Friday, December 18, 2015

Queen for a day !

We decided to go on an early morning ride from Powai to Malabar Hill and back, and started at 4 am with my friends Elan Chelian and Sai Pratyush.

Here is the route we followed.   Eastern Express Highway, Kings Circle, Dadar, Prabhadevi, Worli Seaface, Haji Ali,  Peddar Road Climb, Malabar Hill, and back via the Eastern Express Highway, via Sion , Ghatkopar and Kanjurmarg.  

We had a short stop for Chai  at Churchgate...
Left the house at 4 am , and returned home at 7.45 am.

It was a day like any other cycling day, I was having coffee, and  one of my friends suddenly msged saying my riding segment between Kings Circle to Haji Ali , a distance of 9.1 kms, got completed in 25 minutes, and this awarded me a "Queen of the Mountain"  e-trophy  from Strava, the software we use to analyse our rides and keep histories of our progress  (or lack of it ).

It also said that I gave my second best timing over an EEH stretch of 5.9 kms which i covered in 7 minutes.  

The Eastern Express Highway is fairly long , so I don't which patch of 5.9 kms between Powai and King's Circle this was.  Never mind .

Here is our route map.

Here is the gradient across which we rode over all the 66.6 kms.

Here is the table from Strava , awarding me the Queen of the Mountain e-trophy. 

So what is so great about it ?   

The crown represents total segment dominance! They are awarded to users who set times that slot them in atop Overall leaderboards at time of upload.

There are two types of crowns: the solid crown is awarded for top placement on the All-Time leaderboard.

The "wire" or "outlined" crown is awarded for top placement on the This Year leaderboard.

Mine was the wired crown !   :-)

It's nice to suddenly hear about this while having a decent breakfast.  

My fellow riders .  PC :  Sai Pratyush . 

The Royal (!)  Effort  above and our Chariots below!

It's also wonderful to have your fellow riders inform you about this when you are totally unaware of it .

Just wondering how Strava knew I was going to be chugging furiously up the Malabar Hill and Powai Hill....

Maybe it thinks they are mountains ?  

Monday, December 14, 2015

Gearless Weekend Chronicles

With the weather turning distinctly cooler in Mumbai, it is ideal weather for cycling, early mornings and late nights.

The weekend started off at dawn on Saturday, when no one except me turned up for the ride, and I  ended up doing a solo ride in the Aarey Milk Colony Area.

There was a Saturday night cycle ride plan brewing and perhaps people decided to take the early Saturday morning off,  to attend to other things.

Not yet sunrise, and the roads are a pleasure to ride on as I make my way on the JVLR (Jogeshwari Vikhroli Link Rd ) , near Greenfields , en route to the Western Express Highway.

You have probably never seen the WEH and its side exit roads this empty.  Neither has the Sun, just rising.....

I must document the emptiness of these Mumbai roads, with my cycle in the photograph, as I travel towards the Aarey intersection.

I ride through the Aarey colony gates, amidst the woods, reach a gentle elevation , and reach back home after skirting the Powai Lake once again.

I am using a new software called Strava,
and these are my ride values.

It is now Saturday night, still 12/12/2015, and there are plans for a night ride. We will meet at Powai Police Station and proceed from there.  There are 7 of us  and the plan is to cycle to Worli Sea Face  in South Bombay.  We start at 10 pm.

A night ride is different. It is cooler,  you probably go against the rush traffic when you go south, and you think there will be less traffic on your way back, given the time.

But this is Mumbai, and Mumbai never sleeps. 

(Some of the photos below were taken by Deepak Narula. There was an oversight and Photo Credit was not duly given.  Now it is. I apologize. )

Here we are at Worli Sea Face.  We wear reflecting jackets when we ride at night so we are visible in the traffic. The chariots getting a much needed rest.

A great click at Worli Sea Face. It is past 11.30 pm and you would think no one would be buying balloons at this time.  PC : Deepak Narula

But this is Mumbai , and it doesn't matter. 

Worli Sea Face. And no, we are not sitting in the order of our cycles .
Another great photograph of our group.!
PC : Deepak Narula

The mandatory photograph of my gearless cycle. 
Like Charles Schultz, creator of the Peanuts comic strip said, "“Life is like a 10-speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use.” 

Aiyyo ! I have speed, but have no gears.  :-)

The Strava statistics for the night ride.

We start back via the Western Express Highway,  pass by Bandra, Airport turn-off, and continue via Saki Naka.  I reach home at 1.30 am.  It is now 13/12/2015 , and I have a Powai cyclothon to attend in 4-5 hours.

Sunday morning 6:30 am 

A friend came to watch the Cyclothon and took photographs .  The purpose of the cyclothon was to highlight environmental causes, ways to reduce pollution , and show cycling as a wonderful means of achieving that.  The very original  Mumbai Dabbawallas with their no nonsense sturdy bicycles and  unchanged national outfits, too participated.  They started cycling for work, long before many of us (even started cycling for fun) , and continue to do so even today.

Some of these photos below have been clicked by me . Some by my friend Jayanand Supali. Some more, by various other members of our group.  If you could indicate which photo you clicked, I can indicate the photo credit immediately.

The Heritage Gardens in Hiranandani , in Powai  was the starting point. 

The very large crowd of young and old people who gathered for the 15 km ride around HN.

Age no bar.

Our group, Powai Pedals, was the largest group participant, and was felicitated with a memento. 

Here is our Powai Pedals Group on the Podium.

Our Powai Pedals group on the Podium.  Elsie Gabriel of the Young Enviromentalists Group (with the mike),  one of our admins  Disha Shrivastava,  Pradeep Nayak, Mirza Saaib Beg, me, Manish Lala, and many others .
PC : Jayanand Supali

        So many cyclists, and a search was on to get our members on the podium .  Here we are, searching for Mirza Saib Beg,  our inspiration, and champion cycling lawyer.

                                              Still searching

And then someone else was found !     Various "Powai Pedals"  climbing up

Someone possibly has a lot to say about our "Powai Pedals"

And finally , Ratna Singh , me, and Disha  Shrivastava  before starting the ride.

P. S. Nothing beats a Masala Dosa breakfast after a massive cycling weekend.