(Written by Astha Pandey)
Foodies wax eloquent on the bliss that accompanies bed tea on monsoon mornings. A group of cyclists, however, say that chai tastes better on a rainy Sunday when you are on two wheels. On July 21, cycling enthusiasts will join the group, Speaking Wheels, to explore Pune through the tea served at its iconic establishments.
“There is a very popular tea in Maharashtra, Amrutulya, which we will try in the core city of Pune. We will also go to Camp area to drink a cup of Irani tea,” says Amit Gadgil, who has founded the group along with Rahul Nene and Nishant Jadhav. Gadgil adds that the ride, which begins at Nal Stop, will stretch 20 km and include six breaks where participants can get a taste of different types of tea, such as the Maramari, which is a mix of coffee and tea.
Speaking Wheels began its cycling escapades in April and have pedalled up the vibrant green hills of Korigad fort, explored the heritage of Pune under the starry sky and camped in Lonavala. Riding in tough terrains while experiencing the vast history of Pune, often sparks many interesting conversations. “Our participants come from different backgrounds and are of different ages, so we tend to have many captivating conversations during our rides,” adds Gadgil. Tea, he agrees, is a legendary conversation starter anyway.
Speaking Wheels offers an innovative way to explore the city and become a tourist in your own town. It also gives one a chance to find the cycling enthusiast you were as a child. In the past months, cyclists have come from fields as diverse as architecture and medicine, engineering and academics. “The youngest rider of our heritage ride was eight years old while the oldest participant in our Lonavala camping trip was 65,” says Gadgil.
He, and the other founders, have day jobs but are united by their common for cycling. Although they prefer cycling on the quiet streets of Pune at night, they are no stranger to day cycling and are planning a day cycling trip on August 15 to celebrate Independence Day. “At Speaking Wheels, we aim to give cyclists a wholesome cycling experience, where they are one with themselves,” says Gadgil.