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Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Cycle Day a Special one!!!

Some of these personal stories what makes Cycle Day so special and unique and inspires each one of us and convinces this city needs it.  

* A foreign national from the USA chooses Bangalore instead of Delhi because it is better city in terms of Cycling. Just a week here in Bangalore and still staying in a Hotel. Rode all the way from Cox town. Rides a Brompton foldie very excited to be part of it, told he is going to be there every month.

* A lady calls from Devanahalli (50+ kms one way to Jayanagar). She is 70 years, do not know how to ride a bike. She would like to take part in Cycle Day if someone is willing to teach her how to ride a bike. Do we need a better example to understand age is just a number!?

* Ashok Thiruvengadam stays in HAL has to drop his son to cricket coaching at 7.30 am, Palace grounds and need to pick him back at 9.45 am. Puts the bike in his car drops the son parks the car at Palace grounds cycles to Jayanagar and spends some good time meeting all the bikers and goes back.

* RJ Raaj stays quite far, getting late to be in time. Finally an auto guy more than happy to take both RJ Raaj and the bicycle to Jayanagar and without even charging extra. RJ Raaj that is the commitment to the cause and auto driver Shivraj is very happy to know about Cycle Day.

* Previous day i met a lady while distributing the pamphlet is doctor by profession. She was so excited knowing about it, she told she commutes on bicycle 5 days a week and her hubby too is a doctor working in Manipal and he too commutes on bicycle.

* Pavan krishna a 7th standard student. Comes early to the venue, we were heading to taking position of junctions and cross roads. He just rides with us, listens to everything what we were discussing.  Then i asked him are you keen on volunteering in one of the cross road, he said yes and took the position. After sometime he called his parents as they stay near by joined within minutes. Mom and Dad helping him manage the junction as cyclists come. Four of the volunteers are studying in 8th standard (Dheeraj, Khushal, Yashash )

* Monday morning i was commuting to work on the way i see a Police Officer and recognized him he was there on Cycle Day doing his duty. I stopped my bicycle and went to him and thanking him for the awesome job on Cycle Day, to my surprise he hugged me as he was doing that joy and happiness was visible in his eyes, as i left from that place tears rolled down on my cheeks......"I told to myself this Cycle Day is dedicated to YOU and to all the Police Officers."

Mr. G.T.Srinivas with his team, respect for you sir!!
Mr. G.T. Srinivas leading from the front
Cycles on rent neatly organised
Ambulance ready to take care
bike on display from Cadence90
warm up session by Gold's Gym
RJ Raag arriving in style and auto driver Shivraj
Beautiful stage, Pranav with Mr. Vijaya Kumar-MLA and Dr. Manjula madam -Commissioner DULT
Sea of Cyclists
Smitha Rao and RJ Raag of RED FM
Time to stop complaining, is not it.....!?
As usual BOTS at its creative best Shyamala Kittene
Bike Maintenance workshop by BOTS - Suraj here
Photo Credits to Naresh Khandai, Vinay Srinivas, BOTS, Esaf Bangalore, Vijesh Mohan, RJ Raag and SK Srinivas

Awesome tag - a design by team DULT 
December Cycle Day poster
open street - street drawing
Lagori - (My favorite game)  
Kids busy drawing....

What this Cycle Day has done is, adult becoming kid, Chiddu enjoying barefoot skipping
Rope jumping
What is your choice and the lovely gift to the winners
She is in Air!!!
this is how it was looking...
kids on stage
Slow cycle race for cops he is the winner as Srinidhi watching it
They loved it too....
This is how clean when we left the place
Volunteers at the end thanking all countless volunteers/bikers out there who made a difference to December Cycle Day
Hope is not lost, is not it!?

Happy new year wishes to everyone here and out there....

Thursday, 26 December 2013

'My bike' - simple joy further simplified...!!!

As the distance passing i started falling back, i could feel i am climbing very slowly, Hrishikesh started building the gap, me and Naresh once he is ahead and once i am ahead. By this time i think few kms have been covered.  I could not manage anymore, such a low cadence, bike was moving at a snail's pace.  I gave up and i got down from the bike.  I was all heartbroken could not believe i stopped the bike because i could not ride any further.  There is no power and strength left in my legs to take the climb.  It never happened before.  First time i have to stop the bike for a reason for lack of strength.  My ego was hurt badly....hehehe. This is elevation profile of Basavanbetta which i was not able to climb non stop on 'Mybike' that is equal to Nandi hills (in percent age of gradient)
                             "That man is Richest whose pleasures are Simplest"  By Anonymous
Ashuthosh who also bought the bike recently into regular commuting(round trip 22 kms) and also does some training rides on it, in front of beautiful  Hesaraghatta lake
i was always in search of simplicity.  As such biking is a simple thing and a simple joy.  As i started riding more and more i felt my search for it has ended.  I did not feel that need for simplifying it further.  What happens from once you start moving from solo ride to group rides. Like all areas of life, we get infected or spoiled, we complicate things for ever.  Need to get faster, stronger, climb better, sub 4 hrs 100 kms, from there to 100 kms in 3.30 hrs and sub 3 hrs, it never ends. Mtb to Road bike, Road to TT, then Carbon bike then lighter bike (rarely heard the discussion on light biker, only lighter bike....hehe) along with all this move from shoes to clip-less pedals, cleats, aero helmets, goes on and on and on, better not to get on to gadgets....The most simple thing called cycling has become extremely complicated!!!  It has only added to the existing gap in the society.

At the start of Mysore Brevet talking to Ravindra Rao
For me always the challenge is how do i not to lose my identity and if it all biking is a solution to modern traffic issues it has to attract masses (am not saying, "one can save Titanic with a bucket"....hehe). The tree planted in front of your house can always give some shade to you if not for the whole world. Then 'Mybike' from Decathlon got my attention. Picked up one from Sanjay on Nov 4th who was not using it.  It is a simple steel bike coming in two colors, white and black. Stock tires are Ralson 26 x 1.95 and i swapped it to Continental tires (ie 26 x 1.75) of my another Mtb - Merida tfs 100.

with Anantha vishwanathan-very strong rider compared to 'it was his first 300 kms' on the way from Mysore at Janapadaloka
When some one wants to get on to biking, what always comes to their mind first is the pricing of the bike. Why does it really matter? Simple it is their 'belief'.  And they also have the fear in mind how long they will continue this new habit?  what should i do if i decided to dis-continue and the expensive bike lies in the garage or where do i go in search of a buyer (market place bots) or how much money i have to lose by selling it. When you are introducing someone to biking how many times we have time to give and support them with all the details.
Ram prashanth-who convinced his friend Karthik vijay who bought 'Mybike' and started riding on a daily basis - good job guys (Photo credit Gogreen Rao)
'Mybike' is priced at Rs. 4,000.  It beats lot of the above apprehension. It is a single speed Mtb. Crank set comes with 44 teeth and Sprocket 18 teeth. That makes it quite easy for city commute. That would be good gear ratio even for someone who is starting on biking. I wanted to explore this further, thought best is to take it on century or long rides.  By that 20 or 30 kms round trip commute becomes negligible distance. Nov 10th rode to Mysore along with one of my Inspiration in biking world in Bangalore Ashok Thiruvengadam who was taking part Mysore's first Brevet - 200 kms (who rode to Myore took part in Brevet and rode back).  It was a night ride and first long ride for this bike which was just a week old.  That turned out pretty good, no issues and it performed well. Took 7 hrs to reach Mysore including breaks.  Felt that was a decent pace for the distance and considering it was night.  Did one more night ride after that to Mysore and back with Ananth Vishwanathan on Dec 7th. This time again took 7 hrs to reach Mysore.  Some where in between one of the days i took it out for 50 kms ride and did a PB on it, took just under 2 hrs to complete the distance. On December 21st again rode to Mysore with Hrishikesh -who was doing his first 300 kms covered the same distance in 6.15 hrs (ie 45 minutes improvement from the first attempt for the same stretch). 300 kms did it in 12.40 hrs with an average of 23.70 kmph.

Some Statistics so far on 'MyBike'  
53 days 2315 kms
avg 43.68 kms per day
300 kms ride 3 times so far
one 200 kms ride
100 kms ride twice

Diwakar who bought 'Mybike' recently and started the commuting (20 kms round trip), he is enjoying every bit of it, he says he was faster compared to his motor bike on a single speed
As the world is busy watching something else am busy riding my single speed....(Photo Credit Deepthi Indukuri)