up to the final destination of Kotepally Lake because there were several muddy roads along the trail. We turned back and tried a new return route (which we were severely warned against by locals and truck drivers!).So, preparing for the worst, we went ahead and believed what we hit was a bad road. However, after the initial rough patch, we came across one of the best roads laid in recent times! The tarmac was so fresh; we actually lay down on the road listening to music! 
Luckily, there were no further flats and we returned to the Deccan trails camp around 11pm to be greeted by hot food and chilled refreshments.

Though we were dead tired from the 50km ride, we stayed up well past midnight sharing cycling tour stories and listening to the more experienced riders