If you’re looking to get away from the urban obstacle course that is Mumbai, a new YouTube show can point you in the right direction.
It’s called The Trail Next Door and sees teams of two to four mountain bikers search for unexplored trails around metro cities. While they have so far explored Mumbai’s outskirts, they’ve recently found sponsors too, so future episodes will be shot in locations such as Goa.
The two episodes so far have bumped around a rocky outcrop near the Mumbai-Pune Expressway and on a hill half an hour from Lonavala.
“These are unexplored, overgrown areas where the going is rough and there are no obvious paths to take,” says Varun Das, 28, the founder of an adventure sports firm and a musician from Andheri who directs and appears on the show. “We find them by riding our bikes to the outskirts of the city to wherever the landscape is interesting. The point of each episode is to show how much natural and unexplored beauty there is right outside our cities, and to encourage average people to go exploring.”
As each episode points out, though, you will need the right bike and safety gear, and you must avoid stunts.
“I saw the second episode and I’m planning to go there with friends on Sunday,” says Aditi Tara Verma, 22, an architecture student from Kalyan. “I had no idea this trail was possible, though I’ve been in that area several times. I’m planning on buying some elbow and knee pads before I start exploring,though.”
If you’d rather live vicariously, the next episode explores a scenic hilltop trail near Kamshet, and will go live in the first week of April.
WHAT: The Trail Next Door, a series of videos exploring rough and scenic cycling trails around major cities
WHERE: On YouTube