In an exclusive interview with Deccan Chronicle, he talks about his recent cycling adventure from Portugal to Spain .
Bollywood producer Anand Pandit decided to go on a break from his movies to go on an adventurous bicycle tour across Europe.
In an exclusive interview with Deccan Chronicle, he talks about his recent cycling adventure from Portugal to Spain
Q1: Tell us in detail about your cycling adventure trip.
A few years ago, I discovered a great adventure group that organizes cycling trips across Switzerland, Scotland, Germany, France, Austria, Italy, Spain, and Portugal with people from different parts of the world. I have enjoyed these trips immensely, not only because I love cycling for its fitness benefits but also because of the simple pleasure of exploring small towns and villages. I love passing through remote regions of Europe, stopping every 15-20 kilometres to take a break at a small café and capturing each beautiful moment for posterity in my mind and in my camera. Such trips also give me the time and the space to be with myself and just savour the serenity of nature. Cycling in this manner has become a passion of mine, and I look forward to my 7-day cycling trip in Europe every year. My longest ride was last year, a nearly 600-kilometer journey from Innsbruck in Austria to Italy through the Dolomite mountains. By now, I am well aware that during a 7-day trip, there may be some curveballs . Still, I enjoy waking up each day, not knowing what adventures await me and others in the cycling group as we cover almost 400 to 600 km depending on the weather, the terrain and unforeseen challenges. Even though the experience is full of joy, you must have mental and physical endurance to do this day after day. But once you persevere, the rest will follow. In fact, all discomfort melts away once you start enjoying nature while passing by remote areas, beautiful pathways, small cafes, hilly terrains, and villages. The adrenaline rush is absolutely intoxicating. The experience also teaches you discipline especially when you're with a group. You need to be mindful of time constraints, food and medicine intake and the challenges others may be facing.
Q2: While biking trips may be fun and an adventure for many, is it a passion? How and when did you start going on cycle trips?
Growing up in a small town, cycling was a natural part of my life. I cycled to school every day, and loved the feeling. It gave me a sense of immense freedom and joy. Unfortunately, when I moved to Bombay, I found that the city's infrastructure was not conducive to cycling. The roads were too crowded and dangerous, and there were only a few bike paths. And then I started going on cycling trips in Europe a few years ago, and have been hooked ever since. These trips are now a passion for me because they are great way to experience new places, to reconnect with nature and challenge my physical and mental endurance. They also bring me great serenity along with the thrill of covering long distances on two wheels. Cycling trips are also a wonderful way to meet new people. I have met cyclists from different parts of the world during my trips, and have made some great friends.
Q3: Is it a solo trip?
No, my cycling trips are not solo. I cycle with other avid cyclists from across the world and it is a very enriching experience.
Q4: What are the challenges?
As I mentioned before , we have not faced any major challenges and the challenge on a 7-day trip usually concerns physical and mental endurance. The trips can be mentally challenging, as they involve waking up early every morning and cycling long distances within time constraints. Most importantly, it is important to be particular about food and medicine intake.Despite these challenges, cycling trips in Europe can offer many rewarding experiences.
Q5: Mental and physical endurance
Yes, both mental and physical endurance are required for long cycling trips as we cover between 400 and 600 km everyday. This requires a high level of physical stamina. Your mental endurance is also challenged as the trip involves waking up early every morning and cycling long distances.
Q6: What is the discipline needed for such trips?
The trips are very well organized and so one must wake up on time, not delay others and be very mindful of time constraints. Cyclists need to be on time, very single time.
Q7: Longest ride so far?
My longest ride was last year, a nearly 600-kilometer ride from Innsbruck in Austria to Italy through the Dolomite mountains.
Q8: The most dangerous one?
I haven't had any dangerous experiences. Since the tracks are designed for cycling, they are generally safe.