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.