This was the best tour with Seek Sherpa and that is saying a LOT because I have loved all the tours. I think am going to make the effort to join any new tours they come up with instead of waiting for weeks.
Now that I can cycle on the roads around my complex, a cycling tour to Central Delhi sounded bad ass. Sure, there is a BIG difference between cycling early morning on deserted roads and cycling non stop (mostly) for 3 years in South and Central Delhi traffic.
I reached Green Park metro station gate 1 at 7 am.
Interesting story. I reach gate 1 and ask the vendor and guard if that is gate 1 since there was no board and they ask me to walk further to the next gate. I wait for 5-10 mins and ask the auto guys, who tell me that is gate 2 and the earlier gate was 1. Moral of the story – Do not ask for directions in Delhi. People will deliberately mislead you
All of us (10 people) picked out bicycles at the Bike Shop which opens at 4 am, we spent sometime riding around, trying to get comfortable on them and then start the tour. Arnav was the Sherpa. I don’t know much about him because I spent most of the tour interacting with G.
The route was as follows:
- Green Park to the Safdarjung airport – stop at the top for an induction
- Safdarjung Tomb – Explore the place and spend 10-15 mins inside
- Lodi gardens. Bike inside. There are bicycle tracks but the route is a little weird so I have never seen cyclists here.
- Humayun’s tomb – Don’t enter inside but ride around it
- Purana Qila – Don’t enter but cross it
- India Gate. Chana chat and chai.
- Back to Green Park through Aurobindo road
Even though summers are here, it wasn’t as hot as yesterday and we managed the ride comfortably. It took 4 hours instead of 3 because at India Gate, one of the bikes had a flat tyre and G and this person exchanged bikes. She was supposed to get the puncture repaired (G and Arnav are friends) since Arnav had to continue rest of the tour. I decided to accompany her and skipped the Rajpath route. We got lost on the way back but getting lost in Central Delhi is always fun. The tour rounded up with some cycling gyaan from Gaurav (I think he is the owner of the Bike Shop) who rides 100 km on Sundays.
I am not crazy because I know crazier people
A tour with SS is not just about sightseeing. It is so much more. It is about meeting new people from different backgrounds. I have met students, 18 year olds, Americans, IT guys, corporates etc etc. There is a whole world out there to explore and awesome people to discover. It makes me wonder why I even talk to the same person twice. Why don’t I devote that time in a conversation with an entirely new person. To give you an example, Arnav is a full marathoner. How awesome is that!!! Who would have thought I would come across another runner today. G and I talked about so many things – Mumbai vs Delhi (Delhi wins hands down), A’bad (she is studying there currently), my current organization (she knows someone there), Gujarat riots, anti Muslim sentiments in Gujarat etc etc etc.
I wish SS existed when I lived alone in cities. This would be a great way for me to kill weekends, meet new people and explore a new city. And this is coming from someone as anti social as me. You don’t need friends if SS is in your city.
If you are in Delhi NCR, I would recommend this tour. I paid Rs 1499 for the trip and loved every moment of it.
Happiness isn’t a state of mind, it comes in bursts. Happiness isn’t personal or trivial, it is when you can truly forget yourself.
And here are the pics:
My bike. Instead of buying an expensive bike for long distances, I think am going to rent one once every month and ride it. Once a week is impossible right now.
We biked inside Lodi Gardens. Orgasmic.
The lane behind Humayun’s tomb has houses. People can look at this UNESCO site from their balconies.
The customary India Gate pic. The road towards Rajpath was blocked because of a parade and we were not allowed to bike on the grass so had to take a route around it.
Chai and chana chaat at India Gate.
The Bike Shop opens at 4 am (4 fucking AM) on Sundays and cyclists can rent cycles for Rs 500/day. Which is dirt cheap and better than spending 30k on a good cycle. I would love to bike long distances (20-40 km) once a month.
Unlike Gurgaon, you can eat at hole in the wall places like these at Delhi.
Ciao. I need food, a shower and sleep – in that order.