Work from hometown proves a boon for techie to go on cycle tours | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: When the lockdown kicked in, Rajkumar Khot, like all other techies, worked from home in Bengaluru.
Post-unlock, he shifted to Malabad, his hometown in Belagavi district. But net issues there made him look for other places, and he settled on his friend’s place in Dharwad, which the hardcore cyclist feels is blessed with great trails. “I was not wrong,” Khot said, citing the weekend tours spanning 4,500km that he has done since August. As a ritual, he clocked 400-500km from Dharwad to destinations in Dandeli, Karwar, Goa, Vijayapura, Bagalkot, Bailahongal, Savadatti, Mundagod in Uttara Kannada Jog Falls in Shivamogga, Amboli in Maharashtra, and the like. “The Western Ghats spread in the region make me look forward to weekends,” said Khot, who spent his engineering student days in Dharwad.
Love for forest trails In early October, he did the 550km Belagavai-Muthodi (Chikkamgaluru) ride organised by the forest department on the theme ‘Save Elephant Corridor’.
When his company announced Christmas-New Year vacation, Khot planned a four-state tour of 1,600km over nine days. Taking the coastal route, he covered Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka and Kerala to see nature up close, and other monuments along the way.
“Without fixing the day’s destination, I decided to stay in places that I felt were fine — dharmashalas, temple guesthouses, friends’ homes, and budget hotels,” he said, adding that he was helped by even strangers and got to enjoy local delicacies in the respective states. “When I asked a passerby for an accommodation at Malvan (near Goa-Maharashtra border), which I reached at 8pm, he offered his new homestay. For dinner, overnight stay and breakfast, he charged me only Rs 350. When I offered to pay him more, the retired teacher politely refused, saying he was happy hosting a cyclist,” recalled Khot.
During this tour, he visited 12 forts and several places of worship – Mahalakshmi Temple in Kolhapur, Ganapati temple in Ganapatipule, churches in Goa, and temples at Murudeshwar, Udupi Krishna Mutt, Kukke Subrahmanya, Adoor (Kerala), Dharmasthala and Sringeri. “Friends from the cycling community in Udupi helped me when I faced mechanical issues,” Khot said, adding that he, however, had to end the tour after 7.5 days (he had done 1,350km by then) as the rear wheelrim got damaged due to bumpy and bad roads. “But I’m happy I maximised the Christmas vacation,” said Khot.In the last seven years, Khot has cycled 75,000km.
Apart from Western Ghats, the cyclist-explorer has also tamed the Eastern Ghats and ridden from the east coast to the west coast (Surat to Kanyakumari and Kanyakumari to Visakhapattanam). The endurance rider, who has six Super Randonneur title rides to his credit, did ISAAN ride in Thailand in early 2020. “I did 2,044km in 156hr and 25min in the first week of February and returned to India. But after a few weeks, lockdown hit my plans of participating in IRONMAN in Australia as the October event got postponed,” said Khot, adding that he was happy utilising the resources to enjoy the trails back home “which made me end 2020 on a happy note”.

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Sagar Biswas

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