My passion for cycling and to serve society...

Friday, November 23, 2012

Cycling journey from Bangalore to Mumbai - Clean & Green Environment


My apology to all my well wishers for unpardonable delay in posting this activity. It is almost eleven months since I did my cycling journey from Bangalore to Mumbai (In December 2011) with rotary mission of sharing with people across my journey facts about environmental issues and simple steps that we can take to create clean & green environment.

Although my sweet grand-daughter who came to this world last year kept me busy with her daily chores which I have been attending, that cannot be an excuse for the delay. It is my lethargy that need to be blamed for the delay.


Pollution is a word that we are all aware of these days.  The environment, i.e. our surroundings, the place where we live, is being made unclean by our own activities. The pollutants we produce not only affect our own lives but also those of other living things, the plants and animals that we share our environment with. All living things depend upon the non-living parts of the environment to survive - the land, the air and the water, and it is these 3 parts which are affected by pollution...

Keeping this in mind and with a mission to create clean & green environment, on behalf of Rotary International District 3190 & Rotary Bangalore Whitefield Central, I undertook bicycle journey from Bangalore to Mumbai. I commenced my journey from Bangalore Whitefield area on the morning of 7th Dec 2011 and via Sira, Chitradurga, Haveri, Dharwad, Belgaum, Kolhapur, Satara and Pune reached Mumbai on 16th Dec 2011. 

10- day pedalling on a stretch of around 1070 kms gave me good opportunity to engage with people on sharing environment concern with respect to air, water, noise pollution and what simple steps each one of us could take towards creating clean & green environment.

Some of the facts that I shared with people across my journey and with family members of Rotary clubs is given below:

Water - In earth 70% is water & 30% is land.

Of the water - 97% salt water, 2% Ice & 1% fresh water. Hence, conservation of fresh water is very critical.

Facts- Water borne diseases are preventable

      At any time, 20% of the world lacks access to safe water, that’s 1 Billion people!

     Half of the world’s hospital beds are occupied by patients suffering from water-borne diseases
     Contaminated water accounts for 80% of all diseases and claims the lives of 5 million children a year

    Contaminated water is responsible for diseases such as cholera, typhoid, malaria, hepatitis,  diarrhea, and intestinal worms

Air - Global  atmospheric concentration of CO2 is 392 ppm
Air pollution- Natural & manufactured –Soon we may have to carry Oxygen cylinder

Noise Pollution

      Noise is sound that is undesirable for human hearing

      Lot of noise in the environment constitutes what is known as noise pollution.

      Appliances in the home
      Noise emanating from machineries
      Other environmental sources

Effect of Noise on health

      Deterioration of mental health
      Deterioration of the ability to hear things clearly
      Effect on the heart


When we eat or drink things stored in plastic, plastic is incorporated in us
                                          SO ?
Ø It causes immune and enzyme disorders, hormonal disruption leading to disorders and even infertility and is also considered as carcinogenic (cancer)
Ø Not only human health, it dangerously effects other animal life and alters the environmental (air, water and soil) sustainability causing hazardous pollution

Irresponsible act

Careless disposal of plastic bags chokes drains, blocks and causes problems for groundwater recharge. Due to its non-biodegradable nature, littering of plastics causes irreversible damage to the environment
Municipalities routinely receive reports of death of cows and other animals from ingesting plastic bags.
Plastic bags take 1000 years to degrade.

Paper , Cloth, Jute, Cane, etc.,  are the most preferable
Fight against  plastic

    Say NO to plastic check-out bags whilst shopping and buy reusable bags or bring your own bag for your shopping instead
     Use of Glass / Ceramic instead of plastic in Microwave
     Replace plastic travel mugs with stainless  steel for hot beverages


It's impossible to eliminate pollution entirely from daily life, but it's prudent for our health and that of our environment to curb as much as possible.

Overall reduction in plastic usage, energy conservation, tree planting would bring a great difference in present situation.
Nature does not produce garbage……
only humans do !!
Nature provides a free lunch
But  Only  if  we control  our  APPETITES

Say No to  Plastics

Journey begins........

Deepak Sibal joined me on his bicycle from Bangalore till Dharwad and after Dharwad I continued my journey alone.

Day - One (7.12.11) – Bangalore to Sira

We were flagged off by family members of Rotary Whitefield Central opp Forum Value Mall, Whitefield, Bangalore sharp at 7 a.m. on 7th Dec 2011.

After having our sumptuous breakfast at Agarwal Bhavan  on the outskirt of Bangalore (before Nelamangala) we continued pedalling and reached Sira around 6 pm. Two years back when I had ventured on 1800 kms cycling, I had taken night halt in Sira at Venkateshwar Lodge located near Jama Masjid not very far from Kamat Restaurant adjacent to National Highway. But this time I missed out Kamat Restaurant and after pedalling 7 kms ahead of Sira realised that we have already come far away from Kamat restaurant. It was by then already 6.30 pm and was becoming dark. Next nearest night halt point was Hiriyur which was around 30 kms  away from the point we realised missing out Kamat restaurant. That means we would reach Hiriyur only around 9.30 pm. As I would never advocate pedalling in night both I & Deepak decided to pedal back 7 kms and stay in Sira which was supposed to be our planned night halt place. Around 7.15 pm we reached back Sira town and stayed in Comfort Lodge which was really comfortable for our stay.

On day one we pedalled around 160 kms.

Engagement on environment with people:

Day - Two (8.12.11)- Sira to Chitradurga

We left Sira on 8.12.11 at 6 a.m.  After covering about 40 kms my front tyre got deflated. As Deepak was ahead of me and had his mobile in the bag he could not listen to my mobile call. Later, Deepak after seeing my miscall did contact me on mobile and I told him to wait wherever he was and I would join him. I then changed the tube and using the hand pump I was carrying inflated the tyre. On the whole it took about  20 minutes and I continued my journey. Twice en route our journey my tyre got deflated.

Around 4 pm we reached Chitradurga bypass. At bypass we were received & welcomed with flower bouquet by Rotarians Chandrashekar, President  Ms.Vanishree and the secretary Ms.Alisha. We then moved to Rotary School at Chitradurga city and met some of the Rotary club board members. After a cup of tea and chilly pakoda (famous in Chitradurga) we went to Aishwara Hotel to freshen up. Rotary meeting was to start at 7.30 pm and as we had some time with us we visited famous historical Chitradurga Fort which was about 5 kms away. It takes at least full day to see Chitradurga Fort. Since we had very little time we just made a cursory visit to the Fort and by 7.30 pm returned to Rotary School / hall to attend the Rotary meeting.

At the entrance of the hall, we were welcomed by the members of Rotary family with a Tilak and Aarati. On the dais I shared with Rotary family environment concern, plastic menace and what simple steps we as individual can take towards creating green environment.

After the meeting we had dinner at a hotel with the board members of Rotary club.

On day 2 we pedalled around 85 kms.

Day - Three (9.12.11)- Chitradurga to Haveri

We left Chitradurga on the morning of 9.12.11 at 6 a.m. and after pedalling around  135 kms reached Haveri around 6.30 pm. At Haveri city we were greeted by the members of Rotary club. There was no rotary meeting scheduled at Haveri. In the night we had our dinner at Lingayat  khanavali providing ethnic jawar roti and chatni which was quite tasteful.

On day 3 we pedalled around 135 kms.

Day - Four (10.12.11)- Haveri to Dharwad

We left Haveri on 10.12.11 at 6 a.m. Haveri to Dharwad is around  100 kms. Although stretch from Haveri to Hubli is flat, after Hubli the road till Dharwad is a bit uphill and both Deepak & I could feel the uphill terrain as it was a bit strenuous to pedal . We did not have to pedal to Hubli city to reach Dharwad. From Hubli bypass we straight pedalled & reached Dharwad around 5 p.m.

Engagement on environment with people:

We checked in at Vrundavan hotel in Dharwad. Deepak’s journey would end in Dharwad and he had booked his return journey to Bangalore on the very same night by KSRTC bus at 10.30 p.m. I had to attend Rotary club meeting which was scheduled at 8.00 p.m.

I had my early childhood in Dharwad studying till 4th standard at Presentation Convent School. This was from 1958 to 1962 after which I moved to Mumbai – Bandra as my father who was working in Khadi & Village Industries Commission moved to Mumbai on transfer. I had nostalgia of my childhood at Dharwad & that drove me to some of the places in Dharwad. After having snack & tea at a restaurant, I & Deepak went and bought famous Dharwad Pedha and also Jawar flour which Deepak could carry to Bangalore. After that we had good bicycle journey in and around Dharwad to places like Presentation Convent School where I studied from 1st to 4th standard, Kittur Chennamma Park, Jail road where I had stayed as a child. By 7 p.m we rode back to the hotel as I had to attend Rotary club meeting.

Rotary club meeting hall was about 3 kms away from the hotel. At the meeting I shared with Rotarians environmental concern. After the meeting got over good Samaritan Rotarian Santosh Shetty accompanied me to the hotel. As we had heavy snack in the evening, we were not hungry at all  & hence skipped our dinner. The main KSRTC Bus stand was about 3 kms from our hotel. Around 9.45 p.m. I & Deepak pedalled to bus stand. Deepak after placing his bicycle in bus luggage compartment got into Volvo bus that left for Bangalore sharp at 10.30 p.m.

On day 4 we pedalled around 100 kms.

After Deepak left for Bangalore, I felt a bit lonely as rest of journey to Mumbai I would have to make myself. However, as I am used to make solo ride I quickly got myself adjusted to the situation and returned to the hotel around 10.50 p.m.

Day - Five (11.12.11)- Dharwad to Sankeshwar (Belgaum)

On the morning of 11.12.11 at around 6 a.m. I left for Sankeshwar (Belgaum). As I was leaving Dharwad town, there was a naka bandi and police told me to stop enquiring from which country I was from.  They seems to have mistook me to be a foreigner with my cycling attire; 3/4th short, sports shoes, helmet, back pack, hand gloves. When I spoke to them in staunch Kannada that I am from Bangalore and that I am on my way from Bangalore to Mumbai on bicycle with a mission of creating green environment they bid a good bye to me with best wishes.

At Belgaum close to National Highway there was a good vegetarian khanavali  (restaurant) being managed by husband & wife where I had good lunch. After lunch I continued my pedalling. There were quite a number of good grown up tress on the side of highway and at times I had good rest.  Around 6.45 p.m. I reached Sankeshwar. On my way closure to Sankeshwar a young boy by the name Shantinath Kapse (B.Com) met me on his motor cycle and enquired with me about my cycling expedition. He guided me to reach correctly location below Sankeshwar flyover where Rotarians of Rotary club of Sankeshwar welcomed me with flower bouquet. No rotary meeting was scheduled in Sankeshwar. Next day morning I was to depart to Kolhapur. Rotarian Chandrashekar insisted me that I leave after the breakfast which he wanted to host at his house which was located very close to the Rajdhani hotel where I stayed for the night.

On day 5, I pedalled around 125 kms.

Day - Six (12.12.11)- Sankeshwar (Belgaum) to Kolhapur

On the morning of 12.12.11 at around 6.30 Rtn.Chandrashekar came to the hotel and took me to his house which was located just adjacent to Rajdhani hotel. He introduced me to his family; his wife who is past inner wheel President, daughter and son who are studying. I had sumptuous homemade breakfast.

After profusely thanking Rtn.Chandrashekar & his family for their wonderful hospitality, I left Sankeshwar around 7.30 a.m. Rtn.Chandrashekar joined me in his scooter till I touched the highway which was around 5 kms away from his house. From Sankeshwar to Kolhapur is around 60 kms. The route from Sankeshwar to Kolhapur too was quite good with lots of trees grown sizably on both sides of highways. I enjoyed pedalling on this route. Sankeshwar is last city / helmet of Karnataka state as thereafter one enters Maharashtra state. It was a great feeling entering Maharashtra state. 

I reached Kolhapur around 1 p.m. Both President Rtn.Vinod Kamboj & Secretary Rtn.Ravi Mydeo of Rotary club of Kolhapur Central gave me a warm welcome with a flower bouquet on the highway. 

They had come in their car. I followed their car on my bicycle and we straight went to a hotel where we had our lunch. After finishing lunch Rtn.Vinod guided me to a lodge which was close to Rotary Hall where rotary meeting was scheduled for the evening.

Being in Kolhapur I was eager to visit Mahalaxmi temple and have darshan of Goddess Mahalaxmi. As Rotary meeting was scheduled for the evening at 7.00 I had enough time to visit the temple. On reaching the lodge around 3 p.m. I quickly took bath and slept for an hour. Around 4.30 p.m. l went  on bicycle to Mahalaxmi temple which was just around 3 kms from the lodge where I had stayed. I had beautiful darshan of Goddess Mahalaxmi and returned to the lodge around 6 p.m.

At 7 p.m. I pedalled to Rotary hall which was very close to the lodge. I had wonderful evening with Rotary family and shared with them formally environmental concern and plastic menace and what each one of us can do so that we can see better environment.

After the rotary meeting, few of rotary friends along with President & Secretary went out and had dinner together. Of course I went in their car for dinner and returned to the lodge around 11.30 p.m. I got a sound sleep.

On day 6, I pedalled around 60 kms.

Day - Seven (13.12.11)- Kolhapur to Satara

On 13.12.11, I left Kolhapur around 6 a.m. Kolhapur to Satara is around 125 kms. Satara has ghat section but I found pedalling ok. Rtn.Pramod, President of Rotary club of Satara was in constant touch with me.  He wanted me to reach Satara by 6.00 p.m. as their Rotary family meeting  would start at 7.00 p.m.

Karad falls between Kolhapur & Satara and is around 74 kms from Kolhapur. The President of Satara Rotary club Rtn. G N Jadhav called me and wanted to meet me while I pass thru’ Karad and exchange Rotary flags. I reached Karad around 12 noon and met Rtn.Jadhav and his fellow Rotarians. We had pleasantries and exchanged our club flags. I spent around 45 mts there and then left for Satara.

I reached Satara around 5.30 p.m. Group of Rotarians were waiting on the highway and I was received with a flower bouquet. 

After a cup of tea at Hotel Maratha Palace I went to freshen up at the same hotel. The meeting was organised about  7 kms away from the hotel in a private police / army training institute managed by one of the Rotarians. The institute is located in a sprawling area and well equipped to train the students who after passing out  finds easy to get recruited as police constable / army soldier.

Around 6.30 p.m. I along with few Rotarians reached the venue. Lots of family members of Rotarians had gathered for the evening meet and therefore with men, women, children and students it was a colourful gathering. Rtn.Rajesh Korpe, Asst Governor, Rtn.Ismail, Past Dist Governor were also present. A little girl Shivani (daughter of a Rotarian) who had dressed up in traditional Marathi Nav-vari saari spoke on environment. 

After that I shared my views on environment. 

We had delicious dinner which had deep touch of Maharashtrian taste.

Around 10.45 p.m. I returned to the hotel and retired for sleep around 11.00 p.m.

On day 7, I pedalled around 125 kms.

Day - Eight (14.12.11)- Satara to Pune

I left Satara for Pune around 6.00 a.m. Distance from Satara to Pune is around 130 kms. Before I reached Pune a local lad guided me to take a diversion at Octroi naka which will lead to Pune city. The President of Rotary club of Pune-Pimpri Rtn.Pramod Kulkarni had advised me to come to Hotel Kundan Palace located on Pune Mumbai highway via Swar gate, Shivaji Nagar, Sanketi hospital which was around 30 kms from Octroi naka. This entire stretch was full of traffic and it was horrible experience of riding bicycle with exhaust pipes of vehicles fuming polluted air continuously. I had no choice. I reached Hotel Kundan Palace around 6.00 p.m.

Engagement on environment with people:

Around 7.00 p.m. few Rotarians came to hotel to pick me up to go to meeting venue which was around 5 kms away from the hotel where I stayed. 

Rtn.Mandar Gadre who is also a cyclist had come to meet me. Besides sharing environment concern, I and Rtn. Mandar shared our experience of cycling and its health benefits. 

Rtn.Vincent Joseph, Rtn.Balakrishna Urhe, Rtn.Bhanudas Patil & Rtn.Anil Newale hosted dinner for me. I returned to the hotel around 11.00 p.m.

On day 8, I pedalled around 130 kms.

Day - Ninth (15.12.11)- Pune to Navi Mumbai

I left Pune Chinchwad to Navi Mumbai around 6.00 a.m. Distance from  Pune Chinchwad to Navi Mumbai is around 115 kms. Morning it was quite cool and despite cycling from Pune to Khandala I did not perspire. At Khandala I found thousands of Tibetans walking one behind another in a most disciplined way with some singing chorus which was very soothing. 

Since bicycles are not allowed on Pune-Mumbai Expressway, I took old Pune-Mumbai highway which is also well maintained. 

I enjoyed pedalling from Lonawala-Khandala to Khopoli. The road was very good and it was getting down from ghat section. I pedalled on no.5 gear as I found that to be safer rather riding on top gear as I did not want to risk of possible chain getting stuck.

There were number of Neera joints on the road side offering cool Neera (extract  taken from Toddy trees) at a reasonable price. Just Rs.7/- for a glass of Neera. It was very tasty and value for money.
I reached Navi Mumbai- CBD Belapur around 5 p.m. I rested in the night at my co-brother’s place who stays in CIDCO colony in Belapur.

On day 9, I pedalled around 115 kms.

Day - Tenth (16.12.11)- Navi Mumbai to Mumbai

I left CBD Belapur for Mumbai at around 7.30 a.m. On my way I dropped in at CS Vinchoo’s house at Vashi who is my good old friend. Vashi is just 10 kms from CBD Belapur. My friend Vinchoo was aware of my cycling itinerary and seeing me as per my schedule congratulated me. From there I left & pedalled for Mumbai - Santacruz where my younger brother stays. After pedalling around 25 kms, via Chembur – Amarmal – Ghatkopar I reached Santacruz around 11 am.

In the evening I had Rotary meeting in Andheri at Hotel Suba Galaxy.  I pedalled to attend the meeting. Had interaction with Rotary President Rtn.PN Vikraman & Secretary Rtn.Bernard D'Silva and other rotarians. I addressed them and shared my journey experience and also environmental issues. The members of Rotary club felicitated me for successful completion of my cycling journey and presented to me with a certificate of appreciation. We also exchanged flags of our respective clubs.

On 18.12.11, ex-HUL Khamgaon factory colleagues had invited me for a dinner at Powai and I had wonderful time with them.

After spending some memorable time with my brother’s family for 2 days  and with sweet memories of 10-day bicycle journey where I had useful interaction with Rotarians and their families at various rotary clubs and thousands of people across the journey sharing with them environmental concern, I boarded Volvo bus from Mumbai on 19.12.11 and returned to Bangalore safely on 20.12.11.  

On the whole, the journey was very memorable and gave me ample opportunity to interact and share with the people and also with the members of Rotary clubs and their family members environmental issues and simple steps that we can take to create clean & green environment.