“When you are in doubt, just pedal it out.”
Willing to work for something and taking it to new heights was not only a dream but also a risk factor for Bhawani and Dushyant while bringing up their venture – Lets Trip Cycle Tours.
Started as a trial, together now they run a recognised bicycle holiday company that is one of its kind based in Udaipur but slowly turning its way in different regions of India as well.
And, after knowing about their interesting concept, we had our conversation with co-founder Bhawani that what’s LetsTrip.in is all about and why people should be aware of it.
Since, how long Lets Trip is letting people enjoy Bicycle tours?
“We started doing bicycle tours in October 2015 from Udaipur, and now we have slowly expanded to various other cities. We have two kinds of tours. First, we have day tours in Udaipur, Jaipur, Pushkar, Leh Ladakh and Panchgani (Maharashtra), which are of 2 to 3 hours and are perfect for travellers on a fixed ride nary. For example, a tour in outskirts of Udaipur includes pick up and drop to the hotel, packed breakfast, drinking water, a backup vehicle to follow the tour. And, this tour costs INR 2000 per person.
Second, we plan custom cycling holiday, which varies from 2 to 10 days, this includes cycling plus accommodation at jungle lodges, camps, palaces and forts. And, no doubt, it is one of the best things to experience when in Rajasthan.”
What was the niche to set up Let’s Trip Cycle Tours?
“We studied together in a boarding school, Mayo College, Ajmer. And, since childhood, we have always talked about doing something together. But as we grew up life took Dushyant to Delhi and me to Udaipur.
And, it seemed like the plan had failed, but in 2014 we came back together somehow and started working for a small travel company in Udaipur, we worked there for a year discussing every day what we can do together as the 9 – 5 job seemed dull.
One day we had a query for an activity for a couple, and we thought of doing a bicycle tour ourselves, so we borrowed a few bicycles from few of our friends & conducted a tour. By seeing the guests review and reaction, we knew this is what we wanted to do. So, in October 2015 we took our step by starting Let’s Trip.”
What were the initial challenges that your tour company faced more often?
“Getting people to understand this concept was a major problem. There was very less support from our families, as making a cycling holiday company is not a conventional way for full time to fit in today’s scenario and that too after quitting a job.
We still have relatives who ask us what we do and when we tell them, they want to know what we do for income as cycling is considered just a sport or a leisure activity.
Initially, we went to a few banks to get a loan of just 1 lakh rupee, but none of them understood and believed in our business idea. But, now Let’s Trip has become a success, and banks are happy to lend us any amount of money to buy bicycles.
Another challenge was there was no set of norms or guidelines for something based on this concept in India. There are no instructions available till date on how to run a business like ours. We had to learn everything from our experiences and mistakes.
There are a million gestures and safety instructions that we need to follow while riding a bicycle. Then, there are things, which you can learn from the Internet, but they only apply to the European countries or America, but practically don’t work here. Getting the travel agents to understand what the idea is? Was another huge challenge!”
How can an individual choose cycle tours according to their convenience?
“All the tours we conduct are easy to moderate level of difficulty. The bicycles we use are best in the world and come with a gear system, so they are quite easy to ride.
We analysed a few foreign travel companies who do cycling, and in all of them before booking, you had to know proper cycling, but we have tailored our tours in such a way that you don’t need to be a cyclist to ride with us. No reason should stop people from seeing the real beauty of Udaipur or any other city.
We have a backup vehicle on each tour so you can rest your mind at ease that there is help available whenever the need comes. For the long tours of Rajasthan, we make the itineraries and routes as per the capacity of the guests; we get people who want to ride 30 km a day and also individuals who want to ride 100 km a day.”
Do you tend to organise exclusive tours according to seasons, or based on people’s demand?
“Our tours run an entire year, we have options, which vary from a basic sunrise tour, which is 20 km to a Lake’s loop, which covers Pichola, Fateh Sagar, Badi Lake and the countryside of Udaipur, and is of 30 km. Then, we also do customised tours of any desired distance.
We have an exclusive trail that we call the extreme mountain biking trail, which is a magical place to ride in, no cars can go there, you can either walk or ride a horse or a bicycle on that trail. This trail is mainly enjoyable in the monsoons, and no one in Udaipur knows about it apart from us.”
What’s the best thing that one can count as USP of Lets Trip Cycle Tours?
“Contrary to popular belief, we do not touch any typical sightseeing spots of the city (unless the guest’s requests). We tend to reveal the hidden and not so famous places, which deserve a wider audience as compared to an old city and central locations. So, our tours mostly highlight the countryside of Udaipur.
In general, an adventure tour company asks certain questions of being known to such kind of activities. They show all the dangers involved in cycling and recommend not do the activity if you feel scared. But at Let’s Trip, we first build your confidence through our teaching sessions and never refuse anyone to cherish the journey.”
Till date which tour has been unique and most admirable one in the entire journey of Let’s Trip?
“We perform day outings almost every day in many cities now and also do all Rajasthan tours, and we try our best to make each trip the best one yet, so we can not say or justify only one as the most admirable.”
Apart from Foreigners, do Indian travellers are also taking an interest in joining bicycle tours?
“When we started, there were about 5% of Indian clients, but now we have around 35% of Indian customers. The local travellers are now taking an interest in such activities and the youth, in general, is moving towards a fitter and better world, so people want to explore and get associated with adventurous activities.
Rajasthan, in general, is known for its heritage and culture, and we are trying real hard to make it recognised for Adventure. One of the best routes for cycling in the world is the way from Udaipur to Jodhpur, taking a few night stops at some places. It’s such a magical ride, and we believe everyone should do it once in their lifetime.
Riding a bicycle itself does 50% of the work, people get to see beautiful sights and experience the real beat of India on a bicycle, the whole idea of going to a place they did not know about is fun for them, we try our best to provide all services required by the guest.
We get Indian families where the mother is riding after 30 years or a child who has never done cycling before, and we tried to make everything safe for them during a trip. When it comes to a cyclist, they will find us, but we want to make a non-cyclist understand that they can also go for it.”
So, any upcoming cycle tours or plans that you are looking for to entertain people with?
“We want to start cycle tours all over India, we have already begun in 5 places, and there are many more cities in our plan, we are not focusing on just taking Let’s Trip to a higher pace, but we want cycling, in general, to rise in India. We have such a beautiful country and cycling is the best way to explore it, but the lack of awareness and dedication to adventure is the biggest problem. Sometimes we have guests who tell us that they were shocked to know that they could take a bicycle tour in India. That’s why with a perspective to change it, we want travellers to come to India and experience adventure the same way they experience culture and heritage. And, yes on the way to achieving all this we want to become the biggest cycling holiday company in India.”
Are you a cycling enthusiast? If Yes! Then, here you have an option to take a ride and memorise your childhood on bicycles. And, to know more about the exclusive tours offered by Let’s Trip, you can find them on Facebook and Instagram. Also, you can visit their website http://letstrip.in/ to experience your journey in a fit and adventurous way.