cycling :an introduction

The start :Cycling as a cross training for running


I have been running since last 3 and half years.

Whenever possible  I have avoided Gymnasium/s as I  have always found closed environment less stimulating. ( but  some strength training has to be in gym.)

Our gyms over the years have become more interesting.

There are so many subtle and at times not so subtle marketing as well as other compulsions.

At times gyms push the personal trainer/s or some clubbed package or if nothing else than sale of protein supplements.

At times gyms become play ground for middle aged  bored aunties ( oh my apologies to all ! ) with young dole shole types( muscles and good physique ) gym instructors.

{ this is an interesting topic and needs a separate write up }


Swimming has been my chosen cross training for most of the time. Swimming also brings cold to me( which for the most time of the year is always within me, all it needs is little trigger ) , so swimming at times is No-No

Mumbai road conditions have always discouraged me to explore cycling as a good exercise alternative.

The biggies in BNP ( borivli national park ) like Rajesh Pullu , Vinod ,Pradeep K are seasoned cyclists . they do numerous kilometers as they basically chase great mileage.

I tried to speak to couple of friends including Rajesh “ how to start ? “

They all suggested to get a good cycle with minimum budget of 18,000 to one lakh.

The metro sexual male  really believes in High living and high thinking !!

Eventually I settle down to a second hand simple large wheel cycle : initially just to test  my new love ! “ will I continue??? “ or soon my fire fox or fuji or any fancy known name will start rusting in garage or will be on sale.

Rs 250 + 100 ( buy incentive to society watchman )is what  I pay  to get “ not in use cycle.” I spend Rs 500 more and even paint the cycle.

I have a  (good , decent ?! ) moving cycle.( the purists in our group are  so shocked as this kind of stupidity is beyond the definition of “ being miser” )

My first ride : the western express highway is a big let down.

Soon I give up . This is  not my cup of tea. May be this cycle is not meant for highway. !! I convince myself that I must avoid main crowded roads where auto rickshaws to school buses to light motor vehicles to virtually every one  love to push you /dodge you.

My first long ride takes  me to link road till dahisar bridge and  I return from all the lanes and by lanes which I can find on my return journey.( just to avoid the first onslaught of early road traffic ) I do cross two large fly- overs. Motivation for fly over crossing obviously comes  from the milkmen. They have those heavy duty double beam pipe cycle, simple without gear with large milk cans on both the sides and I can  see them cycling and even riding over the flyovers. At times some of them do get down and push the cycle.

The start :

Soon  I start with kandivli- borivli west area. Lanes and by lanes of poiser, gamdevi, sumernagar, ram baug , mahaveer nagar , saibaba nagar , satya nagar,shimpoli, chikuwadi ,eksar road, yoginagar , part of IC colony are slowly covered. In early morning times some of the by lanes/byroads can be very difficult as the local dogs are still in their night duty mode ( slow starters ) . As they say  “apni gali mein har kutta bhii sher hota hai ( every dog is  lion in  his  lane ) I have to be careful . Giving respect is the most simple task one has to do. Slow down/ get down is better strategy once dog declares “ you as hostile”

Some street dogs when pampered want to become your followers, which  can become problem apart from a funny scene when you on cycle with couple of dogs still chasing you.

The area demarcation within dog community is simply fantabulous.

At times you are like  a baton of relay race.  you leave one particular  area with dogs barking/chasing  you and as  you enter the next area you have ready  welcome committee. So you have proper send off and welcome .

One cycling trip takes me from back side of magathane depot ( borivli east ) – sidharth nagar – thakur village- lokhandwala complex- kurar village . Basically start at borivli and come out at malad. Areas parallel to western express highway. I come across densely populated area . Each byroad can take you in  some labyrinth  ( bhulbhulaiya ).

This is it. All these visits rekindle my Pune school days .

Umesh, Paresh and myself were the wanderers. We used to go on unplanned cycling trips, mainly to explore the new areas.

“I will explore  Mumbai” is my new fitoor { you may read it as “ resolve “} . I want to see different areas of Mumbai during morning time .How does a city wake up? I also decide to find some eating joint /s in each area.

Confusion returns :

How do I go ahead?

In today’s era of multiple choices, with multiple price spectrum and with plethora of information selecting a bicycle for my new fitoor is a difficult task.

Questions remain the same

  1. To go for a hybrid or a road bike ?
  2. To go for folding cycle? ( as I intend to carry the cycle in a car to the chosen area and do cycling for couple of hours and come back in the car and not cycling )
  3. Will this new fitoor sustain?

Running in spite of few injuries has gone in my DNA. Running is an easy recreation sports/hobby.

All it needs is good pair of shoes and you are “on “

Cycling definitely needs more time and paraphernalia.

Nitant offers me his geared cycle which is lying idle at Pune ( he had bought it to pursue what else his new resolve to do  cycling ) .


Lumala is an entry range  of cycle. It is a sri lankan brand with 3x 7 gear configuration.

Soon I bring it from Pune, get it repaired . Now I need transportation gear. Nitin and Pradeep help me  in buying used  cycle stand as an  attachment to car.


I am ready to explore………




Next ……trip to Bandra ( trip I )

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