BNP GR and Pahiyaa : 1st group Cycling

BNP GR and Pahiyaa : 1st group cycling : 21st May, Saturday 2016

(photos courtesy : Nitin , Sanjay R )



One of the new initiatives started by BNP GR is group cycling as a part of cross training . In the past also BNP GR has tried a couple of group trekking sessions(as cross training modules). Trekking is either a full day or more than full day: overnight event. (still smaller module/s when one considers serious trekking which needs a longer duration  )Taking out more than four hours during weekends is a challenge for most of us.

(At times weekends are socially packed, so trekking for me has been something of distant past of my engineering college days when with youth hostel I had done various fort treks. )

Sheila’s confirmation goes earlier than mine. Once my Saturday New Mumbai appointments gets automatically postponed to next week, I send my email confirmation.

There are many who show their interest to join this first group cycling.

Vinod has worked out the route and has chosen easier 18 km route : BNP main gate to Aarey colony road entry point and back.

We are up by 4.30 am and by 5.30 am we are on roads.

who is off balance….me, my cycle or the camera??
towards BNP main gate

Sheila is using Riva’s cycle . Huffy with inbuilt brakes . It has cruiser bike kind of handle without any wire/cables.


It is obvious that today’s cycling is going to be tough for Sheila as this small cycle is not meant for longer duration.

Vinod zooms pass us on his Cannondale  cycle waving and calling us.

He is going to be today’s leader/guide.

At BNP main gate Maheshbhai is present with physical copies of consent forms. We all had received the soft copies. Maheshbhai personally takes signature of all the riders.


It seems many of  BNPGr members who had confirmed on email , whatsapp couldn’t manage to make{ for various reasons including “helmet nahi hai” ( couldn’t arrange helmet:IMG_20160521_075307183

as helmet is compulsory for today’s group event)} it to today’s first session.

6.10 am and we all start .

time note kiya jaye
get set
gooooooooo !

Sree joins from thakur complex-thakur village 90 feet road .( we are now 13 of us. Maheshbhai, Vinod N, Vinod J , Aneesha,Meeta,Falguni, Nitin, Meenakshi,Sanjay R, Manish W, Sheila, Shriram , Sree and me

Maheshbhai has brought his Toyota Innova and for next 18km he drives his Innova at very slow speed . Most of the time he remains at the last . by this yard stick he drives slower than our slowest cyclist.


Vinod is quiet sincere as a leader as he keeps moving forward and backward interacting with individual cyclists. Normally he is the one who loves to chase kilometers with speed, but today his role is different and he is enjoying it.


This is quite interesting. During Bangalore ultra tour he had remained more of a taciturn who even resisted talking even in monosyllables .Today he is interacting with everyone.

I try to hold the door of Innnova and use the vehicle’s power to move ahead.  (During Pune school days we used to do this kind of heroism ( retrospectively quite stupid) by holding the ropes or part of trucks /lorries to piggy ride the momentum.) Maheshbhai reluctantly tries to help but soon my adult mind reminds me “to leave this gimmick “  and my hands are  off the vehicle.

“ Is monsoon a good time to explore and buy second hand cycles? “ I ask Vinod as we are cycling together.

Vinod does not understand my “baniya” type of question.

I try to elaborate. “Mumbai monsoon must be ‘genuine off season’ for most of the cyclists.”

Vinod is still not getting where I am trying to lead.

“Yes roadies and hybrids are strict no no….MBT can be used during monsoon” he answers with genuineness of some one   who takes cycling mainly from two perspectives : passion and technical aspect.

I decide to come to the baniyagiri very fast.

“ I would like to believe that during monsoon a lot many “ME TOO” cyclist ! kind of people who have bought 40 k plus kind of cycles must be realizing that their passion for cycling has really drained away with monsoon and they must be putting a lot of “sale posts” during monsoon off season.”

Vinod looks at me with a amused look. ‘’ I do not have any idea, all I know Pradeep and Nitin bought their cycles from cyclop(facebook) posts.” And before I decide to explore more he decides to move on.

Intermittently I try to get involved with my surroundings .Morning time is always interesting time to observe. Mumbai is up and juggarnaught of the activities is on roll.

road touch housing
morning sky
ganapati covered
taller than every one
tyre services all along the highway black tyres with yellow paints
product display brigade …overnight rest
home for gods
marble temples

As a runner or a cyclist when u express your passion on Mumbai roads, the typical mumbaikar who is out there to chase his or her mirage must be having different perspective.

“Who is this lucky person who on Saturday morning is having fun rather than chasing something .”

Or he or she may not have time to think even on these lines.

Western Express Highway is  interesting if u see it from the point of view of noise ( cacophony ) , 24 hours traffic ( yes come anytime in night you will find some traffic ) , a lot of logistics  ( milk, breads, newspapers, eggs ,people, buses, autos, call centre taxis, chartered buses etc for morning hours )

It is quite dirty in the early mornings.

Last 20 hours’ ( around ) dirt , casual garbage, discarded packing material , thrown residual food, (banned )gutakha wrappers and what not…..soon the sweepers will come and start their work .

Even though we have same Brihad Mumbai municipal corporation covering suburbs and mid to south Mumbai, the suburbs usually  look dirty.

Roads beyond Worli to south Mumbai not only look good but are maintained good.

Running and cycling on those stretches can be more inspiring than western express highway. Only plus point: the highway is broad and you can cycle with some speed.

There are three cyclists with Montra brand( Murugappa group ) and all are  red in  colour.

Many of today’s cycles are not meant for really long distance. Many are doing even this distance for first time

pollution under control


Aneesha and Sheila have never done 18 km on western express highway. Sheila’s cycle is non gear and meant for younger generation. Some of the cyclists are getting used to utilization of gears. Of course today we are not taking any of the flyovers so frequent gear shifting is not a must.

Soon I get few moments of cycling along with Nitin. ( Running along with Nitin with his pace is not possible so our interactions are usually “off running “ time.

Today is easier cycling day so we are together for some time and we do discuss “books”

Like me he is voracious reader but unlike me he enjoys long spells of silence. “ I am reading accidental prime minister by Sanjaya Baru along with  simultaneously reading  Japanese manga series of Outlanders”

Today only I get/use the chance to bore him with my analysis of what I have read  .

Soon we turn back from Aarey signal. Taking a U turn is a skillful exercise. It is better to get down from cycle and push the cycle to the other side as vehicles are fast moving, especially when the signal is green and many of the riders/drivers would like to accelerate and zoom pass before green light turns into yellow.


Anisha had already taken U turn from Times of India signal. She had cycled all the way from IC colony.

At malad and kandivli Shriram and Falguni leave the group as the left roads lead them to their homes.

By the time we reach near Saidham-kandilvi highway our group becomes smaller .

“ we want tea” is common consent ( except Sheila who is for coffee )

“Oh it’s my area ‘’ and I lead everyone to Nagori tam tam tea stall near V mall, thakur complex.

Rajashtani tea stalls have peculiar taste. Many say that they use miniscule quantity of residual doda of opium within garam masala to make their tea interesting and even addictive.

As usual I pay for everyone (a small amount)well in advance .

Post tea ceremony there are usual voices “ kitna hua?  Aur kisne diya? “( how much is the bill ? oh who paid? ) These exclamations remind me of  BNP Gr members ( past and present ) who are very famous for being miser and never shelling out any money when it comes to friends outings.

Spending with others and spending on others are great joys( which life usually likes to give us ) and most of us love to miss out.


when you cycle with friends

It is time to say good bye and get ready for office……………….




12 thoughts on “BNP GR and Pahiyaa : 1st group Cycling

  1. Very nicely described and written. Enjoyed reading and felt as if I was also part of the group even though I missed it. Reason already stated by you. “Could not buy a helmet on time”
    Looking forward for more such posts.


  2. Well described Shailesh. I am missing these joys…. Your post makes me miss my cycle terribly. I had nicknamed her ‘Pinky’ for her color. Would have loved to join the group. Alas! But BNPGR rocks as always 😀


    1. Looks like pinky has to wait… I have written this photo blog more from BNPGR ‘s chronological point of view…a kind of logged memory which one can refer as sweet memory…18km cycling doesn’t give u enough time either to observe or interact… So blog logically can not be good as there are hardly any happenings or even masala…takalluf ke liye friends do write …”good one”☺

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Very detailed, honest narration of the day…..Thank you… I could catch up with many details, which were either not known to me or i had missed it during the ride.


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