It's yet another tiring weekday and I am back home at 8 pm with typical hangover of a desk job, with loads of restlessness and no mood have to have dinner. But the things takes a 180 degree turn after a quick ride around my home on my recently bought Schwinn Searcher bike. The uphill/downhill terrain in Hanumanthanagar/Gavipuram locality coupled with fresh (negligibly polluted) air takes annuls all kinds of hangover from my body. This routine has been a rejuvenating experience for last 3-4 months in comparison to doing 30 minutes cardio activity in a stinking gym, facebooking on my laptop or watching something stuff on idiot box/screen etc.
The thoughts of getting back into cycling started a few years back when I had accompanied my sister and BIL for buying cycles for my nieces. Incidentally, it was the same shop where I had bought my last cycle in my schooldays. A casual price enquiry about a few high ends cycles raised eyebrows and kept me thinking have the cycles become so expensive ? Somehow, the prices prevented me in taking the plunge. The things got reignited went I attended a panel discussion 'Connecting the Dots' on sustainable transport at Jaaga last year. One of the major takeaways from inspirational keynotes from Rohan Kini and Das was that cycling is not only a cool thing, but also a pretty convenient transport system and keeps you fit for lifetime.
|Trial Ride at BWSSB Pipeline Road ( Kanakapura Road)|
Trial Ride - Prashanth leading the way:
Even after getting inspired from the panel discussion I didn't get pass edge of the fence. Only thing I was aware that there's a cycle by name Rockrider which one can buy from a Decathalon sports outlet and all fellow IT guys opt for it like buying a Smartphone. Earlier this year one of my cousins Prashanth sparked a discussion on cycling in then newly created whatsapp group of our relatives/cousins. This resulted in series of research, window shopping at major cycling shops in Bangalore. In the process, we got a fair idea on types of bikes with several options compared to options we used to have during school days. I was laid back initially but Prashanth pushed me and as suggested by owner of RR cycles(Madiwala), we rented out 2 types of bicycles went for a trial ride to Kanakapura road. Initially it bit scary, as I was cycling after a gap of 15 years ! but somehow the experience of wading thru traffic in school days kept the confidence high. About 1 hour of ride we realised the hassles with a Mountainbike(Rockrider ) and fun with a Hybrid(Bianchi). While returning the rented cycle on same evening we were taken aback my prices of various imported Hybrids. I was apprehensive of investing so much and decided to go with a Hercules bike from a shop closer to my home.
Sri Laxmi experience:
After finding the imported Giants, Bianchis beyond my budget I decided to take a plunged with Hercules Ryders Neo. But after discussing with Sanjay(Sri Laxmi Cycles, Banashankari), I found Ryders Neo has been discontinued and rest of cycles from Hercules and other Indian manufacturers are not fit for six footer like me. After listening to my requirements, Sanjay suggested me to opt for a 2 years old Schwinn bike which was kept for static display in his store. Since it was imported when USD v/s INR was around 45-50, the offer price way below new hybrids available at other shops and also marginally above Hercules bikes. With a small discussion and consultation with Prashanth and Krishna, I took the plunge finally and became a proud owner of Schwinn Searcher. To justify the investment, I just had to do a simple comparison with one year Gym fees :)
Apart from adrenaline rush one of the major motivation in cycling endeavour has been Strava App. It's very cool app which logs all your rides showing all stats such as speed, elevation again and not-to-mention calories burnt ! Interestingly, it shows your performance relative to other riders on a particular segment of a road/city. My favorite segment so far has been 'Krumbigal Spike' from Lalbagh main gate to west gate. In 1-2 months I have made progress from 90th position to 22nd position in this segment.
Pedal for the planet
This rejuvenating experiences will continue with more quick rides, competitions and expeditions. If you have any specific questions, please feel free to comment below as I am planning to create FAQs page which would handy for people taking the plunge in near future.
Participating in 'Pedal for the Planet' was an amusing experience. Riding along with 500+ professional from various organization was fun and I got a chance to connect with many cycling enthusiasts from Bangalore. In addition to the race, to-and-fro journey from home to the event venue was bigger challenge. On that day I cycled 18.4 + 18.8 + 18.7 = 55.9 kms in one day ! Never really thought I would manage to ride so much when I was on edge of the fence 6 months back.
|With my colleagues at Pedal for the planet event|