One of the most cycle-friendly cities in India, Chennai is home to some of the most incredible and picturesque routes for cyclists and adventure enthusiasts. Cycling is a great option to explore the city and its surroundings in a different and healthier way. Chennai is a vast city and you want to explore some of the best cycling paths, so here are some places and trails that you can pedal to in and around Chennai:
This route is for the casual cyclist who’d love to explore the popular Marina Beach on two wheels. The cycling track has been developed only very recently in a bid to encourage this activity. The Marina Beach Cycling Track is about 7.5 kilometers long, starting from the lighthouse at Kamarajar Salai. From here, the track winds around different neighborhoods and ends right where it starts.
This would be a safe place for amateur cyclists and children to pedal by Marina Beach. Also, keep in mind that Marina Beach will be open to the public only by mid-December.
Also Read: 6 Of The Best Offbeat Beaches in India
To have a fun-filled cycling experience, you either have to go to a city’s outskirts or explore the city before traffic starts piling up. If you’re a beginner cyclist, the route from Koyambedu to Anna Nagar Tower Park is a good place to start.
This 5-kilometer stretch isn’t a challenge at all, but you can get some practice pedaling uphill and riding downhill at the flyover. Also, Anna Nagar Tower Park has a dedicated cycling track, so you can pedal away in peace.
Granted, Elliot’s Promenade isn’t as big as the one by Marina Beach. But this promenade also offers some of the best roads for bicycling in Chennai. In addition to that, there are a lot of eateries available at Besant Nagar Beach (affectionately known as Bessie).
The roads around the promenade are ideal for speed cycling and are lined with trees. For the best cycling experience when you’re here, set out from the Annai Velankanni Shrine at one end of the promenade to the Masjid Allah at the other end.
Alternatively, you can cycle to the neighborhood of Adyar close by via the Thiru Vi Ka Bridge and enjoy pedaling beneath the cool shade of trees.
If you’re bicycling around Chennai and also want to enjoy nature, then this 15-kilometer stretch is recommended for you.
The Pallikaranai Marshland has the unfortunate distinction of being the only surviving wetland ecosystem in Chennai. However, it still remains a beautiful place with waterfowl swimming and flying about. Sit down to catch a breath or explore the marsh, which has been revamped recently with a new 2-km walkway and even more trees lined along its sides. Make sure that you set out early to enjoy this place best.
With a route stretching for about 17 kilometers on one side, this one's for the more experienced cyclists. The Padi Flyover may have a bit of traffic, but the route to Puzhal Lake is rather empty since it's less explored. But it’s likely to gain popularity among cyclists as there are plans to develop a proper cycling trail from Padi Flyover to Puzhal Lake.
If pedaling all the way to Puzhal Lake leaves you tired (the highway has quite a few uphill and downhill stretches), you can cool your legs in the water and relax by its side. Or if you’re up for it, you can go further towards Sholavaram Lake.
Also Read: 6 Best Road Trips From Chennai
If you’re a seasoned cyclist in search of adventure in Chennai, you should be taking on this trail.
The route from Porur Junction to Chembarambakkam Lake is about 14 kilometers. You’ll find yourself powering through the narrow roads that go uphill. Along the way on the outskirts of Chennai, you’ll pass through many villages and get to see rural life too.
Once you reach Chembarambakkam Lake, the largest in Chennai, you can pedal on the path that runs along the lake. It’s sure to reward you with a great view and, of course, the satisfaction of pedaling through a difficult bicycling trail.
No, we’re not talking about the popular Juhu Beach in Mumbai. There’s one Juhu Beach in Chennai as well, about 28 kilometers from the heart of the capital.
Cycling to Juhu Beach won’t be very difficult as you’ll be on the smooth and flat East Coast Road. Once you reach Juhu Beach, you won’t even have to worry too much about social distancing because it’s away from the tourist radar. Try to reach here early in the morning to witness a glorious sunrise and experience the pleasant sound of waves.
This is no feat for the amateur cyclist. But if you’re seasoned or would like to brush up on your endurance cycling skills, this is a trip that must be on your list. You’re also likely to meet other cyclists going this route as well.
This route is 58 kilometers, but you’ll be going on the smooth East Coast Road (ECR). Thanks to the scenic route and the uniform grade, you won’t be too stressed out. Given the distance, however, make sure that you carry your bicycle repair kit along with your consumables.
While we know that the journey matters more than the destination while cycling, the architectural marvels in Mahabalipuram are a must-see.
Also Read: The Mahabalipuram Travel Guide
The 150-kilometer distance from Chennai to Pondicherry may seem daunting. However, cycling enthusiasts say that this isn't a difficult route and is quite popular too.
Going via the East Coast Road, you should start off early to cover the maximum distance before the blazing heat of Tamil Nadu saps you of your energy. So long as you pace yourself, you should be able to reach the picturesque Pondicherry without trouble.
But of course, you don’t want to go unprepared. Carry your repair kit and enough consumables. Also, stretches of roads between Pondicherry and Chennai may be empty, so it’s best to travel in a group. Getting back to Chennai the same day is impractical, so book a room in Pondicherry beforehand too.
Also Read: The Pondicherry Travel Guide
Can I Ride 100 Miles On A Bike?
100 miles is around 160.934 kilometers, and this is achievable on cycle but only by cyclists who have been consistently keeping fit. Of course, you can always try completing this distance in one go, but without the training, it would have a negative effect on you physically.
How Far Is A 30 Min Bike Ride?
This depends entirely on your pace. If you cycle at a pace of around 19 kilometers per hour, relatively moderate, you should travel around 9 kilometers at the end of 30 minutes.
What Is Chennai Best Known For?
Chennai is famous as one of the biggest economic, educational, and cultural hubs in the southern part of India. Chennai is best known for its unique culture, temples, and tropical climate with a rich historical blend and modern metropolis vibes.
What Is The Main Food In Chennai?
While rice is the staple here, street food consists of many delicacies like idlis, dosas, vadas, atho, puttu, and sundal. All of these are available on almost every street cart and are absolutely delicious.
Which Hill Stations Are Near Chennai?
Some hill stations that are located near Chennai are Horsley Hills, Yercaud, Yelagiri, and Meghamalai.
What Are Some Good Places To Visit Within 100 Km From Chennai?
Ubbalamadugu, Pulicat Lake, V.G.P. Golden Beach, Arignar Anna Zoological Park, Kailasakona Waterfalls, Thiruttani, Covelong Beach, Thiruvallur, and Tada Falls, are some good places to visit within 100 km from Chennai.
What Are Some Refreshing Weekend Activities To Do In Chennai?
You can take a tour to explore the Thalankuppam Pier or stroll around the beaches while enjoying nature photography. You can also visit the exciting and fun amusement parks, take heritage tours to the beautiful temples nearby, enjoy water sports in Muttukadu, or go out for a romantic dinner with your boo. There are numerous refreshing weekend activities to do in Chennai.
What Is The Best Time To Visit Chennai?
Try visiting Chennai between October to February as the climate is temperate and favorable for sightseeing. That's the time when the monsoons are just coming to an end and the winter season is slowly setting in.