As you get back on the bike, your feet touch the pedals, the wind speaks to you, your face brightens up and once again you become a kid. That’s the magic of cycling, you never forget. In recent times, many in the city have taken to cycling and one such place to explore on your saddle is Thane. Here is a lowdown of some of the cycling routes you can explore through Thane.
Story Behind Thane
Thane belongs to the northern district of Konkan Maharashtra. It was originally called Sristhanaka, named after Lord Ganpati. This green suburb of Mumbai is also known as the Lake City thanks to the numerous lakes and ponds spread across the area. The two main rivers, which join the sea on the west coast, are Vaitarna and Ulhas. Thane has a wide variety of things to explore from nature trails to exploration of forts, from beautiful churches to various lakes.
Thane is surrounded by the Sahyadri hills, a rich forest, lakes and cultivated land. Due to its proximity to the forest, Thane has a terrain that has a lot of inclines and down hills, thus giving a perfect setting for various kind of biking trails and training for races.
How to Get There
Thane is well connected by road and rail. Railways in Mumbai work on three different lines Central, Western and Harbour. The Central Line will connect you directly to Thane. But, if you are on a Western Line, you need to change the line to Central Line at Dadar, the busiest station of Mumbai. And if you are travelling via the Harbour Line, you can either change into a Central line at Kurla or catch a Panvel-Thane train on the Harbour line. If travelling by train is not your cup of tea, then you can also try any of the buses that frequently ply from various parts of Mumbai to Thane. It is approximately 50kms away from Colaba in South Mumbai or 30kms away from Bandra in the western suburbs. The nearest airport is 25 kms away.
Cycling Routes Around Thane
State Highway 42 / Ghodbunder Road:
State Highway 42 commonly known as Ghodbunder Road cuts through Thane and connects it to eastern express highway at one end and western express highway at the other. A popular route among cyclists; this route has scenic views of Yeoor Hills and the Thane Creek. The route has varied levels of gradient comprising of ascends, descends and turns so you could do with a regular road bike or a hybrid. The ride usually ends with a lip smacking breakfast at the popular Hotel Fountain.
Teen Hath Naka – JVLR – Western Express Highway – Ghodbunder Road
You can go on a full circle ride with this route. You start from Teen Hath Naka, ride up to JVLR then merge into Western Express Highway and head back to Thane via Ghodbunder Road. This route is great if you are someone practising for long rides and are looking at climbs too. This circuit involves many flyovers, hence will help building on the rider’s endurance. The route has varied levels of gradient comprising of ascends, descends and turns so you could do with a regular road bike or a hybrid.
Want to test those calves? Go ahead and practice climbing the hills here. The Yeoor Hills are a part of Sanjay Gandhi National Park and famous among nature lovers and photography enthusiast for some unique flora and fauna. The route stretches from the gate of Yeoor hills to Patanpada and is roughly a 3 km route with 80% of an uphill terrain. This is a great route if you want to build endurance and confidence. The KOM (King Of Mountains) and QOM (Queen of Mountains) record on this route is often considered to be a great achievement.
For a normal ride on the tar road up to the end point, Road bicycles and Hybrid bicycles are the best. But if you are planning to go off-roading inside the forest (permission required) then you would definitely need a MTB bicycle.
Tungareshwar & Vajreshwari
If leisure cycling is not enough for you and your heart craves for more adventure, then a ride to Tungareshwar would be an ideal one. Tungareshwar is one of the highest points in Vasai Taluka and it’s a great combination of a tough ride and a great trek. From the top, you can enjoy a bird’s view of Thane and Vasai.
For this route, use a MTB bicycle to tackle the rocky roads. If you are planning to take a normal road or hybrid bike, then please do carry spare tube and pump as the roads might not be very friendly to your tires.
Gear Up For Your Ride
Before you head out for a ride, don’t forget to be properly geared. Here’s a checklist for a smooth ride.
- A good sturdy helmet.
- Cycling Gloves.
- Reflective vest.
- Strong, operational front and back lights.
- Enough hydration.
Riding With Company
Going on a ride alone can be fun, but then as they say more the merrier. So, if you are an amateur who is looking for initial motivation and support or are a pro who wants to ride in a group, then you can join the following cycling groups:
- Lakecity Pedalers:
Popularly called as LCP, Lake City Pedalers was started by Jose George. Jose is a well known cyclist from thane and also runs a popular bicycle store “Haybren.” The group is a mix of amateurs and pros and plans rides almost every day.
- Mulund Riders:
Mulund Riders is a group of Recreational Cyclist and Runners.
- Powai Pedals:
Powai Pedals has bunch of fitness and cycling enthusiasts.
LBO is glad too see that we have so many routes around urban spaces for cyclists. We know of Bangalore, Delhi, Pune and outskirts of Mumbai having some lovely roads to ride on. Agra has recently opened a cycling highway too. However, cyclists face too many dangers in cities, worst of all when cycling routes are encroached by heavy vehicles. Recent news of a cyclist doing a 300 BRM in the outskirts of Mumbai coming under a truck is a big deterrent for new comers who still need some miles under their belt to build a madness for this sport. LBO hopes that in the coming years the cycling community, corporate entities and the government come together to make urban cycling infrastructure a dream for us all.