I got a gift from my Son, a Bicycle. It is a basic, cheap, no-frills, no-gear bike, but works for me. It is used one, he used it for 6 months while commuting for work in Pune before he went back to his college.
For a long time, I have been thinking of going to Vihar lake. It is so close to our office and home, but for everyone around, it is Powai lake that hogs the limelight and Vihar lake is only heard of. Few have really seen it I believe. I had seen it once from a hill-top in IIT almost 15 years back when I took my kids up that hill which touches Vihar lake. But have never gone closer to it.

So, today, somewhat cold morning, I decide to ride this bike and take a closer look at Vihar Lake. In fact Best route no 25 starts at Vihar lake and goes to VT via Saki Naka so one option for me was to just hop into 25 and be there in 10 minutes. But anyway, I decided to bike it up. To get there from my home (Saki Vihar Road), I simply have to cross L&T, go up towards NITIE and instead of entering NITIE, continue on left road. The road upto NITIE is not very good (slums, crowd, Tabelas,..), but after that, there is a beautiful uphill patch of couple of hundred meters that quickly takes you to commanding heights and you can see good view and enjoy cool breeze. Upon reaching the top, panting and gasping for breath (remember it is a non-geared bike and I am not that young), you see a neat bus stop, couple of restaurants and even some sort of bungalow type guest house with "accommodation available" board. At the end, there is a small park that leads to the lake. This park has security, so the watchman stopped me on my bike. I mumbled something to myself while still riding and passed him before he could interrogate and stop me, perhaps.
It was a really different world inside . 7am in the morning., a huge and neat water body lay in front of me and Sun was just rising across the lake. Birds chirping and lapping water sound were the only acoustics. Breathtaking it was and I soaked in it for a while. Complete landscape and nature was at my disposal – uninterrupted ! And it is so close to where I live, I really repented having never come here before. Walked across the lake over the raised road which can be called 'bund' for the waterbody. There is an office for lake supervision etc and now I noticed that the watchman, was coming behind me. I was not riding and simply walking with my bicycle to show respect to the lake, Sunrise and the Nature. He decided not to bother me and walked past me to his quarters perhaps. I Thanked him mutedly and turned back after reaching a place which looked like more secure and more prohibited for trespassing. I did not push my luck this time, wandered around and rode back finally.
The downhill was obviously very easy but breaks on my commodity bike are not great. Only front-breaks work, jerkily, and that too sometimes. The bike picked up great speed on the curvy downhill road and I was thinking of a head-on collision possibility which will throw me into mid-air at 45mph speed (some exaggeration allowed). Lance Armstrong, the 7 times tour-de-france champ, had described couple of such crashes where his bike collided at downhills at 50-60mph speed and he was thrown off mid-air and landed on his head or neck and had severe life threatening injuries just prior to one of his races. But he recovered and won those races, like he recovered from Cancer and won his first tour way back in '99. That man is amazing. Waiting for tour-de-france to start this year and this time he is going to be there again.
Rode back all the way downhill so came home pretty cool and unruffled and no one could guess I had just finished tour-de-Vihar.

Posted by KShar at 10:45 PM

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