With the help of the Strava Labs, a nifty website that compiles user data into heat maps, we have some useful data showing the growth of cycling in India.
You can play with the Strava Labs website here.
Yes, maps based on Strava data are limited to a specific cycling demographic — you have to have a relatively expensive phone to be included. And, of course, you need to be the kind of cyclist who religiously tracks their rides on an app. So that means the doodhwalas, dabbawalas and the many people out their cycling for work on sturdy ghoda cycles, or out on a leisurely ride around the neighborhood are not included.
Nevertheless, the data is still hugely important. Nearly all the city’s new cyclists use Strava, and use it obsessively. Group rides sometimes begin with a (tongue-in-cheek) “strava on!” So this data gives a nice sense of which roads are well-cycled, what neighborhoods have the most recreational cyclists and how cycling in the city is growing.
This first image shows the popular citywide cycling routes: the Eastern Express highway, Western Express Highway, JVLR, Worli seaface and Marine Drive. It also highlights popular scenic routes like Madh Island and Gorai, up to Uttan (off the map), as well as a nice thick band goung out to Vashi. It also gives a sense of cycling density by neighborhood, with Bandra and Powai being the winners.
Here is a zoom in that looks at Bandra. It shows a nice increase in cycling in the smaller roads, which suggests people are making use of the quiet, leafy residential lanes this neighborhood offers. This map also shows increasing cycling on Carter road, as well as a little blip of cycling density just off Carter road (likely on account of Faisal Thakur’s Pro9 Bicycle Studio).
The increase in cycling on BKC’s main roads is because more people are cycling to offices in the area…or we shall hope! I wonder how much people like Mirza Saaib Beg have impacted this one.
The Powai map shows some of the greatest increase in cycling. This is likely due to newly invigorated groups like Powai Pedals.
Some nice increase in ridership in South Mumbai as well. I don’t think any one group gets credit for this. This is most likely an effect of increasingly cycling popularity among people all over the city — many of whome make South Mumbai a destination. And again, the increase in cycling in and around Fort might be due to more people using cycling as a means of transportation.