Hyderabad is one among the few big Indian cities that boasts of having good roads and better infrastructure. Thanks to the infrastructure , the city has a vibrant population who runs and cycles. One among the many first in the country is HBC (Hyderabad Bicycling Club) which is the World’s largest Cycling Club.
After having moved from Bangalore almost a year back, I wanted to stay closer to my office and also wanted to be around active people. Luckily, HBC is 2.5 km and Balayogi MultiSpeciality Indoor/Outdoor Stadium is 7.5 km far from my rented place. Both the places , alongwith Puella Gopichand Academy is a buzzing ground for active youngsters , runners, cyclists included. I was very happy to be here and was determined to continue my passion of running and occasional cycling.
However, as luck has it, after i just registered for #100daysofRunning and having completed full one month of running, I got injured and twisted my right ankle. I couldn’t walk properly, forget about running. To remain active, taking suggestion from a friend (Animesh da), i bought a second hand Trek Hybrid Bike, so as to cycle more often.
Summers are ruthless in Hyderabad, more so for folks like me, who had a treat in Bangalore for 10 years. It was just too much for me to cycle during day time. Only once, in July, i guess, i joined a weekend ride of 70km. While returning back, i had bad cramps and was struggling to ride the saddle. I always found cycling to be tougher than running, probably due to lack of ride experience and the time involved in sitting on top of saddle. My mind can’t think of riding 50+ kms, but deep inside I do want to cross 100kms sitting on saddle,because NEVER SAY NEVER and IT’S ALL IN THE MIND. In between i got to know, that it’s my ligament that teared around my ankle while running and only thing that I thought can help me was taking a break and REST. During this last 6 months, thanks to my slow metabolism, I was gaining weight quite much.
This year, starting of Jan, as a fitness resolution, I thought of biking to office. Considering morning and evenings are still cool, I was sure riding won’t be tough now. As expected, I didn’t face any difficulty and within few weeks I gained confidence in my riding. I was covering 14kms in daily commute. More importantly I was riding in traffic, which in HYD is very erratic and not disciplined. I was slowly dreaming of going for some long ride and looking for opportunity. After one failed attempt, I wanted to go for one more long ride before month end. Just as I was contemplating a solo ride, I saw a HBC post in FB for Charminar Ride on 29thJan2017. This was meant for beginners, since distance was around 40kms and could be covered in 2-3 hrs. The route was interesting, as it went passed 4 historic monuments of HYD – Qutub Shahi Tombs, Golkonda Fort, Charminar and Mecca Masjid. Cycling is a great way to explore any city and this would my chance to explore HYD.
Today morning, I woke around 5:00AM and reached HBC early by 6:05am. I saw many riders ( many who were on rented bikes from HBC) getting ready. I had chat with few riders who were also doing their first long ride. At 6:30Am, Abhi ( lovely guy with great smile , manager at HBC) and Sameer (ride leader) lead 30 of us . We went past QST, Golkonda, Langar House Flyover. Soon, we were passing past narrow alleys of Old HYD and came around, probably the busiest and biggest slaughter house of HYD. I could see thousands of sheeps, goats being sold/bought, carcasses being transported in vechiles, bikes. Personally I didn’t like riding this stretch too much. Other than this stretch, overall road was without traffic and we were cruising at an avg speed of 18km/hrs. Within an hour, we reached Charminar and saw the majestic monument in front of us. I took some quick snaps , selfies and finally went inside Nimrah Cafe to have my sweet Irani Chai. Nimrah is famous for its Irani chai ( probably the best in HYD ) and Osmania biscuits. I packed few fresh cakes, bun and biscuits for home. The place was buzzing with daily tea drinkers , tourists and we cyclists.It was steady business at the shop and was evident that hyderabadi’s do love their sweet tea.
We took few more pics among our-self from different angles and started our journey back home. By now, the route back was clearly mapped in my brain, so i thought of leaving the group and travel by myself. Saying adieu, I started my ride and finally traced my way back home.
It was overall a great ride, organized brilliantly by HBC. The tips and guidance shared by senior riders was good and that gives lots of confidence to new riders like us. I would definitely recommend any one who visits HYD to try the weekend rides with HBC. There is no problem of bikes, as one can rent one from the bike center at a nominal price of Rs 50/=. Trust me you won’t regret , as i didn’t regret today ! I will definitely try to be a regular rider hence forth and eventually improve my riding skill and health !!
To track my ride :