We were not very sure about our decision, back in 2015, to buy a Harley Davidson and spend 6 lakhs rupees on my new infatuation. It was a tough choice to make, from a money point as well as my wife Anu had no biking experience and I was also nowhere close to being called a biker. The only bike trip I did was 14 days long road trip to Ladakh.
After months of uncertainty and spending all our savings at one shot, we decided to take this beauty home in the first week of January 2016. It started a new phase in our travel journey, we were so excited about our coming road trips but frankly, we never expected to cover 20,000 kms in 15 months.
There are endless bike ride opportunities from Bangalore with different distance ranges from beginners to crazy long distance riders. In this series, we will talk about all our road trips in 15 months to cover 20,000 kms around Bangalore.
50-100 kms (one-side distance)
We love these short distance bike rides around Bangalore as they don’t need any planning at all and perfect for ad-hoc plans. The maximum riding time is usually 2 hours which is great for beginners to have initial warmup rides before hitting the roads for longer rides.
1. Coffee at Airport (50 kms)
I can’t count the number of times we went to the airport just for a coffee at night. First, its a great ride from Hebbal to Bangalore Airport and second that is the only place to find an open CCD in the middle of a night. Later, we found another 24 hr CCD at Devannhalli if someone wants to avoid a parking fee at the airport.
In case, the idea of riding 50 kms just for a cup of coffee will not inspire you to hit the road, try a cup of tea at Chai point near airport arrival gate.
2. Rasta Cafe (50 kms)
This is another top candidate on the list of most cliche rides around Bangalore. Rasta Cafe, a very large cafeteria on the Mysore highway offers wood fire pizza, coffee, and sheesha and it is popular for the night out rides around Bangalore.
Tip: If you don’t want to wait for hours to get a table, you have to be there before midnight. There are always separate queues for a table with sheesha/hookah or without it.
3.Nandi Hill (70 kms)
Nandi Hill is same for Bangaloreans what Murthal is for Delhiites and Lonavala for Puneites, a most cliche bike ride option. The first trip for anyone new to Bangalore is most likely to be an attempt to see a sunrise at Nandi Hills. It is around 70 kms away from the center of Bangalore on Airport highway. This place is super crowded especially on the weekend but if you get to see the magical sunrise, it will be worth all the efforts.
Tips to beat the crowd and witness amazing sunrise:
- Leave your house after midnight and have a coffee at Tribal Cafe, a nice hangout place at the base of Nandi Hill. The entry to hill opens only at 5:30 am but you should be there before 5 am to be first in the queue of vehicles (bikers can afford to reach little late and still make their way to the front).
- Once you reach the top, let your partner stand in the queue for tickets before looking for a parking otherwise it will be too late.
- The last tip, get the tickets and run because you don’t have much time left for the sunrise.
7. Makalidurga (70 kms)
There are a total of 9 durgas around Bangalore which are the best options for a single day bike ride along with a trek. The bike ride is smooth but the trekking difficulty level is on a higher side and it is trickier as well to find the right starting point for the trek. We ended up on a wrong trail and took a much longer path instead. You don’t have to do the same mistake, just follow the tips in our post on Makalidurga.
4. Avalabetta (100 kms)
Only one picture was sufficient to convince us for a ride of 100 kms to Avalabetta on a Saturday morning. It is still a less crowded and non-commercial alternative to Nandi Hills but more people started coming to this place as well.
It may happen that you will not be able to click the above signature pic at Avalabetta now, as they have put some barriers around this rock.
- Carry some snacks and water bottle with you or buy it at the base of the hill as there are no shops at the top.
- Once you climb the stairs to reach the temple, there are two sections to explore: left side with an iconic image of Avalabetta and right side with an adventure rock climbing.
Don’t miss the chance of having a great desi style breakfast at Indian Parantha company on the way back.
5. Huthridurga (100 kms)
Huthridurga is one great candidate from our list of 9 durgas and it is no exception with a scenic 75 km ride via Nice Ring road and Magadi road and a mid-range trek. This is also one of the lesser known destination and you may need to ask some locals for the right directions as Google maps will stop helping after a certain distance to find the starting point.
6. Channaraynadurga (100 kms)
Channaraynadurga is one of the 9 durgas which is just 100 kms away from Bangalore on Tumkur highway and trek time is 1.5 -2 hrs one side. You can find all the details related to Channarayna Durga in this post.
Above list is a very small sub-section of all the options available even for single day rides. Few on my immediate list are: completing all nine durgas, Skandgiri, Madhugiri. Kunti Betta.
After this initial round of warmup rides, we will stretch a bit more to cover rides of 100-200 kms (one-sided) from Bangalore in our next section.
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