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Old 13th July 2014, 15:08   #1
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Default Trails of a biker : Re-discovering travel the healthy way!

As far as I can remember about my childhood, the cycle has always been a companion to me. My school days used to be spent roaming around on my Hercules MTB without a concern about anything else. Back then the only brands I knew were BSA, Hercules & Atlas, the former being more known for its Ladybird series for the female species.

But then I got myself a 2-wheeler license and then somehow I never looked back.

Come December 2012, and I hear about a colleague selling off his Hercules gearless MTB as he was upgrading to a hybrid. With dual emotions of nostalgia about owning the same bike again, and disbelief of getting to know he was plonking 23 grand on a hybrid (IS HE NUTS??!!!), I buy the MTB from him. However the only cycling I do is for the first week, and the bike takes a back seat as I continue on my travails in my Vento.

Come December 2013, and quite a few kilos added to my already overweight body, I get the bike out and start cycling, starting from short 5 km rides in and out of Pashan.

And thankfully, 8 months later and some 3,200+ kms under the kitty, I am still able to continue on that habit till date

The bikes I own:

Hercules MTB
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Rockrider 5.0
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Cannondale Quick 5
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Last edited by ninjatalli : 1st August 2014 at 12:19.
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Old 13th July 2014, 15:12   #2
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Default Re: Trails of a biker : Re-discovering travel the healthy way!

Disclaimer:
  • The idea of this thread is to share my past, current & upcoming rides with as much details I can remember and find time to add!
  • The idea is to connect with other riders, and share (& receive) info about the amazing rides routes that exist around our cities. And to push cycling as a habit!
  • The same roads that we pass by in a jiffy in a car looks completely different on a bicycle as one has the time to soak in the grandeur of the surroundings.
  • I'll be keeping a very simple format with a few pictures and basic ride details. The flow is of rides (of considerable distance) as and when they happened in the past.
  • The 'Difficulty' rating is as per my viewpoint, keeping in the distance, type or route, climb sections and other aspects. Consider it with a pinch of salt depending on how good a cyclist you are
  • Some of these routes have been done solo, some with friends, and a few with cycling groups (@Pune & @Mumbai)
  • Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any queries on the route or anything else. Also feel free to share info on rides/bikes/anything else under the sun that can be associated with cycling
  • Please click the shared Strava links in each post to get more details on the route, type of terrain, climb, etc. And don't forget to add me if you have a profile on Strava :P

Last edited by ninjatalli : 1st August 2014 at 12:22.
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Old 13th July 2014, 15:33   #3
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Default PCMC Tour

Route: Dhanori - Kasarwadi - Pimpri - Chinchwad - Akurdi - Ravet - Aundh - Khadki - Dhanori (Link)

Distance: 58 kms

Difficulty: Easy

Feedback: A simple route to visit the various suburbs of PCMC.

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Last edited by ninjatalli : 13th July 2014 at 15:43.
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Old 13th July 2014, 15:42   #4
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Default Night ride to South Bombay

Route: Powai - EE Highway - Fort - Marine Drive - Haji Ali - WE highway - SCLR - Powai (Link)

Distance: 75 kms

Difficulty: Moderate

Feedback: An early morning ride or a night ride on this route is perfect as traffic on these generally crowded routes practically reduces to very low levels. Plus an empty & serene Bombay at night/mornings is a completely different & gratifying experience!

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At Fort

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Outside Taj

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Somewhere in Parel

Last edited by ninjatalli : 13th July 2014 at 15:50.
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Old 13th July 2014, 15:49   #5
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Default Ride to Worli Sea-face

Route: Powai - WE Highway - Bandra - Mahim - Worli - Mahim - WE Highway - Powai (Link)

Distance: 50 kms

Difficulty: Easy

Feedback: An early morning ride is the perfect way to hit Worli Sea-phase. Plus a plethora of breakfast options around this place or at Bandra post the ride is a nice way to end the ride

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The rides

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Sea-phase view

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Photo-op

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Chai-sutta time!
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Old 13th July 2014, 15:57   #6
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Default Ride to Vasai

Route: Powai - Mulund -Thane - Ghorbander road - Vasai - Dahisar - Borivali - Goregaon - Powai (Link)

Distance: 73 kms

Difficulty: Moderate

Feedback: This route has the element of climb over the Ghorbunder hill which is quite a decent climb that can be done by casual riders too. Even the route via Borivali has a nice climb in Dahisar which is relatively easier.

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The empty Dahisar junction that is usually jampacked

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The sun rises as we cross the backwaters

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Caught!

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The full group at a dairy farm at Vasai
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Old 16th July 2014, 08:25   #7
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Default Ride to Mulshi Dam & Back

Route: Pune - Chandani Chowk - Pirangut - Paud - Mulshi & Back (Link1 and Link2 )

Distance: 112 kms

Difficulty: Moderate

Feedback: This route has some classic climb routes at Chandani Chowk, Paud, Pirangut, and Mulshi. The former two can be done by casual riders, but the latter two would need a bit of climbing practice. Apart from the climb aspect, the route is a beautiful one passing through fields and hilly regions with a wonderful view.

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The group at GIANT bike store - I wasn't there. I was late and had to catch up

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The full group minus me at midpoint

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Brunch time! And where we hungry or what! (Yes, I did catch-up! And was among one of the first to land up for the food :P

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Bonfire night while camping at Mulshi

Last edited by ninjatalli : 1st August 2014 at 12:21.
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Old 1st August 2014, 12:11   #8
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Default Ride to Lonavala & Back

Route: Pune to Kamshet via local - Lonavala - Kamshet - Nigdi - Kirkee Pune (Link)

Distance: 100 kms

Difficulty: Moderate

Feedback: This is a beautiful route with almost perfect tarmac throughout the route and not very high traffic. Except for the Nigdi - Dehu road section, the entire route is 4+ laned with divider and multiple food & rest options in case anyone needs to take a rest. Plus the railway line passes in parallel most of the time, so in case anyone wants to end the ride midway, he can just ride to the nearest station and catch a local back to Pune/Lonavala.
With a minor climb at Kamshet, the route is a beautiful one passing through fields and hilly regions with a wonderful view that can be done by novices and experts alike.

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Local travel

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At the sleepy station of Kamshet

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The beautiful Indrayani river that goes adjacent to the Kamshet station

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The beautiful Indrayani river that goes adjacent to the Kamshet station

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Over the only hill that comes in this route

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A brief halt while on the way back to Pune

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The route

Last edited by ninjatalli : 1st August 2014 at 12:15.
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Old 1st August 2014, 12:52   #9
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Default Ride to Lonikand & Alandi

Route: Dhanori - Wagholi - Lonikand - Markal - Alandi - Vishrantwadi - Dhanori (Link)

Distance: 49 kms

Difficulty: Easy

Feedback: This is a run-of-the-mill route which goes through the villages surrounding north part of Pune. There are several mud/hill tracks that dart out of this route that an MTB/hybrid cyclist can choose to roam around - the choices are endless. There is an active cycling group organized by the Decathalon Pune team that go on such short rides in these areas.

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Early morning scene at Wagholi

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Early morning scene at Wagholi

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One of the tributaries of Mula/Mutha river I believe

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A quick chai-pani break

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The route
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Old 1st August 2014, 18:31   #10
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Default Re: Trails of a biker : Re-discovering travel the healthy way!

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to Travelogues. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 1st August 2014, 18:49   #11
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Default Ride to Mahabalipuram & back

Route: Mandaveli - Adyar - Thiruvanmiyur - OMR - Kelambakkam - ECR - Adyar - Mandaveli (Link)

Distance: ~100 kms

Difficulty: Easy

Feedback: Cycling in Chennai has a mix of positive and negatives. On one hand the city is F-L-A-T. Absolutely flat! So all ye afraid of the climbs, this is the city to cycle. But then comes the humidity. Mornings start early and so does the heat too.

But I digress. There are two straight, parallel routes to Mahabalipuram; one via the beautiful & sea-hugging ECR that is mostly 2 laned and at times without dividers. And the latter is the 6 laned OMR that is tolled, with perfect tarmac and loads of traffic during day time. But then mornings are empty on both roads.

One can choose to coast on the ECR route both sides, clearly a far better route to cycle than the OMR. Or one can do what I did - take the OMR one side & the ECR on the return.

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My pets coming to wish me off probably wondering what nocturnal activity I was upto

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A few green spots on the otherwise concrete IT jungle on OMR

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A few green spots on the otherwise concrete IT jungle on OMR

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Some 40 kms from Chennai, time for a quick self-cyclie

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Some 40 kms from Chennai, time for a quick self-cyclie

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One of the numerous backwater bridges on the ECR

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One of the numerous backwater bridges on the ECR

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One of the beauties of cycling in Chennai - you get awesome freshly made chai/coffee even at 4 a.m.

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Spot the cat, Mr. Billa
And I return home to another tamasha - Mr.Billa had gone climbing some 40 feet up a tree, chasing a squirrel. Of course he came down on his own a short while later!
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Old 2nd August 2014, 13:03   #12
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Default Re: Trails of a biker : Re-discovering travel the healthy way!

Nice thread ninjatalli. I see some familiar faces in the Mumbai chapter (Seaface picture) - F50, yogi1771 (BHPians) and Jairam uncle.
With traffic conditions in cities deteriorating and parking increasingly difficult to find, cycling is a great and easy solution. I'm just waiting for the rains to subside so that I can get back on the saddle!
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Old 2nd August 2014, 13:04   #13
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Default Ride to Ennore across the coastline

Route: Mandaveli - Santhome- Chennai Beach - Ennore - back (Link & Link)

Distance: ~45 kms

Difficulty: Easy

Feedback: Chennai has a beautiful and long coastline with roads that run parallel to the sea right from the north most tip to the southern most tip.

The lower section has been made highly popular thanks to ECR and Besant Nagar beach primarily. However the northern part of the coastline is relatively lesser known, especially the area above the port. That is the section near Tiruvotiyur and Ennore which has more of industrial areas than residential. However the beach is still as beautiful out here as it is on the ECR

The ~5 kms ride from the lighthouse to Chennai beach station is a pleasant one with an amazing coastline hugging route. This area is densely frequented by joggers and walkers in the morning, and surprisingly very few cyclists!

But once you pass through the busy sections of the port area, then you reach the fairly empty coastline hugging areas which are more frequented by trucks than anything else.

I have done this route multiple times - during day (early morning) and night (late evening). The beach route is a heavenly route in the morning with sparse traffic, however it's an entirely different scenario in the evening as traffic becomes a pain in the **s.

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A beautiful sunrise

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A section that is open to the public

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A section that is open to the public

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Old 2nd August 2014, 14:33   #14
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Default Re: Trails of a biker : Re-discovering travel the healthy way!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aditya View Post
Nice thread ninjatalli. I see some familiar faces in the Mumbai chapter (Seaface picture) - F50, yogi1771 (BHPians) and Jairam uncle.
With traffic conditions in cities deteriorating and parking increasingly difficult to find, cycling is a great and easy solution. I'm just waiting for the rains to subside so that I can get back on the saddle!
Thanks!

Wow - I never realized I have ridden with Bhpians so far. Must connect with them - can you point them out?

As for the rains, I actually find it a lot better and joyful to ride in the rains than without them. Some of my best rides have been in the last 1.5 months - Pune - Lonavala - Mumbai, Mumbra - Kharghar - Panvel, Vashi - Sanpada and many more.

Downside - you are at risk to cold/viral (and more diseases), as well as comparatively more risk on the road, but with due care, these issues can be taken care off.

I hope to do the 200 BRM (towards Charoti next week), honestly, having rains for company would be an incentive than a deterrent if you ask me

P.s. Call me Ninja or Talli (both are my nicknames)

Last edited by ninjatalli : 2nd August 2014 at 14:59.
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Old 2nd August 2014, 15:13   #15
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Default Re: Trails of a biker : Re-discovering travel the healthy way!

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The ones to the right of the picture are F50 (Priyank) and yogi1771 (Yogesh). The one in the centre of is a friend of my dad's - Jairam Shetty.
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