Cycling in Chennai – A ride to ottiyambakkam quarry

Doing things you love to do is the greatest pleasure. And when 70 other people are joining in the fun, its going to be super awesome. The theme for this month cycling is “NO ROADS NOVEMBER”. Since all of us are regular riders except a few, organising was great as usual. Only the routes we were going to take will be off roads only to discover later that many of them are converted into tar- roads. Nevertheless we were happy to be part of this ride, like jesse owens famous quote “The essential thing is not winning but taking part”.
The route is from Madhya kailash temple via thoraipakkam – kamatchi hospital – kovilambakkam – nanmangalam lake – medavakkam – vengaivasal- ottiyambakkam quarry cum lake- Sholinganallur and then back to their respective places of start. Total ride distance averaged around 45 kms approx.
Nanmangalam lake – This is lake is situated between hills to the west and reserved forest to the south. The reserved forest is being converted to a conservation area by the wildlife authorities. A good place for bird watching in the morning and watching sunset among the hills in the evening. Our first photoshoot was at this place. Mud trails were now converted into tar roads near this area due to the upcoming and ongoing construction works.

Nanmangalam lake
Nanmangalam lake

Ottiyambakkam lake – A quarry was functioning here and stopped before many years. Rain water got accumulated and the area has become a natural open water swimming pool. Tri-athlete events were conducted here earlier. Swimming is banned at present. The small left over hill is still available and nature has taken over from where man has left- Trees and plants are growing on its own on this rocky hill.

Ottiyambakkam quarry
                                                Ottiyambakkam Lake

The sheer number of riders turning up for this ride conducted by WCCG, Chennai indicated chennai’s growing cycling community’s strength in numbers and interest in participating such rides. Many of them were not familiar with the route, GPS malfunction and slow riders added to the fun. Strangers became friends. Riders at the front were waiting at each turn to facilitate the newbie’s follow them.
The slow ride gave opportunity to talk to new people on the go and discuss various topics and gossips. Some were even making fun of our theme” No roads November” as all the trails are laid with Tar.
Everyone was happy doing what they loved to do- cycling.

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