(I realise I have not been clever with photos, next time I will attempt to crop pic before inserting, and get someone to take one of me so you know I was there.)
The Route picture (top) is a bit misleading because in fact most of the time the lanes are narrow and the buildings high either side. Old havelis, once smart Mughal merchant houses with narrow fronts opening up with courtyards behind, are not so smart any more and home to lots of people and their small businesses - shoe repairs, sewing, etc. Everyone is really busy - pushing hand carts piled high with goodness knows what - one I peddled round was being pulled/pushed by about four men and had a 10ft stack of bolts of 'work wear', the stitching had burst on one of the bolts so I could see inside. It was impossible to stop and take photographs as we would have caused a monumental traffic jam - another one! And we looked touristy enough on our orange bikes.
We went through the meat market - lots of men rushing about with what looked like most of a cow on their backs but it can't have been, must have been a buffalo - and the flower market and the incredible spice market. Khari Baoli. Climbing up the dark stone stairs to look down (see above) we walked over a thin carpet of crunchy seeds and the smell of marsalas and chilli had us all gagging for air when we reached the top! There are walls either side except for the last narrow flight where the there was no rail on the inside, just a long drop. "Watch out," Thomas said, "it's along way down there. There used to be a handrail but it was a bit shaky and people leant on it and it was more scary - I think it's better this way." I think he's right. 'Health & safety' must numb the senses - there is absolutely none here. I'm sure wits are sharper here. On the way back down we saw the handrail lying on the floor - a wormy, splintered thing with a few severed spindles - someone must have leant too hard.
We stopped for a chai break, and then sped down Chandni Chowk, the main drag and the heart of Old Delhi, to the Red Fort (see pic, Thomas in orange). Then back into the narrow lanes to Karims (famous in Delhi, this branch would be hard to find without help) for a wonderful breakfast of rosti, dhal and slow-cooked goat.
We returned at 10am to where we started where the old fortress wall stands beside the Dallas-style mirrored Delhi Stock Exchange building. By now the place was heaving, more heaving, with traffic and people and livestock. A smartly-dressed traffic policeman waved his arm and blew a whistle but his efforts were futile. I felt so pleased to have done the tour, and quite relieved to hand the bike back all in one piece.
If in Delhi, I really recommend Delhi Bycycle - mine was called the Shah Jahan Tour and there are others.