Sunday, February 13, 2011

Tour de Mumbai 2011: Amateur Cyclothon

28Km cycling, and that too over the Bandra-Worli Sea Link, I word to describe it. FUN!

Few days ago when my Project Manager: Jimmy Shroff told me that he is participating in the Mumbai Cyclothon, I was like "There is something like that being organized in our city?" Well I reached home and signed up at once for Tour de Mumbai 2011:Mumbai Cyclothon, Amateur ride . (Not to mention I had brought my own cycle a few days back and was pretty excited).

After completing the Mumbai Half Marathon I was pretty sure I will be able to complete this 28Km cycling without any problem, Only thing that worried me a bit was that I would have to cycle from my house to Bandra and back, before and after the event, so I would be straining myself a bit more. (Now I feel I was needlessly worried)

Anyway coming back to today, got up at 5A.M freashend up and cycled to Bandra, On route I saw 2-3 cyclist cycling in front on me, they too going for the Cyclothon, I tried to catch up, but couldn't (Majority of cyclist had geared cycles, and mine is a normal one {thats the excuse I am going to use}).

So I reached Bandra MET college grounds at 6:15 much before either of my other two friends (Jimmy & Shashank) reached, but got to say that even if I had not expected the organization as good as which had been done by the Marathon guys, but it felt as if the organizers had done nothing, it was a absolute mess before the start of the race, the holding area, the crowd control all were bad. ["Burn Fat, Not Fuel" was the tag line for the cyclothon, but so many people brought their cycles to the grounds by private cars, I wonder If there was any savings for the environment]

The race started about half an hour late, at 7:30. They were still letting people in at 7:15 when officially the race should have started at 7:00 A.M. But 1 thing I have to say, I was surprised at the rented cycles they were giving out, (I had taken my own cycle) the few who were hiring cycles there got dam new bikes, Bikes on which the plastic wasn't even taken out. Pretty neat I say!

So the race starts at 7:30 and as we were at the back of the entire group, we started off even more later, but all the wait was made up in the sea-link, wow man! I enjoyed the sea-link before during the marathon, but cycling over it was even more fun. I got to mention here that am amazed at how fit my project manager is, Jimmy hats off to you, He zoomed ahead at the start itself, I tried a bit to catch up with him, then I said forget it and enjoyed the ride. :)

The Sea-Link, the police holding back the traffic for you were pretty cool, not sights you can see everyday. On normal days you feel as if all drivers want to kill any cyclists on the road, but today the police were giving you, the cyclists preference, It was neat!

Hey I forgot to mention, cycling along the Bandra Band stand also was cool!! :) My 2nd favorite part after the sea link. :)

Anyway I finished the race at about 9:30, took two hours for 28Km, I know its a bit long, but i wasn't really speeding (not that I didn't try) I was more enjoying the ride. Memorable sights on the race, 1 old man riding a cycle on which he had written messages about how to stop polluting the world, another man in a superman suit, a kid with a juggler type of hat, the red bikini cheerleaders (I saw them only in the 1st lap, they weren't there during the second lap :( ).

Like I mentioned before, much more was desired from the organizers, The traffic was allowed in the route before everyone had completed (my 2nd Lap), Still controlled traffic, but the traffic was there. Also at the finish apart from a banana and water there were no organizers there doing anything else. Pretty bad, I feel the entire cyclothon should have got more publicity (like how the marathon gets) and should have been better organized too.

In all, it was a real fun ride, I enjoyed it, waiting to participate again next time. I would like to say thanks to Jimmy for telling me about the cyclothon.

P.S We (Jimmy, Shashank & me) had break-fast at some restaurant at Pali-Hill (we cycled again till Pali-Hill after the race) before leaving for home. The cycling back at 12:00 Noon with the sun high up in the sky and no cops to control the traffic wasn't fun. :(

P.S.S It said about 6000 people were there participating, If there are so many people with cycles in Mumbai, I wonder why more people stop driving there car and cycle more?


Nadia said...

Great idea Savio... people should stop driving their car and cycle more! :)

Savio said...

Yes its true, people should stop driving cars and cycle more,
for a greener planet and a healthier lifestyle

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