April 20, 2013

Cycling down Mount Road

Got a bicycle and keen to explore this city?

You may want to sign up for a Tour of Mount Road that Cycling Yogi has organized on Sunday (April 21 morning) on the occasion of World Heritage Day ( April 18).

The yogi is a young man called Ramanujar Moulana. And we appreciate this effort because it comes from within and it celebrates our heritage.

The yogi has made a few recce trips already, has got 20 registrations and has space for another 20. And this is indeed impressive.

The idea is to start at the '0' point just outside the western side of Fort St George, cycle down what was the Queen of Madras' roads and end where the legs can pedal you to!

There will be many stops - to stare at all the historic landmarks and heritage buildings on this road. Two photographers are tagging along too.

The group will share local stories and histories. Ramanujar has sweated it out to get permission from the Kings Institute in Guindy to explore this landmark campus and there will be other nooks which can surprise.

I wondered if the young men could pedal their way up St Thomas Mount - ending the trip with breakfast on the mount and a grand view of this city would be a nice bonus.

Though they will be very disheartened to see modern trappings and more excavations for new structures on the mount, all created by the local Catholic Church which seems to have little respect for heritage.

I am hoping the Cycling Yogi group organizes more such tours of the city and keeps the idea going. The last time it hosted a tour for the Madras Week celebrations, the huge assembly at the Gandhi statue point on the Marina rattled a sharp policeman on his beat. Ramanujar had to press his line to me at 5 a.m. to assure the cop that the group was a harmless bunch!

One other bunch who I hope will explore the south end of Mount Road is Sowmya Swaminathan & Co., active on the Chennai Bloggers Club. Residents of Chrompet, I designed a rough guide for them to explore this hol - the quaint Veteran Lines colony located off Pallavaram and St Thomas Mount.

It is 39 degrees alright but holidays are the best time to explore this city. Do it in small groups. If you want tips, mail me ( vincentsjottings@gmail.com)

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