SpinMonkey is a new vendor for cycling tours in Delhi offering New Delhi cycling tour on brand new Kross bicycles (6 geared) along with apt safety gear and highly professional team of cyclists cum local experts. I met the young owners, Anchit Doegar and Nishita Sharma, a few days before they invited us to try out one of their Cycling Tours. The unusual name of their organisation rings a bell therefore, the first thing I asked them was, “Why did you choose the name SpinMonkey?” They had an apt answer – “Monkeys are known to spin around the jungle, jumping from one branch of a tree to another, just to get excitement from the otherwise boring existence. Our cycling tours are based on the same principle and are equally exciting!”
Eleven Sita team members experienced “New Delhi Cycling Tour” first hand. We reached the starting point (Hotel Broadway on Asaf Ali Marg) at 0545 hours sharp, as advised by Team SpinMonkey. They were there before us along with their bicycles and other accessories. They insisted upon us to put on the helmets and do a few trial rounds to see if we were comfortable with the bicycles assigned to us. It was necessary since some of us were riding a bicycle after a gap of more than 10 years! After a quick briefing and a few stretching exercises, we were off on the trip, cycling our way through the streets of New Delhi. The first stop was at Shankar Market, off the Outer Circle at Connaught Place, to see specimens of the modern art graffiti on the market walls with interesting stories to tell.
Thereafter, we headed into the inner circle of Connaught Place to learn about it being the first planned business district of the city. We were shown the giant ‘Tricolour’ installed in the Central Park which has to be sent all the way to Mumbai for washing and maintenance purposes.
The next stop was the 18th century monument Gurudwara Bangla Sahib – the place of worship for Sikhs where people from all religion are welcome to pay respect to Guru Granth Sahib (the holy book). It’s amazing to see the various forms of community service happening there. We then moved to a tea stall near Jantar Mantar to alight from our bicycles, straighten ourselves and enjoy a cup of tea (flavoured milk for others). The place is abuzz with activity since most of the cab-drivers of the five star hotels nearby gather here for breakfast. Eventually we cycled into the high security zone from the Sansad Bhawan side, stopping for a while at Rajpath crossing enjoying a panoramic view of the North and South Block. Here was encountered the toughest part – cycling uphill from Rajpath crossing towards the main gate of Rashtrapati Bhawan (Presidential Residence) – the centre point of Lutyens’ Delhi. The grandeur of the place is just so overwhelming!
Having learnt a few lesser known facts about the place, we headed towards the landmark monument of the city – India Gate, cycling our way on Rajpath, the road which becomes the centre of attraction on India’s Republic Day (26th January)! A sombre environment surrounds India Gate, a memorial for Indian martyrs in various Wars. The next stop, Agrasen ki Baoli is quite interesting since it is a 14th century stepwell lying completely hidden amidst the skyscrapers of Delhi! It is believed to have been built by a legendary King Agrasen during the Mahabharata era, only to be rebuilt in the 14th century by the Agrawal community, tracing their origin from King Agrasen. The last stop before heading for breakfast was Dhobi Ghat (open air manual laundry) ! Yes, don’t be surprised, even Delhi has a Dhobi Ghat of its own, just like Mumbai, though it is of a much smaller size than its Mumbai counterpart. The yard full of white sheets spread out to get them dry, made for a unique photo opportunity!
Finally we headed towards Bengali Market, famous for street food of Delhi to taste the typical Delhi breakfast – Chole Bhature! Over with Lutyens’ Delhi Tour and breakfast, we now cycled back to the starting point – Hotel Broadway on Asaf Ali Marg to end our Cycling tour.