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Pedal power to Mumbai

The past few years have seen many Mumbaikars warm up to cycling — to stay fit and to explore the city and its surroundings. Follow our compact guidebook on cycling groups, gear stores, routes and more, so you too get tempted to hit the road.

Mumbai Cycling Enthusiasts
Perhaps the largest group of cyclists in Mumbai, this group is open to all cycling enthusiasts across the city, whether they cycle to schools, colleges, work, or around their neighbourhood. The group organises regular weekly rides and answers all cycling-related queries. It is open only for cyclists above 18 years.
Log on to: Facebook.com/groups/mumbaicyclists


Mumbaikars riding on the Bandra-Worli Sea Link at a cycling event in the city. Pic/Shadab Khan

Mumbai Randonneurs
Founded in 2011, Mumbai Randonneurs is a group of long-distance riders, preparing for the Paris–Brest–Paris (PBP) *brevet in 2015. “We take part in long-distance rides, from 200 km onwards in Mumbai as well as nearby places like Pune or Lonavla,” says founder Anil Uchil.
* A brevet is a self-supported long-distance endurance cycling ride. The group has over 1,000 members.
Log on to: Facebook.com/groups/mumbai.randonneurs

Cycle to Work
This group connects Mumbaikars who use a cycle for daily commute. “Our aim is to promote cycling as an alternative means of commute. We hope to inspire people to take up cycling instead of using cars and bikes,” asserts Uchil. Email: aniluchil@hotmail.com

Cycling for Foodies
This group combines their passion for cycling and food to create memorable trips. They explore famous food destinations on their cycles.
LOG ON TO www.facebook.com/groups/foodiescyclist

Mulund Riders
This group of cyclists founded by Bhavesh Thakkar and Kamal Gada organises leisure rides in and around Mumbai every Thursday and Sunday. “Sometimes, we ride to Bandstand in Bandra, Colaba in south Mumbai, or head to Matunga for an early breakfast at Ram Ashray or Madras Café,” says Yashkumar Sotta, who manages the online content for the group. The group is open to all cyclists irrespective of area, and the rides usually cover a distance of 30 km to 50 km on Thursdays, and 70 km to 100 km on Sundays.

Log on to: Facebook.com/groups/mulundriders

Other popular clubs

Borivali Cyclists Association: This includes riders from Malad to Mira Road and nearby areas.
Log on to: www.facebook.com/groups/128422420551197

Lakecity Pedalers: This group from Thane spreads awareness about the environment.
Log on to: www.facebook.com/groups/lakecitypedalers/

Cycling gear
1. Headgear
2. Sweat-absorbing T-shirt
3. Hand gloves (for better grip)
4. Shoes
5. Padded shorts (for comfort)
6. A backpack to carry essentials

Your gear stop

Decathlon, Ghodbunder Road, Thane (W). CALL 9619297688
Bike Shark, Borivali (W). CALL 28640513
Bike Me, Bandra (W). CALL 24334993
Cyclo Craft, Parel (W). CALL 24318594

Also important 

>> Reflective vests (see top pic)
>> Riding glasses (for day and night rides)
>> Knee and elbow pads
>> Front Light (for night rides)
>> Back light (for night rides)
>> Bandana (absorbs sweat while riding)

Cycle routes
In and around Mumbai

Goregaon-Madh Island-Aksa Beach: Take the Goregaon Link Road to Malad and from there go towards Madh Island and Aksa beach.

Goregaon-Marve beach-Uttan: Head to the Marve beach, cross over using the ferry to the Manori side and cycle towards Uttan. Pass through the Pagoda, Essel World, and by the end of it, it’s a beautiful climb. Enjoy the view.

Chembur / Vashi-Khopoli / Lonavla: Head out of Mumbai from the Chembur / Vashi side and go towards Khopoli and climb up to Lonavla.

Shirshad Phata / Vikramgadh / Tungareshwar Climb: Ride out on the Western Express Highway, cross the Dahisar Check Naka, and head towards the Shirshad Phata. Turn right and go towards Ganeshpuri, Vikramgadh. You can also go for an off-road climb on Tungareshwar Road.

Colaba-Kihim / Alibaug / Kashid / Murud-Janjira: Head towards Colaba in South Mumbai. Get on a jetty to Mandwa, cycle towards Kihim, Alibaug, Kashid or Murud-Janjira. All the rides are scenic.

Mulund / Thane to Yeoor Hills / Upwan: If you live in Thane or Mulund, cycle to Upwan
or Yeoor Hills for climbing practice. You can also opt for the off-road around the hill to practice riding on rough terrain.

Bylanes of old Bandra, Khar Danda, Pali Hill, Versova, Lokhandwala / Four Bungalows / Seven Bungalows: Early morning or late at night, such routes offer engaging rides and views within the city.


Members of Mumbai Randonneurs taking part in a night ride. Pics/Ronak Savla 

Checklist

>> Wear a helmet, always
>> A reflective vest is compulsory, especially at night
>> Ensure you have operational front and back lights for day and night rides
>> For long-distance rides that involve stopovers at night, book accommodation in advance

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