I generally write on trekking experiences but this time I shall be writing my experience on cycling.The sports which I have never pursued with much interest( I think Mumbai roads must be the deterrent factor here).Last year I bought the cycle Hero Ranger with the expectation that I will become the next Lance Armstrong.( Ab sochne me toh koi tax nahi hai na so why not) but soon within a week my dreams came crashing down when I realised that cycling is not my cup of tea.One year down the line I must have rode the cycle hardly for 10 times and yet despite so much shortcomings from my side I was yet able to ride a cycle from Andheri to Churchgate. Hence the above thought that If I can do this why not you… so go out and explore yourself and Explode like never before.

My Journey:

I had read the update of this cycling event from Bandra to NCPA, Dil me ek ladu foota ki karoonga lekin dusra ladu foota toh mai daar gaya bola marega…arre nahi hoga.But still overcoming my apprehensions I called the Organizer Mahesh Ajinkya.First thing I told him ki Boss I am not into cycling but want to do it. He said” kuch soch nahi tu aaja” these inspiring words cleared one mental hurdle for me but still I was little low on confidence perhaps that is the reason I didn’t clicked on going option and clicked on maybe

Morning Dilemmas :
Early morning the clock alarm started to blared at 4 am, I quickly got up and soon realised that today’s agenda is cycling and not running Bas kya tha wapas bistar me jakar so gaya...thinking all kind of excuses, Mahesh ko bolunga sorry yaar alarm nahi suna (as though he cared whether I come or not still sharam naam ki bhi koi cheez hoti hai na) but then my conscience pricked and said Don’t be a loser atleast go and try. On this note I got ready and left for my office(Because I keep my cycle at office…) Reaching Andheri west and waking up the poor office boy I started my ride to Bandra where we were all suppose to assemble. 

Lonely Rider
Riding the cycle on a lonely Mumbai street is an awesome experience( Only stray dogs can be a problem) As I was crossing the Indian oil junction on the link road few riders crossed me and the effortless zeal with which they crossed me left me quite demoralised for a second and I was left watching there flashing red tail light. By the time I came to The Club I again thought its OK I tried, now I can go back home, I brushed this negative thought and kept plodding and pedalling.My ride from Andheri to Bandra was the worst I could do because I was all alone and few unknown riders kept passing me which made me feel all the more lonely and sad. How will I be able to keep up with them.Turn Back Turn Back you will be the laughing Stock.

A happy and well diverse group

Bandra:Starting Point
We all assembled at Bandra Lucky Restaurant. The group consisted of people from all age groups.A happy and well diverse group.We first time riders started 15 minutes earlier and the regular ones followed.For me the ride became pleasant from here onwards. Watching riders going past me was not depressing anymore on the contrary it made me feel if they can why not me too and those who were behind me helped me to self motivate myself that atleast I am ahead of them…Beta aur zoor laga you must finish this ride.

Lost And Found

As it happens to me much often that whenever I am running or trekking I lose myself in my own thoughts similarly here too as I was riding I didn’t realise that the other cyclist who were ahead of me has taken a right turn from Portugese Church while I kept riding straight. Ek pal peeche dekha koi nahi aur aage bhi koi nahi I thought I am lost and knowing the speed of the other cyclist I thought ho gaya meri ride ka THE END but fortunately I have little bit idea of roads in Dadar so managed to come out from near the Century Mill Signal and  with sigh of relief I saw few cyclist passing by. I was very happy to be on trail now.

Introspection Time

Passing through the streets of worli It dawned upon me as to how much distance I have covered today and that thought itself was enough to explode plethora of  thoughts and Images in my mind.I was overwhelmed and could feel the happiness for having done something which I thought I was not capable of doing. For a regular cyclist this total run may be a peanut but to a novice like me the experience is something out of the world.The purpose of my writing this blog was to bring in those people who are sitting on the fence to come forward and take up this Sport of cycling.Even if one person starts cycling after reading my tale I will feel that my purpose is served. Personally I feel it is only the state of mind at the end of the day.The Barrier is more Mental than Physical.

Finally At NCPA

Last lap

We had a small break at Haji Ali and from there we moved towards the Peddar Road. Riding further from the Mahalaxmi Temple the route is on incline and I was pedalling furiously to overcome the incline. Someone told me that we should lower the gears as we reach the incline now with my limited understanding on this topic I reduced the gears on the incline and was in such shambles watching all the other cyclist pass me by…Mere ko laga ki mai Tread mill per bag raha hoon…because illusion aisa hai ki you are running but you are there at the same place.Sweating and panting I could see Jaslok Hospital I felt any moment I would be in Cardiac Ward. Somehow managed this part of the ride and then the fun began for me because it was all kind of downhill and flat from there onwards.( Kas pura rasta aisa hota ) soon we were on Marine Drive and Finally at NCPA.We had a photo session and from thereon we moved to Mocha Cafe where the Organisers had fixed up superb Breakfast. The participants started getting dispersed from here as everyone has to take different route. Few of the participants decided to take train back home, However I survived  without scumbling to the temptation to take local train back home and tried my best to complete the circuit back to Andheri on the cycle,Which I did. A distance of 56 kms , not bad for a beginner.

Hence the title friends that if I without any experience can do this …why not you. So go ahead and give your best shot.  

Thank You To the Team

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Hi, I am Aashish Chawla- The Weekend Wanderer. Weekend Wandering is my passion, I love to connect to new places and meeting new people and through my blogs, I will introduce you to some of the lesser-explored places, which may be very near you yet undiscovered...come let's wander into the wilderness of nature. Other than traveling I love writing poems.

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