mean you’re on the Right Path
Simon Van Booy (Love Begins in Winter : Five Stories
It had to be sheer coincidence that my eyes fell for an instant on a FB feed by KLM India while I was in midst of a busy report writing (well ok, I was rather quickie FB surfing between two documents – you know what I mean). It was the most innovative Travel contest on Women’s Day I must have seen in the past week – KLM India in association with Delhi by Cycle was organizing a bicycle tour through Lutyens Delhi (or New Delhi) and parts of Old Delhi for 7 women, for which we had to answer one simple question! Though I was pressed for time, I typed in the first thoughts that came to my mind and sometime later, I got the most pleasant surprise for the weekend :- I was among the chosen 7 women to #CycleWithKLM for #WomensDay
On an early weekend morning, an All Women Group of 7 Women from Delhi/NCR went on an exciting journey through parts of Old Delhi and New Delhi. We connected with our beloved city Delhi and with each other, spending an amazing time together, all organized beautifully by KLM India and Delhi By Cycle.
Sharing my experience of the Delhi bicycle tour with #CyclewithKLM
I started from my home really early, after a disastrous no-show my pre-booked cab (and many thanks to the husband for dropping me in spite of being really furious – not on me but the cab!!). Elena, our main guide met me at the starting point (Delite Cinema, Asaf Ali Road) and since I was the first to arrive, I had the liberty to choose my bicycle accrding to my convenience (which turned out to be a boon as there was this only one cycle which was the lowest seating in our group and it came it much handy with my rusty cycling skills when we started off). Soon, other ladies arrived and Kanchan, organizer from KLM India (who also cycled with us) greeted us all. Short introductions, briefing by our Guide Elena and helping tips by co-guide Kapil done; we started on our Raj Bicycle Tour (see below the route we took).
It was quite re-learning experience for me to cycle, having last done during college years and I almost hit a pole & a wall twice in the early part of the route through Paharganj area, but I was actually enjoying the experience so kept on moving (with many helpful tips by co-guide Kapil, who kept an eye for us all throughout the tour and helped us in many ways to ride better).
It was such a revelation to bicycle in early morning through the familiar parts of Delhi (which I have grown up with), the sights, smells and sounds are totally different and I think since one is on a bicycle, the sense of awareness is heightened (to a great extent to the anxiety that one may be hit by a motorist/vehicle!! LOLS). It was also a wonderful experience to connect with fellow women bikers, all of whom came from such diverse professional and personal backgrounds (HR Professional, Teacher, Author,Media Professional, Travel &Tourism Professional and me, the lowly Infrastructure Consultant), yet we had so much in common, be it our jugglery of work-life balance, our love
for travel, writing, nature and what not!! It was fun conversing while riding the bikes and clicking pics.
We rode through Paharganj, into Connaught Place and the gradual change in the change of crowds & space was an interesting experience.
Riding through Connaught Place inner Circle was too much fun for me, as the last time I rode here was as a kid, when our Dad used to bring us here during summers. I was instantly reminded of those happy childhood memories.
We continued into Raisina Hill uptil Rashtrapati Bhawan, which was both a tough task (riding uphill) and totally exhilarating. Bicycling downhill on Raisina Hill on a morning was a thrilling experience!!
We then continued to India Gate, and in the morning light and very less crowds, it was a lovely experience. We then went to Agrasen ki Baoli, which is one of my favourite of the ‘lesser known’ heritage sites in Delhi. We sat down for a bit, took some group photos before heading for a breakfast. We cycled to Bengali Sweets for a breakfast (and what a breakfast it was of Samosas & Cholle Bhature, just what we needed after such a demanding exercise on a weekend morning).
Finally, we came back to our starting point, to drop off our bicycles. It was a great 2 and half hours of a weekend morning spent incredibly, connecting with my city Delhi in a unique way, connecting with some amazing women and appreciating the beauty of ‘coincidences’
A special thanks to Kanchan of KLM India and Elena & Kapil of Delhi By Cycle for an amazing Raj Cycle Tour of Delhi!!!
Happy Womens Day!!
(It’s on March 8 but I think every day is a woman’s day!!)