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Strolling around Mumbai on Cycle – Tips and Experiences

Bicycles have been one of my best childhood memories. My first love, a gearless Hercules AXN. That night ended waiting for tomorrow’s light. We were together for 4 years before it was stolen.

Tried luck second time with a second-hand Hero Ranger Swing, unfortunately, that too remained for a couple of months before getting stolen.

Solo Cycle ride Mumbai

My cycle near Marine drive

Now, after 12 years I have the pedal back. Yes, a long wait indeed 🙂

The excitement was the same as it was on the first day with my first cycle. I take it to my office daily riding 4.5 km one way on the uncontrolled Mumbai roads. Can’t express the joy of getting on the seat and feeling the breeze.

After trying my hands for one month, felt like I should take it for a tour around Mumbai.

So friends, take your popcorns, sit back and enjoy the post. And yes, do not forget to comment. You don’t know how much your couple of words make encourage me.

Preparing the Cycle

Frankly speaking, I had no clue of the kind of readiness required for such rides. To get some, scrolled the Internet.

The preparation part can be divided into 3 parts.

Preparing the Cycle, the Rider and planning the route.

For bicycles, basic service a day before the ride is enough. Basic service includes oiling of moving parts, tightening of brakes and chain and checking the tires.

Why is the height of the Cycle seat so important?

I have Hercules Top Gear 3*6 gears. Since it was almost new, everything was in place except the seat height. It was not high enough for me. And because of the low height, my legs didn’t stretch as required.

Instead of the force coming from hip, the pressure was coming on my knees giving pain to both the knees.

To fix this, I purchased a longer seat rod, almost 15 inches long and increased the length such that my legs were straight while pedaling.

How much should be Bicycle seat height

Source   Legs should stretch when pedal reaches down

Preparing myself

This was going to be my first 60+km cycle ride. I had to prepare so that I do not give up in between.

I had no idea what would be my condition and how much would I make. Though 60-70 km is not tough when considered as endurance riding. But good enough for a newbie like me who have experience of no more than 10 km per day.

Before the ride, I made onto the field and improved my jogging to 2-3 km in one go. On the day of the ride, I just had a bowl full of musk melon and nothing else.

Throughout the ride, I didn’t have any solid food. All I had was nimbu paani, ganna juice and 200 ml of flavored milk.

Total distance covered

70+ kilometers

Route map of the bicycle ride

Andheri West –> Juhu –> Khar Danda –> Pali Hill –> Bandra Fort –> Prabha Devi –> Banganga Talav –> Marine Drive –> Fort –> Prabhadevi –> Andheri West

Around Mumbai on Bicycle

Google route map

Summary of the ride

I started the ride at 6:30 a.m. First 30 kilometers were smooth and fast.

In all, I had two climbs, Kemps corner and Walkeshwar. Though it was tiring for me, particularly the Malabar Hill climb but I was determined not to step down from the cycle.

I kept moving slowly in the lowest gear and made it to the top. I am sure next time would be faster.

Bandra Worli sea link, wallpaper worli sea link

Bandra Worli Sea Link morning hours

Bandstand morning

Morning at Bandra-Worli Sea Link

Banganga Talav, Malabar hill

Pandits at Banganga Talav, Malabar Hill

Banganga Lake

Banganga Talav, Walkeshwar

Duck Feet photo

Duck Feet, Banganga Talav

While coming back, Marine Drive was quite windy. Winds really make the thing bad. Fatigue started taking a toll when I reached Santacruz. Last 15 kilometers were hard due to high sun and traffic. Took a 10-minute break to ease the cramp in my right thigh.

After the ride, I felt like the distance was correct for me. Not easy but still doable.

Read: How did I endure one year of Cycling to work in Mumbai

Lessons learned …

1. If you are non-regular and going for a 50 km or 100 km make sure to go for at least 30 km once. This will give you an idea of fatigue you may face during longer rides.

2. Get an electric bell which sounds scary. I got an okay okay electric bell from Amazon for Rs. 350. Nobody would pay heed to your trinngg trinngg

3. Ride about four feet away from the parked cars avoiding “the door zone”

4. Don’t rely only on Google maps. Explore new routes, it’s FUN:)

5. Stick to the left-hand side and have PATIENCE while crossing or changing lanes.

6. Wait at traffic signals, obey all traffic rules.

Hope you enjoyed the post and photos. Comment in the box below if you have done any such ride and your experience from it.

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Hello, I am Niraj. I define myself as an amateur photographer, biker and seeker. I like to connect with like-minded friends and share even the tiniest experience raw in nature, ever felt of the place, people or time. I believe life is an endless journey and our actions no matter how small affects this infinite universe in some or other way. So don't stop and keep up your work going.

2 Comments

  1. I think more people should be cycling to work. Imagine the traffic congestion it will reduce in Mumbai. Wouldn’t that be lovely? Your well-written tips are just perfect for anyone looking to start cycling in Mumbai. Mumbai and other cities in India need more cyclists but I guess that will only happen with better infrastructure. Stay safe on the roads.

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