First, let me compare some travel times here from my experience:

  1. Distance from my home to office - 9 kms (Jayanagar to Bommanahalli via the dreaded silk board junction)
  2. Travel time by bike - Average 35 minutes (Considering all kinds of shortcuts possible in a bike)
  3. Travel time by car - Average 50 minutes (30 minutes in the morning but upto 1.5 hours in the evening)
  4. Travel time by bus - One hour (But I like this one as I make good use of the time reading something)
  5. Travel time by bicycle - Exactly 35 minutes (traffic or no traffic)

However, cycling has its own set of problems but all of them have solutions. Here are some:

Masked Man

  1. Pollution - I had stopped cycling for a long time before I found the solution - An activated carbon cloth filter mask from Decathlon. I have been using this for some time now and it only needs a couple of days for you to get adjusted to it (just as you would get adjusted to a seat belt or a helmet). And it does its job well. If required, buy some glasses as well.
  2. Too much traffic - The distance from my home to office is 9 kms. However, I take a 9.5 kms route in the morning and a 10 kms route in the evening. These are entirely residential routes which the larger vehicles cannot take as most of these result in a road-divider or they are too narrow. In one section, I have a short 50 meter stretch that I have to push along the footpath as the road is a one way. But this keeps me away from the traffic. The advantages only available to cycles.
  3. A sweaty affair - This I must admit is a problem if your office does not have a shower facility. I take an extra shirt with me to office everyday as the shower room is not well kept.
  4. Crazy night traffic - Better planning helps. I start early and try to finish early from office. I either leave before 6 PM or leave after 8 PM. Also, I always carry a couple of LED lights with me.
  5. Office laptop/Other luggage - This one is easy. A saddle bag (not the old carrier type) can carry a lot of stuff safely.
  6. Rains - For this, I still haven't found a good solution. I just ditch my bicycle and take my car on rainy days. Sometimes though, I have gotten unlucky and ridden in the rain.
  7. Some bad drivers/riders on the road - Patience is the only solution to this problem. Every time I start cycling, I tell myself that I will ignore anyone who behaves bad on the road.

Now, the good things:

  1. A lot of exercise for me and it is almost free.
  2. Faster commute and it is again free.
  3. For the environmentally conscious, nothing can beat cycling.
  4. And personally, it has taught me a lot of patience.

All I wish is that there will be dedicated cycling lanes and a little more respect for cyclists on roads. Just so that I'll find many other cyclists on roads.