Cycling through Pashan

We’ve been having a strange run of weather. Through the day the skies remain overcast, the temperature remains in the mid-20s and there’s little rain. The reduced rainfall will almost certainly have consequences in the summer of ’22 and I’m not sure if the catchment areas are dry too. However, it’s great weather for outdoors and for cycling. Due to the scarce rain the roads remain dry and bicycles don’t pick up much muck no matter where you’re going.

There’s an absolutely verdant green route that I frequent on my bicycle. I start early from mid-city and ride towards Pashan. Once University is behind you, the usual city traffic thins out and the green cover improves. This is the way it stays as you pass the National Chemical Laboratory, the NCL Innovation Center all the way to the Necklace Garden. It’s about 8.5 km one-way with a testing climb that starts at Pashan chowk.

On the way riders first pass the Loyola High School and Junior College. As a junior college student, my first day there fell in the middle of the monsoon (June-July) of ’94. The path up to the college was drenched and overrun with green on either side. Since the area predominantly belongs to the Maharashtra Police and other institutions, it has successfully resisted being overrun by concrete and has kept it’s green cover.

Beyond the Necklace Garden are favorite destinations of Pune cyclists- the National Defence Academy and then further beyond are Mulshi lake, Pirangut, Lavasa and so on. I hope to gradually increase my cycling range to touch these points soon.

My ride is a Schnell Sierra hybrid. Today’s ride was smooth and hassle free thanks to the expert team at Cycleologisst ( I’ve included a mention here because their work on my bicycle has improved my ride considerably. Pune cycling is seeing an explosion of riders right now. Paradoxically, it’s still early and uncertain days for dedicated bicycle shops like this one. We had a very recent closure of a landmark, premium retail and service center which might tell us something about the RoI from the bicycle services business. Perhaps this local industry could be close to it’s ‘uber’-moment.