Cyclists are gearing up for a seven-day tour of heritage sites in Tamil Nadu from December 23
For sometime now, there’s a group that’s been matching the tinkle of cycle bells with the chime of Christmas bells. At Yuletide, members of the Tamilnadu Cycling Club (TCC) take off on a tour of the State, visiting every village, town and city that fits into an overarching theme. The ride this year, titled Montra Tour of Tamilnadu (MToT), which pedals off on December 23, will follow a trail through towns that define heritage. The expedition, expected to span seven days and clock around 865 km, will cover Thanjavur, Chidambaram, Kanchipuram, Tiruvanamalai, Auroville, Mahabalipuram and other areas that interest heritage buffs, says V. Venkatraman, tour director, MToT.
“Last year, the trail followed towns that have made handsome contributions to the world of cuisine. The theme of the previous year was mountains and we rode to hill stations,” says R.S. Gopalan, executive committee member, TCC.
The initiative, born of a partnership between the Tamilnadu Tourism Development Corporation (TTDC) and TCC, is supported by corporates, notably TI cycles which offers its machines to be tried on the ride. On this one, the newly-launched Montra cycles can be test-ridden. “The cyclists can bring their own machines. On the way, they can try the Montra cycles, which will travel in trucks as part of an elaborate back-up system. Around five trucks are pressed into service to carry luggage, amenities and people that can serve the cyclists. Mechanics, masseurs and medicos are part of the support team,” says Gopalan.
Given the gruelling nature of the journey, participants are expected to assemble for a ‘riders briefing’ and a ‘pasta party’ on December 22. “While the briefing is expected to mentally prepare them for the trip, the party is an attempt to load them with carbohydrates. They will need it,” explains Gopalan.
“On an average, the cyclists will cover 125 km a day. They have around 10 hours to cover this distance,” says Rajaram Pattabiraman, another key TCC member.
MToT is not a race, and the riders are encouraged to take it easy and soak in the charm of the places they visit. They can post their observations at montra.touroftamilnadu.com. Thanks to a photo contest, the cyclists can ‘write’ image-driven travelogues and exhibit them on the site.
Those keen on joining or following the ride may call 9840123486 or visit montra.touroftamilnadu.com