Cycling in Goa is fun. The roads are by and large quite good and, if you move away from the crowd, cycling is a delight to exercise the body and clear the mind. A trip to the northern beaches of Morjem is only some 20km one way. Goa has quite an active cycling club with riders usually departing daily from Divya circle in Panaji (the bus stop below the Mandovi bridge) at 06:30.
You can opt to start at Summertime which gives you a good warm up with the Sangolda climb (0.8km 30m 3.7%) or cart your bike to say Panaji. I usually move out on my road bike from Summertime at 6am. Depending on the season this is usually before the crack of dawn. The roads are quiet and you can gain decent speed. By the time you reach the Mandovi bridge some 30-45 minutes later there is usually enough light to no longer be needing the lights on your bike.
Popular routes are a return to Old Goa (42km from Summertime) and, for the faster riders, the Banastari river (50km, 410m elevation). This is quite a flat route once you reach Panaji and the roads are splendid. Another loop involving an extra climb is the circuit of Bambolim, Pillar, Karmoli, Old Goa, Panaji which has a total elevation gain of 476m. On your return you can have a cup of tea and a bhaji at Cafe Bonsle in Panaji and then cross the Mandovi by ferry to do the last leg of the journey either via Reis Margos and Candolim or via Pilerne Industrial Estate (an extra 73m climb) to Saligoa.
For really stunning tough rides in Goa you better start from the Betul junction south of Margao. From here you can do a ride to the Netravali (some 100 odd km). The most scenic approach route is via Agonda but that is also the hardest and not for the faint hearted: the total elevation gain is 1640m including some extremely steep climbs.
Note: We do not keep cycles at Summertime as road bikes, helmets and cycle shoes are really sized to a rider. Good road and mountain bikes are for sale at Probyk in Panaji. Helmets are a must!
Last updated: Thursday, May 6, 2021