KERALA WINTER SINGLETRACK, INDIA
Kerala Winter Singletrack Information
Kerala is an area home to its own nature, culture and distinct social structure. The area has much to offer intrepid trail bikers- a mix of really good singletrack, amazing Indian food, incredible nature, beach life, Indian culture and a rich history all combine to make this trip something beyond the ordinary. Kerala lies between the Indian Ocean to the west and the Eastern Ghats with altitudes ranging between 500m and 2700m and makes a perfect winter getaway.
This tour will take you to the best routes and allows you to ride many of the hidden treasures cycle that area hides. In addition to the regular 11 day programme it’s also possible to extend the tour to include additional rest and sightseeing days- highly recommended! We love having a few extra days to kick back and take it all in- there’s so much to see here. Kerala is the perfect mountain destination during our winter months, and a perfect escape from the grey, cold Nothern European winter!
In the words of MTB Kerala founder and Pathfinder guide Mike McLean: “we ride our trips because we love the riding. Our Kerala MTB tours are designed by mountain bikers for mountain bikers so it is genuine off road riding. The trails are technical in parts so experienced mountain bikers familiar with red and black trails will have loads to get their teeth into. However if you are a recent convert to mountain biking, like a challenge and want to work on your skills we can build up your riding ability as the tour progresses”
Mike is a UK vet rider with 2nd place finishes in MTBHimalaya to his credit. Having pioneered trails all over India and the Himalaya for almost two decades now, he knows every trail worth and not worth riding in the subcontinent. When not riding he writes for MTB publications and occasional pieces for the Sunday Observer in the UK.
Trip length: 12 Days
Group size: Max 12 persons
There is an option for a shorter tour length- please ask. The trip is sold excluding airfare, but we can help you with bookings if you wish.
Included in the trip
- Breakfasts and lunches
- All transfers
- All accommodation
- Guiding by English speaking expert
- Entrance fees
Excluded from the trip
- Drinks (including bottled water)
- Personal expenses
- Tips / gratuities
- Entrance fees
- Evening meals
The tour begins in Cochin. Please ask us about flight options and best arrival times. Once there, we take a private transfer us to the mountains and our hotel in Kuttikanam. We install ourselves, unpack and assemble our bikes and get ready for a first taste of what Kerala has to offer- in terms of singletrack.
Today we explore the Kuttikanam area and discover incredible scenery and views combined with really good singletrack biking. After a good first day in the saddle our first taste of true Indian food is most welcome, accompanied by an ice cold beer. After exchanging tales about the day’s events we check out for the day and get ready for tomorrow’s trail fest.
After a leisurely breakfast, we set off in a different direction to the famous Worlds End on endless single tracks. From the is an incredible downhill through cardamom, rubber and pineapple plantations that’s hard to beat! The evening’s menu? Food is a real highlight of this trip and you will be amazed at the variety of tastes on offer here.
The area around Kuttikanam offers so much, and today we head crosscountry to Vagamon, over narrow, winding paths along the mountain sides. We ride on slick granite rock in the area around Kolal Hala Med’s grave, amongst incredibly cool surroundings. This awesome ride is topped off with a massive downhill of 1000m altitude fall. What a day!
After saying goodbye to the hotel we cycle down through what is known as Ladrams secret valley and follow the river Periyar’s incredibly scenic landscape downhill. From here we head towards today’s goal: Vandiperiyar. Our support vechile has already delivered our luggage to the new hotel, and after a shower and a bite to eat we digest the day’s impressions over another refreshing cold drink.
Today we tackle the Vandiperiyar loop and enjoy some of the most beautiful tea plantations of all Kerala. The singletracks are top class, and riding through the tea plantations an experience difficult to describe. After finishing the ride we transfer to Periyar, where we overnight in Kumily village.
Ready for somewhat of a rest and calmer days ahead, we can take a boat trip on the river to see if we can track any tiger on strandbankarna. Ask about this option! Alternatively we can have a rest day, and in the afternoon transfer to Munnar. We arrive just in time for a sundowner in the world’s highest tea plantations. It feels pretty good to be able to take a break with a day on the river and a little quieter afternoon. Dinner, bed, sleep. Over and out.
We wake up at our hotel, and after a great breakfast receive a briefing on the day’s tour. We get ready, fill up with water and a few power bars we set off on a tour that goes under the exotic name: Elephant Pass ride. This tour gives us a lot of what the area has to offer in the form of singletrack- an unforgettable combination of singletrack, cultural landscapes, people and the perfect climate makes the trip so special.
Day off in Munnar Time for a rest day in Munnar. It’s free to just hang out, sleep in and rest your legs. If you think that’s boring we have a backup plan for you- Kolukumailai Descent. Please ask about this!
Munnar: The downhill. After our rest day we are fully ready for one of the trip highlights, and one of the world’s best downhill rides (it really is that good!). You follow the old trails that were first used by the British colonialists in the 1870s. The bare knuckle descent drops more than 2000m of altitude from top to bottom. Energised and exhilarated we arrive in the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu, ready for the next stage of the journey. Awesome day!
After breakfast we’re ready for biking in the jungle, and spend a full day following wonderful trails through tropical forests,rich with wildlife and incredible greenery- a real life Jungle Book! At the end of the ride we meet our support vehicles and transfer to Allepey. We arrive and check into our hotel and over dinner and beer exchange stories of yet another knock out day.
This will be your last day, and we will transport you to Cochin airport for your flight home.
*We reserve the right for price changes that are outside of our control. Other departure dates may be available- please ask.
GOOD TO KNOW...
We travel to Kerala at it’s coolest which is during the winter- also when it’s most tempting to leave behind the grey days at home! You can expect daytime temperatures between 20-28 degrees with daily sunshine almost guaranteed. At altitude, the temperature can drop below 10 degrees, so pack accordingly.
You should be an experienced mountain biker, but you do not need to be an expert. You must have a good condition so that you can manage 5-6 hours in the saddle per day. Some of the paths we cycle can be quite technical, but adventurous intermediate riders should be able to handle most sections just fine.
There are a few decent quality bikes available for rent- contact us for models, sizes and prices. Many people who travel to Kerala choose to take their own bikes- but please check airline regulations carefully.
We recommend a full suspension trail, all-mountain or enduro bike for this trip with at least 130mm of travel. Kneepads are a good idea for the more technical sections. If you bring your own bike make sure it is serviced and in good condition. As spare parts can be very difficult to come by, check that sprockets, chain, shocks, brakes, etc. work perfectly before departure or have your bike serviced by a pro. Don’t forget to bring spare parts specific to your bike e.g derailleur hanger, brake pads, tools. The guide will bring a good workshop tool kit and some spare parts too. Replace anything that is worn before you pack the bike. If you are renting, you can bring your own pedals and saddle.
Once you have booked, you will receive further information with packing lists and other details.
Please ask us if you have any questions!