Cycling photoblog : 1st group cycling : Juhu Beach and back : 38 km
It’s evening and I have yet not finalized where to go for my explore Mumbai trip.
I am telling myself : “ If I get up really early then I will go to Mohammad Ali road to cover” Do Tanki” area and if it is little late then will continue Bandra as phase II.”
Presently I have constrained myself with only Saturday morning hours for cycling. .Sunday’s are for running. My running is now drastically reduced and the new target is running far less kilometers and aim for more walk-runs in Borivili National Park.
2016 will have mix of running as well as cycling. Cycling more to explore Mumbai. Lanes and bylanes. To see Mumbai at different time zones. Initial trips can be seeing Mumbai waking up. It has to be inside lanes and not the highways or main roads which at times have 24 hours traffic.
But when I meet Mahesh bhai in the evening he invites me to join them for morning group trip to Juhu. It’s difficult to say no to Maheshbhai .
Post Bhutan anything to do with roadtrip with Maheshbhai is always appealing, let it be on cycle. May be in future we may have long cycling trips with or without car journeys.
Going to Juhu means maximum highway cycling.
Sunday : I am ready and waiting for first miss call by maheshbhai which does not come but Sanjay calls me and tells me they are on the way and I must leave immediately and reach the meeting point .
At ninety feet junction there is serious discussion is going on Sree ‘s cycle has a flat and Sanjay has already attempted Air filling and ruled out low air scenario. It’s puncture.
“Sree has to go home” is the verdict.
Maheshbhai is riding his brand new Scott . It’s medium frame and I am bit confused as I feel with his height a large frame can be attempted.
Maheshbhai has taken initiative and bought one folding cycle for me. He knows my crazy style and dream of covering Mumbai on cycle.
I have already bought a cycle carrier but still wanted a folding cycle. It’s tiwanese brand “ IOMA??/ “
Not much is known about it , but on it’s not impressive website one sentence holds my attention . “ folding cycle specialists with maximum patents.
The cycle is fully serviced with new hybrid tyres at “ Bike Shark “
Today is going to me my first long ride on the bike.
“why don’t you try this cycle ?” is my first natural reaction to the serious scenario as I offer my cycle to Sree. Before anyone reacts ,I tell them that I will come back with the other cycle. I take the air pump of Sanjay and go home with Sree’s cycle for safe parking. I am bit worried as I have not taken the house keys and I will have to wake up Sheila. Shiela opens the door with not a very good facial expression but immediately pardons me as I describe the situation ( with utmost care not to use any word which can trigger the obvious ) as if very serious crises has forced me to disturbed her.
Soon I am with Nitant’s Lumala…..After the trials of oyama I have discarded the lumala as a slow cycle which drags the rider. The posture wise and ride position wise it is much comfortable, but with it’s MTB type of tyres and overall mechanics it’s a slow cycle more suited for explore the Mumbai kind of extremely slow cycling rides.
Sree takes some time to get used to oyama and in the initial attempts she has a fall. I am bit worried. Is she comfortable with a new cycle ?
Today it is a long ride and with totally new cycle in these early morning hours will she be able to adjust? At times she is taciturn, again as a female she may not openly tell the limitations and constraints. Unlike a male buddy who can give you and your cycle some swear words and ride on , she has to do it with all the feminine nazaakat ( elegance )
Maheshbhai is true to his best. He diffuses the situation and tells nothing has happended and every thing is absolutely Ok . hey let’s go , she will do it.
And we are on……
At samata nagar police station an early morning auto components delivery LCV to Mahindra and Mahindra forces us to get off the cycle as it takes sharp turn.
Even though it’s Saturday morning the western express highway is noisy, polluted . There are buses, outstation/long distance cars leaving Mumbai in early morning, Call centre taxis.
We are not taking any of the flyovers.
While crossing Pathanwadi flyover we pass by a lot of “ on Hire “ tempo zone.
The small lanes on the sides of flyover is usually not very clean . What amuses me of a sight where one gentleman in midst of dirt and parked tempos has place his chair along the road side with clear patch on road properly cleaned with water. It’s like small island or oasis in midst of chaos.
The route chosen till Juhu is typically by a car traveler. All the main roads. No lanes and by lanes. Stick to the rule book is the norm for today. I am little restless, even with my long car ( by sizes of Mumbai road ) I prefer smaller roads. May be it’s more to do with My Pune years.
“Can I choose the route to come back when we return from Juhu beach? I end up asking Sanjay.
Sanjay is worried about Sree’s comfort. “She needs bigger roads as in smaller lanes she finds it difficult to maneuver. “
At Oberoi mall signal we take left and go to goregaon west by east west fly over
Goregaon fly over
Our route takes main road to link road and from link road we are supposed to take main road till lotus petrol pump to infinity, D.N.nagar etc.
Beyond oshiwara bus depot I rebel . I am already not loving these main roads, especially the high way is not at all stimulating .
At Mega mall I stop Sanjay and cajole him to cross over by physically lifting the cycle ( as there is no right turn )
We park our cycle on the other side and I cross the road and wait for Maheshbhai and Sree.
They have no other option but to get down and lift the cycle and cross the road. None of them have liked this, but I have not given them any option. Once we are on insdie Oshiwara road, Sanjay dispaapoves my advesnture.
One we are beyond karmarkar garden ( which impresses them as we ride pass ) and come to the newly built ( in comparision to Mumbai history ) the back side of lokhandwala/millat nagar area , called BMC road.
We pass by back side of millat nagar and approach back side of smarath nagr till andheri lokahandwala complex.
The whole stretch of 3 and half km ( approx ) is quiate nice.
It’s less croseded. In thses morning hours one can see a lot of morning walkers, runners on the road. The whole atmosphere is very positive to our group which is basically runners doing cycling.
I take them through shashtri nagar, amabani hospital,four bunglows, versova link road till sourashtra /juhu cicle.
When I see the cart full of grapes, I get down of my cycle ( I know this is not my kind of trip but still )
“ Dost ye maal kitne kilo ka hai ? I ask with genuine amusement to the vendor “ how many kilos of grapes?”
Honge kariban 200kilo, (he says “ around 200 kg)
If I was not with my group, I could have continued my conversation with the man .
I like our country. Only in India you can strike any conversation with any one and if there is some connect, you can interact on all the subjects including his family, his kids, his income source, his business model.
To a Western mind this is clear intrusion to the private space. Some one can termed this kind of behavior totally uncalled and may be gross.
Even Maheshbhai finds my style dangerous and he had scolded me for the same. During the Bhutan tour I really became very friendly ( this may be totally my personal opinion , others may not see things from my perspective ) with our guide sonam as he opened up and even started talking about his parents non compatible equations and how it ended in divorce.
Sanjay allows me those talking moment as I offer to take his photographs with grapes!!
Post Saurashtra circle once again I take them off the main road.
Maheshbhai decides to vsit this place once so that he can by some paraphenilia for Team Arselan as Niel ( his son ) is die hard Arselan fan.
We reach Juhu beach form the maharshtra and Gujarat wireless………….side
We enter to beach from the lane which is next to manikchand bunglow.
At the beach
Coming to beach in the morning and evening has it’s own advantages
Morning : it’s relatively clean . the crowd is very good as most of them have come with aim to improve their health . we find walkers, joggers, gymnast, stunt performaers, volleuball players,
One can see famous personalities with or without their chamchas.
(The celebrities who subconsciously get used to body guards, chamachas( sycophants ) also come to public places like beach, pomegrade or national park with whole lot of chamchas/ bodyguards.
They may not have any personal space or moments in their life. May be that becomes their chosen life)
There are not so called bad elements in morning. Morning mood is also quite positive so scenes of altercation or fights are rare
Evening : of course …..evening breeze and sea is more beautiful
But too much crowd, no parking , food streets, pestering vendors, and of course the road side romeos to the eve teaser can be at times nuisance to family with females.
Post our beach round we take inside lanes passing by rahejas and beautiful morning eatery :>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
We have our darshan from outside of iskon ( we are now short of time as it’s Saturday and it’s working day )
My friends clearly give their mandate when asked” which route/”
Only high way…
So we take JVPD road…..take andheri west eat flyover…..and from sai service it’s the straight road till thakur complex
None of us actually cycle as a group….coupe of times we do see each other but as this is return journey and there is nothing to see ( in any case apart from me no one has any inclination to see, stop, imbibe )
“Would you like to have breakfast at a known brand like shivsagar or other udpi type which is better but not shivsagar?” I ask the question to friends when they ask me “ kahan break fast karenge ( where are we going to habe our BF? )
I take them to Surbhi restaurant inside thakur complex from the internal ashanagar road ( and not from main 90 feet road )
The breakfast is liked by every one as a) every one is damn hungry b )size of idlis and taste of sambhar is very good
As every one is happy with first item , we all order rava sada or rava masala dosa.
Rava dosa is crispy and filter coffee is good.
After 38 km every one is very happy with ride followed by great breakfast……