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Old 4th October 2011, 13:54   #1
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Default The Travails of a Cyclist in Indian Cities

Riding a cycle in Bangalore city gives rise to a lot of dangerous, funny and sometimes unexpected situations. Would like to hear from other cyclists around the country on their experiences.

I am listing some of mine here.

1. The PYT's found everywhere in Bangalore who couldn't look at you unless you drive a BMW at the least. Do manage a smile seeing a guy on a cycle. The one's sitting on the rear facing seats in a Volvo are the best lot. I actually had one girl show me the Thump's Up with a wink.

2. Honking and this is my biggest irritant. Just today I am riding along at the very edge of a narrow road moving at the pace of the traffic - Entering Bagmane Tech Park. I get honked at repeatedly for 100 meters. I stop. Turn around and ask "WHAT?". The lady in the car gestures to me to move on. I smile. And reply "What do you think I was doing?". She does not know what to say and follows me quietly after that.

3. Parking in a Mall.
Ticket attendant: Sir, cycle is not allowed.
Me: Where does it mention that?
TA: (Scratches head) Ok you go.
Me: Parking Ticket?
TA: No need you go park on the side.
Me: OK

Parking in another Mall.
After paying the ticket.
Parking Attendant: You cannot leave your cycle here.
Me: I paid the ticket for two wheeler parking. See this.
PA: (Scratches Head) You can park.
Me: OK

4. Mom gets to know that I cycle to work.
New set of worries start for her. In our family except my dad all others are averse to riding two-wheelers.
While talking to a neighbor.
Mom: My son now takes the cycle to work.
Neighbor: Oh My GOD!! Did he lose his job?
Mom: No he did not. He does it as he travels alone to work and taking the car does not make sense (my logic forwarded).
Neighbor: Oh, I thought he lost his job and cannot afford driving the car now. With recession and this IT jobs one never knows.

5. Wife when I got the cycle.
Wife: Why does it not have proper mudguards? These bikini one's are of no use.
Me: BIKINI!!! WHAT???
Wife: Mudguards. Bikini Mudguards. These ones. (Pointing to the small ones on the front and rear of the cycle).
Me: WHOA!! Is that actually a term?
Wife: I don't know. They look like that. Reveal more then can be hidden - two piece bikini's.
Me: BRILLIANT!!!

I get on the net and search for bikini mudguards. They are ACTUALLY CALLED THAT!!! And now I know why.

PS: MODS. Opening this one separately from the Bicycle Thread. This is more to do with experiences on cycles. As I see more TBHPians getting on the saddle I think there will be lot of experiences to share.

I have no concerns if this gets merged with the Bicycle Thread too. Cheers!!
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Old 4th October 2011, 14:43   #2
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Default Re: The Travails of a Cyclist in Indian Cities

Entertaining thread!

If there are more like you, this wouldn't be the case : Bangalore is 6th worst city in world for commuting - The Times of India

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Originally Posted by Spitfire View Post
Neighbor: Oh My GOD!! Did he lose his job?
Mom: No he did not. He does it as he travels alone to work and taking the car does not make sense (my logic forwarded).
Neighbor: Oh, I thought he lost his job and cannot afford driving the car now. With recession and this IT jobs one never knows.
This is actually extremely hillarious!
Though it is kinda confusing why she asked if you lost your job on being told you cycle to work. One of those things you can't figure out I guess.
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Old 4th October 2011, 15:14   #3
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Default Re: The Travails of a Cyclist in Indian Cities

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This is actually extremely hillarious!
Though it is kinda confusing why she asked if you lost your job on being told you cycle to work. One of those things you can't figure out I guess.
I believe its a mindset thing.

Historically cycles are used by lower income group folks who cannot afford the motorized options.

With the shaky IT job scene and the notorious reputation about job security in these firms. People from the older way of life look at this with some doubts. Maybe it comes from that.

This lady is in her early 70's
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Old 4th October 2011, 15:29   #4
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Default Re: The Travails of a Cyclist in Indian Cities

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2. Honking and this is my biggest irritant. Just today I am riding along at the very edge of a narrow road moving at the pace of the traffic - Entering Bagmane Tech Park. I get honked at repeatedly for 100 meters. I stop. Turn around and ask "WHAT?". The lady in the car gestures to me to move on. I smile. And reply "What do you think I was doing?". She does not know what to say and follows me quietly after that.
Cycle to work on Varthur road + Huge Concrete mixer with power horn + Sounding horn exactly when passing you = right eardrum retracted
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Old 4th October 2011, 16:10   #5
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Default Re: The Travails of a Cyclist in Indian Cities

I used to cycle to work here in UK. Things have changed now as I need to drop my son to school.

My friends used to tease me that you were better off in India driving a car and now you ride a cycle after going to onsite.
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Old 5th October 2011, 12:57   #6
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Default Re: The Travails of a Cyclist in Indian Cities

My 6 year old niece sees me getting ready to leave for office. I am dressed in shorts and a t-shirt. With a helmet and sunglasses. An ipod dangles from the t-shirt.

She shakes her head in disbelief and tells me that this is not the way to go to office. But to see her dad, who goes like an officer.
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Old 6th October 2011, 07:01   #7
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Default Re: The Travails of a Cyclist in Indian Cities

One of my former colleagues in Chennai went to the Le Royal Mťridien, when we had organised a team dinner with some folks from across the world on his cycle, and he was stopped at the gate and they were not allowing him to get in. That is when he started speaking in english (Earlier he was talking Tamil), and spoke to the supervisor in English with some strong words. He was quickly allowed in.

It was funny to see security guards faces when we all came out with our cars and his cycle
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Old 6th October 2011, 11:09   #8
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Default Re: The Travails of a Cyclist in Indian Cities

Nice thread. Glued to it. By the way, whats the distance between your house and office?

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I actually had one girl show me the Thump's Up with a wink.
We do have some nice people among us don't we?
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Old 6th October 2011, 17:57   #9
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Default Re: The Travails of a Cyclist in Indian Cities

I'm new to the biking scene but as Hyderabad has quite a large biking community, I think its not so uncommon now. The one thing that I have felt is that most people don't realise how fast you can go on the bike if you choose your gears properly. I often get stares from people especially from the lady sitting pillion on two wheelers and see me pass them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spitfire View Post
I believe its a mindset thing.

Historically cycles are used by lower income group folks who cannot afford the motorized options.

With the shaky IT job scene and the notorious reputation about job security in these firms. People from the older way of life look at this with some doubts. Maybe it comes from that.

This lady is in her early 70's
I'm sure if you tell the old lady the cost of your bike, she'll have a stroke apart from considering you to be pretty well-off .

P.S: Will take out my bike on Monday to search for those thumbs up and winks

P.P.S: I'm into running as well and do long runs on Sunday. Last Sunday I did a 21 Kms starting at 4AM and received quitea few "All The Best" shouts from youngsters returning home after parties.

Last edited by MileCruncher : 6th October 2011 at 18:12.
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Old 6th October 2011, 19:24   #10
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Default Re: The Travails of a Cyclist in Indian Cities

Quote:
Originally Posted by reswaran View Post
right eardrum retracted
Tell me about it. LOL!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mayankjha1806 View Post
It was funny to see security guards faces when we all came out with our cars and his cycle
OH WOW!! That must have been such a sight man. Thanks for sharing. Gives me some ideas, I have a presentation at the Taj soon

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Originally Posted by Statement View Post
Nice thread. Glued to it. By the way, whats the distance between your house and office?
Hey thanks. I find the incidents quite funny and interesting.

Actually since my office moved to a new location - Bagmane Tech Park. The distance has come down to 8 kilometers one way - longest start to finish.

But I take a 14 km route one way. Don't ask me why

Quote:
We do have some nice people among us don't we?
Oh yes, no doubt about it. And I believe people think cyclists are the most sweetest guys on the roads.

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Originally Posted by MileCruncher View Post
I often get stares from people especially from the lady sitting pillion on two wheelers and see me pass them.
Yeah!! I had this one small kid on his way to school point at me and say "Dad, see the cycle is overtaking your bike". Then he and his brother started laughing at their dad. The look on the face of dad was priceless!!

Quote:
I'm sure if you tell the old lady the cost of your bike, she'll have a stroke apart from considering you to be pretty well-off.
Guess what. My mom does not tell her friends the cost of my cycle.

She wants to avoid the "What's wrong with your son, in that amount he could have got a scooter..etc". LOL!!


Quote:
P.S: Will take out my bike on Monday to search for those thumbs up and winks
Ah by all means. The one's that look snobbish are the best bet.

Quote:
"All The Best" shouts from youngsters returning home after parties.
That reminds me of back home. We had this elderly, short tempered gentleman who stays in our colony. He used to go out for his jogs early in the morning 0400 to 0500 hours. I used to meet him a couple of kilometers from home on the way back from a whole night of partying.

Me: UNCLE!! It is not going to add any more years. Let me give you a lift.
Uncle: You, son of "dad's name". Wait I am going to complain to your father. Useless fellow.
Me: LOL

Every single day.
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Old 6th October 2011, 23:00   #11
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Default Re: The Travails of a Cyclist in Indian Cities

The last time I rode a bicycle was in the Infy campus in Mysore and around Kodai Lake. If you live in a place like that then it's worth cycling to work. You cycle to work in any metro; do it at own risk and better take a good medical insurance.
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Old 6th October 2011, 23:05   #12
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The last time I rode a bicycle was in the Infy campus in Mysore and around Kodai Lake. If you live in a place like that then it's worth cycling to work. You cycle to work in any metro; do it at own risk and better take a good medical insurance.
Very sorry to say, but you are wrong.

I cycle in Hyderabad. When I started the plan was to do it twice a week to office. Now I am averaging 85-90% of all office commutes on my cycle.

This mental block is what needs to change. I have a strong feeling, this is exactly what caused Spitfire to start this thread.
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Old 7th October 2011, 00:01   #13
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Default Re: The Travails of a Cyclist in Indian Cities

A bit disappointed. This thread just has some anecdotes that at most make you smile and forget about it. Much more interested in the actual travails and how I as a motorist can help make life a little easier for the odd cyclist.
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Old 7th October 2011, 01:08   #14
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Default Re: The Travails of a Cyclist in Indian Cities

I used to cycle a lot during my childhood. That even led to purchase a bicycle again when i was like 22years old. but due to the accident prone drivings exhibited now by all kinds of drivers on road, my mother was simply opposed to it and on the very next day gave the bicycle to our maid`s kid.
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Old 7th October 2011, 08:06   #15
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Default Re: The Travails of a Cyclist in Indian Cities

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A bit disappointed. This thread just has some anecdotes that at most make you smile and forget about it. Much more interested in the actual travails and how I as a motorist can help make life a little easier for the odd cyclist.
As a matter of fact, its not the odd cyclist. Lot of people cycle on the roads especially the normal cycle. Cycle hasn't vanished as yet. I love to bike around and in Hyderabad if you are riding a geared bike with helmet et al (hi-fi cycle in common man lingo), people don't cut you off but rather look in awe. I do cycle in the evening which falls under peak hours and I haven't faced much problem.

Just one suggestion, give the cyclist their space. He/She are themselves aware of their position and wouldn't want to do anything to endanger their lives.

Cheers
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