Friday, June 7, 2013

Be a padal pusher.

(The Brunch magazine last week published some fascinating articles about - 10 things you can do on summer morning in Delhi. I've posted these articles at Motley Delhi for the people who do not read the Brunch magazine.) Stay connected for more.

Cycle your way around the Capital. The roads are nearly-empty, the breeze is pleasant and Delhi seems like a new terrain.
The roads are nearly-empty, the breeze is pleasant and Delhi seems like a new terrain.
There could be many reasons you should not get on to a cycle early in the morning – they’re mostly to do with wanting to sleep just a little more. But I can you give you many more compelling reasons why you should get on to that bicycle. It’s a fitness aspirant’s best choice - cycling, especially outdoors, is a great way to build stamina, burn fat and strengthen the legs, back and butt. It’s cheaper than say, joining a gym, or taking up a sport. Even a beginner can try cycling. You see the world around you at your own pace, without any ambient disturbances.

All these sound like textbook cliches till you actually get your a** moving – like I did.

An unearthly 5:30am is the reporting time for most cycling clubs, like the Delhi Cyclists Club which has 2,080 members. Membership is free, and if you don’t have a superbike, you can hire one for Rs. 200 per trip, with helmet. 

“The group (usually around 60 people) cycles on Saturdays and Sundays,” says founding member Gaurav Wadhwa.
“On Saturdays, we cover around 35 km, but Sundays are reserved for longer rides of about 100 km.”

The routes chosen have few people and minimal traffic. I joined the group on their 35-km ride from Yusuf Sarai to the airport (Terminal 3) and back.With a cool breeze blowing, about 60 of us set off. The group tries to stay together as it cycles and gets a lot of attention, even at this early hour!

Pit stops are a great way to recuperate for a bit (drink water, take a photo), before carrying on again.

This was a first for me – reaching the airport without a car. But it was a great experience. After I finished the trip, everyone asked how I did it.

Actually, it was simple. Once you are on the bike, all you do is pedal and soak in the beauty of everything around you – the green trees, the undulating flyovers, the quiet roads. Everything seems curiously magnified. And once you start, you can’t help but finish. It’s the best high you can get. So give it a shot!

 A workout that also helps you get acquainted with the city.