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Old 17th October 2011, 09:07   #46
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Default Re: The Travails of a Cyclist in Indian Cities

Great thread.
I cycled to school everyday for nearly 10 years. After school hours, in the evenings, we used to ride pointlessly for miles, simply "exploring" places around town. Had to give up cycling in my 11th, when entrance coaching came in the way. And that was when I started gaining weight. The only "cycling" I get to do now is on my fitness bike.
Sadly cycling to college now isn't a feasible option as it's some 15 kms from home, and the weather doesn't permit such long adventures. When it isn't raining, it's simply too hot. Women might "love to see men sweating", but I doubt if my professors would.

Anyway, popular perception about cycling is fast changing. An increasing number of people who reside on campus - faculty and students - are chucking their cars and taking to cycling. (However rising petrol prices could be playing a part in this).

Maybe we should have no-drive zones in the arterial areas of towns at least in certain hours of the day to promote cycling and walking. Love the way the promenade and some parts of the French quarters in Pondy are kept free of vehicles in the evenings.
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Old 17th October 2011, 09:41   #47
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Default Re: The Travails of a Cyclist in Indian Cities

While I do not cycle to work, I think cycling and cyclists will take a long time to come to terms with local traffic. Cycling in groups is safer, however, cycling alone is a big risk in Gurgaon. I have come across many idiots (from our part of the country) who think its cool to scare the hell out of - we - bikers. The biggest problem I have faced is with people who jump red lights. While this mennace is global, its consequences are far worse for cyclists who are constrained by various factors (including speed). Imagine a cyclist mid-way into an intersection, and he sees a speeding innova racing straight at him. With the lack of horses, his mobility and or brake-ability is severely constrained. Thats why its important to have sound brakes and a good pair of head/tail lights doing duty on cycles. Its worth the effort. Freinds, please buy a recognized (I don't say certified since not 'many' companies do not make cycling helmets in India) cycling helmet.
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Old 17th October 2011, 09:42   #48
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Default Re: The Travails of a Cyclist in Indian Cities

Are portable cycles (like the one mentioned in the link below) available here ?

At 11 kgs weight, I could just fold it up and lug it around over my shoulder as I shop in a mall or elsewhere, without bothering about dedicated parking spaces

Wish they make them lighter than these as well, in future !

Kent Mini 8 Folding Bike
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Old 17th October 2011, 11:18   #49
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Default Re: The Travails of a Cyclist in Indian Cities

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Originally Posted by pulsar56 View Post
Maybe a silly question, but how do you guys manage the wet clothes/towels after reaching work in the morning?
Good question. I carry a plastic bag and a locker is provided in the office. Orelse I used to dump it into my drawer in the cubicle in the older building. I have the emptiest drawers in the whole of the office.

Or you can do what bblost does below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bblost View Post
SOnce I get to my desk, I have a wet towel and a damp t-shirt.
So I put them on the cubical wall behind my work station for drying.
Beyond this wall is a window. So no one is actually disturbed.

Product development offices are the best.

Quote:
Originally Posted by the_joker View Post
it is becoming very dangerous to ride a two wheeler.
I agree. It is dangerous. We need to be defensive and use our timings and routes well.

Quote:
Also, the amount of pollution caused a chronic cold/throat infection in me. So, I now reserve cycling on weekends, that too on early mornings so that I don't face much pollution.
This is something each one should be aware of. If you have a issue with health. Unfortunately we are in a country where the cities are majorly polluted.

But look at it this way. If more get on the cycles the less polluted it will get. But not many get on the cycle because it is polluted. So..

Quote:
Originally Posted by knaveen View Post
I second that. I had a chance to meet a senior management staff from a product company in Sweden. He used to have a BMW 7 series, since the parking space is at a premium and it takes a loooong time to reach to office in a car, he now uses a cycle to work. Turns out to be half the time when compared to car. His wife uses her own cycle to work. Hope we have similar conditions here.
Guess what I could have stuck to the 7 Series. And drove it myself everyday to work

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Originally Posted by Wind splitter View Post
I cycle to work once or twice a week as my office is 25 KM (51KM round trip) and I get 2 common question being asked on a regular basis from my colleagues,
A round of applause for you

Quote:
Originally Posted by scarecrow View Post
@spit fire - even i work in BTP, but i generally ride my motorbike to office (OMBR) to BTP. I have been toying with the idea of a bike for quite sometime, but havent gotten around to it. Hope to join u guys soon. tc
LAZY BURGER!!! That's hardly 7-8 kms max one way? I travel 14 kms one way.Get that cycle quick. Let me know if you need help. I am a stone/shout away in BTP. HE HE..

Quote:
Originally Posted by one-77 View Post
I cycled to school everyday for nearly 10 years. After school hours, in the evenings, we used to ride pointlessly for miles, simply "exploring" places around town.
Oh yes, the pointless cycling around in the heat and humidity. We did that too. And so enjoyed it.

Quote:
Women might "love to see men sweating", but I doubt if my professors would.
You go to a unisex college? So sad. LOL!! We went to a co-ed. HE HE.. And my professors could have preferred not to have me in class at all. Sweating could have been the last of the reasons..


Quote:
Maybe we should have no-drive zones in the arterial areas of towns at least in certain hours of the day to promote cycling and walking. Love the way the promenade and some parts of the French quarters in Pondy are kept free of vehicles in the evenings.
Absolutely. Metro on MG Road can pour out the human bodies and cycles for use within a 4 km marked out area for people to use. Ideal solution for the CBD in Bangalore. Have some electric vehicles for the old and I-hate-to-sweat kinds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samridh View Post
While I do not cycle to work, I think cycling and cyclists will take a long time to come to terms with local traffic.
Oh yes. Ofcourse. We have a long way to go. Only thing that would work is make laws to this effect. That should get some folks moving.

Quote:
The biggest problem I have faced is with people who jump red lights.
I will tell you something that will cheer you up. ITS HAPPENS ALL OVER INDIA, not only in Gurgaon. LOL!! The morons on our roads pray to the same God across the whole country.

Quote:
Thats why its important to have sound brakes and a good pair of head/tail lights doing duty on cycles. Its worth the effort. Freinds, please buy a recognized (I don't say certified since not 'many' companies do not make cycling helmets in India) cycling helmet.
Oh no doubt about that. A cycle with the best mechanicals at any given time is a must.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mooza View Post
Are portable cycles (like the one mentioned in the link below) available here ?
Oh yes they are. Quite a few. But they will have smaller wheels. So you wont go to far on those.

And dont bother about parking spaces, at most locations its quite safe. Yeah you need to be alert to park it in the right places too.
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Old 17th October 2011, 19:30   #50
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Default Re: The Travails of a Cyclist in Indian Cities

Quote:
Originally Posted by mooza View Post
Are portable cycles (like the one mentioned in the link below) available here ?

At 11 kgs weight, I could just fold it up and lug it around over my shoulder as I shop in a mall or elsewhere, without bothering about dedicated parking spaces

Wish they make them lighter than these as well, in future !

Kent Mini 8 Folding Bike
Try this store in Bangalore : The best multi-brand bicycle store in Bangalore
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Old 17th October 2011, 20:39   #51
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Default Re: The Travails of a Cyclist in Indian Cities

Quote:
Originally Posted by mooza View Post
Are portable cycles (like the one mentioned in the link below) available here ?

At 11 kgs weight, I could just fold it up and lug it around over my shoulder as I shop in a mall or elsewhere, without bothering about dedicated parking spaces

Wish they make them lighter than these as well, in future !

Kent Mini 8 Folding Bike
These are only good for malls and office spaces. not reliable for long commutes.

Anybody remembers cycling in school days (even our parents used to cycle to work)? chatting about everything in the world and briefly pausing to let an occasional car pass. We were a little short of breaking into a bollywood number those days. Actually, sometimes we did break into one.
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Old 18th October 2011, 08:56   #52
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Default Re: The Travails of a Cyclist in Indian Cities

I've seen people carrying their cycles in metro trains abroad. Any idea if Bangalore Metro will allow this? This would be very convenient to commute in Bangalore without help of Metro feeder service. They can charge extra for cycles.

But then again, this idea may not work in India.
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Old 18th October 2011, 10:35   #53
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Default Re: The Travails of a Cyclist in Indian Cities

delhi metro allows foldable bicycles

on a side note, a colleague in my office was gushing about the cycling culture among foreigners - saying how she saw a two cyclists pedalling away furiously on a pitch dark 5am morning in Gurgaon. "They must've been foreigners - they had a full kit and all fancy lights and all"

One of them was yours truly

it did encourage a fair bit curiosity in cycling among the colleagues though!
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Old 18th October 2011, 12:49   #54
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Default Re: The Travails of a Cyclist in Indian Cities

Interesting thread and amusing as well. Examples of Norway and Sweden are tempting but let's not forget that these countries have cold climate and one can, if one really wanted to, cycle to work and arrive fresh. India is altogether a different story. Its hot and humid climate along with with dust and pollution do not make cycling a viable option.

Though I don't cycle to work but I love walking and believe me it's one of the most difficult thing to do in Delhi's summers, finally gave up on it. But in winters it is altogether a different proportion, especially after Metro connectivity, where you can get down wherever you want to and start walking. Please keep in mind my daily drive is 50+ Kms. Look forward to doing it from November onwards.

My point is, cycling might appeal to our heart, it is not a practical proposition.

Last edited by anandjha : 18th October 2011 at 12:52.
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Old 18th October 2011, 15:25   #55
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Default Re: The Travails of a Cyclist in Indian Cities

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Originally Posted by anandjha View Post
Interesting thread and amusing as well. Examples of Norway and Sweden are tempting but let's not forget that these countries have cold climate and one can, if one really wanted to, cycle to work and arrive fresh. India is altogether a different story. Its hot and humid climate along with with dust and pollution do not make cycling a viable option.

Though I don't cycle to work but I love walking and believe me it's one of the most difficult thing to do in Delhi's summers, finally gave up on it. But in winters it is altogether a different proportion, especially after Metro connectivity, where you can get down wherever you want to and start walking. Please keep in mind my daily drive is 50+ Kms. Look forward to doing it from November onwards.

My point is, cycling might appeal to our heart, it is not a practical proposition.
Cycling in cold climate has its own share of pitfalls. In Netherlands, it was common to see many people cycle even when the temperatures were sub-zero or when it was snowing (the roads are very slippery) or when it rains.

Have to agree with you that cycling does not yet 'seem' a practical proposition yet in India, for people with other means of transport. As others have pointed out, our traffic sense, pollution and lack of awareness are a few. However, our weather need not be a major deterrent!

Cheers
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Old 18th October 2011, 15:38   #56
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Default Re: The Travails of a Cyclist in Indian Cities

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Good question. I carry a plastic bag and a locker is provided in the office. Orelse I used to dump it into my drawer in the cubicle in the older building. I have the emptiest drawers in the whole of the office..
I put my wet stuff over the cpu. since its under my legs, no one can even see it, and no one has even noticed so far, so I assume I'm not bothering anyone. Gulp!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spitfire View Post
This is something each one should be aware of. If you have a issue with health. Unfortunately we are in a country where the cities are majorly polluted.
My commute is 13 kms each way, and on the way back I have to brave ORR from Agara to Marathahalli. Horrible dust and pollution situation as you can imagine.

I use N95 masks such as
DRAGER X-Ploreģ 1350 N95 Disposable Respirators, Small/Medium, Box of 20, 151771SM | Lab Safety Supply
and
3M
freely available at big medical stores.

Also, I use good fitting glasses:
XUDD 500 EYE PROTECTION

Since I started using these, I've had zero problem with dust and pollution.
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Old 18th October 2011, 16:13   #57
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Default Re: The Travails of a Cyclist in Indian Cities

I liked the 4th point that you listed. Its good that cycles are again in. But to my luck, i cant go on a 2wheeler as the stretch has lot of dust and pollution. Til the time i would reach office, i would again have to take a shower.
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Old 18th October 2011, 17:49   #58
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Default Re: The Travails of a Cyclist in Indian Cities

I commute 30 Kms to work and have to go via K.R.Puram.

A common irritant is motorcyclists who try to elbow you, shout "aayee cykill" in an attempt to gain that extra pole position on a road that is otherwise choked and everyone is still.

About clothes:
I carry a full change of clothes and a towel everyday. Each article of clothing folded away in a separate newspaper so that it doesn't crease.

Once at work, the wet clothing goes in between the newspaper and back into the bag. Newspaper works well to deal with moisture.

Mindless honking and motorists/motocyclists cutting you off is another irritant.

On a lighter note, guffaws and hearty laughs are common when I stop in traffic at night. That's when I am lit up like a christmas tree with all that high-viz lights.

All said, the encouraging thing is I see more cyclicts on the road with every passing day.
Cheers to Spitfire for starting this thread
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Old 19th October 2011, 11:21   #59
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About clothes:
I carry a full change of clothes and a towel everyday. Each article of clothing folded away in a separate newspaper so that it doesn't crease.

Once at work, the wet clothing goes in between the newspaper and back into the bag. Newspaper works well to deal with moisture.


On a lighter note, guffaws and hearty laughs are common when I stop in traffic at night. That's when I am lit up like a christmas tree with all that high-viz lights.

All said, the encouraging thing is I see more cyclicts on the road with every passing day.
This is a good idea, I will try this tomorrow. I carry Full set of formal cloths in my backpack. Fortunately my office has a GYM and showers on the ground floor.

My reflector lights got flicked recently , any idea where I can get those in Bangalore and how much a pair (front and rear light) would cost? I've tried in Decathlon but it's out of stock there.
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Old 19th October 2011, 15:02   #60
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Default Re: The Travails of a Cyclist in Indian Cities

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My reflector lights got flicked recently , any idea where I can get those in Bangalore and how much a pair (front and rear light) would cost? I've tried in Decathlon but it's out of stock there.
Have you tried well known stores such as Track & Trail , Firefox etc for accessories ?
By the way, I see reflectors in stock at decathlon.
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