Last night, I cycled to glory. And pain. A whole lot of pain. But it was totally worth it.
My friends and I signed up for a midnight cycling tour across the city, conducted by Mumbai Travellers (365hops.com). Yup, you read right, across the city.
We cycled in a guided tour from Colaba to Bandra Bandstand. For those of you who don’t know, that’s about 35 kilometres. We took the coastal route, going from Colaba Causeway, via Gateway of India, to Marine Drive. That’s where we had our first halt, after about half an hour of cycling. That was when it truly dawned on me as to what I’d signed up for. 😛
After a half an hour halt, including an introduction session, and energy drinks, we went ahead to Worli Seaface, via Breach Candy and Haji Ali. We halted at Worli seaface for almost an hour (a tad bit too long, in my opinion), before starting off with the last stretch, Worli to Bandra.
We rode through the bylanes of Worli and Dadar, emerging at Shivaji Park. We then went down Mahim Causeway to Hill Road, and finally reached Bandstand.
We were 36 participants, from various professions and from various parts of the city. There were two guides on cycles and two other guys on a bike to assist in any mechanical issues we faced with the cycles.
Which was helpful. Just before going down the hill at Breach Candy, our instructor told us to not pedal at all, and just let go. That was fun, until the brake on my cycle refused to slow me down. Freaking out, I somehow managed to stop the cycle and when I asked the mechanic, he told me the brake had gotten loose. Oops!
He did fix it quickly and we restarted the ride downhill.
Mumbai Travellers also provided us with a bottle of water, a carton of Mango Frooti and a roll from Srinathji. All this, and the cost of renting the cycles was included in the total charge of ₹ 999. Good deal, in my opinion.
We found the link through an event page on Facebook and booked and paid online. These tours do get full pretty fast though, so I’d recommend booking atleast a week or two in advance.
We had to assemble at Colaba at 11.30, where we picked up cycles of our choice from Happy Cycle Shop. We started the ride around 12.20 am, and ended at Bandstand at 4.50 am. Which is a long time to cycle, but we did have breaks of about an hour and half in between.
Bombay is a different city that late at night. And this cycling tour made me truly appreciate that.
The only traffic we got was at Marine Drive. That’s your regular Saturday night traffic. After that, though there was the occasional speeding car zooming past you, it wasn’t so bad.
Never, for more than a span of maybe 10 minutes, did we get a road with no cars or people. And that’s Bombay, the city that never sleeps!
The weather was amazing too! The soft, cool sea breeze as we drove down the coastal route was pretty perfect.
The quiet just makes you appreciate how beautiful Bombay really is. The dark sea that you can’t really see, just hear the waves lashing against the rocks, while the glistening street lights light up the lonely roads is just beautiful.
Also, the adrenalin rush is something beyond compare. I’m not very sporty or physically active, and I was very apprehensive about being able to complete the whole tour. But I did. And I felt SO accomplished by the end of it. It’s pretty awesome.
Although, I don’t suggest going without prior practice because it is painful. 😛
All in all, it was awesome! You’d think Bombay night-life refers to the whole clubbing and partying scene, but there’s really more to it than this.
So the next time you’re going out on a Saturday night, try doing something different, and I guarantee that the hangover will be way better!