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Cycling in Chennai - 12 Routes that Every Cyclist Should Explore

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The beauty of cycling is that you are never too old for it. Regardless of whether you held your first bicycle as a child, or have no experience of cycling at all, you can be sure that cycling will bring you a lot of fun. This fun is multiplied many folds when you have beautifully lined cycling tracks that offer you scenic visual delights as you push the pedals. Cycling in Chennai is one such experience.

Since the last few years, cycling has become very popular in Chennai. With beautiful natural vistas and well-maintained roads, the joy of riding a bicycle in Chennai at night or daytime is equally high. The increasing popularity of cycling in Chennai is evident by a large number of cycling clubs in Chennai that organizes cycling trips regularly. The increasing number of participants in these trips is proof of the fact that cycling is indeed a very enjoyable activity.

12 Routes for Cycling in Chennai - A Call for Every Cyclist

Let us have a look at some of the very beautiful and very popular cycling trails in and around Chennai that are sure to make you want to go cycling in Chennai.

We have assorted these routes for cyclists at all levels of experience. While some of these routes are very easy and can be attempted by novices and beginners, some others require a certain practice.

Route 1: OMR- ECR Coastline

The stretch of the city between OMR and ECR is the among the most preferred route for night cycling in Chennai. This is because the whole route is well-lit at night by streetlights and is regularly patrolled by police, making it a very safe stretch. This route will take you across the Buckingham canal.

If you want to prolong this cycling trip, you also have the option of taking one of the side streets on the ECR and include the beach in this route.

  • Difficulty level: Easy to moderate
  • Total distance: 29 km
  • Total time required: About 2h 15 min.
Cycling in Chennai
Cycling in Chennai (Source)

Route 2: Anna University to Marina Beach and Back

This route for cycling in Chennai is very popular because it crosses Marina Beach, one of the most happening tourist places in Chennai.

In order to view the glorious sunrise at the beach, and to avoid traffic on the route, it is advisable that you start early in the morning. This route goes across Napier’s bridge, which is a popular landmark of the city. This cycling route in Chennai is also a popular for cycling at night, owing to regular police patrolling and streetlights.

  • Difficulty level: Easy to moderate
  • Total distance: 22.5 km
  • Total time required: 1h 45 min

Route 3: Chennai to Pondicherry via East Coast Road

This option for cycling in Chennai counts among the most pleasant cycling routes in the region. Despite the big distance, this trip is enjoyed by cyclists because of the well-maintained and clearly marked roads.

The bonus is that this route has come of the most beatific scenic delights. In order to enjoy the ride at your own pace, it is recommended that you take an overnight break.

  • Difficulty level: Easy
  • Total distance: around 150 km
  • Total time required: 2 days with an overnight break

Route 4: Koyambedu to Anna tower Park and Back

This route is the ideal option for cycling in Chennai for people who are looking for a short and fun route. The plus point of taking this route is that most of it lies in the residential region, hence traffic will not be a problem.

Anna Tower park is a busy point in the morning and you will find many people doing their morning exercises here.

  • Difficulty level: Easy
  • Total distance: 10 km
  • Total time required: 45 min. to 1 hour

Route 5: Madhya Kailash to Pallikarnai and Back

Pallikarnai is Chennai very own haven for migratory birds, who flock here in winter months. This beautiful cycling route in Chennai takes you from Madhya Kailash to the marshes of Pallikarnai, where you can admire the beauty of nature while sitting on a road side gazebo.

If you come here between November and February, you will also find hundreds of migratory birds here.

  • Difficulty level: Easy
  • Total distance: 21 km
  • Total time required: 1h 30 min.
Cycling in Chennai routes
Admire nature along with Cycling

Route 6: Madhya Kailash to Besant Nagar and Back

Because of its proximity to the beach, Madhya Kailash is the origin of many cycling trails in Chennai. Another fantastic short route for cycling in Chennai is from Madhya Kailash to Besant Nagar.

This route is extremely famous for its scenic surroundings. If you start early in the morning, you will be able to witness a magnificent sunrise.

  • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Total distance: 10 km
  • Total time required: 1h 15 min.

Route 7: Velachery MRTS to Ottiambakkam Quarry and Back

This cycling route in Chennai takes you to an abandoned stone quarry that has transformed into a lake after years of water accumulation. The cycling trail from Velachery MRTS to Ottiambakkam Quarry is well-known for its beatific views of the adjoining villages.

Once you arrive at the quarry, you may choose to hike to the top and witness a panoramic view of the city that extends much farther away from the lake.

  • Difficulty level: Moderate
  • Total distance: 30 km
  • Total time required: 2h 30 min
Cycling in Chennai Quarry
Enjoy the panoramic view of the quarry

Route 8: Padi Flyover to Puzhal Lake and Back

The cycling route from Padi flyover to Puzhal lake is best covered early in the morning. This route comprises of slopes and uphill terrain and is slightly challenging. However, the reward that you get at the end of the trail in the form of the lake is worth these efforts.

The lake gets semi-dry during summers and you can actually walk across it. In the rainy season, however, the lake is full and you will find many fishermen here.

  • Difficulty level: moderate to challenging
  • Total distance: 35 km
  • Total time required: 3h

Route 9: Padi Flyover to Sholavaram Lake and Back

Yet another option of cycling in Chennai that starts from the Padi flyover is the route that leads to Sholavaram Lake. This lake lies further ahead of Puzhal lake on an off-beat road and is not frequently visited by locals. However, the route is perfect for anyone who wants to try a longer cycling session.

A very interesting view that cyclists get at the lake in summer months, when the water gets dried but green grass grows in its place, the lake has a lush green appearance.

  • Difficulty level: Moderate to challenging
  • Total distance: 48 km
  • Total time required: 3h 30 min

Route 10: Porur Junction to Chembarambakkam Lake and Back

This cycling route in Chennai is another very famous trail for adventure enthusiasts. Starting at Porur Junction, this route takes you to Chembarambakkam Lake that counts among the largest lakes in Chennai.

With uphill terrain and steep slopes, this trail is ideal for those cyclists who are looking for some challenge.

  • Difficulty level: Moderate to challenging
  • Total distance: 32 km
  • Total time required: 3 h

Route 11: Chennai to Mahabalipuram

This option for cycling in Chennai is ideal if you wish to spend a night at Mahabalipuram. It is possible to cover the distance both ways and return to Chennai on the same day, but it will be a tiring experience in this case. Mahabalipuram is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and famous for its local temples and their architecture.

It is better to make this trip between November and March because the weather is more favourable in these months.

  • Difficulty level: Moderate to difficult
  • Total distance: 58 km one way
  • Total time required: 5h one way
Chennai to Mahabalipuram cycling
Chennai to Mahabalipuram

Route 12: Chennai to Kanchipuram

Kanchipuram needs no introduction. It is a prominent center for the manufacture of silk sarees in India. It is also famous for the Kaliasanathar temple and Vedanthangla bird sanctuary. For those of you who are yearning for some real adventure while cycling in Chennai, this route promises to be a memorable one.

The route has good roads and is well-marked.It is recommended that you stay overnight in Kanchipuram before returning back to Chennai.

  • Difficulty level: Moderate to challenging
  • Total distance: 75 km one way
  • Total time required: 7h one way

Check out Every Ride Counts: Tips for Advanced Cycling

The presence of such beautiful and well-maintained cycling routes has led to the immense popularity of cycling in Chennai. Whether it is the stunning Marina beach at the night or the breath-taking sea-view route to Pondicherry, there is no dearth of cycling options in Chennai. It is no surprise then, that various cycling groups are making their presence felt in the city.

The WCCG in Chennai is one such active group that regularly organizes cycling trips for all its members. They have a perfect assortment of short and long trips and cater to all levels of difficulty. Bob cycling group in Chennai is yet another such group that promotes cycling and arranges short and long cycling trips for its members.

Know about: How to Get Started With Your Own Neighbourhood Cycling Club

Some other prominent Tamil Nadu cycling clubs are active in Chennai, and they organize intercity cycling trips that span across days.

Given the varied landscape in this part of India, comprising of flatlands, coastal regions, hilly terrain and rocky surface, cycling in Chennai surely deserves to be promoted.

Looking for motivation?

Check out the 9 Reasons to Take Up Cycling This Year

When are you planning a cycling trip in Chennai?

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