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Old 8th August 2014, 20:30   #46
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Default re: Trails of a cyclist : Re-discovering travel the healthy way!

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Originally Posted by ninjatalli View Post
But places like a mall or multiplex I am completely lost - there is no scope of doing that. Plus the security have no idea how to handle such a case. I wonder if anyone has a solution to that.
Hello Ninjatalli,

Good thread indeed. It is envy and perhaps motivation for lazy guys like us who postpone the decision to start cycling to tomorow, everyday!!

Anyways, I am currently in Germany and with start of spring I was astonished to see cycle as a preferred mode of transport by many here. A large number of people cycle almost 15 to 20 kms back and forth to office.

Almost every public place is equiped to accomodate cycles and even one some footpaths there is a holder to lock cycles.

Even the government authorities have arranged for facilities to rent a cycle near many railway stations and other public places.

Thanks,
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Old 11th August 2014, 19:57   #47
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Default 200km BRM: Borivali - Charoti - Borivali (Part 1)

Route: Borivali (Sanjay Gandhi National Park - Vasai - Virar - Charoti - Mahalaxmi temple (& return (Link))

Distance: 201 kms

Difficulty: Tough

Feedback: First things first. So what's a BRM?
Quote:
BRM = Brevet des Randonneurs Mondiaux.

Brevets are long-distance, free-paced cycling events. Each rider can ride at his or her own pace.
The BRMs are 200-, 300-, 400-, 600-, or 1000- kilometer long.

The rules require to ride the brevets in a specific time limit (e.g., you have 40 hours to ride a 600 km brevet and 75 hours for a 1000 km). Therefore you don’t have much down time and you have to ride at night... with a reflective vest and strong lights !

Riders are self-reliant (they don’t have a support vehicle).

A brevet is not a race. It’s a challenge. There is no ranking. All finishers are equal.

Participants are called randonneurs.

They help each other and give priority to camaraderie.

Randonneurs are cycle-tourists. To ride a brevet is a great opportunity to discover other regions or countries, and to meet people.
Source: Link
This was my first BRM. Honestly I had no idea what's the big deal about a BRM. Plus my longest ride had been 120kms only. So I was not 100% sure if I could really be able to do it. But then this was a brilliant route via the ghats and the option of doing it in the rain made me go for it.

The rules were simple: Start at 6:00 a.m. Reach half-way mark by 12.44 pm. Reach end point by 7.30 pm. Do that, and you have done your job.
One needed to have the necessary gear - a helmet, a reflective bib, front & back lights. Anything else is upto the rider.

So I reached the starting point about an hour in advance for the registration formalities. And I'm glad I did that, coz by 5.30, the place was a mess! There were two BRMs that day, a 200km, and a 400km; both starting at 6.00. And the number of riders combined were clearly more than 50+!

Trails of a cyclist : Re-discovering travel the healthy way!-wp_20140809_05_46_39_pro.jpg

On the other hand the place was filled with cycles, all brands that one could talk off. People were doing the BRMs on road bikes, hybrids, and even MTBs; which I didn't expect at all. One experienced rider who clearly had done these rides in the past was doing the 400 BRM on a MyBike! Apparently this had been in the works for quite some time!

Trails of a cyclist : Re-discovering travel the healthy way!-wp_20140809_05_47_35_pro.jpg

But then there was a method in the madness and the organizers got the registration done with a slight delay, but without skipping out any of the aspects.

The riders were asked to form separate groups - the ones in the front were doing 400, and the ones doing 200 at the back.

Trails of a cyclist : Re-discovering travel the healthy way!-wp_20140809_06_10_23_pro.jpg

Before we could move out, the organizers gave a quick and short briefing on the basic guidelines and required stuff. Quite necessary as there were several first time (BRM) riders like me in the group.

Trails of a cyclist : Re-discovering travel the healthy way!-200brm-8.jpg

The mood was quite upbeat - a few guys who had got bananas shared them around. Jokes were being cracked, definitely not a competitive environment!

Trails of a cyclist : Re-discovering travel the healthy way!-200brm-9.jpg

And once the briefing was done, away we go! Coincidently there was a Harley bike ride being organized just a km ahead of where we were standing. A nice photo-op opportunity was missed!

Trails of a cyclist : Re-discovering travel the healthy way!-200brm-10.jpg

So far the rains had eluded us, but by the time we cross the Ulhas river, dark clouds were upon us. And within a short while, the rains began.

Trails of a cyclist : Re-discovering travel the healthy way!-200brm-12.jpg

And we weren't complaining! It was actually quite perfect; it would rain for a while, and then we would have an hour of pleasant riding with light winds. The sun was no-where to be seen. The 50+ group had slowly spread apart with different riders taking different strategies. Clearly the road bikers had gone quite a bit ahead with the casual riders chugging along at their pace.

Surprisingly the traffic on the highway was almost nil. So once in a while, you would be greeted with this beautiful scene - with only the rains for company.

Trails of a cyclist : Re-discovering travel the healthy way!-200brm-13.jpg

And then, one would pass or be passed by another rider - a slight nod of the head, and on we go.

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We were yet to approach the hills, but I could clearly see them coming up in the horizon. Everytime we passed a village, people would look at us with bemused looks. One or two rider with the entire gear setup might seem ok to them. But a whole bunch whizzing by sure captured their attention!

Disclaimer: The pics have been taken by multiple riders. Ownership lies with them

Last edited by ninjatalli : 11th August 2014 at 20:01.
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Old 11th August 2014, 20:47   #48
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Default 200km BRM: Borivali - Charoti - Borivali (Part 2)

Route: Borivali (Sanjay Gandhi National Park) - Vasai - Virar - Charoti - Mahalaxmi temple (& return) (Link))

Distance: 201 kms

Difficulty: Tough

Feedback: Every now and then, a bike or a car would pull aside and more or less the same set of questions would be asked

"Bhai, koi marathon chal raha hai kya?"
(Is there a marathon/race going on?)


"Kahan jaa rahe ho? Kahan sae chalu kiya?"
(Where are you heading? Where did you begin from?)


Their curiosity satisfied, with the courteous ones wishing me 'good luck', they continue ahead on their journey. I was asked this atleast 3-4 times, and I'm sure every single rider has been asked one or more times the same question!

With the hills, the inclines arrived. But with such amazing landscape, I wasn't complaining at all.
Trails of a cyclist : Re-discovering travel the healthy way!-200brm-14.jpg

We passed by Hotel 'Decent', but unfortunately I didn't stop there, so sorry guys, no story out there

Trails of a cyclist : Re-discovering travel the healthy way!-200brm-21.jpg

The organizers had moved out to head towards the half-way mark, and were taking pics of the riders they passed by, and a few lucky ones got nice profile-pic quality pictures taken. Unfortunately (murphy zindabad ) I wasn't one of them.

Trails of a cyclist : Re-discovering travel the healthy way!-200brm-19.jpg

Trails of a cyclist : Re-discovering travel the healthy way!-200brm-5.jpg

Surprisingly I managed to put a good pace and with a quick breakfast break at the 60km mark at a Vithal Kamat restaurant, I reach the halfway mark in about 4.5 hours, well before my own set timelines.

The organizers with had stocked themselves with water, fruits and few other goodies. One had to get their brevet card stamped to record their official timestamp, freshen up and head backwards.

Trails of a cyclist : Re-discovering travel the healthy way!-200brm-15.jpg

Trails of a cyclist : Re-discovering travel the healthy way!-200brm-16.jpg

So the easy part was done, and now the tougher part began - the road back. Unfortunately the clouds had disappeared over the past hour, and the sun was out in its full glory. Also as we turned back we realized that the wind had been assisting us till then, and now we were facing quite medium to high headwinds. Not helpful at all - I would have preferred headwinds in the morning!

Cycling on the highway gives you insights that get missed when you are in a bike or a car. Like the interesting modifications folks did to their cycles.

Trails of a cyclist : Re-discovering travel the healthy way!-200brm-17.jpg

We also had a fellow rider who clearly was doing much longer rides than any of us - unfortunately I couldn't get a chance to interact with her as I missed seeing her on the route.

Trails of a cyclist : Re-discovering travel the healthy way!-200brm-22.jpg

Riding during the monsoon season gives you the benefits of passing by a few reivers, and multiple streams, all full of rain-water. About an hour after the half-way mark, I decide to take a break, and literally jump into a small stream. I can't tell you how wonderful it felt to do that. Under the hot sun, the water felt the most amazing! If it wasn't for the clock ticking, I probably would have spent an hour or two at that place.

Trails of a cyclist : Re-discovering travel the healthy way!-200brm-23.jpg

The last 50 kms were the most brutal for me - the lack of practice (of doing 150+ km rides) was clearly showing; and possibly I didn't plan out the first 100 kms in a better manner. I should have focussed on saving energy than achieving better speeds. Also the headwinds and lack of rain was not helping.

Around the same Vithal Kamat restaurant where I had my breakfast, I get a strong bout of cramps in my thighs, and I literally lie down on the grass adjacent to the highway.

Then the nicest thing happened - a sumo stops by and the concerned driver asks me if I need any help. I thank him and ask him to continue ahead. I head to the restaurant, and decide to have lunch.

About an hour later, slightly better off, I head back on the road. But my speed comes down to a casual level and I take around 4 hours to cover the rest 60 kms with several breaks every 10-15 kms, stopping to lay down at empty bus-stands.

Finally I reach the destination by 7, within the timelines and am greeted by a few others who were waiting for the rest! An ATM slip taken to record the final timestamp, and I was done! Yay!

Trails of a cyclist : Re-discovering travel the healthy way!-brm-proof.jpg

A few learnings from this ride - could be wrong, but this is what I am going to take forward for the next BRM!
  • BRM is all about endurance. One needs to understand one's limits and plan accordingly.
  • You get to meet some amazing folks! The best part of the ride was post my breakfast as I cruised along with a fellow rider for a while, chatting about our hobbies, our lives. On my next BRM, I am going to focus more on the people, and lesser on the ride
  • BRM is most fun when you have friends/known riders with you. Many of the experienced riders were riding in groups having fun all along the way!


Disclaimer: The pics have been taken by multiple riders. Ownership lies with them

Last edited by ninjatalli : 11th August 2014 at 20:58.
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Old 8th September 2014, 08:36   #49
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Default Ride to Global Vipassana Pagoda @Gorai

Route: Powai - Borivali - mira road - uttan rd - dongri - pagoda - manori ferry - marve ferry - madh ferry - versova - andheri - Powai (Link))

Distance: 83 kms

Difficulty: Easy

Feedback: Northern most section (the islands beyond Mira road) of Mumbai seem like an entirely different territory - relaxed lifestyle, empty roads, and practically beautiful and chilled out village culture.

The route is a beautiful curvy one passing through forest cover and villages, with mild climbs here and there. The locals, used to a lot of cyclists, continue on their tasks, un-mindful of the lot.

Trails of a cyclist : Re-discovering travel the healthy way!-wp_20140817_08_04_32_pro.jpg
A short but steep climb at Uttan

Trails of a cyclist : Re-discovering travel the healthy way!-wp_20140817_08_09_51_pro.jpg
The stunning view of the sea at the top of Uttan - well worth the climb

Trails of a cyclist : Re-discovering travel the healthy way!-wp_20140817_08_10_32_pro.jpg
The stunning view of the sea at the top of Uttan - well worth the climb

The pagoda is a beautiful setup with meditation halls; one really needs to be here to understand how different these are from our usual "tourist" destinations. While the rest of the campus is clearly still under construction, the main center is more or less completed and open to one and all. We reached early, well before opening hours, so we had the place literally to us.


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At the gates of the beautiful Pagoda

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Massive structure at the gates

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A quick 'selfie' with the Pagoda in the background while the rest of the gang are yet to arrive

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The full gang at a tapri before we headon to catch the ferry

The ferrys are fun to ride - the tickets ranging from 20-30, with an additional surcharge for the bikes. And the change in the local setup is immense, as one arrives in proper Mumbai city on the other side, compared to the village setup earlier.

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Waiting for the ferry to return

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Loaded bikes on the ferry - a sight for sore eyes (of a cyclist!)

Overall a good fun morning ride option for folks in the suburbs.
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Old 2nd April 2015, 02:20   #50
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Default re: Trails of a cyclist : Re-discovering travel the healthy way!

Hi.

Couldn't help commenting on a pic that you had posted here: (http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...ml#post3502996)

The third- or forth last pic. The one which deals with 'modifications' of cycles.

Did you notice the cylinder head gasket hanging in the shack behind the cyclist? Oh gosh- It must've been taken off some six cylinder engine. Wonder which. A Mercedes unit, perhaps?

'Neways- Appreciate the ride suggestions here. Particularly considering that my Bianchi will be here soon. 2014 Via Nirone 7 C2C. Love it!

I *plan* to do a Lavasa ride soon. And ride down to Bombay as well. One should use the old highway completely, right?

Thanks! (BTW- Your review on the something pertinent to cycling is pending. Hint: Refer to recent pages of the Bicycles Thread)
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Old 9th October 2016, 17:29   #51
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Default Re: Ride to Lonikand & Alandi

Quote:
Originally Posted by ninjatalli View Post
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.

Attachment 1269043
Early morning scene at Wagholi

Attachment 1269044
Early morning scene at Wagholi

Attachment 1269045
One of the tributaries of Mula/Mutha river I believe

Attachment 1269046
A quick chai-pani break

Attachment 1269047
The route
Hi,
How is the road between Alandi and Lonikand ... was it potohled?

i have a new hybrid, 28 inches and I want to be careful

Thanks
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Old 12th October 2016, 01:49   #52
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Default Re: Ride to Lonikand & Alandi

Quote:
Originally Posted by naren_gs1 View Post
Hi,
How is the road between Alandi and Lonikand ... was it potohled?

i have a new hybrid, 28 inches and I want to be careful

Thanks
Yes back in 2014, it was potholed at a few places - similar to most MH interior roads. There were some bad patches but nothing a hybrid can't handle.
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Old 12th October 2016, 22:19   #53
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Default re: Trails of a cyclist : Re-discovering travel the healthy way!

Thank you for responding.
Road is not fun to drive - need to kerp breaking all the time. But not a major issue as I could do 18 kmh.
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Old 22nd June 2020, 16:01   #54
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Default A fresh start!

So the second half of this decade was spent running (pun intended) half marathons across the world, my knees made it very clear that a fresh re-start was required on the 2-wheeler front.

The lockdown made for an excellent way to relook my priorities and with that a pivotal decision was made - getting back to the saddle on a more serious note.

Happiness comes in many colors

Trails of a cyclist : Re-discovering travel the healthy way!-20200621_192214.jpg

P.s. Those who are on the fence on buying a cycle, keep a lookout for bargain/vfm finds on OLX - one of the above bikes is less than half of the value of the other bike, and yet it's the better bike with relatively better components. All because it's a used ~3 year old bike, which is a moot point as these bikes if kept well, they last for ever!

Keep a lookout for more rainy updates on this thread
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Old 25th July 2020, 10:43   #55
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Default Ride to Barvi dam

Route: Diva - Badlapur - Barvi dam - Deope - Shahad (/Kalyan) (Link))

Distance: ~85 kms

Difficulty: Moderate

Feedback: Get out of the Greater Mumbai area and suddenly you get exposed to flora and fauna of a rural kind that you'd expect deep into the state, much less than 50 kms away from the city center.

Instead of spending an hour riding out of the city, we decided to make use of the local trains and caught an early morning (~5 a.m.) local to Diva station; from where we decided to begin our trip. From there it was a straight-ish ride to Badlapur town. The route till Badlapur is a mostly flatish setup through some nicely 4-lane paved roads with divider and sorts.

The area around Badlapur city is surrounded by some gorgeous setups - towards the south, you have the Kondeshwar temple setup which I'll cover in a separate post; but to the west & north, you have the Ulhas river flowing by, and some distance away, you have the drop dead gorgeous Barvi lake and dam. That was our destination for this trip.

Trails of a cyclist : Re-discovering travel the healthy way!-20170624_113310.jpg
The (almost) overflowing Ulhas river just outside Badlapur town - the lower bridge goes under the water during monsoon I guess

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2

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3

Once you move ahead of Badlapur (after cross the Ulhas river) towards the Barvi lake, the terrain changes completely, with a mix of rural roads and ups and downs.

Trails of a cyclist : Re-discovering travel the healthy way!-img_4421.jpg
The stunning roads on the way and around the Barvi lake - well worth the climb and the long ride to the dam

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2

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3

And the dam - setup in a forest(ed) area with a curvy road around the lake/resorvoir that has some really nice climbs through and through.

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The gorgeous dam with extra water being released during monsoons

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2

Finally we cross the length and breadth of the resorvoir and hit the Kalyan - Ahmednagar highway and soon start heading back towards Kalyan for our ride back home - a local train! Why not use public transport when available; plus it being a Sunday and still mid-morning, the traffic should be manageable (alteast that's what we assumed!).

Trails of a cyclist : Re-discovering travel the healthy way!-img_4426.jpg
Riding during the monsoons is definitely not for the 'clean' folks

Trails of a cyclist : Re-discovering travel the healthy way!-img_4427.jpg
Our return trip via a jampacked local from Kalyan to Ghatkopar

Overall a good fun half-of-the-day-ride option for folks in the suburbs to let off some steam.
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Old 29th July 2020, 13:30   #56
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Default Ride to Kondeshwar Temple & waterfall

Route: Ghatkopar - Airoli - Mahape - Badlapur - Kondeshwar temple - (same route for return) - Ghatkopar (Link))

Distance: ~120 kms

Difficulty: Moderate

Feedback: Having already made a trip to Badlapur (Barvi dam) in the past, the itch was there to get out the city again and visit the drop dead gorgeous Kondeshwar temple that sits right next to a waterfall and the downstream lake.

With the local trains closed out (for public), the only option was to do a back & forth ride from home. So we did, leaving early morning on a cloudy but dry morning, heading towards Airoli. About two hours later we reached Badlapur when we were finally greeted by some mild rain which was a refreshing change.

Mumbai overall was opening up from lockdown stage but Thane was in the middle of it - we passed several checkpoints after Airoli where the cops were stopping all, but they left us alone. Passing ahead of the town of Badlapur, we enter the industrial (/MIDC) area as the final stretch had to pass through the MIDC unit before we enter the rural setup.

A few kilometers ahead of the MIDC area lead us into to the Kondeshwar lake which usually is filled with visitors during the monsoon season; but for Covid19 is stark empty, except for a few folks from the nearby village. We head on towards the temple which is nearly empty, but for a bunch of young fellas who look at us queeringly, considering the cycling gear we had on.

Trails of a cyclist : Re-discovering travel the healthy way!-20200718_084316.jpg
The drop-dead gorgeous temple

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There are two waterfalls right next to the temple with a few more once you start climbing up the hill behind

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The downstream lake with a check dam kind-of setup

Trails of a cyclist : Re-discovering travel the healthy way!-20200718_091314.jpg
Overcast clouds with the mountains in the back make a nice background

Half an hour later, we head back home - it's a long ~65 km straight ride with no planned halts. We do one for refilling our bottles, and thankfully the rain gods decide to help us with small bursts of rains through the next 3 hours of riding; finally reaching home for lunch and a good long afternoon sleep.
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Old 29th July 2020, 13:51   #57
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Default Re: Trails of a cyclist : Re-discovering travel the healthy way!

My god your state is mind blowing right now. Wish we could visit.
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Old 29th July 2020, 16:40   #58
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Default Re: Trails of a cyclist : Re-discovering travel the healthy way!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Liner View Post
My god your state is mind blowing right now. Wish we could visit.
Oh yea, Maharashtra is unbeatable during the monsoons. Also what helps is the absence of the crowds at these locations due to Covid-19 - it's fantastic to be able to visit these places in their almost-pristine state.

For example, the location where I took the first image; also attached is another image below of the normal situation in a non-covid19 timeline, during the monsoons. What a difference, I say!

Trails of a cyclist : Re-discovering travel the healthy way!-img20200719wa0013.jpg

Trails of a cyclist : Re-discovering travel the healthy way!-img20200720wa0001.jpg
Source: Image uploaded on google maps
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Old 29th July 2020, 20:31   #59
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Default Mumbai Darshan (multiple routes)

Route: Starting point - EE Highway - Colaba (or Ghodbunder Road) - WE highway - ending point (Link 1) / (Link 2)

Distance: 60 - 75 kms (depending on start/stop point)

Difficulty: Easy

Difficulty: Mumbai city by virtue of having a western line and an central (/eastern) makes it a easy way to figure out a 'circular' riding route. And you have two very well defined ending/turning loops - a small one at Colaba (/Navy Nagar / CST / Churchgate), and a large one via Ghodbunder Road.

Basically start on one line (Western or Central) >> decide if you want to go north or south >> reach the end point and loop out >> return back by the other line.

Here are two examples below

Trails of a cyclist : Re-discovering travel the healthy way!-screenshot_20200729201557_strava.jpg
Heading north

Trails of a cyclist : Re-discovering travel the healthy way!-screenshot_20200729200813_strava.jpg
Heading south

No matter where one lives - Western or Central line suburb, East or West side, the above circular routes are easily accessible, and make for a good 50 km+ ride either side. Each direction has a decent climb included - north one at Ghodbunder road and south one at Malabar hill.

Trails of a cyclist : Re-discovering travel the healthy way!-20200704_065255.jpg
Mumbai in the rains is something different entirely

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Ah the fun to ride in the rains

And while doing these routes during early morning lets you escape the dreaded Mumbai traffic, doing it in the night has a completely different fun factor.

As I realized a few years ago (post below)!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ninjatalli View Post
Route: Powai - EE Highway - Fort - Marine Drive - Haji Ali - WE highway - SCLR - Powai (Link)

Last edited by ninjatalli : 29th July 2020 at 20:41.
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Old 1st August 2020, 10:19   #60
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Default Re: Trails of a cyclist : Re-discovering travel the healthy way!

Mumbai and surrounding region are drop dead gorgeous during monsoon. Loved your crisp narration with all the information.

There are so many things to do in and around Mumbai and with your post, I have just listed another option. Cheapest way of transport and it surely makes sense to explore the whereabouts in a slow pace. Usually, we skip these things while travelling in a vehicle or public transport.
DieselAnna is offline   (2) Thanks
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