With lockdowns, curfews, and partial closedowns across the country owing to a surge in Covid cases, the beginning of 2022 feels a lot like 2020 and 2021. We are all too acquainted with isolation, physical distancing, and Covid precautions, but taking care of our health, both physical and mental, is something that can be tricky to navigate. But, there is a way around.
Cycling is one of the safest ways to escape into nature, get a good workout in, refresh your mind and soothe your senses, all while being away from crowds. A daily (or even weekly) bicycle tour in and around your city will not only give you something to look forward to, but also relieve you from work-from-home, household chores, and Covid-related anxiety and stress.
No matter which metropolitan city you reside in, read on to discover some cycling routes.
Mumbai is an amazing city to explore on your bicycle. Take the route from Aarey Milk Colony to Goregaon which has a lake and abundant greenery to soothe your senses. You can also check out the road from Palm Beach Road to the hills of Kharghar, which promises a view of the wetlands. If you’re lucky, you can also spot some beautiful birds that visit the wetlands. Sanjay Gandhi National Park is also a great option as you can put your cycling skills to test here. Visit the ancient Kanheri caves when on this cycling trek trail.
For people who are just getting used to the bicycle, the sprawling green grounds of Maidan are apt for honing your skills without injuring yourself. You can also head to Rabindra Sarobar in the morning for a refreshing ride around the Sarobar Lake. You can also explore the East Kolkata Wetlands which boast of winding green trails and fish ponds along the way which starts from Salt Lake or the Bypass.
If you want to avoid the more popular routes of Marina and Elliot’s Promenade, you can opt to cycle from Adyar to Besant Nagar through the Thiru-Vi-Ka Bridge which is a scenic route. The East Coast Road, which is also popular for long rides, has gotten congested over the years, but the stretch from Sholinganallur leading to Akkarai towards the sea is worth exploring.
Barring the more popular Turahalli Forest and Nandi Hills, there are many more cycling routes that are definitely worth exploring on your bicycle, given the infamous traffic. The manmade irrigational dam of Machinbele promises the views of calm blue waters, surrounding hills, and most importantly, serenity. Even Bengaluru’s Cubbon Park is a promising venue for an early-morning ride followed by a socially-distanced breakfast picnic surrounded by big, old trees. If you haven’t visited the Bannerghatta National Park, take your bicycle along and explore the stretch along the forest area through Ragihall and Bannerghatta to see the Thattekere Lake.
This lockdown is a good time to escape into the small pockets of greenery in Delhi, like in Sanjay Van, which is a 784-acre city forest near the Qutab Institutional Area. The 20 km-long cycling route stretches along the Aravallis and promises views of beautiful bird species like purple sunbirds and crested honey buzzards, among others. If you are a seasoned cyclist, the route from Dwarka to Sultanpur with farms, wetlands and villages along the way will definitely excite you.