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Mumbaikars go on a ‘Nav-ride’ for Navrati

The cyclists wear royal blue on their Day One ride at Powai.

Navratri is on and if you are someone who usually follows the tradition of the nine-day colour code in your attire and accessories, here are a bunch of Mumbaikars who are going a step further. For the first time, they’re doing a special ‘navrang’ Navratri ride, where they will sport the festive colours on a nine-day cycle trail. It’s bringing together festivity and fun, and judging by the start — this seems to be an idea that was waiting to
jump onto the bandwagon, err, into the saddle! Here’s more…


‘The kms are also in multiples of nine’


A single idea to try this on a group chat was instantly liked. Says logistics expert and avid cyclist, Brijesh Singh, “Every year, we play dandiya at night, but this time we thought we would bring our cycling hobby into it, too and decided to do ‘nav-rides’ a nine-day cycle ride in Mumbai. It has the colour codes, so each day we will be wearing a specific hue.” On Day One, Wednesday, they sported ‘royal blue’ on Thursday, it was ‘yellow’ and so it will continue.


The colour apart, there’s another festive angle to their trail. “We also decided that the number of kilometers we ride for will be in multiples of nine, so on the first day we did nine kms, then 18, and plan to increase the multiples. It’s going to be 81 kms on the last day. This will be a night ride from Thane to NCPA, as it will be easier to cycle at that time,” he adds.


The plan was mooted on their WhatsApp group and the cyclists loved the idea. Says homemaker Falguni Chheda, “When I first heard about it, I loved it. It’s a different motivation to do a themed ride like this, especially with Navratri on. Normally, we wear our cycling jerseys and ride, but for these nine days to show off the colour, we won’t be wearing our jerseys.”


Painting the suburbs in colourful hues


The trails are set in suburbs as the participants mostly hail from there. The first ride was in two batches — a Ghatkopar loop and one at Powai — where participants wore royal blue, the colour for the first day of Navratri. On Thursday, the cyclists’ group did the ‘navrang’ ride at Aarey in yellow. Says Bhandup-based entrepreneur Uttara Ramkumar, “About 15 of us started off at 6 am  from Airoli and took the JVLR route to Aarey. As we rode, it looked like a vibrant stream of yellow among the greenery.” It was 18-kms one way, but the total distance from home came to 30 kms, so it was also quite a workout. There were a few uphill stretches, but the weather was blissful with patches of fog and cold.”
Yesterday’s ride was at Bandra Reclamation, where participants wore green. Says audio-visual project consultant, Laxman Kumar, “We rode from Thane to Bandra Reclamation and back. There is a selfie point here so we thought it would make a great spot to take pictures. Since our Mulund riders’ colour is green, it was perfect; can’t wait for the other rides.”
For Dussehra: A jalebi-fafda ride
Food is part of the festive pedalling, too. Adds Brijesh, “Last year, our cyclists’ group had done a Dussehra ride, where we had jalebi-fafda and some mithai after we had finished. It was such a hit. This year too, we plan to do the same and have invited all the cycling groups from Mumbai for it, so it’s going to be a mega meetup of cyclists.”
Adds Falguni, “The ride will be held in Mulund East and we plan to order the sweets for it in advance. There’s no guilt for eating that as we will cycle it off, plus it’s Dussehra, so you can’t look at the calories,” she laughs.
Day 1: Royal blue, Ghatkopar, Powai
Day 2: Aarey, yellow
Day 3: Bandra Reclamation, green
Day 4: Sewri Fort, grey
Day 5: Banganga-Malabar Hill, orange
Day 6: Siddhivinayak, white
Day 7: Worli Sea Face, red
Day 8: Bhaucha Dhakka (Ferry Wharf), sky blue
Day 9: Final night ride, Thane to NCPA, pink
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