In the few hours that I can squeeze out from a working day, there are not many things that I can do. And, inactivity implies boredom, the opposite of happiness. After a 2 year gap, when I went back to my regular job, I had to do something to make my workdays work for me. Without a motivated plan, I knew how corrosive long hours at work can be on the self. One output of this plan was cycling to work.
I had been given a handful of reasons why cycling to work is not really feasible. "The Bangalore traffic doesn't care for bicycles", "You sweat a lot while cycling and it would be difficult to sit at office thereafter", "People don't respect a cyclist", "Cycling is time consuming" and more. But I know that detractors are always there for a reason and in fact, each of those comments are true to a certain extent. However, there is a way around for those who are really determined.
I bought my bicycle about 40 days back, a rockrider 5.2 from a sports haven called decathlon. Having logged at least 400 kms on Bangalore's roads now, I have begun to love my lifestyle. My typical day now involves reaching office before 6.30 AM and coming home in the evening before 5 PM. The side-effect of this is that I now have time for my guitar, books and almost everything which usually are reserved for weekends. Another good thing is that early morning hours are great for work since you have the office for yourself without much distractions. My office recently installed a shower facility which means I now am not bothered by all the sweating too. And finally the travel time; I travel 9 kms in the morning and it takes me 25 minutes. While coming back in the evening, to keep off from the traffic, I take circuituous residential area routes which increases my travel distance to 10 kms and the time to 35 minutes.
In the past 40 days, I have been through a lot of incremental changes with respect to cycling. I first bought the bicycle. Thereafter, I found that I required really good lights in case I have to ride during the night. The lights are mainly for oncoming traffic rather than for visibility. I started carrying clothes to office so that I can change. In fact, the shower facility was installed just recently at my request. Until then, I had to use the toilet. For me, the inconvenience of adjusting was easily negated by the happiness of cycling. The point is, if you are determined to cycle to work, you can do it anyway.
My next task is to get to know the numerous cycling clubs in Bangalore.
And for those planning to buy a bicycle, here are some places to consider:
- decathlon.in for rockrider bikes
- Wheel Sports for merida, KHS etc.
- RR international in Madiwala for any bikes from high end Bianchis and Meridas to low end Heros and Hercules.
- Track and Trail for cannondale and Bianchi
- BOTS for trek
- Firefox for firefox