I frequently travel for work, and I look forward to being in Goa whenever I can on weekends. And I look forward to every single one of them. Weekends are my opportunity to spend time with my family and to catch up with my other loves – photography, gluttony and cycling.
My favourite cycling trail is along the villages of South Goa. I live near the airport, and a few kilometres along the four-lane highway is the ‘Queeny Junction’. Take a right at this junction, and you find yourself hurtling down the slope into paradise. As you reach mean sea level, you are now riding along the famous Goa coastline, with the gorgeous Arabian Sea less than a hundred meters to your right. You can ride along the coast right up to the southern tip of the state. With narrow but well-tarred roads completely shaded in any season, this stretch is an absolute delight for cyclists of all persuasions from hobbyist to hardcore. Thick vegetation and coconut trees on either side of the road offer relief from the sun in Goa’s scorching summers and during the monsoons cushion the impact of the rains. There are lush green paddy fields on either side, and picturesque ancestral Goan homes dot the landscape intermittently.
The first village in paradise is Velsao. I make my way through the villages of Cansaulim, Arrosim and Utorda before I turn back. My ride is quiet and serene. My bike and I are one.
Unable (and unwilling) to lug my camera on these rides for obvious reasons, I use my iPhone to track my route, average speed, calories burnt and time using the Strava app. I am yet to download an app to measure the calories I consume on my pit stops. But who’s counting them anyway?
Doesn’t my bicycle look stunning against the backdrop of the green fields? And don’t the monsoon-soaked fields complement the cloudy skies? Tell me what you think while I plan my next ride.