A good bike goes beyond being a medium of commute or a fitness machine. A good bike is something with which you can make great memories and find joy in the little things. Today’s ride with the sidewinder was around the Golconda fort with a couple of friends. Three of us started at sunrise and headed towards Golconda. It was a slow and easy ride and all about having a good time on a nice autumn morning. We rode through the military area, past the historic Taramati Baradari, through the Mecca darwaza and to the Golconda fort main gate. The fort was standing up head high in the glorious cloudy morning. We took a right at the main gate, on the old streets of fort road towards Fateh darwaza. Golconda has a stone wall that runs around it, which used to enclose the Golconda city during the Qutub Shahi rule. A lot of that wall is present today as well and one can easily create a run/ride track around it. The wall has 8 gates in all and Fateh darwaza was one of the three that we were going to cross today. The street leading up to the Fateh darwaza is itself interesting and still has that old world charm. Not much has changed on that street over the years. One can find brightly painted houses lined on either side of the road. These houses are stacked up next to each other without any air gap and only common walls separating them. Looking from the front, it looks like a long single construction with many doors and windows. The front of each house is painted in different color and that’s the only way to know where one house ends and the other begins.
At the Fateh darwaza, we decided to climb it up and get a top view of the place. There’s a great view of the fort from this place – one that the tourists or the people from other side of the city never see. The serpentine road curves through the two massive gateways that form the darwaza. Apparently, Aurangzeb’s triumphant army marched into Golconda through this gate and hence the moniker. There’s a canon placed at the small ground at the base of the darwaza – a ground that’s used by gulley cricketers these days The last pit stop today was atop the fort outer wall on the North West corner of fort. Another great view of the fort where one can see the sun rising up next to the fort on one side if one can make it here early in the morning. On the other side are all the domes of all the Qutub Shahi tombs juxtaposed on the concrete jungle of the modern city. I have been to this place many times in the past and it is always very relaxing to just sit there on the top of the wall and see the day waking up. With good company and bikes, it just makes the morning even better.
With the fixie, one is limited on the speed. You can only go as fast as your legs can comfortably spin. But with the fixie, it is never about the speed and nor about the distance either. It is about slowing down, feeling each and every bump of the road, watching things that you would have otherwise missed on a fast ride or a motorized vehicle. It is about stopping by a Hyderabadi naan mahal on the fort road on bite on some oven fresh Hyderabadi square naan. The fixie won’t win you races or just get you from one place to another – but it will surely give you memories (and great pictures).