About a book + (tangential) cycling.

So, somehow I ended up buying an amazing book on bicycle riding called ‘Just Ride‘, and I’m glad on this not-very-binge-shopping of mine.
Just Ride book imageI call it amazing because it pronounced a significant number of latent thoughts of mine about the way I see cycling evolving (or ‘cyclists behaving’ if you will) around me. I think the author, Grant Peterson witnessed a similar trend about a decade or more ago in the US and decided to collate much of his gathered wisdom into this tiny book. The author highlights the existence of the predominant category of cyclists, who he refers to as unracers. I also see a vast majority of them: with the increasing income and knowledge, the upper-middle-class in India is buying bikes which are generally in the range of 15-30K — a price range that would have made them and their folks jump out of their chairs when they were young. Undoubtedly, it is a welcome trend and should be encouraged by all means.

Continue reading “About a book + (tangential) cycling.”

Cycling to work

It’s been almost a month-full of commuting on bicycle to office and therefore I think I have gained eligibility to comment on the experience. Since the distance is considerable (~21 Kms one-way), and landscape rollercoaster-ish, an amateur cyclist like me has to limit the frequency to twice (or at most thrice) a week.

Nevertheless, the experience has been exhilarating! And over-time, like many cyclists would, I have got used-to the glances of sympathy, ridicule, amusement, encouragement, surprise, and most of all the look of a-question-coming-up, from people of various shapes, sizes and ages.

Pune, the place where I live, was known to be a cycle-friendly city. Was. Things are different now, with cyclists having to jostle their way just like everybody else. It’s a bit more challenging for cyclists given the fact that unless they’re the really loud kinds, it’s easy to ignore their presence, and forget their relevance.

Following is a crude list of my observations so far. Based on which Indian city you reside in, your mileage may vary.

  • It’s not as scary as it might appear till you finally decide and hit the road!
  • People are generally considerate, given that you’re disciplined. Owning a cycle does not mean you can flout the traffic rules.
  • Be wary of taxis (yellow number plates in general), they’re the scariest lot with no regard for all other vehicles. Unfortunately, cycles form a part of all other.
  • Kids will love you
  • In general, expect to get a few ‘thumbs-ups’ per month (predominantly from Bullet-riders — not sure why)
  • As mentioned before, be prepared to answer FAQs like: “how much is it (the bike) for”, “do you ride every day”, or for the price of a specific accessory like, “did you get the headlight along with the bike”, and suchlike

As for me, I feel more upbeat in spite of sweat and stress once I reach the office. I realized that even though I may be physically stressed, but I am more mentally active. The converse is true when I drive to work. Physical stress is much easier to deal with. And with the released endorphins, it peps you up!