My experiences from first 50kms of Cycling
Its been three weeks that I got a cycle for myself. Unfortunately I couldn't cycle much the first two weeks. I live beyond electronics city on Hosur road. I have done couple of trips to Koramanagala to meet my friends. Its about 15 kms one way from Koramangala to my home. Other than that I cycle to office on Fridays which is about 4.5km one way. Those were the only chances I got in last two/three weeks. I have done close to 50kms.
With the above experience of cycling in Bangalore, Here I am sharing my experiences this blog post. I am also trying to address some of the questions raised by my friends. I hope it helps.
I got my bicycle from track n trails store at Koramangala. So my first ride was to ride from the store to home for about 15kms. I started to ride with the helmet and I was wearing formals. The ride was pretty smooth until I got to know that I am center of attraction for other motorists on the road.There were at least two BMTC buses which came close to me near silk board flyover. But then both the bus drivers and others had a smile on their face and in fact the BMTC guy almost stopped his bus to allow me to climb the flyover. The point I wanted to make is people love cyclists more than others. May be the helmet made a difference.
I reached home in an hours time. My parents were surprised to the fact that I was serious about the cycle. The next Friday I rode to office. My neighbors and their kids were very curious about my cycling. They are probably going to link it to recession and what IT companies are doing to their employees :) Of course you are a hero amongst neighboring kids with superbike that has 24 gears and disk breaks. All in all until now, its been great.
Everybody I meet, question about the safety of cyclists. The safety factor is over hyped. To everybody my answer is "it is safe as long as you don't compete and you are defensive". If you check the newspaper of last six months in Bangalore, you would see more motor-cyclists getting killed on road than bicyclists. I have cycled on Hosur Road, I use the left most footpath and compete with pedestrians. I have always felt safe. So don't worry cycling pretty secure. But always be defensive
- Wear helmet. It helps in case you fall down and also the fact that it attracts other motorists works for you.
- Use LED lights or reflectors if you plan to ride in night.
- Plan ahead, Leave early, Be calm and don't hurry.
- Don't compete with other motorists. Specially while crossing the road. Its safe to cross with pedestrians.
- Ride on footpath if it is available but respect pedestrians.
I was in Chennai last two weeks. I saw many more cycles inside the city than Bangalore. I saw ladies saris riding cycles with school going kids at back. If they can ride in Chennai, there is no questions about weather of Bangalore.
Again here, your planning comes into picture. Plan well to ride early in the morning or around 3-4pm in the evening. Beat the normal traffic. You will be clean.
Aim is TFN09
Even though I am using it everyday, My reason behind buying the bicycle is to do long rides. I am roaring to go but havent got a chance yet. My aim this year is to complete Tour Of Nilgiris . That is the promise I made myself last year, when I was a volunteer at TFN. I am sure those 919kms in 9days will test everything in me. Next six months for me will go in preparations for TFN09. Wish me good luck.
great going buddy :)
but ya the difference to Chennai and Bangalore is that the roads are flat and not hilly with lotz of ups and downs….
All the best dude. May ur TFN dream come true
cool … all the best
wish you all the best !!!
Wish u all the best !
Congrats, and good luck!
Do you have shower in your office?
Good going thej… Have fun and all the best for your TFN Aspirations…
And yes, as one other commenter mentioned, one big difference between cycling in chennai as opposed to bangalore is the terrain… Chennai is much flatter for most of the way as oppossed to bangalore…
Great going Thej, and hope you make TFN 09. You could make the 4.5KM commute a daily affair. I have been on the road since Feb and now commuting regularly though I am not so keen on long rides. I want to move around in the cycle as much as possible.
+1 on safety aspect, right on. Though I have gotten rid of the helmet for normal easy rides to be with the cycling crowd and also to reduce I need to carry while biking.
I am not so sure if terrain has anything to do with not seeing more cyclists in Bangalore. Especially with the geared cycles it shouldn’t be a problem at all.
Good one Bud ……. Which one did you get Trek 4300 ??
@Rahul Viswanath : Cannondale F8
@Jayadeep Purushothaman : Agree. Terrain is not a problem.
@Andy and @TheCruisemaniac : Ups and Downs doesnt matter when you have geared bike.
Good going Thej! Make it a regular affair!
Really fantastic… Superb…Thej! keep going…..
Lovely stuff :) Congratulations on taking up such an eco-friendly initiative.. and wish you loads of luck for TFN :) would love to read more cycle-chronicles from you :)
@Ram Medury : I am trying to do that.
@Radha : Thanks. Sure. I will post.
Glad to hear that old kids like me still cycle around. I have got the looks and the glares when I go to the whiskey shop to fetch a bottle for my old man on my humble Hero-Nitrogen. The BEST(public transport in Mumbai) drivers try to bully me while dudes on bikes smirk at my puerile way of travelling but what the hell it’s me who isn’t burning the earth up.
Anyway I am happy to hear that folks in Bangalore are cyclists friendly. Was just curious to know which cycle did you purchase and for how much? Thanks a lot.
hey thej, way to go! the cycle looks good too! and it’s nice to see you riding to office. hosur road is scary but then i feel that about every road :-p
i cycled to office and back last week to start off. it’s around 6-7k from home. i left office around 515 pm – the traffic was bad. i felt EVERYONE was honking at me. of course, its a perception but i realised that people HONK so much on the road, it’s extremely nerve wracking, irritating and i was glad i didn’t have a gun.
and i’ve done a few long rides early morning. i’ve had some negative experiences – buses braking right behind me, one bus at break neck speed coming so close to me, i nearly fell off the cycle, guys making comments (give us a lift) and stares. but am determined to keep it up. let’s see how it goes!
tfn… yeah. starting thinking maybe that’s possible :-p
@Rushikesh : Sure they do. I think we should just get used to it.
@anita : Recently I had a similar incident. People were teasing me when I was trying to climb. But then I gave them a *losers* smile. I know its more difficult for ladies.
The other problem I face is the cabs and 2wheelers riding on the wrong side. I have to fight with even though they are wrong and I am correct.
hi all the best……..