Sometime ago a friend visited me and seeing all my updates on cycling wanted to join me on a city cycle tour. During our chat over dinner this idea was proposed. I immediately accepted it and said get ready for “Six and the city”. My friend was at first purplexed by this statement., with a hearty laugh I clarified that it had no similarities with a popular television series or it’s famous lead actor Kerry Bradshaw.
I elaborated that the phrase denotes the time most of my city rides have started in the morning every Sunday and about the cyclesunday group which turned up punctually to go for these rides around the city and its surrounding areas.
Bangalore is a paradise for cyclists with its salubrious climate, greenery, historical landmarks, lakes, halli’s (villages) & hills. It’s going to be a revisit and you my friend will join me on this ride. We will start with the places within the city and then cover the outskirts. So be ready for “Six and the city”.
I arranged a cycle with essentials such as water bottle, helmet & gloves for my friend and explained about the primary checks required on the bike such as tyre pressure, brakes, gears and chain lubrication . A few stretch exercises later we started our ride. Stretches are required before a ride as shown in the picture below. It depends how comfortable one is to start a cycle ride or fitness routine on an empty stomach but I prefer to have a fruit/biscuits before I start. This is however optional and depends on one’s personal preference about covering the city spots within the CBD in a day or leisurely over 2-3 weekends., But due to lack of time and to maintain continuity will be completed today. We pedalled and reached Cubbon Park.
This green lung space within the heart of the city from the British era is a favourite amongst walkers, runners, cyclists and picnic goers with well manicured lawns, a library and play areas. There’s also a toy train ride to amuse the kids. Cubbon Park has other places of interest around it such as Kanteerava Stadium,Venkatapa art gallery, Vishweshwariah industrial & technological museum and Bangalore Aquarium on Kasturba Road, we will have a quick view and continue our ride towards the KSCA cricket stadium or Chinnaswamy stadium, Karnataka High Court, The Scretariat or Vidhana Soudha an iconic structure and then to Raj Bhavan or Governors residence.
Thereafter we will go and see the stars at Nehru Planetarium followed by a brief rest at National Military Memorial Park. A few cranks away at close distance is The Bangalore Turf Club and Freedom Park(which was earlier a central jail and later converted to a park with a few old portions of the jail restored for public viewing).
After a few pictures and a light snack at Freedom Park we headed towards the two main lakes/tanks located at a short distance. The first one is Sankey Tank. Constructed about a century ago to meet the water requirements of the City, it is today a leisure spot with a walk/jog track and a park surrounding it. A few migratory birds can also be found during seasons. We sipped a healthy fruit & vegetable cocktail juice from the Sankey tank exit gate, took a few pictures for posterity and pedalled towards Ulsoor lake via the Mekhri Circle turned right and continued to the Television station/Doordarshan Kendra, Nandidurg road to reach St.Johnschurch road. On this road is the magnificent St.Francis Xaviers Cathedral, the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Bangalore. After a kilometre from the church via the Kensington road we reached Ulsoor lake.
Ulsoor lake is one of the biggest lakes in Bangalore spanning a large area, has boating facility and is the aquatic training centre of The Madras Sappers a prestigious unit of the Indian Army. Their Headquarters is also adjacent to the lake. Ulsoor lake is close to the main shopping areas commercial street, M.G.Road(with its Metrorail station) and Brigade Road. This area has a number of restautants, clubs and pubs thus earning the city it’s name as the “Pub City/Pub Capital of India”. We decided to stop for the day, locked our cycles and walked around to explore this area.
My friend who was initially in a hurry to get back has now decided to stay for a few more days and was curious to know about the future rides. The next ride will be towards South Bangalore and its surrounding areas followed by rides to a tree, a dam, a hill and finally airport to fly you out of the city. Iam glad that your stay & ride was enjoyable. Take rest now and be ready for the next edition of “Six and the City”. Ciao..